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Southwest Airlines Community

Flying Southwest to Blogworld

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A lot of us on the Blog Team are here in Las Vegas to attend BlogWorld.  We have our own booth, and we have had a steady stream of folks stopping by to chat.  Many of them flew Southwest to the expo, and they experienced our new boarding procedures yesterday.  The  doors are about to open and we will be asking our visitors their thoughts about their trips, and if you have flown with the new procedures, tell us how it went.

Brian and Paula at Blogworld

50 Comments
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I have not been able to fly Southwest yet . Everywhere I want to go out of Denver there is no flight, even when it is shown on the interactive map. I have two boys in college football and have tried to get tickets to go to games several times. With the holidays coming I am having the same problem.
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Hi Brian! Have a FANTASTIC time in Las Vegas! hope you manage to get out a bit as well and visit! :o)) ... and being just down the road from Nellis Air Force Base, hopefully you will have the time to go and see some of their many aircraft? :oP Raphael
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Southwest is just a fun airlines. I owned LUV stock for awhile and always fly you guys when I can. Live in C. Springs, so it's not always an option. Best wishes! Jeff
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With Southwests new 3 tier fare structure, and Business Select fares, you have lost being the peoples airline. Not every passenger now has the same opportunity for choice of seats. Southwest is now like every other "Legacy" airline. I will now check other airline fare and schedules before choosing Southwest. Southwest's new fare structure is definitely a step in the wrong direction, and I believe will eventually be corrected.
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I have a question to all the people playing on this blog and want to see what they think. With the new "processes" in place, I recieved an email telling me the great news that I am now part of the "A-list" club and to log into my RR account to view the deatails. After logging in, the A-List portion of my account didn't match the information in the email I recieved telling me that I was part of the new "club". My RR info said I was not a member. When I called RR customer service somewhere in TX, I was told by the representative that "sorry" you aren't a member, yet I recieved an email saying I was (isn't an email a legal document?). The agent said there was nothing they could do about it except give me an address to write a letter. I don't fly southwest that much anymore because I live in Miami now, but what really gets me is the fact that when you call SW for help, they can't help! For an airline that prides itself on customer service, I think they loose when it comes to getting help live on the phone from the service center. What does everyone else think about this situation with the new process where you get an email stating one thing, but your told "ha ha" - we're just kidding! Tommy Blog
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I experienced the new boarding process this morning and it went without a hitch! I was at the very end of the A group and when they started boarding, by the time I turned around half of the "A's" were already through the gate! It was seriously incomparable (in a good way) to the old process (which I should mention was still quite efficient IMO); but I'm jazzed about the new process because it almost felt like I was running through the gate!
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It is great to see Southwest Airlines at the Blog conference, once again you are the early adopters using the new world media to connect and build relationships.
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I came to blogworld, ate some peanuts, got a little airplane, and told my nutty friends at Southwest Airlines that I LUV them.
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I am here at the blog world expo. I was able to get great information. I fly southwest almost exclusively and have always had a great experience. Keep up the good work.
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I haven't flown with South West in too long. No one else has peanuts. I've been teaching SEO for a while and I think it would be an intelligent move for my clients who are working on travel sites to blog here to get connected in with this up and coming travel-social network.
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Unfortunately, it was a little rough for me coming out of LAX yesterday, but hopefully it's nothing some practice won't fix. (I was on a 625a, so it was one of the first flights to go.) There were a lot of people wandering aimlessly looking for where to line up, but nobody made any announcements before boarding began about how things were going to happen. Then when it was time to board, they didn't tell the A people to line up. They just called A 1 through 30 and people converged on the gate from wherever they were standing (or sitting) at the time. Once customers learn how things are supposed to work, I'm sure it will be better. Just make sure those gate agents know to call A boarders up before they start boarding. Since Brian said it would be ok to post, if you're interested in reading my whole trip report, you can find it on my blog here.
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BRIAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i wish i could be there!!!!!! i hope you guys are enjoying yourselves.... man oh man!!! Southwest is changing a lot... this past week was a lot to take in.... once again i believe this is a step in the right direction... to TOMMY BLOG..... I recieved the same e-mail... but it doesn't say you are a A member rather if you log on to your account it tells you how much trips you need to become an A member... Hey any business has to reward their top fliers... its only makes sense.... USS BLOG BOY NEED A NEW NAME
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Hey Francisco, do you think it will be worth to pay an add. $15 to try Bus. Select (for A boarding, free 1st drink, and 1.25 standard RR credits) if the Navy calls you back with less than 14 days notice?
