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Changes Coming Soon to southwest.com

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In the coming weeks and months, you’ll begin to see changes on the Southwest Airlines web site, southwest.com. These are tweaks that will help make purchasing easier for Customers. While a majority of the work is behind-the-scenes, you will see a few new user-friendly features when booking a flight.
 
We will be rolling these changes out slowly and in phases, so not every Customer’s computer will be directed to the new pages at the same time. We hope to be fully transitioned in September, and we’ll monitor the transition closely to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible. We don’t want anything coming between you and your next Southwest Airlines flight!

As Customers are directed to the new booking area, they will experience an updated user-friendly design. Plus, on direct flights (with stops but no change of planes), we will now show you the city location where your aircraft stops, a highly requested feature! Once a ticket is purchased, Customers will be able to click a button to have their travel itinerary and confirmation number added to their Microsoft Outlook calendar, for one less email to keep track of. Also, Customers will be given immediate access to information about their destination such as weather forecasts, airport information, and fun things to do in that city. These are just a few of the changes coming soon to southwest.com.

Stay tuned, and we hope you enjoy the upgrades!  In the meantime, here are some before and after screen shots.

Current confirmation page:

 

New confirmation page:

Current select flight page:

New select flight page:

 iCal and Outlook Feature

 

 

Itinerary details:

