There goes the neighborhood

The title of this post is an old saying when undesirables move into the neighborhood.  In this particular case, it is referring to the entry of Southwest airlines into Newark.

For years, Newark has avoided the mass of low cost carriers and thus keeping a higher caliber of travelers through it.  Whereas take the caliber of the Southwest population enmasse and you'll see a large difference.   

First, people belive that Southwest brings low prices.  This statement is more creative marketing than actual fact.  Yes, Southwest does drop cause a drop in some prices, but in reality, it does very little for the bottom end fares.  With Southwest attempting to be a big boy and more of a business airline, they've done away with a lot of the crazy fares and have moved to a more complicated fare structure. 

Second, thanks to the creative marketing, Southwest may be the largest airline for the "leisure" traveler, also known as Kettles, in the frequent flyer world.   Go to any airport where Southwest has a presence, walk through the check-in or security line for the Southwest gates and then compare it to any other set of security checkpoints.   It's blatantly obvious the caliber of Southwest main crowd, there' s a reason their boarding call is referred to as a cattle call.

Southwest is sharing gates in the A1 concourse with United.  Within the first week of starting service, the security line was already unreasonable.   I fortunately had an alternate way to get to my gate, but I feel sorry for anyone having to endure that. 

So, I for one hope that Southwest fails miserabley at Newark and decides to leave. 


Nick April 14, 2011 at 11:44 am

The issue at EWR is that it can not handle any number of passengers. I would not say that Southwest ruins the security checkpoint, as there are times I would actually walk down to the WN checkpoint because it was a better run checkpoint at RDU.