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Review: Southwest B737-700 Economy (DAL-MSY)

Updated: Feb 8

To kick off our trip, we had a very simple routing from Dallas to New Orleans on Southwest. I had initially booked us on a DAL-ATL-MSY itinerary in Delta Comfort+ but Mrs. ATX quickly vetoed that plan in favor of the direct.


Booking

I booked this flight, and about 8 others, roughly a month before departure. Since I knew prices would spoke after bowl game parings were announced, I booked points tickets to Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. That gave me pretty reasonable fares and the ability to cancel the remaining flights once the games were announced.


Ultimately, I ended up spending 20,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points plus $5.60 per person for our one way flight from Dallas Love Field to New Orleans.


Pre-Flight

Our flight was scheduled to depart at 10:24p and we arrived just before 9:30p. This late on a Saturday night, there was very little traffic and we were curbside in no time after entering the airport grounds.

With no bags to check, we headed straight for security. The airport was a ghost town and we managed to go from the curb to the secure area in under three minutes.

Due to the late hour most of the shops and restaurants in the terminal were closed. We'd already eaten prior to arriving at the airport so we headed straight to the gate.

Our flight was departing from Gate 12, just off of the main food court. Though the rest of the airport was quiet, our gate was quite rowdy with many fans of both teams flying down for the game.

Gat 12 at Dallas Love Field with a flight preparing to board for New Orleans
Next Stop: New Orleans

Boarding

Our departure was slightly delayed because of a late inbound flight, though our 737 arrived from Denver a few minutes after we arrived at the gate.

N401WN, a Southwest Boeing 737-700, parked at Gate 12 at Dallas Love Field Airport
N401WN is our ride down to New Orleans Tonight

I checked in right at the 24 hour mark and ended up deep in the "B" boarding group, B40 and B41. At the gate, I was able to buy upgraded boarding for a reasonable $20 and snagged A8 and A8 which would hopefully give us a chance at an exit row seat. Boarding was called a few minutes later, starting with A1-30. After a quick scan of our new boarding passes, we headed down the jet bridge to our waiting 737.


Southwest Airlines

WN 3641

DAL-MSY (Dallas Love Field - New Orleans Louis Armstrong International)

Seat: 12A (Economy)

B737-700 (N401WN)

Scheduled: 10:24p-11:45p

Actual: 10:44p-12:00a (+1)



Seat

Southwest has an all Economy layout and our Boeing 737-700 was outfitted with 143 seats laid out in the standard 3-3 layout.

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 Interior
Southwest Boeing 737-700 Seats

Aside from the bulkhead seats, which are almost impossible to get without sitting in the middle, there are 3 good seats on this aircraft, all of which are centered around the emergency exit row on the left hand side of the aircraft.


Row 11 has the only 2 seat row on the aircraft as the seat closest to the window has been removed for the emergency exit. These are my favorite seats when traveling with Mrs. ATX as we don't have to worry about a seatmate. Unfortunately, the couple who boarded before us took those seats, at least they were Texas fans.


My favorite seat when traveling alone on the Southwest 737-700 is 12A. This seat has unlimited legroom due to the missing 11A in the row in front. We took this row, with me in 12A and Mrs. ATX in 12B.

Southwest's fleet of 737s don't have seatback IFE but streaming movies, TV shows, and Live TV are available on your personal devices. Unfortunately, their fleet of 737-700s don't feature power outlets. The airline has started adding these on newly delivered 737 MAX aircraft.


Since 12A doesn't have a seat in front, my tray table came out of the fixed armrest between our seats. The tray table could be folded over in half, which was perfect for a drink/snacks, or opened fully to support a laptop or tablet.


Departure

We had a completely full flight for this trip and every single seat went out full. We had a 15 minute delay leaving the gate which the Captain kept us up to date on and we pushed back exactly 15 minutes behind schedule.

A Southwest B737-800 rests at Gate 10 at Dallas Love Field
Pushing back next to a Southwest B737-800 at Dallas Love Field

We taxied out to Runway 13L, where we had a short hold for arriving traffic before getting cleared to depart.

View of Bachman Lake at Night from a Southwest 737 at Dallas Love Field
Holding Short of Runway 13L at Dallas Love Field

Ten minutes after pushback we were lumbering down the runway and lifted off into the night sky over Downtown Dallas. I spotted our old Dallas home out of the window in the process.

View of Dallas at Night from a Southwest 737
View Departing Dallas Love Field

In-Flight

As we climbed out of Dallas, I tried connecting to the inflight Wi-Fi. Unfortunately it was inoperable on this flight but the streaming entertainment managed to work which was odd.


The menu card was located in the seatback pocket which read as follows.

Southwest Airlines Inflight Drink Menu
Southwest Airlines Drink Menu

The flight attendants working our section of the cabin came around first with some snack mix or, as CrankyFlier calls it, the salty death mix. Mrs. ATX was already asleep so they gave me her bag as well.

Southwest Airlines Snack Mix
Southwest Snack Mix

I ordered a vodka soda to drink, which set me back $9. Mrs. ATX woke up and asked for a glass of water. Thanks to our friend, LeGuen Cookies, we had some delicious Christmas themed cookies to enjoy on our flight.

With the Wi-Fi inoperable, I passed the remainder of our quick flight to New Orleans reading. Soon, we were descending into New Orleans.


Arrival

We landed from the west, on Runway 11, and taxied over to our arrival gate, B5. We pulled in next to a pair of Breeze Airways E195s. Between the game and New Years Eve, the ramp was packed with planes.

Breeze Airways E195 parked on the tarmac at New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport
Breeze E195 at New Orleans International Airport

It took 10 minutes to deplane and we headed off towards Baggage Claim and Ground Transportation.

With no checked bags, we headed straight to the rental car shuttle for the long, slow ride over to the old terminal.

Rental Car Shuttle Bus at New Orleans International Airport
Brand new airport, yet it's a 20 minute shuttle ride to the Rental Car Center

Summary

I took a grand total of 2 Southwest flights in 2023 and both of them were mediocre. Just like the first flight, the Wi Fi was inoperable and we took a delay. Southwest won our business for this flight because I had points to redeem and the timing worked best for us. I certainly didn't choose them because of their on-board product or on-time record.


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