48 Comments
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If you can, please add an option for Mac users to add to iCal as well. 🙂
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I agree - we Mac users want to be able to go right into iCal. Thanks!
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Google Calendar anyone? Can't make out whether that's already an option from the down-res'd screenshots, but that'd be useful for those of us in the Googleverse. Looking forward to the new flight selection screen; will make day-to-day comparisons a lot quicker, a la what Frontier Airlines now has.
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Awesome, as always.
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Yes...an option for ICal for us Mac users would be great!
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Outlook? How about some iCal love?
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I second the request for iCal option for Mac users! 🙂
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Don't forget Google calendar! That would be tops too!
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Agreed on the Mac friendly option, but liking the new layout!
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While these changes sound great, Southwest is in desperate need of a "contact us" that allows the customer to send an email. I think not providing that option is a blemish for an otherwise communications-savvy organization.
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I want to try the feature to download to Outlook with some tix that I already bought. Where's that on the website? I looked at existing reservations, but its not there.
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lookin good. make sure you do plenty of usability testing 😉
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Nice clean lines, and the important information being larger and up-front, rather than buried within the forms. Good work! I second @Jason Edwards' request for an iCal connection.
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Will these web changes effect online check-in? I'm flying in September and want to make sure I know what I'm doing.
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Great news... However, these screen-shots are terrible. Any chance you guys could post high-resolution images.
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Yay for the new select flight page!
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Thanks for all the comments. See my comment below for the iCal and Google calendar suggestions. Anonymous at 11:40 Where have you been? Go to our contact page at southwest.com and you will see an e-mail option. Jason, as Ashley mentions, the new updated pages are rolling out slowly. Not everyone has them yet, but be patient. Whitney, no it won't affect online checkin, although our recent Kiosk enhancements give you more checkin and upgrade options.
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Another voice for iCal - would be a great feature for those of us who like to have our flight information transit easily to iPhone.
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Good news for those of you wanting iCal, Kelly, the Manager of our Online Customer Experience group just sent me this e-mail: "iCal is an option, we just called out the Outlook part in the wording b/c it's so highly requested...the image shows that you have the option for both. :-)" [I have added a detail of the iCal option.] and speaking of images, Nick. I am sorry about the quality of the screen shots. The problem is with the formating of the blog. The maximum width of any photo is 500 pixels, and that is what I had to reduce the screen shots to. The space is just too small to show everything. But let me work on one idea to see if it will work.
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One of the changes I would like to see is..On the Flight Selection page you have all the flights listed some are Non-stop some say (for example) DEN/1 or 1 or 2. I know this means you have a connection or a stop in route to your destination. But what would be nice when it displays a 1 (which means you will have one stop but no change of planes) if you could "highlight" the one and see where that aircraft is stopping on your way to your destination. Just a suggestion, otherwise it looks great!!!! Cody / AMA
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Ok Sorry.. Now I see it!!!! " On direct flights (with stops but no change of planes), we will now show you the city location where your aircraft stops, a highly requested feature! Thank You!!!!! Cody / AMA
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Cody, we are one step ahead of you. It doesn't show in the screen shots, but I added a detail above
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Any chance to be able to search by directly typing airport codes rather the drop down?
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Didn't notice was an option for multi city available? Like BNA-GEG return SEA-BNA without having to do two tickets separately?
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The site should also support Google Calendar, and maybe other online calendar services. Tons of people use Google's products. Oh, and how about being able to log-in to Southwest's website with Google log-in? Or Open ID? Every website anymore requires a username and password. Would be much easier if each website just let you use your log-in credentials from Google, Yahoo, Windows Live, Facebook, etc.
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Thanks for the iCal calendar addition! It all sounds great. And thanks for the in-flight peanut buffets...
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Booked 2 flights today and was lucky enough to get the new screen layouts. Let me tell you...VERY NICE! I was able to see much more information in one glance of the screen. Gave me all the fare rules when I selected my flight...and also it has the itinerary on the payment page now. Before there was no itinerary there, and you just prayed everything was correct when you hit PURCHASE. This is such a great upgrade. Thanks Southwest! Had 2 great flights over the weekend to Louisville. Man your planes are FULL FULL FULL right now! Cheers, Drew
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Hey guys who are asking for iCal and Google Cal love, good news!! The iCal compatible download opens up the download window in firefox, and gives you option to open with iCal or Download the ICS file... So, iCal is covered! :) Also, my understanding is that google allows you to import iCal files into the calendar really easily, so all you have to do is download the ICS file and import it into google. http://lifehacker.com/167042/import-outlook-or-ical-to-google-calendar Just pointing out some observations, hope this helps 🙂
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I am also a mac user ----------- thanks for the iCal support
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I am a Rapid Rewards member & a VERY loyal Southwest Airlines customer. I tried booking 4 roundtrip flights today, but could not because of the recent changes on the Southwest website. I tried & tried to book the flights and it was so frustrating! I've NEVER had any trouble booking flights in the past. I've always told friends/family that it is so easy to book w/ Southwest. I hope that I will be able to book flights online ASAP. If not, I guess I'll have to use another carrier.
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Dana, We certainly appreicate your loyal patronage, and I am sorry that you ran into problems booking your flights. Looking at the time stamp on your comment, I may have a clue if you were trying to book the reservations at around the same time, especially if you were trying to use funds from a previous reservation. Everynight, around 1:00am CT, our Tehcnology folks take down many of the functions of booking online for routine daily maintenance. They use this time to transmit data to our stations for the upcoming day's operations and for some other duties. Usually booking a new reservation without transfer funds can be done, but exchanging funds is restricted. Usually this "downtime" lasts 20-30 minutes, but some nights it can last longer. Occasionally, they will have to bring the entire system down. I don't know if any of these scenarios apply to your circumstances (and if they don't, please call our Customer Support & Services [formerly Reservations] folks at 1-800-I-FLY-SWA for assistance), but I do know that the problems you encountered were very unusual. Brian