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USS Blog Boy - Please see the paragraph below, it clearly states I have been upgraded to A List status. Then the last line states to take advantage of my new status through may 8th. Maybe you and I have gotten different emails. If you got the same email, I would say, clearly, that someone in marketing communications needs a refresher in Marketing 101 because this email is not clear. Southwest made a good thing toooo complicated. From my email I received: Congratulations, weÃ
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I flew in using you guys, and it was great!!!! I will definately use you guys again!!!
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SouthWest's blog stands out as one of the best corporate blogs around. Keep up the good work!!!
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It sounds like you're having fun in Vegas, Blog Boy & Paula! Thanks for the post, & I want to hear more when you have a chance! You know, I still can't think of a nickname for myself. I must keep thinking! SWA LUV! 🙂
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Have fun in Vegas, Brian!!! I am so jealous! ;-) Nikki, the self-promoting applicant
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I have been a big fan and promotor of SWA out of Midway but I am very dissapointed by the numerous, recent changes that now make you just like all the rest. A new, more accurate slogan might have been "higher fares with fewer cheap seats" but that probably was not as catchy. We were contemplating a trip for four to New Orleans this coming March but were shocked to see the new airfares, even when we tried to book early. Not very nice SWA. If you are truly interested in helping the econoimic recovery of New Orleans, how about giving cash spending tourists an easy, inexpensive way to get there? Dissapointed Dennis
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Love your new scheduling program. Whomever, thought of this BRIALLIANT idea deserves a MONSTOURS bonus.
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You guys are amazing! Nice booth at Blog World and to top it all, I flew Southwest to get here myself. I tried the new boarding pass and I hope I never have to be a "C" class myself! Nice gates too guys. You ares are on top of your game!
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I'm never flying Southwest again, if I can help it, and I think I can. Yesterday, I experienced the massive confusion of the new boarding process on day one - and it made absolutely no sense whatsoever. It would have been nice to have been informed via email of the new process before it happened. Likewise with the parent flying with child under two new boarding process. Yup, I coulda used an email there too. I flew from SJC to PDX (not a long flight, but I've made those too) with a baby and I have to say - more than the new boarding process - your treatment of parents flying with children under the age of two is dispicable. You must not have kids. It's annoying and tedious and I hate hate hate it. Just let us preboard! It's not so much the seat choice that makes a difference in preboarding, it's the sanity it offers a new parent. The two seconds which one has to board with a child before being barraged by a cattleherd of fellow travelers is priceless. It's the chocolate inside the crazy-making candy shell of traveling with kids, okay? Every single other traveler I spoke to thought the new boarding policy for parents with young children is asinine. There were also several people who asked me WHY I wasn't preboarding and "didn't I have the blue pass?" Please, rethink your ways Southwest! On behalf of myself and the hundreds of other uninformed parents milling around the preboarding area still looking lost and confused and more than a little stressed out - Stop the insanity! Communication is the rule for great relationships! Be clear and concise and stop lining us up with signage that looks like a Sudoku puzzle gave birth to a litter of several other, smaller Sudokus. Best, Laura
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TOMMY BLOG.... This is the e-mail that was sent to me...... When you fly 16 roundtrips in 12 months, youÃ
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Great job on your videos, Christi, Paula, and Brian. I guess I have some competition for video blogger now :-) Keep it up! B
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Blogworld sounds like a great opportunity to share as well as hear from your customers. Hopefully you didn't have to make the air travel using the new Southwest boarding methods that are quite complicated, requiring more announcements blasting across the boarding area. Hopefully they are trial that will go away. Otherwise I can see some other longtime Southwest customers looking for other air carriers who do have the milita style boarding.
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Longtime Thanks for being a longtime Customer. Actually we did fly to Vegas using the new procedures. (Dallas has been using them for a month.). Please be patient with the announcements. As Customers learn the new procedures the need for so many announcements Brian
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Well, today I had two interesting experiences with Southwest. First, was the new boarding process, which as a new process caused quite a lot of confusion. I think there is a big benefit to this process when there is a gate change, as those of us who came a little bit early to get a selected seat (one with enough room to work on a computer) would be at the end of the line. I found that I logged in 23 hours and 59 minutes prior to the fight and my pass was number 27. I have now lost my ability to get a selected seat by arriving slightly early and being in the A group. Is this a big deal, yes it is when you travel up to 46 weeks a year and a big part of your work day is in an airplane. I really believe simple is better and complicating the process isn't going to have a net positive affect. Since I fly frequently, I find the question of having to stand in line isn't much of an issue because on Alaska, Delta, American, Continental, and United people are generally standing up waiting to board about 30 minutes to 1 hour and they have assigned seats, The second disappointment is to find that the round trip air fare, should I choose to use the business class option, from SAN to SAT is overall 2 times higher than the regular fare, and on the return trip is actually 3 times higher than the normal return fare. I now will have to pay 200% more for a ticket to get the same privileges I had by arriving at the airport about 1/2 hour earlier. Additionally, I worked directly for several major corporations and now contract to about 20 major corporations and none of them will pay for a business class fare in the United States. A last comment is: you still have the best and most firendly flight crews on the planet!! It does make a difference!
