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Southwest Airlines Community

Talking About the Changes

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(Southwest Airlines CEO, Gary Kelly, has been reading your comments about our recently announced boarding and fare changes, and he wanted you to hear his thoughts directly.)
261 Comments
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Regarding Kyla Ebbert, the Hooters girl who apparently has ZERO modesty: The more I hear of this, the more proud I am of the employee who had her adjust what little clothing she was wearing before reentering the plane. Finally, SOMEONE who has the moxie to stand up and say, "That's inappropriate!" There was once a time in the not-so-distant past when females who dressed this way in public were considered hookers. Unfortunately, our society has loosed its morals to the point that when someone approaches another and says something like, "Please properly cover yourself . . . your attire is offensive," the inappropriately dressed person makes a big STINK of it and gets on national news and the person who makes the comment is scorned. WOW! Shouldn't it be the other way around? THANK YOU for taking a stand!!! The public has got to know that there ARE those who disapprove of people who lack decency flaunting it in the faces of people who dare cover themselves! The thing that gets me is Playboy hired this girl to have nude pictures taken. The mother was talked into approving her daughter to pose nude and the father finally caved in. Oh, yeah, I'd like my daughter's naked body on every magazine stand across America! She aspires to be an attorney . . . FOXNews.com states: Ebbert worked at a Hooters in San Diego but said wants to become an attorney, and doesn't think posing nude should get in the way of her professional aspirations. "This was beautiful and classy. I don't see why it would affect a professional position," she said. "I'd do it again in a heartbeat." Wouldn't you love to be there to say, "I told you so"? I believe it WILL and SHOULD interfere with her becoming an attorney! KUDOS TO SOUTHWEST!!!!!!!!!
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Ok even after reading the article in BusinessWeek.com about how change may be bad for SWA, and reading the 70% negative comments on here I am still undecided. I happen to fall into that "Road Warrior" group where I might fly 4-5 flights a week. I was notified that I would be given "A" Group boarding from here out but that was not I was told when I called SWA. I haven't actually flown on SWA however since the changes but am anxious to see if its good or bad. I am also curious to see how this affects security lines, as now people are no longer flocking there early to hold their place in the A,B,or C line. I fly to L.A. at least 2 times a month, and it scares me to know that flying from BNA to LAX (4 hour flight) that I might have to be in the middle so often. Only time will tell if this is good or bad, I will say PRICES GOT HIGHER!!! That's all that matters, let people pay the high fairs for the good seats if that means keeping other fares cheaper. Let them have that $30 cocktail if it means keeping my personal travel cheaper. I will say, SWA is the best airline, they are so highly involved in the communities, businesses, and their customer's everyday lives. They truly are a company that cares and reaches out with its philanthropy. When is the last time someone saw a story or article on United Airlines doing anything but bickering, scratching, and clawing its way in and out of bankruptcy. As for the post by TERRY, don't compare this change to a post WWII Germany or our American Liberties being stripped away. You sir are being a little dramatic there and we have the liberty to fly or choose. Be thankful we have an airlline that lets us afford to travel to see our friends, families, or affords us efficienes in our pursuit of capitalistic endeavors. Thanks to SWA, our famililes are closer, we can see our friends more often, and LUV is in the air.
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IF YOU WANT LOYALTY FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS YOU HAVE TO BE LOYAL TO YOUR CUSTOMER BASE.
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I fly Southwest a great deal. 80% or so of the flights out of my home airport of Nashville are SWA. I have always enjoyed the airline and appreciated the smiling faces and the ability to make a profit on your own two feet. I was pleased with the news of the Letter / Number system to eliminate the "cattle call". This seems like a good evolutionary step. However, I'm deeply troubled by the preferential seating for the "Business Select" fares, and frequent fliers. When its all said and done, this essentially means B&C for everyone else. In talking with many of my fellow fliers, I think the switch to the Letter/Number system would have been enough to incent a lot more business travelers who are often paying at or near full fare. I know you don't really care because its an issue of who paid more, but most of your guaranteed "A's" will be flying single anyway, while families, couples, and others will be spread all over the plane because they all have C tickets. Typical boarding of your competitors: "We'll now take our Super Duper A+ World Class Platinum Passengers"...."We'll now take our Preferred Gold Glass Passengers"..."We'll now take our Silver Select Elite Passengers"....."Ok - the rest of you third-rate wastes-of-our-time get on, sit down, shut up and don't ask for anything". If you get to close to the same thing, I'll fly with them. At least their planes are only half-full and you have plenty of room. Besides, maybe it will save me some taxes to bail them out.
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I guess people just don't get it. There are SIXTY A boarding passes. Unless a combination of SIXTY Rapid Reward or Business Select passengers happen to walk up if you print your boarding pass out 24 hours you will get an A boarding pass. Besides, I'd rather have time before the flight to go get food, coffee, or a newspaper. You can always head over to American Airlines where they have assigned seats. Oh, yeah, they love to change equipment. There goes your window emergency exit row seat! I've flown them a lot of times. They board late, depart late, and arrive late. SWA? Usually on time. Chill, peeps.
