Best Airlines for Smooth rides? Southwest?

recruiter89

New member
I am flying Southwest in two weeks from Providence to Lax and I am in serious fear of in flight turbulence....is Southwest a smooth ride? I have never flown them before...any horror stories on Southwest?

thanks
 

christy

Lifetime Elite
I fly almost exclusively with Southwest, and have no complaints. During my most turbulent flights with them, I've always found that they try to explain the cause (weather fronts, wind, etc.) and try to find a smoother altitude (which isn't always possible). If all else fails, enjoy the great service and friendly flight attendants--they're extra super-nice to everyone now with the FAA snafu still lingering around. ;)
 

tb_neg

Administrator
Staff member
It depends on the weather and atmosphere most of all. Southwest is a good airline.
 

Smooth Sailing

New member
In order to save fuel, Southwest, AirTran, and Continental often fly their 737-700s and 737-800s at high altitudes - 37 to 41,000 feet. As a result, they often fly over a lot of weather you'd normally bounce through at lower cruise altitudes.

Southwest PVD-LAX will likely fly right at 40,000 feet, so you're at least likely to clear most of the clouds. You can check the echo tops on this site before your flight to know for sure.

Still can get jet stream bumps, rocky mountain bumps, but should have a better time with non-thunderstorm related storms.
 

skadanks

New member
The atmosphere doesn't care what airline you're flying in. A jet going through choppy air is going to bounce, no matter what livery is painted on the tail.:rolleyes:

But what I tend to do when flying in spring or summer when afternoon thunderstorms are a daily occurrence across much of the country, I pick the earliest flight possible so by the time daytime heating kicks up enough to form supercell thunderstorms, I've already landed. Taking a red eye flight might be smoother too since summer thunderstorms happen mostly in the day time, though they can happen at any of hour of day depending on conditions.
 

tb_neg

Administrator
Staff member
This is very good advice.

The atmosphere doesn't care what airline you're flying in. A jet going through choppy air is going to bounce, no matter what livery is painted on the tail.:rolleyes:

But what I tend to do when flying in spring or summer when afternoon thunderstorms are a daily occurrence across much of the country, I pick the earliest flight possible so by the time daytime heating kicks up enough to form supercell thunderstorms, I've already landed. Taking a red eye flight might be smoother too since summer thunderstorms happen mostly in the day time, though they can happen at any of hour of day depending on conditions.
 
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