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I didn't add this, Blog Boy, but I LUV the shirt ( that says "Are You Nuts?") you & Paula are wearing in the picture! Where did you get it? :) Thought for the day: Why is short hair on women's foreheads called bangs? SWA LUV! 🙂
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Brian, It was great to meet you at the BlogWorld yesterday and I am giving a "Shout Out" to Lannell K., Customer Service Agent at LAS. I was approaching the Self Check-In lines and she was standing about 10 feet away waving her arms like the guys on the tarmac who guide the planes to the gate!!!! She cracked me up!! I commented that all she needed was the bright colored orange sticks the field guys use. I was tired and eager to get home and Lannell's spirit pumped me up!!!
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Leah, There is a separate group of employees who work on nothing but T shirts. The identities shall remain a secret, but they also have one outsider who helps. He has not been seen on these blogs for awhile, then he shows up, then leaves again. He is the external tshirt maker. I have not been there, but I have the tshirt. Ding! boy Joe
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As a very long-term customer of SWA I am disappointed to see the changes that have been made to fares and boarding. One thing I always liked about your airline was the "level playing field" when it came to fares and seating. I went online to print my boarding at exactly the moment the 24 hrs. clicked over and found I was #59! Experienced the new boarding process last week and what a complete mess. It took much longer b/c no one understood, there wasn't room for people to stand...really bad idea. You should have just gone w/ assigning seats, it certainly would have been more effective. I find myself wondering what would make SWA sell out and so drastically change a business model that seemed so successful? Why are you rewarding people willing to pay more money just like all the other airlines? You've always prided yourself on being the low fare airline, so what happened? If you're focusing your benefits and "better" rewards-- like A boarding passes w/ low numbers-- on customers willing to pay higher prices, you can't really make that claim to fame anymore. I don't really see a reason to fly SWA over the other legacy airlines now; at least w/ one of those I have an assigned seat and the boarding process makes sense.
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Ding! boy, can you please tell me who it is? *Gets on knees & begs.* I promise 1,971 times to keep it a secret! 🙂 Well, I think I know who the external t-shirt maker is. I better not say, though. By the way, it's good to "see" you back! "'What's that supposed to mean?" SWA LUV! 🙂
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My daughter and 1 yr old grandson just flew SWA from Columbus, OH to KS City. The new boarding rule is absolutely unbelievable. She ended up sitting way back in the plane but was able to move forward when they stopped in Chicago. Going back to Ohio yesterday, they had to go back to row 19 and finally found a seat by the window. She had to ask the elderly couple to let her in, put the baby in the seat while she put her bag overhead, and then get in to hold him. I'm sure the couple was thinking they needed to get OFF!!!! Thankfully baby fell asleep so she didn't even get to move closer when they stopped in St. Louis. What an inconsiderate decision for SWA! If the "business" class people want on first then let them buy a ticket with an airlines that serves the "business" class. OR they could come 2 hours early like I DO so I can be the first one in line for A boarding and NOT choose a seat NEAR the kids. We didn't KNOW my daughter could print out an A boarding pass at home and go ahead and board with the A group. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE cater to those with little children, special needs, and the elderly!!!!!!! What about reserving the first 4 rows or so for that "special" class of people.
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Congratulate me! I just checked in for my very last SWA flight ever! I work for a company that will not pay an additional fee just so that I get a free drink and an "A" checkin. I used to book this all the time as I was ensured of getting an "A" checkin, as long as I checked in early... Bit not now! You actually have to pay for it (so much for being "classless") As a result, I'll actually be spending MORE money in order to get a preferred seat on USAIRWAYS ! Isn't that silly of SWA to do? Nice job and C-YA! I'll be going with one of the dozens of other airlines that doesn't charge extra for seat assignements! Funny, I just spoke to a friend of mine that traditionally fly's SWA for Leisure travel all the time but she told me that since she's no longer able to get an "A" (again, that's if you don't pay more), thus get a full row for her whole family, that she'll be changing airlines also! I've recommended all but two airlines that don't charge more for seat assignments (United and now SWA!) I bet that SWA never even posts this, nor responds to it... I cannot wait to see if that's true! If it is true that they don't post it, it's in violation of BlogWorld Standards (check it out) so I'll notify them if indeed this isn't posted. Wonder if I'm telling the truth? Checkout IBNA.com, townhall.com, iblogbusiness.com or bloggerandpodcaster.com requirements! They all clearlyy state that bloggers cannot be censored if they are on topic! What is more on topic but SWA's new policies!?!?!?! I wonder if, as they were counting the $$ they'd get in new bookings that they considered that they may actually lose customers (like me that have spent $16K in the past 2 years at SWA)! I bet not...