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Thanks to the SWA CSA's and flight attendants for their experiences with the new system. Its good to hear their comments, though I would expect most to be good. I am sure management is concerned with the horror stories of some CSA's not implementing the system correctly. I've made many comments about the new system, but now is the time to give it a chance. Again, thank you SWA personnel for your comments and experiences. I'm sure on Monday evening, Nov 26, we will hear a big sign of relief from SWA personnel that the Thanksgiving travel is complete.
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I am using a Rapid Rewards Award for a flight tomorrow and my wife is flying on my companion pass. I just printed our boarding passes and got A21 and A23 for the first segment and A17 and A19 for the second. So far, so good. The bad news is that when I was looking at changing the flight several days ago I noticed that it is no longer possible to get the last seat on the plane with a Rapid Rewards Award. The number of seats available for Rapid Rewards Award use now seems to be very limited and in order to get the same flexibility that I had under the old system I will have to convert two Standard Awards into a Freedom Award. In effect, Southwest has doubled the number of segments for a "useful" award from 16 to 32. I fly Southwest exclusively because of the Rapid Reward program and think that this was a very disappointing improvement. I can understand all the other changes but this one is hitting me directly in the pocket book and I am surprised that it hasn't been discussed on this blog.
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The new Boarding procedure SUCKS....really!!! As a business traveller I have taken my last trip on SouthWorst Airlines. Honestly, If we're going to buy a seat, then sell me a seat...one where I can put my briefcase near me, not 5 rows away because all the A boarded or pre-boarded families take up entire overhead bins, but skip seats, cuz noone wants the middle seat. It's just reached the point of stupidity. In an ideal world a Business traveller likes to fly first class...get on the plane LAST and de-plane First...this whole program is a joke...gate personnel not changing the A: sign to the B: sign, causing confusion, pushy customers just being allowed to do what they want...it really has deteriorated to the point where you now simply feel like a cow.... Maybe you guys could save some more money by extending a trough through the middle aisle and just dump a big bag of peanuts in at the front and whatever's left for the dumb cows in the back is the way it is. It'd save money on peanut wrapper packaging, labor to clean up etc.... I'm done with SouthWorst...today I have removed it from our company travel options for employees...and all I can do is my part to see it's foolish behaviors fall prey to the lack of cohesive management willing to step up and recognize yet another BAD IDEA.... Steve.
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I'm certainly for any changes that remove the need to sit in line to reserve one's spot. However, I can't adequately express my dismay regarding preferential seating for higher-paying customers. I became intensely loyal to Southwest after taking my first flight with them. Now, I need to reconsider. Please, no elitism for seating!
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Yes, I have enjoyed the good times while they lasted. The competition that began 24 hours prior to a flight to get an A Group was a great equalizer. The business traveller who must fly as cheaply as possible, has a chance of a good seat, no luxuries, but fun nontheless. So, tell me - once you have enough people buying business fares to bump loyal customers out of the 'A' Group and into a position where other airlines can now compete on price for guaranteed seats, will Southwest stop growing so quickly? I flew more business related miles on Southwest this year than on any other airline, thanks for the free flights, drink coupons, and extra peanuts - next year may be different - time will tell. Oh and the promise of better boarding as a result of flying 16 round trips - well, there are only so many A Seats to go around!
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I heard your video response. I work for a big company too. Your response was typical PR BS. The founder of a company would never say that "replacement CEO" crap. SWA now is just like all the other airlines so I guess there's no need for me to prefer SWA over any other airline when I'm planning my trips. Once the founder leaves as the leader of his company and is replaced by a "business school" grad that is bottom line oriented and only lives to meet "Wall Street's" expectations, that company becomes just another cookie cutter business school case study. Too bad for SWA.
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Southwest just lost my business. I fly SNAPHX twice a month and have always flown SWA. But their new fares are ridiculous. Booking this trip for late Jan 2008, SWA wants over $200!! USAir comes in at $118. Bye bye, SWA. I also checked the same trip for late Feb. Same ridiculously high fare. Ta-ta, SWA. And forget about wooing business customers. No in-seat power, no entertainment, no assigned seating. The glory days are over for SWA. I'm sorry to see that happen, but economics are economics.
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I have been a loyal Southwest fan for about 10 years now and i loved that i would get the ticketless awards from flying, booking online and using my credit card. Well, the past few flights i wanted to fly there were no seats available for ticketless awards. I used to never have this issue, which was a HUGE reason i loved flying southwest. I could fly when and where i wanted. Now it doesn't seem to matter I can only fly when and where you want me to or i pay like everyone else. If i have to pay normal fares I am going to do it where i get an assigned seat. In fact the past 4 times i have flown my ticketless awards wouldn't work so i flew other airlines, which it looks like is going to have to happen again. So much for enjoying the great customer service and appreciation that southwest once provided. I guess it's time to use my other flight miles from other airlines and credit cards.
