Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

The Last Word?

Explorer A

Well, I asked you what you wanted and boy did you respond-more than 600 of you! We have concluded our initial test in San Diego, which showed some of the boarding methods to be a little faster and some a little slower than our current process. While we have not made a decision on our seating policy, I did want to thank all of you for your time in expressing your thoughts and suggestions. Your passion showed through in your comments, and they are a significant part of the ongoing evaluation process.

So while we're continuing our research on our boarding processes, it also appears that I have some great suggestions to review for my Halloween costume!

Thanks again for your support and business!

Aviator C
Hi Joe, Thanks for your questions and suggestions. The reason why the computer won't give you the cost of the segment fees before hand is, as you guess, the computer has to wait and add these in until it knows the itinerary. I can see both sides of your proposal, and I will share your comment with our Marketing folks. Your second idea also makes a lot of sense, but I know that we have a limited amount of space on the Ticketless Receipts. The receipts are formatted to fit most e-mail programs, so for some folks, it may look like a lot of wasted space and for others, the page is full of information. Also the receipts printed at the airport have limited space. Nevertheless, I will share this idea too. It would be a great way to get awareness "out there" about the true cost of air travel. Brian
Explorer C
I just wanted to add my 2 cents to the reserved seating question. I had never flown Southwest until I moved to Nashville in March 2005. Since then I go out of my way to fly on Southwest. I travel between Nashville and Philadelphia almost every week and I have the choice of reserved seats on USAir or "you pick 'em" on Southwest and I'll take Southwest every time. Because everyone (almost) understands the rules the whole atmosphere is more friendly and relaxed and i far more efficient. Please don't change! Don't fix what ain't broke
Explorer C
I love, love, love the open seating policy at SW. I fly every week. It is a game to print an "A" boarding pass, no matter where I am 24 hours before the flight. I've had hotels I'm not staying at do it for me (they were more than willing), I've had resturants do it, you do not need to actually print the thing to get an "A", just check in on-line. I've called my Mom in AZ to check in for me. The ideas are endless. And it is even more fun if I get a #1 on the bottom! That means I was first! Getting to choose where you sit is a hoot. Avoid the kicking kids! Avoid the sneezers and coughers! Find the nice guys (although as a single woman with some years on her, this has not been too successful). And even 44 people ahead of you means yiou still have great choices in seating. You certainly will not be stuck right next to the rear restroom! Further, I use my free tickets all the time and have never had to miss anything due to unavailability. I even have given flights to sisters and friends, no problem! Keep up the great work. I love SW!!
Frequent Flyer B
Diane, You're quite correct -- there's nothing like the "thrill of the chase". In the "old days" (I've got a few years on me, too), I can recall two times when I showed up at the gate in time to get that special prize: the plastic boarding pass with the number ONE on it! The first time it happened, I felt so very conflicted. I really needed to go on that trip, but leaving meant giving up my treasure! I wanted to stay there and just savor holding it in my hand, but alas, the time came and I relinquished it to the nice Employee who had to pry it out of my unyielding grip. He was stronger than me. Here's a suggestion: avoid the driving around to places with Internet connection and get yourself a BlackBerry. I can check in anywhere at 23:59 hours before the flight and I save all that gas! Kim :-) P. S. You're welcome to sit next to me anytime you'd like -- I'm nice!
Explorer C
I sure would like to see our service men and women get in line for priority seating. i witnessed many of them leaving families behind recently to go to their duty stations to leave for iraq for a year and were in the "c" line. what a shame!! wouldn't it be nice to show support to those that will be risking their lives?
Explorer C
Gary Kelly - CEO Dear Mr. Kelly, I read an article today in the AZ Republic and it addressed the issue of looking for different ways to creat new income streams. I had an idea about a year ago and did not know how to get it to you, so I hope this works. You have the best rewards system bar none. But, the members of the other guys can become elite members and therefore skip the long lines at TSA and go to the front. I think you can sell a SWA Elite Card for $100 per year and tens of thousands would buy it, including me and my wife. Just think, I could flash a SWA card and go to the front of the line. What a deal! A loyal member, Emmett and Elaine Cunningham Phoenix, AZ
Explorer C
