Now That Southwest Is Leaving Newark, What Are Your Options?

One of the bombshell announcements from the Southwest Airlines earning call was that starting November 3, 2019, they would stop flights from Newark Airport and consolidate flights to the New York area to LaGuardia Airport. Now, I don’t know if anyone other than those who have lived in New Jersey knows the difference between getting a flight from Newark or a flight from LaGuardia. First of all, there’s the getting to and from the airport. Many people in New Jersey can take public transportation to Newark Airport with NJ Transit to the AirTrain. If not, they can drive there and only have to pay a moderate toll on the Turnpike or Parkway. When I lived there 20 years ago, we could drive there on HWY 1&9 and didn’t have to pay a thing besides the airport parking fee. The good old days. But New Jersey residents getting to LaGuardia would be kind of crazy – it’s not close, it would take at least two trains, and there’s a lot of traffic if you decided to drive it. So not really a realistic alternative.

I’m sure that the NJ residents who were accustomed to flying on Southwest weren’t happy with the news, so I decided to look at where Southwest flies from Newark and what options are still available. (Spoiler Alert: I hope you don’t mind flying on United)

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I Wanted A Reliable Airline So I Booked With Frontier Instead Of American

This is a headline that I never thought I’d write but here we are. I needed to choose a flight to get from Orlando to Austin. There used to be several non-stop flights between the two cities but airline schedules change and I was left with a set of options that would not have been my first choices. When you need to get from point A to point B, it becomes necessary to choose from the options you have.

The two options I had were:

  • A non-stop flight on Frontier with excellent flight times
  • Flights on American connecting either in Charlotte or Dallas

Other airlines such as Spirit and JetBlue had non-stop flights but the times were terrible and Delta’s prices for connecting flights were way too high. So I had to decide between Frontier or American.

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How To Understand Airline Seat Class Names

Have you ever felt like this when booking airfare? “I’d like to book a seat in Basic Premium Extra Plus Comfort Class that includes exit row seat assignments but without an extra carry on bag.”

Knowing what class of airline seat you were buying didn’t use to be hard. There were only two or maybe three classes to choose from. First Class. Business Class and Coach. Yep, that’s Coach. Not Economy. Not Main Cabin. Not Core. Just plain old Coach. And do you know what? Everyone was fine with that. No one was complaining that the names were inappropriate. You knew what class you were in and everyone was happy.

Flash forward to today and there are numerous names differentiating the seat choices offered by each airline. None of the names are the same and names that happen to be similar can still mean very different seat types. American Airlines leads the pack with eight different types of categories. United follows closely behind with seven and Delta has six. Southwest Airlines is the easiest to understand, as they only have one class of seat, and they don’t even bother to give it a name 🙂

Here’s my attempt to make sense of all of these names, from top to bottom…

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