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I think it was shifty to tell folks that the fare increase was only 10 to 30 dollars more when that only involved full fares which most ordinary folks do not take. Those ordinary folks made your airline great and now you have made the big expense acconut guys able to beat out the regulars for seat selection. I can't understand why anyone would pay more for the same size seats anyway. Most of the big spenders will go first class on another carrier anyway. I like the "cattle call "line because it rewarded the early birds and folks who were not to lazy to get off their duffs. It was a level playing field. You will not admit your mistake because it will reflect on you in the boardroom ,but I bet your bottom line will show the failure in a few months. I can afford to go first class on anyother airline but I chose Southwest because of the simple way you did things, but now you choose to reward those who have the big expense accounts and put the guys who made you great in the "back of the bus". A stupid error and you will see that in the coming months. I wonder what Herb thinks? Surely this wasn't his idea. The stockholders need to start worrying and I know some big ones.
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SW blows.......cramped seating, rude staff, that stupid bag of peanuts, shall I go on? This airline is the 'Wal-Mart of the sky'..............
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I hate the new boarding system. If you don't have a fast computer and internet connection you are out of luck. I checked in within the first 30 seconds and ended up with A37. Everyone that needs or wants an isle seat must be ready 24hrs in advance by their computer - ridiculous. You also might want to upgrade to ultra high speed fiber optic internet connection to beat the rush - if you can afford it. Or buy a high fare ticket - either way now it costs more to fly in comfort. The old system had it's problems, but anyone that really wanted a good seat could get one if they invested some time showing up early to the airport. Now it takes cash and if you don't have it you might be better off in an assigned seat on another airline.
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I do a lot of business flying. I'm on my second companion pass. Every business flyer to whom i have spoken prefers your old policy of allowing families with children four and under to board first. Knowing where the families with children are sitting allows subsequent passengers to select a seat away from the children if that is their preference. I have seen several unhappy flyers who boarded first and selected the emergency row seats dismayed by having crying babies seated directly in front of or behind them when children board at the end of the Group A. Your new policy of boarding by numbers within the A, B, and C categories unintentionally disadvantages your best customers, those flying with a person on a companion pass or a rapid rewards ticket. The companion pass and rapid reward ticket holder must have a separate confirmation number from the primary flyer. By the time you log in a second confirmation number for the companion several numbers within the category have been issued resulting in the primary flyer and the companion being in separate boarding numerical groups. Your policy should be amended to allow the companion to board with the primary flyer, even though their number may be a little higher. I recently used my companion pass and 6 rapid rewards tickets to fly the family from Sacramento to Orlando and return. Even though we started the boarding pass log in process exactly 24 hours prior to departure the family was separated because each person had their own confirmation number and other numbers were assigned between each log in.
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If you're going to start giving the better seats to those who pay more for their seats instead of the "cattle call" method that has been used forever, you should just do like the other airlines and have assigned seats to begin with. I think the logic that went into this change will have a significant impact on those who will fly with Southwest. I hate to say it, but a lot of people will start to fly other airlines if they have to pay more for a decent seat. Sorry, but i'll have to deal with JetBlue, at least there i may pay a little more for my seat, but i'll also have more comfort with the additional legroom.
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I have always enjoyed flying Southwest. They have gotten me home during college and around the country on business. I am not pleased with their new changes. I have enjoyed online check-in and appreciated the ease of online reservations compared with other airlines. But I refuse to pay 3 times the lowest fare, just so I can have priority seating and a free drink. I think most people will be standing around the gates anyway waiting for their group to pop up on the screen. Hooray to the people who have a company or the means to purchase the more expensive rates and the perks that come along with it. But I have chosen Southwest as my carrier because it has made its fares affordable and available to many. If their business customers are so numerous perhaps they can offer a business online route to major cities. I can fly more often and to a greater number of destinations with Southwest, and I hope to continue to do so. But these changes may make it hard to ignore their competitors.