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Hey "Tuesday 14:36 Anonymous" I heard from our web site folks and have an answer for you: Yes, this is also a new added feature if you go to book your flight from the "Book Travel" link instead of the "Book a Flight" widget on the homepage. The free form text fields allow you to type in a city name or airport code. Hooray!
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When and why did Southwest stop their non-stop flights to Las Vegas?
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I am not sure why, but I continue to have issues booking on the new reservations page. The issues are concentrated in making a city selection. Sometimes the city listings work, sometimes not. But, when it does, and I select my cities, dates and times. It comes back with an error that I need to select a city again! It is quite frustrating as it took me 10 minutes before I could get through to finish booking a flight. Never had issues before and don't have any when booking a companion pass, which uses a traditional drop down listing. Otherwise, I love the changes...but, I just can't seem to get the city selection glitch working right! Thanks, Chris
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I am having difficulty logging onto southwest website? I never had difficulty before about a month ago? I have been and still using Windows Vista. I have asked for on-line help but no-one seems to be able to figure this out? Is anyone else having this same problem that can help me?
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I have not been able to access www.southwest.com for well over a month now. Nothing has changed on my end...comcast high-speed internet, windows xp. I can still get to southwestvacations.com and this blog. The number they gave me for support in Dallas gives me a busy signal. Very frustrating.
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I would like to be able to create a username for my SWA account. It's extremely annoying to have to find my SWA account# every-time I want to use the website. It only adds friction to the process and for my short trips up the coast, I will just go to another carrier where my username is something I remember.
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I love the ability to download the flight details directly to iCal, (an apple user, obviously), but have been running into a weird bug. When I click on the first outbound leg, I get the dialogue box as normal, download, and everything works great. Then when I go to download the return leg, it also opens the dialogue box, downloads the reservation, inserts it into iCal, but then seems to delete the original outbound leg. Is this duplicated by anyone else? Thanks.
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I cannot get on your website anymore!! The pages take forever to load and it seems the computers in my house are the only ones having any problem! I can get on at work and everyone I know has no problem. Can you help? I really like Southwest but at this rate I'll never be able to book with you again if I can't get on! Thank you!
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I've had trouble for a couple of months logging into the main Southwest.com website too. I'm using Windows XP and IE7. I have no problem getting to MySouthwest site and Account Detail. Going from there to Book Travel, the computer just hangs and treads water. Have any of the rest of you found a solution to this? Thanks!
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Re: estop iCal bug...I have also run into this on both bookings I have done. 1st event adds just fine, but the 2nd one I add deletes the 1st! I _think_ this is because both events are named the same. I hope that they fix this soon. Until then, my workaround is: -add the 1st event (your departing flight). Add the 2nd event (return flight) to a different calendar (if you added the 1st to work, add the 2nd to home. Now, drag the 2nd event on to the calendar you need it on (i.e. back to work). This should make it all work smoothly until they fix the bug. (Hint hint Southwest!) -Mike-
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Add to Calendar, ICAL is great except it deletes the outgoing portion in your calendar when you add the return portion of your trip to the calendar. There has to be a fix for this. Thanks.. Bill
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Bill- You nailed it! I have the very same issue but with my Outlook!! I have had this happen a couple of times and thought it was a sync issue from Outlook to my iPhone (corporate sync). I ran some tests and found that whichever segment I save to my outlook first, the second segment will not sync to my iPhone even though the segment is in my Outlook. Tech support for my company couldn't see how that would happen and pointed to SWA. Guys/Girls- Any ideas?? I hate missing flights on SWA even though no fee to change! :-) Tod
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Thanks for the iCal button!! And great tweaks to a great site. Love your phone operators, too. SWA is an oasis of good customer service in a vast corporate desert.
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Did anyone ever find an answer to the issue that the first event imported deletes when you import the second event?
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For those using the "add to calendar" with "ics" formatted calendar events: (1) yes, this works with Google Calendar. Save the "ics" file to your local disk (your desktop, whatever), and then in Google Calendar just go to the "add" drop-down on the bottom left-hand side of the calendar, and select "Import Calendar". Select the "ics" file you saved and import this into your calendar. (2) and, yes, if you have a round-trip or multi-destination trip -- with the same confirmation number -- after adding the first "ics" file, adding the second "ics" file will delete the first one. (Technically, adding the second "ics" file *updates* the first one.) That's because the UID in the ics files is the confirmation number; that is, in the two "ics" files, they have the same UID. This is not too difficult to fix, however: * save all "ics" files for your trip to your local disk, * open them with a text editor, and * append to the UID the number for the leg of your trip; e.g., append "1" for the outbound trip, and "2" for the return trip (and "3" if it's a multi-destination trip with the same conf number). For example, going from "HERE" to "THERE", the "ics" files will be named "HERE_to_THERE.ics" and "THERE_to_HERE.ics". But the UID in *both* files is "X1ABCD" (it should be unique in each file). So, just edit: * "HERE_to_THERE.ics" from "UID:X1ABCD" to "UID:X1ABCD1", and * "THERE_to_HERE.ics" from "UID:X1ABCD" to "UID:X1ABCD2" Now, they are imported as unique events.... (3) and, finally, yes, SW, you can create a "add to Google Calendar" link and bypass the ics file altogether... Cheers, Michael
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@michael_1234 - your solution worked for resolving the issue of the inbound and outbound ics files erasing each other. In the IT world, this is called a bug or bad implementation. Seeing that this bug has existed over a year, one would hope that #Southwest could fix this bug soon. @blusk are you still following this blog please let @kelly know about this bug and how easily it can be fixed.
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I agree with the comment that the "fix" proposed by michael_1234 for the outbound file erasing the inbound file in a calendar is just a band-aid. Please expedite the permanent solution because it is very atypical for a first-class company like Southwest to have this kind of computer bug living on their website for such a long time.