I was planning to visit the Bay Area to visit friends for the weekend, so I booked a Southwest Airlines flight from Orange County to Oakland.

I recently flew on a Southwest Inter-Island flight from Honolulu (HNL) to Maui (OGG) a little over a month ago. The price of this flight went down from the time I booked it earlier this year, so I rebooked and I was able to get a $40 credit for the difference. I was able to use that credit for this flight!

Note: if you get the credit for a flight that decreases in price you have 1 year from booking that original ticket to use the flight credit. In my case, I only had a few months to use the $40 credit, as I booked my Hawaii flight earlier in the year.

Container Ships outside Port of LA and Long Beach. Wow!

Flight Details:

Southwest Flight 6030
Orange County (SNA) to San Jose (SJC)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-700
Seat: 9F (Window)
Date of Flight: November 2021


Since Southwest has the free for all seating, with no assigned seats, you want to make sure you check in exactly at the 24 hour mark to get a good boarding position. You will be assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and position (1-60+) upon check in.

Or you can pay anywhere from $15-25 for early bird check-in where Southwest will automatically check in for you. Southwest’s website states that while early bird check-in doesn’t guarantee an A boarding position, it improves your seat selection options to help you get your favorite seat boarding group spot.

For my flight, the early bird check in was $25. I thought this was a bit steep given the flight is only a little over an hour, and my actual fare was $49. I opted to check in at 24 hours prior to check in, and ended up with Group A, 58. Not bad! I was willing to risk it because I was flying mid-day on a Thursday, and it was a short flight. For those longer Southwest flights especially during the holiday season, it could be worth it to pay for early bird check in.

I was able to snag a window seat in row 9, and the captain announced it would be an hour and five minutes from takeoff to touchdown. 

The Seat:

Our flight was operated by a 737-700, and it offers 31 inches of pitch, and 17 inches of width. It felt a bit tighter than my flight in Hawaii with the new 737 MAX 8, as that plane has 32 inches of pitch. This 11 year old 737-700 was also a bit more outdated, with the older style seats.

Southwest Airlines Orange

A little annoyance was my tray table had plenty of crumbs and was not cleaned. I figured as the flight before us arrived with less than an hour to spare, that Southwest probably doesn’t clean that much given the quick turnaround times.

IFE and Service:

Southwest also offers Wi-Fi, for $8 for the day. They offer free messaging services with iMessage and Whatsapp. You can also stream free movies, live TV, TV shows and music to your device. The selection was pretty solid.

There are no power outlets on Southwest, so be sure to bring a battery pack if you’re on a longer flight!

Currently as of the time of this post, beverage and snack services are temporarily suspended on flights 250 miles or less, which is what I experienced on my flight between the Hawaiian Islands. Since the Southwest Airlines flight from Orange County to San Jose is 342 miles, we did get a beverage service with Coke products and a snack mix.

Southwest also makes it easy with two checked bags for free and no charge for carry ons. Pretty nice for a low cost carrier!

The Verdict:

Flying on Southwest Airlines from Orange County to Oakland was a solid option for a short hop. If the price is right, I wouldn’t mind flying Southwest again with their easy free bag policy for a low-cost carrier.


Have you flown on a Southwest Airlines flight recently? How was your experience? Comment below!


Safe travels,


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