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1. I'd like to echo Duwayne's point regarding the Companion pass. Although, the seat next to the primary passenger can be 'saved' for the companion by the first person to board, so I don't see it as a complete disaster. 2. The screens that indicate which row to line up in (A 1-30 for example) can be used more effectively. When these passengers are being asked to board, by the too-quiet announcement, why not have this screen flash as a visual aid to the hearing impaired? 3. Although I feel 'rewarded' for my frequent flights as I am on the 'A-list', I do feel for families and those that attempt to get an A 24 hours in advance and fail to do so. I think many people are over-reacting, thinking they definitely will not get an A, so they should try it before they dismiss. Also, I am concerned that the large number of Awards I have collected may be difficult to use based on others experiences detailed in this blog. Time will tell, but I will be frustrated if the previous flexibility in using awards is no longer available. 4. Price vs A passes has become a serious concern for many fliers, it would seem. But, as long as Southwest flights are less expensive than competitors, I see Southwest remaining to be popular. People need to get from A to B, they don't need all the additional entertainment - they can bring that themselves. 5. I imagine time and experience will help educate people on the new boarding system, but of the few times I have flown recently, I've been amused at the number of people who line up, just after the announcement has been made to let the passengers know they do not need to line up yet. People watching is forever fascinating. Overall I've no issues with the new process, but as mentioned, I think I am perhaps one of the lucky few who will take advantage of the A-list. I'd suggest people look to this enhancement as something they too can acquire if they make Southwest their primary airline of choice over the next 12 months - which I am sure is part of the marketing idea behind the scheme. For me Southwest does the job. It gets me to where I am going. People love to complain, and they do not like change. They also rarely chose to look on the positive side of change.
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I'm infuriated. I bought a ticket 6 days before you made this announcement under the assumption that I would be eligible to board the plane before anyone else as long as I checked in first. This is critical to me, because at 6'11", I can barely squeeze into your regular seats. I now find out that I have to pay an extra $400 (more than double) to qualify. If I had known this, I would not have purchased a non-refundable ticket. The ethical way of making this change would be to have it take effect in several months, not immediately. There is flat out no reason to fly Southwest any more. Good riddance.
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Does this mean that business travelers will get to board at the same time as my wife, who got early boarding once because she was the stewardesses former hairstylist?
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Herb/Gary/Southwest in general, Facts: 1. I am a businessman 2. I travel for work (50 round trip flights/year) 3. My primary residence is in Phoenix 4. I own LUV Feelings: I have flown SWA almost exclusively for many years, why: 1. Safety Record- your planes don't fall out of the sky 2. Simplicity- go to one website, yours, buy fare, print pass, go 3. Competence- your pilots are good and attendants friendly 4. Cost- Prices are low and consistent and rarely charge for flight changes 5. Consistency- You don't have delays/overbookings/cancelations You are now causing me great concern. KISS- Keep It Simple I don't need rewards programs I don't need a letter and numbers seating system I don't need to be boarded before families with kids I don't need food or beverages on the flight ALL I NEED IS TO GET TO MY CLIENT AND BACK TO MY FAMILY SAFELY AND ON TIME. THAT IS IT. From my perspective, your customer, you are fixing something that was not broken. P.S. I don't want to see you become a HBS case study on what not to do.
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I very much enjoy Southwest's reliability and positive attitude. I have been willing to overlook the lack of amenities (audio, video, no reserved seats) in the past. No more, however. With separating people into classes - you are like other airlines now. Why not go all the way and assign seats? Your fares are no longer lower than the competition. So, what incentive do I have to fly with you? Let me put it this way - I used to go to you first when I flew. Now - I will look to Jetblue, and Frontier first. If they do not go nonstop to where I want to go - I will look at all other airlines equally - including yours. Whoever has the best schedule/price wins. In case of ties - I will go with getting an assigned seat. Thank you for your time.
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Everyone is entitled to their opinions. That's why we have this forum here. So everyone can chat...good and bad. But come on folks! Some of you are being down right rude, and I take offense to that. The Employees here at SWA have faith in our Leaders. Afterall, they have been hand picked by the Leaders before. If our company has made a mistake, they would "own" up to it and "fix" it. But I do not believe that's the case...no mistake made here. Ya know, most people don't call management to compliment a job well done. But have an employee make a mistake, or someone's food order be wrong etc. in any business, you can believe management will be recieving a phone call. Of course you are going to hear more negative comments. Does the phrase "squeeky wheel gets the grease" come to mind? Many, and I would bet most, are complaining and have not even tried the new boarding process. They do not even fully understand it. That is apparent by their comments. If you are a parent, and concerned about family boarding, don't be. You can check in online early as well. No one is forcing you not to check in online. You will be taken care of. If you are most concerned about boarding first to get that coveted "extra leg space" seat(s) then you can simply get the business or check in early online. When I travel, I really don't mind where I sit. If I'm traveling with my 2 year old, all I care about is that he and I have a seat together. We are not traveling overseas. I'm not going to be on that plane for hours and hours and hours. So it really doesn't matter. I just want to get to my destination SAFELY! That is my only concern. So if I sit in the middle seat....so what. That seat is the same size seat as the others. Southwest is my company! I'm proud to be an Employee! You will probably never see me. I'm not a "frontline" employee. But my feelings have been hurt by some rude comments on here. We are a company. We have job security, and that's a