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WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?????? OKAY, SO THIS MOTHER HAD TO ADJUST TO THE NEW BOARDING PROCEDURES WHICH HAVE BEEN IN PLACE SINCE OCTOBER, AND SW HAD SENT MANY ANNOUNCEMENTS STATING OF THAT CHANGE......YES, WE READ IT ALL, YOU HAVE TO TAKE A LITTLE EXTRA TIME GETTING EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO "SIT" IN A SEAT, BUT DO TELL ME, ON THE OTHER AIRLINES DON'T YOU HAVE TO DO THE SAME???????????? AND YES, YOU CAN PRE BOARD BY PAYING MORE FOR THEIR TICKET THEN WHAT SOUTHWEST OFFERS......AND YES, ON THE OTHER AIRLINES YOU DON'T HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF MOVING WHEN YOU WANT AS YOU DO IN SW......OF COURSE IF YOU ARE LAST ON THE PLANE, WE ALL REALIZE THAT WILL BE AN ISSUE, BUT PROFESSIONAL COURTESY SAYS "DO NOT EXSPECT OR DEMAND OTHERS TO FIX YOUR ISSUE"...YES, SOME WILL HELP AND THAT IS VERY NICE ON THEIR PART, WHILE OTHERS WILL NOT..THAT TOO ISN'T BAD OR NEGATIVE EITHER.....MOST OF US ARE STILL/HAVE DONE EXACTLY WHAT YOU DID ON YOUR TRIP FROM OH TO KS AND HAVE "LIVED THRU IT"...JUST BE GREATFUL FOR THE BETTER FARES AND PLEASANT FLIGHT PERSONNEL ....THERE ARE TIMES I WANT TO STAND UP AND TELL MANY "ELDERS" THAT THESE HARD WORKING ATTENDANTS AREN'T THEIR SLAVES, SO QUIT DEMANDING SO MUCH OF THEM.....REMEMBER, WE ARE PAYING TO GET FROM ONE CITY TO ANOTHER, THE OTHER PERKS ARE A "PRIVILEGE TO HAVE"... SECONDLY, I DO AGREE THAT WE WERE BOTH TOTALLY SHOCKED TO SEE THAT WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS A SIMPLE CHANGE IN BOARDING, BECAME MORE THEN THAT........MANY OF YOU FEEL BELITTLED, THROWN TO THE SIDE ETC ETC.......WE HAD TO REALLY SEARCH OURSELVES ALSO, AND FOUND THAT IF "WE FEEL NEGATIVE, WELL THEN WE MADE THAT CHOICE TO FEEL THAT WAY".........."NO ONE ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH IS FORCING US TO FLY SWA, NO ONE"....WE HAVE OTHER CHOICES, AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO THREATEN TO CHOSE THE OTHER AIRLINES (BRAND B, C, D ETC) THERE WILL ALWAYS BE ANOTHER PERSON TO REPLACE YOUR SEAT...SO IF YOU WANT TO BE MISERABLE AND HAVE YOUR OWN PITY PARTY, HAVE AT IT..........THE REST OF US ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO OUR TRIPS ON SWA AND WE DO REALIZE THAT THEY "CAN'T, NOR WILL THEY EVER" PLEASE EVERYONE (INCLUDING US AT TIMES).....THAT GENTLEMAN WHO "BECAUSE HE RECEIVED THAT EMAIL STATING HE WAS GRANTED A SIX MONTH A LIST ETC ETC " AND WAS TOLD THAT HE WAS INELIGIBLE BUT FOR SOME ODD REASON FEELS CAUSE HE RECEIVED THAT EMAIL HE SHOULD GET IT......... HAVE YOU EVER SENT ANYTHING TO ANYONE IN ERROR? DO COMPUTERS ALWAYS PERFORM 100 PER CENT OF THE TIME? HAVE YOU NO FLAWS????? IF IT WAS SENT IN ERROR, ACCEPT IT AND MOVE PAST IT......I TOO HAVE EXPERIENCED A TIME OR TWO AGENTS WHO WERE LESS THEN FRIENDLY, BUT THAT ONLY MADE ME APPRECIATE THE ONES I DID GET WHO WERE "WONDERFULLY FRIENDLY"... HAVE YOU EVER CALLED A CREDIT CARD COMPANY??????????? SPEAKING OF KNOWLEDGEABLE, I THINK SWA HAS THEM WHIPPED....! .AS FOR TREATING THE SPECIAL NEEDS GROUP, THEY DO TREAT THEM DIFFERENTLY, EVEN THOSE WHO ARE "NOT, NOR SHOULD BE IN THAT GROUP" AND AS FOR THE ELDERLY, THEY ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN WE, THEY HAVE TO ABIDE BY THE RULES WE GO BY WITH SWA.......ALONG WITH OUR CHILDREN, WE KNOW THE UPS AND DOWNS OF FLYING AS A FAMILY, BUT, WE ALSO KNOW THAT SWA IS OUR CHOICE BECAUSE OF THE "VALUE ADD" THEY HAVE IN THEIR PRICING STRUCTURE AND IF THAT MEANS A LITTLE INCONVIENCE FOR A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, SO BE IT......WE'VE SURVIVED IT MANY TIMES AND LOOK FORWARD TO MANY MORE......YES, SWA PULLED ONE OVER ALL OF US BY NOT EXPLAINING ABOUT THE BUSINESS SELECT STRUCTURE AND THE BOARDING PRIVY'S THAT THEY AND THE A LISTERS HAVE, FARE STRUCTURE (WEB ONLY+ ETC ETC ETC ) AND LETTING EVERYONE KNOW AHEAD OF TIME OF "ALL" THE CHANGES THAT WERE GOING TO TAKE PLACE. IT MAY HAVE WARTED OFF SOME OF THE NEGATIVE COMPLAINTS............BUT IT IS DONE, AND SO BE IT....... LIFE GOES ON AND SWA WILL CONTINUE TO BE THE AIRLINES THAT MANY WILL CONTINUE TO TRAVEL ON AND ENJOY.......".WITH OR WITHOUT YOU AND I "......I'M KEEPING MY SEAT ON SWA..........ENJOY YOUR WEEK !!!!!!!!!!
