Flight Review: Southwest Airlines 737-700 CVG-BWI Flight

Today I’m flying with Southwest Airlines between CVG and BWI. I’ll be reviewing the Southwest 737-700, the most common plane in their fleet. The 737-700 is an older part of the Southwest fleet, but is still an absolute workhorse for the airline. Southwest puts 143 passengers on their 737-700s in an all economy 3-3 configuration. Fortunately for me, this flight was not caught up in any of the December meltdown that effected Southwest Airlines.

I really don’t mind Southwest on short flights, their service is usually good and the planes are comfortable enough. The lack of assigned seating is a little annoying but boarding on Southwest is usually very orderly. I’ve reviewed Southwest’s 737-700 in the past, but it’s been a while so I figure it’s time for another one. While this flight was slightly delayed, it didn’t matter, I made my connection to my next flight on a Southwest 737 Max 8 in BWI without any effort.

In This Review

CVG Airport

CVG Airport Departures

Well my southwest trip isn’t off to a great start, as soon as I got to the airport, my flight to Baltimore flashed as delayed. It’s only 40 minutes and shouldn’t cause any issues

CVG airport

I got though security and had just over an hour before my flight was scheduled to board with it’s new delayed departure. I wanted to grab a sandwich so I headed to the B concourse here at CVG to get a bagel. While I was here I decided to check out the Escape Lounge.

CVG Southwest Airlines Boarding

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Boarding

Boarding was standard southwest, I was in group B. I forgot to check in right at 24 hours so ended up with an ok, but not great boarding spot.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 At the Gate CVG

Our Southwest 737-700 was waiting to take us over to Baltimore. The Southwest boarding process started with Group A. I’m in group B so I just hung out in my seat.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Boarding

Soon it was my turn and boarded with Group B. The gate agent was asking for people to volunteer to check luggage, in my experience that’s pretty rare with Southwest. Because checked bags are free, Southwest doesn’t often have an issue with overhead space running out.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Cabin Boarding

Southwest has first come first serve seating. You board in your boarding order, then just take any free seat. Getting an early boarding group helps you to get a better seat. I was able to get a nice window seat towards the back of the Southwest 737-700. The front of the plane tends to fill more quickly than the rear so sometimes it’s best to just walk to the middle third and pick a nice seat.

Southwest 737-700 Seat Review

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Leg Room

All of the seats on Southwest’s 737-700 are the same(except for the bulk head and exit row). The leg room is very good for an economy seat.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Seats

The 3-3 seating on the Southwest 737-700.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Seats

Southwest doesn’t have individual in seat entertainment screens on any of their planes. They do offer paid wifi and free stream to your own device movies, shows, and live TV. One downside of Southwest is that they don’t offer power on the 737-700, or any of their planes.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Overhead panel

Old school plane with an old school overhead panel. I like these better than the newer offerings on Boeing aircraft. The individual vents actually put out air.

Southwest 737-700 Pushback and Takeoff

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Push Back

We are delayed, but it looks like it won’t slip and we’ll get out of CVG really close to our updated departure time. We pushed back and headed right to the runway.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Takeoff

We took off and climbed quite quickly as Southwest tends to do.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Takeoff and Climb

Above the clouds the flight attendants began their in flight snack and drink service.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Drink and Snack Service

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Tray Table

Southwest does drink service a little differently than most airlines. Instead of using carts in the aisle, each flight attendant has a section that they take drink requests from. Then they go to the galley and prepare all the drinks. They bring them out on a tray and distribute them much like a waiter at a restaurant.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Cabin in flight

It’s a pretty full flight today on the Southwest 737-700, not completely full, but only a few seats are left empty.

Bring you're own bagel

I broke out my bagel that I purchased at the airport, it’s lunch time and I kinda like eating a snack or meal on planes. Southwest’s snack is usually something light like pretzels or peanuts and not really a meal.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Drink Service

I finished my bagel and my Dr. Pepper arrived, I love that southwest has Dr pepper.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 In Flight Review

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Window Seat View

This is a pretty short flight, we’re already over half way by the time the snacks were passed around. The clouds that have been blanketing Southern Ohio finally ended as we passed further east.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 In Cabin Flight

Inside the cabin the flight attendants came around and collected the trash from the drink and snack service.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Window View In Flight

Looks like a very clear day out on the Mid-Atlantic. We could slightly feel that we’ve started to descend into BWI. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Baltimore, the GSP-BWI flight is a relatively new return to service.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 BWI Approach and Landing

Southwest Airlines 737-700 over Baltimore

The flight attendants then came around and collected the garbage and got us ready for landing. We got a great view of Baltimore during our approach to BWI. I love getting to see port towns from the air.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Approach to BWI

We circled around to approach BWI. The pilots had given their welcome to Baltimore announcement a few minutes ago. All in, this has been a very smooth and pleasant flight on the 737.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Landing at BWI

And on the ground here at BWI.

Southwest Airlines 737-700 Final Thoughts

The 737-700 is a real work horse for Southwest Airlines, there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a very pleasant economy seat experience. Southwest has a few little quarks like the boarding process and lack of seat assignments. On the other hand, Southwest’s 737-700s have very comfortable seats, free drinks, snacks, and checked baggage. For being classified as a low cost carrier, Southwest certainly provides a lot of free amenities.

My flight from CVG to BWI did have a delayed departure, about 40 minutes, but we landed only about 20 minutes delayed. This was no issue for me as my layover was scheduled to be about an hour and a half. Obviously Southwest isn’t the most extravagant airline in the sky, but it’s a comfortable consistent experience. I just wish they would add power outlets to charge devices to their planes.

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