Southwest Airlines

Cheap flights? Southwest proves to be no bargain once you land in Houston

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Airline inconveniences fade away when you are with the most important thing in your life -- family. Clockwise from upper left: Ryand and fiance Larisa; grandson Brody with his helicopter; Brody and me, mugging for the camera; bottom, from left: Brendan & Cami, Chris & Katie, Brody & Grizzly.
Airline inconveniences fade away when you are with the most important thing in your life — family. Clockwise from upper left: Ryan and his fiance, Larisa; grandson Brody with his helicopter; Brody and me, mugging for the camera; bottom, from left: Brendan & Cami, Chris & Katie, Brody & Grizzly in Truckee.

When is a bargain not a bargain?

Probably when it is a low-priced, round-trip, Southwest Airlines ticket from Belize to Houston.

We’ve all seen them since Southwest began flying into Belize a year ago. I was among the cheerleaders since Southwest’s aggressive pricing (initially, at least) often forces the big carriers to drop prices. Win-win!

My wife, Rose, recently snagged a too-good-to-be-true ticket to Houston. She has a son in Oklahoma whom she hadn’t seen since we moved to Belize nearly three years ago. She also has a daughter in Arizona and, not coincidentally, a friend had organized a weeklong yoga retreat in Sedona for early October.

So she jumped on the Southwest sale. And offered to get me one, too. Read the rest of this entry »

Exactly what is a ‘lost’ day in Paradise?

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My taxi awaits, for the 90 minute trip to Belize City. Inside seating is best if you are hoping to avoid the wind and rain. Clearly, the best views and wildest ride is up on the bridge with the San Pedro Express boat captain. These guys run on time, by the way.
My taxi awaits, for the 90 minute trip to Belize City. Inside seating is best if you are hoping to avoid the wind and rain. Clearly, the best views and wildest ride is up on the bridge with the San Pedro Express boat captain. These guys run on time, by the way.

Writing about a lost day in Paradise is kind of like writing about inefficiency in government. It is hard to make it sound new or interesting.

Just the same, yesterday was sort of a lost day during which I traveled great distances and accomplished very little.

I hitched a ride to San Pedro Town with Rose in her golf cart, on her way to her 10 a.m. Pilates class at Zen Belize. My plan was to catch the 11 a.m water taxi to Belize City. By any international standards I was way too early which means I had plenty of time for a banana-coconut colada smoothie and banana muffin with black coffee chaser at Latitudes Cafe.

Actually, I take back what I said. I was productive. Read the rest of this entry »

Serious question seeks fun answers: Why fly Southwest to Belize?

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Southwest Airline will be winging its way to Belize in October.
Southwest Airline will be winging its way to Belize in October.

Southwest Airlines is looking for a few good reasons to visit Belize.

The U.S. airline will begin daily flights to Belize in October, from Houston. And anyone who knows Southwest knows this airline doesn’t do anything unless it is fun. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to land on a Southwest flight when the safety speech is given by a budding stand-up comic you’ll know what I mean.

Here, sample some of these.

Southwest likes creative employees. Heck, it simply likes its employees (and I think they are called team members, or something like that). My friend and neighbor in San Diego for many years was a Southwest flight attendant who rose through the ranks to become a recruiter and trainer among other duties for the airline. Wayne Toups loved the airline and loved going to work every day. Read the rest of this entry »

Five years ago, this is where we met

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The Lake Tahoe house in Incline Village, Nevada, where Rose and I met face-to-face for the first time, five years ago today. Our share is being sold but it will remain a special place in our hearts.
The Lake Tahoe house in Incline Village, Nevada, where Rose and I met face-to-face for the first time, five years ago today. Our share is being sold but it will remain a special place in our hearts.

Five years ago today I snagged a Southwest Airlines ticket to Reno and rented a 4WD SUV for the twisty ride over the mountains to North Lake Tahoe. As the snow came down, I switched the car into four-wheel drive and turned the wipers on full. My knuckles were white with tension as I gripped the steering wheel.

I was on my way to meet a woman I’d only spoken with for the first time (albeit for three hours) the night before. She was spending the holiday alone on the lake. I was going to spend the holiday alone in the desert.

At some point, one of us tentatively said: Why not spend it together?

Almost as if in a dream, I found myself parked on a pitch-dark, snow-covered street in Incline Village. Pretty much lost. Now what? Read the rest of this entry »