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New boarding procedure is the greatest improvement to your awfull boarding you had. I called it "cattle call" go find a seat. If you were next to last in line , you got that dreaded middle seat. I just was on a flight to San Jose from ONT and the boarding smooth and very fast. Very welcome improvement. Many thanks.
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In response to "No Whining Here" and to Management, What may be viewed as negative complaints, could actually be a plea to Southwest to reconsider some of these recent changes. In a perfect world, Kevin, Gary, and the rest of management would have rolled out the new boarding policy and waited for the other changes. In a truly perfect world, they would have kept family pre-boarding and simply designated the number of adults that could board per child and where they were permitted to sit. This would also have allowed flight attendants to assist parents needing help carrying things, just as they assist seniors in wheelchairs. It was time for a change in boarding, just not this change. HERE IS AN IDEA: Many passengers are probably unaware that recently a survey was sent to extremely frequent travelers, myself included, asking us what we wanted. HOW ABOUT SENDING A NEW SURVEY TO ALL A-LISTERS AND PEOPLE WHO BOOKED THE BUSINESS SELECT FARE THE FIRST WEEK AND ASK THEM THEIR OPINION ABOUT FAMILY BOARDING??? Every business traveler I have spoken with (several dozen) wants it changed back so they know where the families will be. If you designate rows, then business people still have access to the front of the plane. This research would be very inexpensive, please allow a comments area as the last survey offered only questions and answers. My bet is that management is surprised that both families and business travelers would like the decision repealed. Now another very grim change is the 30 percent fare increase for the 14 and 21 day advance Wanna Get Away fares. Yes, it begins with travel March 8 and beyond. If you have not yet booked travel for late March or April, many people may be in shock. Traditionally fare increases have been five and ten dollars at a time. I understand the cost of fuel is skyrocketing, but 30%!!! From a year ago, the increase on advance purchase fares is actually 100%. About those Freedom Rewards, thank you for now opening more seats on planes that no longer have regular Rapid Reward seats available (please tell me that each flight still has an allocated number of seats). COULD YOU SIMPLY ALLOW THE USE OF TWO ONE WAY RAPID REWARD CERTIFICATES, FROM THE SAME ACCOUNT,TO BE USED AS A FREEDOM REWARD AND CALL IT A FREEDOM SEAT? When someone redeems a reward online or over the phone, the system automatically pulls the first expiring one way reward. WHY COMPLICATE THINGS WITH "CONVERTING" TO A FREEDOM AWARD, during the time it takes to convert to a Freedom (which cannot be un-converted) the flight could oversell/sellout and then the passenger would be stuck holding a Freedom Reward that they could not use. When looking for Rapid Reward seats the system could show "Rapid Reward" seats requiring a one way certificate, and if those are sold out, "Freedom Reward" seats requiring 2 one way certificates. THIS WOULD BE A VERY EASY MODIFICATION TO WHAT YOU HAVE IMPLEMENTED. Why create the extra step? The intention must have been ease of use and more freedom, not how to get more of those reward tickets off your accounting books. One more thing, I am part of a group of people that years ago created a list of desirable places to live, or own a second home. ONE OF THE TOP THREE MOST IMPORTANT REQUIREMENTS TO QUALIFY FOR THE LIST IS THAT IT BE NEAR A CITY THAT SOUTHWEST FLIES TO. Can you believe that, we have all moved or bought homes based on our loyalty to an airline?!?! It never occurred to me that I might be sorry for that decision. Come on Southwest, it seems the new people at the helm truly have no idea how strong customer loyalty has been to this airline. We (the loyal customers of Southwest) are not a traditional business model. I would bet my A-List recognition that even the business traveler on Southwest is not a traditional one. Why rave about fully refundable tickets or abilities to upgrade when the full Y (no advance purchase) fare has ALWAYS been fully refundable and upgradable. The free drink? Are you kidding? At four free drinks per Rapid Reward ticket, I continuously have a drawer of over fifty drinks coupons, and I actually