beautiful thing! I have changed the way I live now. My daughter now drives my Dodge Durango to school now and I drive her little peppy 4 cylinder to work....yep, my teen drives my vehicle, and I drive hers. Why? FUEL! We have had to adjust some things around for our budget. When you have a long commute, it gets very pricey. Imagine the fuel our jets use. Now imagine you had to figure a way to balance your monthly budget with the way fuel prices have increased. How would you do it? Other airlines did it at the expense of their employees. I know because my husband works for one of the other airlines. He took a cut in pay and benefits. That was/is very very hard on us. We do not want that here! I hope you, the flying public, do not want that for us either. We work hard. We work as efficiently as we can. Sometimes, you just have to try other things. And if a few people choose (key word) to pay a little more, while the rest get great prices, than that's a win-win situation isn't it? If price is not an issue, then you can help us by paying a few bucks more. I know our prices for our business select is NO WHERE NEAR a "first class" ticket price on other carriers. You still get first class service no matter what seat you are in on SWA. Our Customers' treatment is, and always will be the same great service. I'm sorry I have rambled on here....and almost written a book. But I take these comments to heart. All that we ask, is before you say we "blow" you should first at least try it. And then you can offer some constructive criticism if need be. You can also offer a compliment if need be. Let's be thanful that we live in a country where we do have the freedom to fly, the freedom to complain or compliment. Many places you cannot. Let's be thankful for our many friends and family and our armed forces men and women who will not be with their families this holiday to give us these freedoms, and hopefully to allow others around the world to have the same. **stepping down from soap box**
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I share Charlie R's sentiments. Despite qualifying for the Ã
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My young, ages 9 and 12 (adult!!!), grandchildren will be flying to visit me without an adult. It sounds as if they could easily be separated as they board the nonstop flight. If this is true, I will have to cancel their tickets and get new ones on an airline which reserves seats. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have never even looked at airlines other than SW, but I guess now I will have to do so when I buy tickets.
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When is Southwest going to offer flights to the west coast from Palm Beach that doesn't involve 2 stops each way? I would love to see a flight to Las Vegas or Phoenix from Palm Beach to get to west coast cities. My choice is to drive 2 hours to Fort Lauderdale or fly another airline from PBI.
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I have experienced the new boarding procedures and I have no problems with it once it gets in sync and your gate agents follow the established protocol. That being said, I am simply floored by your new pricing structure. In the past 48 hours, the company I work for (in Phoenix) has removed Southwest from its "preferred" list of airlines because the new pricing structure is unbelievable. As one of the travel coordinators for my company, I am perplexed as to the justification for the sudden sticker shock. Even for personal travel, your pricing has certainly excluded me. That ticket from Phoenix to Las Vegas that was running $118 (which included fees and taxes) two months ago is now $239 even if I book four months in advance. You are going to have to show me hard evidence that your costs have doubled in order to justify those increases. At $239, I can add another $80 and fly JetBlue to NYC. You have said you are trying to appeal to the business traveler. Did you run any of these changes in front of focus groups, because if you had, I doubt you would have instituted the pricing structure. I have been coordinating travel on the corporate level for about 20 years now and every business traveler I know falls into one of two camps: the "bargain hunter" and the "upgrader." The first is going to fly the cheapest flight they can get in order to save money for the bottom line. They don't particularly care that they are in boarding group B or C. They just know that $118 from Phoenix to Orange County is a good buy. But now, that flight is $239 and they can now go to USAir which is offering the same routing for $118. Your pricing structure has driven off the "bargain hunter" businessperson into the arms of another airline, not to mention us Average Joe's who chose Southwest because of the cheap fares regardless of the time of day. The "Upgrader" flies coach on Delta/United/American/etc. in hopes they can hit the upgrade elite status so that they have a very good change of moving up from coach to Business Class or First Class. It is there that they can open up the laptop and have room to actually do some work. The upgrade on Southwest is that you get on the plane first and you get a free cocktail. But, your seat will always come with the same pitch and width. My travelers want the chance to move up and get a better seat, not a free cocktail. Getting on the airplane first is unimportant because they have an assigned seat. So, Southwest is now chasing them away, too, and the arms of another airline is ready to accept them. In the video above, there are plenty of nods about how Southwest just HAS to change. But you never really state why. SW is one of the few profitable airlines with a business model that worked when Northwest Airlines was keeping people trapped on the tarmac in Detroit for 10-12 hours. Why does something that isn't broken need fixing? You don't need to change for the sake of change. So, with fares higher than other airlines, no real "upgrades" per se, and the death of a business model that worked, please let me know why I or my corporate travelers should fly SWA?
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I don't understand what the problem is.....All the families with kids and everybody else who is crying - YOU WANT A DEFINITE "A" GROUP??? Easy PAY FOR IT!!!! Having children does not entitle you to the bulkhead seat everytime you fly. You need extra time boarding?? Then you should need extra time deplaning BUT NOOOOO. You grab your kids and the carry seat and the rolling packpacks and set it up in the gangway as all the rest of the passengers are trying to exit. Do you care???? Apparently not. Your concern should be sitting all together. With the new boarding process your family still gets to sit together!! JUST NOT IN THE FIRST 10 or 15 ROWS! TOO BAD! Get on the computer with the rest of us and try for an "A" list OR just pay for it. Waaaa Waaaa you all sound like a bunch of spoiled brats. This is a business. Pay or get out of the way.