Keep the open seating! I travel quite often on SWA and have no problems with the open seating. In my experiences on SWA the open seating policy does seem to help make the aircraft turn around faster. I have seen two flights arrive at the same time, a SWA flight and some other airline and pull into adjacent gates. The SWA flight boarded and departed while the other airline was still sitting at the gate boarding passengers. I have heard in the airline business if the plane is not in the air it is not making money! Keep up the good work SWA!!
Explorer C
All I wanted to say is that SWA rocks. I fly a lot back and forth from the west coast to the east coast, as I live 3000 miles away from my children, and I also fly for work, I HATE the other airlines and always try to be able to take a SWA flight. Your folks that work for this wonderful airline are the nicest in the industry. When I lived on the east coast and my children were younger, I will NEVER forget how awesome your people treated them when they had to fly alone, and neither will they, they too are now avid in thoughts that they dont want to fly anything else. Not only do you make it affordable, but you make it fun. Thanks for all your great work.
Explorer C
I do not mind the open seating and am all for security at airports but I do think something needs to be done about the refusal to print or SECURE an A boarding pass for people who are "flagged" by TSA. Yes, I have mailed in the forms to try to remedy this. My older son (11) was able to get his A boarding pass on line after the form was sent in. My father was able to for awhile but is now "flagged" again. And my 7 year old is flagged on every airline he has every flown and let me tell you, he is getting quite a complex about it. I book each person separately (hastle) so at least most will get A. My suggestion: Do not penalize people for having a name on the TSA security list. Assign them the A pass and let them pick it up at the airport once ID has been established. Or let them print a pass that in bold letters says "SECURITY CHECK REQUIRED" With all that said, Our family loves the airline and think this is a minor adjustment that could easily be put in to place.
Explorer C
I would like to see Southwest evaluate the qualifications for preboarding. I have traveled Southwest into many different cities. The worst city for preboarding, is Disney, I mean Orlando. There are so many preboards, sometimes it looks as though they should preboard those who are not preboarding. During announcements, preboarding is offered for medical reasons, children 5-11 traveling by themselves and parents with children 4 and under. The parents with children 4 and under, as you all know is very common for Disney, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, Cruises and all the other tourist attractions nearby. I would imagine with the increased use of the internet for booking and boarding pass check-in, these families should still be able to obtain an A or B boarding pass. Maybe the preboard for parents should be changed to parents traveling with a child 2 years or under, traveling as either a lap child or a seat purchased for the carseat (under 2 years old). I have heard many complaints about the preboarding in the gate area about the number of people that Southwest preboards. Thanks for reading...and I love Southwest. PS-BTW, for those who would say that I am jealous that I can't preboard, I have 3 children 8, 5 and 3. I do travel with them, and if I can get an A or B boarding pass, I have no need to preboard.
Explorer C
I have just recently taken my last SWA flight. I am a frequent business traveler and the thought of standing in a line like a herd of catle to obtain a seat is ridiculous. Flying is stressful enough, and the added burden of jockeying for a seat doesn't help. Get rid of open seating! You're losing business because of it. Also, imagine my surprise when I was boarding a flight to Chicago with a man who was going to Orlando. The stop in Orlando was never mentioned. On a return trip from Las Vegas the stop in Abuquerque was a surprise. Regarding the pre-boarding section. I thought this was provided for the families with small childen, or a handicapped person. Shame of the gate attendant who allowed a man who was healthy enough to drag two large suitcases stacked on top of each other on a separate wheel attachment to pre-board. After everyone was seated, he had to jump up to go to the jetway to retrieve his wheel carrier. How much time did this save!
Explorer C
The only thing I hate about SW is the open seating - ifyou are on vacation without a laptop you are punished by getting into section C seating -ahhhhhh - even though you may have purchased your ticket months before - not good:(
Explorer C
I love my typical Southwest flights. I fly enough each year to usually be a companion person so I feel qualified to speak on open seating. The typical assigned seating usually places the person who flies (as I do) at the last minute at a disadvantage. How many times have I flown on DL or US and had to get a middle seat or on NW pay extra over and above their already high prices for an aisle seat. I think that the open seating plan is one of the big benifits of flying Southwest. Even if I don't have my laptop there are hotels and business conections for the 24hr boarding pass. Don't ever change to assigned seating. Do what you do the best. Keep providing cheap reliable air transportation for everyone. Peace Mark O