use them and share them with other passengers!!! Who wants a drink at 7:00am??? I may actually buy half the plane a drink on my next evening flight. It may sound like complaining, it is actually an attempt to improve on the improvements. Will I fly Southwest, yes. As others have stated on the many blogs about the changes, it is now hard to sing your praises. Why not just be honest with everyone and say "Hey, we love you guys and we need your help to stay in the skies". Moderate fare increases we could have accepted, new boarding we could adjust to, Freedom Awards - great! The sham of business and business select fares is enough to have the company take back the stock options of the brilliant people that came up with the plan. The negative PR and grumbling alone is enough to make management send a letter of apology to each and every person in Rapid Rewards admitting they need to fine tune the changes. You send us Birthday Cards, Partners Promotions, and even special offers. How about depositing 2 Bonus Reward credits in every members account as good PR and a cushion for the bumpy ride ahead? You are the masters of fun, put a spin on this "Here at Rapid Rewards, we thought you could use a little extra credit this holiday season. As a valued Southwest customer, we are giving you 2 bonus credits because we LUV you so much! Thank you for your loyalty and we look forward to seeing you on your next flight." Looking forward to a response.
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Paula, Oh no! Tell me it ain't true! I clicked on the picture and enlarged it to be sure. Are you drinking Pepsi??? Did the air get thin underneath Brian's hairy chin and somehow muddle your thinking? Get that girl a cup of The Real Thing!! Kim EBB and Coke-aholic 🙂
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Kim, The Las Vegas Convention Center is very much a Pepsi-kind of place. Blog Boy
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I flew for the first time on Southwest to Blog World Expo on a green pass (free for me since I was a speaker.) I was less than impressed with the boarding procedures. (Why doesn't this blog have a preview feature for comments -- I can't tell if a link will be accepted or a blockquote, so I'll do both) Here's my assessment.
It's still open seating, no assigned seats. Now what you get is a letter and a number and it's like playing bingo only very complicated. It's supposed to be first come, first serve. But it's not because of the exceptions. They started this new program yesterday. When you check in, you get a letter and number. You are either A, B or C and within each letter group, you get a number between 1 and 60. They have flagpoles up at the gate with letters and numbers posted on them in increments of 5 or 10 and when your letter is called, you have to go stand by your flagpole. First they call the "A" group and if you are an "A" you go stand by the pole that says 1 - 5, 5 - 10, etc. Then they board the A group with #s 1 to 30, and they get the first choice of seats. Then they board the remaining A group, numbers 30 to 60. Then they tell the B group to go to their flagpoles. When everyone's there, they board B 1 to 30 then B 30 to 60, etc. Then the C group. By the mid B group, you're in the back of the plane or a middle seat and the overhead space is gone. People that check in online can get an "A" pass regardless of the time they check in. You can buy an upgrade to an "A" group boarding pass for $25. (In other words, they hold a bunch back.) But, if you have a paper ticket as I did, because Southwest sponsored Blog World Expo and gave the speakers vouchers, you couldn't check in online and had to stand in a long line at the airport with the people who were just buying tickets or changing their tickets. I checked in over 2 hours early and still got B37. And, I couldn't pay the $25 to get an "A" seat because it's not allowed on voucher tickets. Passenger confusion was understandably very high at the gate and so boarding the plane took a long time. There's also no tv or music on the plane and because the flights are cheap, every seat is filled. So its crowded. I will thank the pilot though (Capt. Mike Smith), because he knew I wasn't happy with the seating process and when I pulled out my $4.00 to pay for my drink (which I definitely needed by that time) the flight attendant told me he had comped it.