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Heard on CNN yesterday that Southwest flew more passengers in the first 8 months of this year than any other airline in the world ...69 MILLION!!!! Management at SW must know a little bit more on how best to operate their business than all of us put together. They've been an outstanding airline in the past, and I believe they will continue to be - with or without a couple hundred spoiled, whiney passengers. Besides, if the new proceedures need tweaking, I'm sure Southwest will tweak. I have faith in an airline that has proven fiscal responsiibility AND an exemplary safety record. When I fly the legacies I feel like I'm paying twice...once in my tax dollars to bail them out from bankruptcy and then again for the cost of the ticket.
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Reality vs. Expectations? 1. I am a Road warrior-travel most every week 2. I fly WN most of the time. 200 RR credits/year and NO WN credit card. 3. I "earn" lots of RR tickets and Companion passes/annually 4. I am in control of who I fly and when. 5. I spend my companies money like it was my own 6. I used to buy lots of "Ding Fares" 7. WN Gate Agents sleep in Bath Tubs-no spine! 8. New Boarding Process is a "Gaggle" 9. I am "A-lister"-A-16-20 most every flight. 10. Won't buy Business Select! Are you nuts! 11. Just booked 2 Frontier Flights and UA for December-Jan 08 12. You lost my luggage last week again for 48 hours-hell UA does it all the time so why not fly them! 13. Yes, Lucky 13, WN isn't cheaper any more!
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Desert ranger.... SOUTHWEST IS STILL CHEAPER THAN FRONTIER AND UA!!!
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I flew on Monday, Nov. 12th and was very upset with the sitting. As always I was on website as soon as possibly to get boarding pass. I was shocked to be B, I have never been B. I was traveling with my son and his 8 month old baby and he could not board until all 60 A had board, what airlines does that, and other family could not board until A had. We have had MANY free tickets with SW with my husband business and his flying. So this an outrage to be treated this way. Oh I know that SW said on MSNBC that this will pass and the people will get used to it since they are going to be aiming for business travel people. The CEO said will make millions more money. It is always about MONEY and lining the CEO and board pockets so they can have many BIGGER HOMES and CARS. I am sure SW does not care or will will response to this message, beside what would they say, nothing is going to change. . My husband has check with Alaska Airlines to see about traveling with them when possible . Very upset SW traveler.
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Oops - Gary...Gary...Gary I have flown Southwest almost exclusively (98% of the time) in the last 8 years, logging more than 300 flights. This one is probably going to cost you a lot of loyal passengers, although there really aren't a lot of other decent options in markets like Manchester. If you are going to change the old policy of first come first served, why not just assign seats? Your system is too complicated and it clashes with Southwest's established "everyone is equal" culture. It also pits passengers against one another because a first boarder will be trying to block out the seats next to them waiting for their traveling partners (who aren't A-listers). What happens to a child or companion (hey - a companion pass holder is one of your best customers) who can't board with the A-lister? You didn't think this one through - the best course would be to admit a mistake and either go back to first come first served, or start giving out assigned seats. The more you try to fix it, the more complex it will become and the more consternation it will create. Switch to assigned seats or go back to first come first served! Gee - I still like the plastic boarding cards - because hacks on a computer couldn't get ahead of me. Finally, if you are going to charge extra to board first, let me select my seat! I should at least know what I am buying before I pay you. Check out the Northwest web site - they still don't have it figured out right since you can't assign all the seats at the same time on a multiple leg flight, but at least you know what you are paying for, when you upgrade to an aisle seat 24 hours before the flight. This is a dramatic culture change, and the many will end up abandoning the airline while the few, with large expense accounts, probably won't make up for the lost revenue. Even working on the financial numbers, this one doesn't make sense. You didn't properly calculate the revenue that you will loose from loyal passengers looking elsewhere.
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Myself, I think that these new changes to boarding and fares show that SWA is working towards creative new approaches to the changing times and rising costs of air travel. There are now a wider range of fare options, and the whole "Business Select" concept provides a brilliant alternative for those who really, really want to board first. As for complaints about the new priority boarding for families, since these folks get to board following the A group, I think it's hugely unlikely that families will find themselves separated. And in my many years of flying Southwest, I have found passengers to be pretty accomodating and easy-going. I sincerely do not think that many would balk when asked to make some room so that your children can sit near you. I know that we can sometimes be reluctant when it comes to change. But it seems to me that SWA is thinking outside of the box here (that ol' "coloring outside of the lines" is still being encouraged) and coming up with new approaches to saving ground time, and thus keeping fares as low as they can. Way to go, Gary. I applaud you and all of the creative People of Southwest Airlines!
