I am a bit of a road warrior, I do a fair bit of traveling for work. I have been rather loyal to my airline of choice and their star alliance partners. But when I had to book a flight at the last minute for a family emergency, I thought long and hard about the carrier I choose. My main concern was that I am not exactly sure when I need to come back and a round trip ticket was a far better deal than i was finding with one way trips at the last minute. I know I was going to shell out a $150 change fee with my normal carrier, when it was time to come home. So I looked at Southwest based purely off their commercials.
The festival type seating was a little confusing at first simply because other airlines want to change you extra for choosing and aisle seat or exit row. With Southwest it is simply a matter of who gets there first. The other thing was that the leg room on my flights was very spacious, and the seats had much more recline that other airlines.
The only downside I can see to southwest is that there is no extras on the plane. Food other than snacks are not available and in flight entertainment is limited to what you bring with you. It really is like a bus that flys. These are things that other airlines charge you an extra fee for anyway.
I can’t say that southwest will be my new carrier of choice, simply because I do mostly international travel, but when traveling on my own dime it will definitely be near the top of my short list of carriers.