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I was able to experience the new boarding procedures twice on Friday. I was flying PVD-PHX-LAX. I checked in almost 24 hours in advance and ended up with A-46 for the PVD-PHX leg and A-19 for the PHX-LAX leg. I was kind of concerned as I found out that my flight to PHX was arriving at gate C-17 at 8:05 PM and my flight to LAX was departing from D-1 at 8:50 PM. Under the old process, I would have gotten to PVD early to ensure a seat near the front (in case the flight arrived PHX behind schedule.) In PVD, they called for A 1-30 and A 31-60 to line up a bit early (our plane had yet to arrive). The early line-up made sense when one of the gate agents started checking to see that everyone was in the right spot. I was a bit surprised that almost none of the A 1-30s had lined up; either they missed the announcement, or they didn't understand how it worked. When they called A 1-30 to board, 17 folks boarded before they called B 1-30 to line up and A 31-60 to board. (I later found out that most of them didn't line up.) I ended up with a seat near the front. When I got off of the plane (which arrived early) in PHX, I found that my connecting flight was delayed, and as such, I didn't need to dash. It was here that the new procedures shined. I already had my place in line, so I settled in at the Starbucks near the D pier, got some coffee and a snack, and fired up my laptop to check my e-mail and check the flight's progress on FlightAware. When my flight was in range, I shut down my laptop and walked over to the gate. When the call to line up was made, it was bizarre to see one person in the A 1-5 spot and nobody in A 6-10 or 11-15. I found out that the guy holding card A-1 had purchased a business select fare. I asked the gate agent about the absence of folks in line and he explained that A 1-15 were reserved for business select passengers. I also found that some folks didn't understand that they were supposed to stand in the section corresponding to their numbers. It would have been nice if a gate agent had checked passengers' boarding passes like they had done in PVD. Still, the process was pretty smooth, and i had no problems getting the seat I wanted.
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If I were management I would be a bit concerned after reading comments to this and to Kevin's blog. Looks like they are going to lose some loyal SWA customers. We'll see if the statement "you talk, we listen" holds true. I don't think they thought about us flyers who are loyal, but don't fly as often for one reason or another. I have been very loyal flying out of MCO. The only non SWA flights has been when I had to go to ATL. But now I admit, I'll look at other airlines for other flights. I fly to IND for Christmas and on the return trip have to connect in MDY due to the Rapid Rewards unfariness. With this new procedure it will be a headache. I have always preached SWA fairness and ease of boarding,etc to my friends. Can't do that any more. I guess we can all rant and rave, but what this comes down to is this is a business and they do what upper management says. They spoiled us in the past and we all hate changes.
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You guys really suck!!...No....REALLY....every time I think it can't get any worse...it proves me wrong and does so...in Spades. The boarding method sucks even worse than it did before....I just wonder how long it will take to comprehend that travelers like to buy SEATS. If we don't like the seat, we buy a better one...Your approach is humorous and provides insight to the idea that the airline must be filled with a bunch of yes-men types and flow all the stupid ideas downstream to the masses. We ....the traveller...we like our seats being ours...when we travel as couples or in pairs or groups...we like to sit together...it doesn't take a brain surgeon to witness the new boarding idea failing...you get a high number and then board...and you see pretty much every single traveler, sitting a seat away from the next traveler. Everyone skips a seat, sorta like the line for the urinals in the mens room...until the lowly B50 and up crowd get to wiggle and worm their way into the remaining few seats, not not having enough places to stow their goodies in the overhead baggage and resorting to having our feet on our brief cases, and our carry on's being placed 6 rows away...FURTHER holding up the de-boarding process... In truth....you guys are a joke...you might make a lot of money...but you're a joke. You don't get the concept of listening to your customer...and what we want and need....you just come up with a way to increase shareholder value and call it good.... Well....sayonara my compadres...I won't be back, my employees won't be back...we're done. I'd rather take extra flight legs than to continue putting up with being treated like a cow. You're just not listening...and each rendition gets worse.... Steve.