Adventurer C
Uh-Oh - From today's Baltimore Sun: "For 30 years, the primary feedback we got from our customers is that they preferred assigned seating, but we wanted to do a lot of careful research first. What we're looking at is still comparing our options. "You'll see some changes soon," Gary Kelly said, without elaborating.
Explorer C
I fly Southwest at least 4-5 times a year. I love the convenience and accessability of ISP. Going to JFK or LAG is almost always a nightmare. However, I must say that the open seating policy is getting tiresome. The jockeying for position and getting on line early is no fun at all. On my most recent flight (from Orlando to ISP) I had to suffer two people getting into a shouting argument on where the A line was and where it wasn't, and who was cutting ahead of who. Ridiculous! And no one from Southwest ever makes an attempt to clarify or control in any way the often haphazard way in which the lines form! At ISP, I could arrive no more than 45 minutes before any flight if it weren't for open seating. Given the always high number of pre-boarders, I just don't want to limit my seating choices by getting on the plane after 60 people or more have already boarded. As a result, my wife and I always get there at least 1 1/2 hours before a flight, and we hate sitting, or worse yet, standing on line to make sure that getting an "A" was worth it. Earlier this year I used JetBlue for a direct flight to San Diego. Going to JFK was, as usual, someting of a hassle. OTOH, I had booked early, and KNEW that we had seats, both ways, in the emergency exit row. We loved not having to worry about getting there super early, making sure we had an "A", waiting on line, etc. Finally, I'll add that the last number of times I flew Southwest, all I heard in the terminals was grumbling about the open seating. That seems counter to much of what has been posted here, but that's what my experience has been.
Explorer C
I just returned from Dallas on a Southwest flight (well, series of them actually) and I was again reminded just how special this airline and it's people are. Having flown literally millions of miles in my lifetime, it is always refreshing to be on a Southwest flight. I am an executive with Starwood Hotels and travel a great deal. Whenever possible, I travel on Southwest. There are several reasons why, but at the end of the "why" chain is always the fact that because your team so clearly enjoy what they do, I enjoy it as well. I also like watching people who do their jobs so consistently well - which the travel industry is so sorely lacking. I have often been amazed at how effectively and simply you are able to execute against a very complex schedule and service process. More impressive is how no other company in your space has been able to do so. Like many, I urge you to keep your open seating policy. As a business traveler, it is critical to me. This may seem somewhat counter intuitive, but when forced to change schedules (which is often), if I am traveling on any other airline, I am guaranteed a center seat, and a Y fare for the pleasure. With Southwest, I am assured of a fair and simple process of changing schedules, and a better than even chance of a great seat. Changing this boarding process will change much about the way your airline works and I think you vastly underestimate the experience it generates. People actually chat in line, share stories, etc. The boarding process is clearly much faster, and because there is no first class it is a very democratic and "equalizing" process. On other airlines, you are either a "have" or a "have not", and they go out of their way to point that out to you at each possible opportunity. At Southwest, everyone is part of the process, and contributes. I know that you will do what you must do, but please don't kill the goose that laid your golden egg. One more miserable aluminum tube filled with miserable passengers and an even more miserable crew is not what the world of travel needs. Best of luck to you and to your amazing team.
Aviator C
Hi folks, Since Gary has a current post,, with our decision to keep open seating, we are going to close the comments on this post. Brian
Explorer C
Im about to experience my 1st SW flight. I won 2 rd trip tickets--lucky me???Have been informed I cannot print out an inten. on "No revenue" tickets. What else will I find I cannot do with these "freebies"??
Explorer C
I don't know why your company would have a tv show about your airline.. It is hallarious... All it does is show how bad and unperfessional your airline is... I don't think I've seen a show that had one happy custumer... The staff just comes off as rude and it look like they think their better then the custumers.. After watching your show I would never fly with your company... I can't believe how they treat some of the passangers and with out them you wouldn't have a company.. What a joke.. I would be embarrest to even air that on tv... It's the worst airline I have ever seen and I travel very frequently... You should be greatful anyone even travels with you..