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PERTAINING TO THE COMMENT OF THE FEMALE WHO WAS ASKED TO ADJUST HER CLOTHING ATTIRE.......KUDOS TO YOU SOUTHWEST AND THE "GENTLEMEN" WHO REQUESTED IT......THIS CAME FROM A "MALE" WHICH WAS A SURPRISE TO EVERYONE I'M SURE, BUT EVERYONE SEEMS TO FORGET ONE BIG FACT.......... BEFORE THAT LADY EVEN ATTEMPTED TO PULL THAT "MINI" DOWN FURTHER, HAVE YOU EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT HER SEATING???????? FOLKS, WHEN SHE SAT DOWN, ALL THAT WAS ON THE SEAT WAS HER "BOTTOM" AND I'LL BE NICE IN ADDRESSING THIS....FROM FRONT TO BACK, HER "BOTTOM".............NOW, NO ONE KNOWS IF SHE WAS WEARING UNDERGARMENTS OR NOT, BUT, GERMS ARE GERMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT TO TAKE A CHANCE TO SIT AFTER HER, WHEN SHE COULD HAVE VERY WELL CONTAMINATED THE SEAT WITH "WHATEVER"...THEN SHE HAD THE NERVE TO EXSPECT AN APOLOGY? GIVE ME A BREAK.......SHE WAS THE ONE SPREADING HER "PERSONAL HYGIENE GERMS" AND THAT IS TOTALLY UNEXCEPTABLE......THERE ARE PEOPLE AROUND, KIDS WHO'S LITTLE HANDS MAY TOUCH THAT SEAT AFTER HER AND CATCH WHATEVER........I WAS FLOORED WHEN I FIRST READ ABOUT IT BECAUSE I THOUGHT IT WAS TOTALLY "UN SANITARY", THEN SHE EXSPECTS THE APOLOGY........WELL, UNLESS SOUTHWEST SCRUBBED HER SEAT WITH CLORAX WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US....SOUTHWEST DID RIGHT FOR ASKING HER TO ADJUST HER "STYLE." SHE SHOULD NOT SPREAD "WHATEVER" FROM WHAT "UNDER" TO EVERYONE WHO COMES IN CONTACT WITH THAT SEAT....(GOSH, WHERE IS OSHA WHEN YOU NEED THEM)...SWA SHOULD NOT HAVE APOLOGIZE TO HER, AND INSTEAD SHOULD HAVE MADE HER GRAB A BUCKET AND CLORAX AND CLEAN UP HER GERMS........GREAT JOB SOUTHWEST ON ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE............I GUESS SHE TOOK THE TERM "BOTTOMS UP" LITTERALLY.............
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Just spent an interesting week on a business trip and got to witness the confusion in 4 different airports (SEA, PHX, LAX and SLC). You've taken a nice simple system and made it a complicated mess with little signs everywhere and those rotating ABC triangles. So what's actually the A line looks like the C line from a different angle. At SLC, there were so many signs everywhere I ended up standing in a line for the wrong gate, then when I realized my error and merged into my numerical position (A43) the gate agent reprimanded me for not standing in line earlier. I thought the whole point of this was to reduce standing in line??? Under the old system, I never even bothered standing in line if I had an A pass, I would just sit until the A's started boarding and then tag along at the end. Also noted with interest the new policy of sandwiching the families with toddlers between the A and the B groups ... very thankful my family of 7 will not have to endure what is sure to be a horrifying Thanksgiving travel week with you guys. Of course I am biased here, but I really think the preboarding of families with toddlers makes sense for two reasons: 1) It is much easier to have parents and kids sitting together; 2) It makes it easier for the A group to avoid sitting next to where the kids are stationed. Our family normally flies a few trips a year on SWA, although last time we flew Alaskan because it was actually cheaper to go with them despite the fact that my wife could have flown free on my SWA Companion Pass. Your competitive fares have already been slipping; now you can bet on future flights we will give preference to airlines that can ensure we sit together as a family. Please guys, either go back to the old format or just go with reserved seats. This current situation is a needlessly complex mess.
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People here seem to be under the illusion that fares can remain the same even though fuel prices have doubled. Get real, people. Extra money has to come from somewhere. Would you rather pay all the extra on your tickets or would you rather have business travelers carry most of the increase? You know and I know that we buy the cheapest tickets we can find. Southwest knows it too. Southwest is creatively attempting to keep leisure fares down as much as possible in the face of high fuel prices. Cut them some slacK: they are doing it for your own good. I'd rather be able to afford a flight as a "second-class citizen" then to have to stay home because I couldn't afford to travel on the "everyone is equal" airline. The latter is not what I'd call "Freedom to Fly". Barbara Watson wrote: "For many of us, it's not about being thrifty; it's about whether we can afford to fly at all." To Barbara I say: That is exactly why Business Select is your friend, not your enemy. Money collected from Business Select customers is money that doesn't have to come out of your pocket. That money has to come from somewhere. People who are complaining about A's no longer being affordable would be the first ones to complain about a massive increase in leisure fares in the absence of a program like Business Select. They need to get a grip on financial reality. The status quo is not an option with oil at $98. It's just not. On another subject, Gale Thomssen complained about limited availability and vowed to switch airlines. Gale, do you have any idea how difficult it has become to redeem a saver award on any airline other than Southwest or JetBlue? It's a scandal. We'd always like better availability, especially on Fridays and Sundays, but Southwest's award tickets are the most usable in the industry. Ask anyone at flyertalk.com and they'll tell you the same. One other suggestion: award availability sometimes improves in the last week or so before a flight. But for Thanksgiving and Christmas you're not going to get the peak travel dates you want.