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My family and I are no longer using Southwest. We flew this weekend with the new seating plan you have going on and it sucked. My husband and I were not able to sit together so my two year old and son and i sat at the back of the plane while my husband sat at the front. My husband flies regular(every week) with Southwest but have changed over to another airline because of your new system!
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I have had a companion pass for probably 5 or so years Ã
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I am packing my bags as well. From my point of view, this new boarding procedure sucks for the following reasons: I am one of the loyal customers for over 15 years who helped all those "on time departures" by showing up early and waiting in line. Before, I was rewarded for that by getting first pick at seats. Now, it does not matter that I show up early because all the first spots in line have been sold or given away and there I stand waiting for all the Johnny come lately's come strolling in an hour later with higher boarding passes than me! From what I see this Slows down the boarding process. Are there really people out there who can not stand for 1 hour at most for something they want? You are going to be sitting for hours on end and it would kill you to stand for 45 minutes to an hour? What's next, SWA going to carry these people from their cars to the gate? Fine, I bought my ticket month's ago, got my boarding pass on line, am at the airport hours ahead of time and still, I am at the end of the A list. Why am I here? Why don't I now fly any other airline that actually rewards "first come first serve"? Now I am on the plane, 5 flights and still can not get any of my favorite seats. By the way I too, would always brag that flying SWA was the best because of it "fair" first come first serve policy. Now, I am cozy. Then comes the kids, babies and their baggage. Then comes the musical chairs. "Can you move?" "Do you mind giving up that aisle seat to I can seat next to my child?" "There is a lovely middle seat I can offer you" Before, when I boarded, it was great. I knew exactly where the kids were and if I was not in the mood to seat next to them, I simply wouldn't. Simple. Now, SWA has gone backwards! What is the big deal? Let the families board first. This way everybody knows were they are, they can sit together, no musical seats and everyone is happy. Are there really that many jerks that can not stand the fact that kids board first? I don't have kids and all I know that traveling with them looks hard enough. Why make it even more difficult? No one wins this way. All I know is that SWA has popped my traveling balloon. I was alway excited to travel. Now I hate it. It is stressful, uncomfortable and I can not give away my rapid reward tickets and change my new year's itinerary fast enough. Why would anyone buy a Business Ticket costing almost as much as first class on nother airlines when there are no special seats, no special sections, no food, movies, or perks. Just what I used to get when I showed up early and waited my turn! So... Good bye old friend, SWA. We have been though alot, weddings, funerals, births, holidays, gem shows, sking lots if wonderful trips. I will return if you return to the simple boarding procedure that made you the best airline ever. If you need money because of higher fuel costs, I would gladly pay a little extra for each ticket. Simply put your new boarding procedure SUCKS, is a slap in the face to all of us who made you great and I will only return when you return to the fair and simple boarding procedure and let the kids on first. Signed, Not afraid to stand in line for what I want.
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Combine the seating changes with all the RR changes and its even better - NOT! I found out today I can't even fly stand by on a flight that is sold out of reward seats when I'm traveling on a reward ticket. I could understand being pushed to the end of the standby list. But I'm told I can't standby at all! So the 3:40 one stop flight will go out with empty seats and land in my destination at 6:25. I'll sit around for 3 more hours, fly through 2 intermediate stops and get home at 11pm - assuming nothing goes wrong during the extra 5 hours and extra cities worth of traveling. I'm a companion pass holder, so I guess you would consider me a pretty good customer - this is sure a great way to treat me!
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I've been a loyal SWA customer for years, but with the new boarding and pricing structure its coming to an end. I used 4 one-way passes last week and paid way too much for return tickets this week. Even when I got online just seconds after the 24 hour check-in time, I still got numbers 22, 24, 31, 36. This new system stinks. Either go back to the old "fair to everyone" system or go with reserved seats. Also the 3-tier pricing structure makes your ticket pricing much less competitive. It will be much easier to look for flights on other airlines.
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Hi, Could anyone asist me on how to contact corporate person who works at southwest that I can somehow contact for help on lost baggage and how to do a claim and find out any information regarding this subject would be greatly appreciated and thanks for anyones time. Renee
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The new Freedom Award scheme is a travesty. Southwest has finally done what I thought they would never do. Now it takes 2X as many credits to get a flight from Austin to Reno in 45 days? You feel just like Continental Airlines. I used to love you, but now it feels like a bad hangover. I'll still have to fly you from time to time, but only because I have to, not because I want to.