It's interesting you ask the question about why we fly SW. HIstorically, the rates have been amazing! But when we booked this FOTS trip .... we could not get a deal on a flight. Our best deal BUF to FLL was about $1800. We've previously done the same leg for as low as $600. I think SW wants us to now finance all their acquisitions of other airlines!
It got me looking around which is why we booked with Direct Air. Our flight was half of what SW was charging ... but we had to fly in a day early and fly out a day late (not a bad thing given IRENE). But car rental was a major hastle because Direct Air flies into Lakeland which is a regional airport.
I do love SW and think the staff are amazing, and we've never had a bad/late flight from them. But moving forward they will not be the only airline I check.