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Carolyn K, There is an easy solution to your problem. You can check them in 24 hrs in advance online and easily get an a or b boarding pass. Even if they check in at the airport and get a c boarding pass a flight attendant can ask for 2 people to volunteer to move so that the kids can sit together.
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Zach K, I don't know where you are getting your fares from but I just looked at southwest.com and the fare from phx to vegas with 14 days in advance is STILL $59 each way. Maybe you were looking at us airways' website when you saw the 239 roundtrip fare.
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Correction on my last post: Phx to ORANGE COUNTY is only $59 each way. You just have to look at different dates and times...
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I, too, am a faithful Southwest passenger, although not enough of a frequent flyer to get "special status." Flying Southwest is a trade-off--you trade some convenience for efficiency and price. I believe that most frequent flyers are savvy enough to check in online and get a good boarding pass. Most people that fly have access to the internet. Families with small children can already board early. When we have travelled long distances with a group, we were able to switch around at the first stop and sit with our group. My motto is " if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
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To Gary Kelly, My wife is flying on Southwest from ABQ to Seattle to visit her sister for Thanksgiving. We appreciate all you and your team does to get us from point A to point B in a safe and comfortable manner. In order to help your passengers and your team, I would like to talk about the loading experience and propose a few modifications. First, there are elderly passengers who do not take advantage of your pre-boarding option. I think the flying experience of your passengers would be more positive if one or more of your people in the loading area would invite the people they think appropriate to pre-board. I think this would streamline the loading and enable the pre-boaders to load in a less stressful environment. This would also prevent passengers who have trouble climbing over other passengers to get to their seat. Second, many of the pre-boaders are families with children. My personal experience has demonstrated that there are families who are not eligible for pre-boarding but they use it anyway. I think your people could educate us, as passengers, to insure the pre-boaders are appropriate. Also, related to this issue, if you were to assign a seating area to those families with very young children (infants and toddlers for example), I think it would be a more positive flying experience for your passengers. We appreciate your hard work. Thank you for your thoughtful consideration. Regards, DJ
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For the people who are saying "just pay the extra fare": I priced the extra fare for my flight, and it was double the fare I paid expecting just the old system with the added numbers. There is no way Southwest can justify this. There are 6 bulkhead seats and 4 exit row seats with extra leg room, but up to 15 tickets are sold at the "business select" fares. This means that as many as 5 people may pay twice as much for no benefit. This is a fraud.
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The new SWA business plan to create a pay-more-or-go-to-the-back-of-the-line system of boarding has just erased my 20-year-old customer loyalty to the airline. I will now look only for the cheapest-and-most-direct flight that I can find when I travel. The only U.S. airline that was different isn't so different anymore.
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I have no problem with the new system. 6 flights since the change.. I actually enjoyed the boarding process...SWA need not worry, at least with SWA the plane gets you there on time... We will wave to those who choose to change airlines when our plane leaves the gate and you are still waiting to board your new found airline because you did not like the new system... You will all be back in time!
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Debi Ferguson writes..."I flew on Monday, Nov. 12th and was very upset with the sitting. As always I was on website as soon as possibly to get boarding pass. I was shocked to be B, I have never been B. I was traveling with my son and his 8 month old baby and he could not board until all 60 A had board, what airlines does that, and other family could not board until A had." My questions - did you sit together? Did you pay and outrageous price for your ticket? If you required extra time boarding, were you willing to wait until the other passengers deplaned before exiting the plane yourselves? The answers, I suspect are 1) YES, 2) NO and 3) NO. Kjarrett write "People who are complaining about AÃ
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The new boarding procedure - brilliant!! The new Business Select program - FANTASTICALLY BRILLIANT!!! I used to fly you ALL the time, but it just got to be too much of a hassle for boarding. I am now back and using your business Select program. It's great to be back - thanks southwest! BTW - sure wish you would get direct flights from Hobby to New York City back again - when you had the codeshare with ATA - I flew it almost everyweek for awhile. I heard ATA discontinued it 'cause they thought they were competing wiht Jet Blue - I assure you - they were not competing with Jet Blue. But - whatever the reason - please bring back a direct flight from Hobby to New york City!!! LUV ya!
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Kyla Ebbert is in this monthÃ