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A-list Boarding Makes No Sense on SWA

New Arrival

I fly SWA nearly 90% of the time for business travel and nearly 100% of the time for personal travel. I generally achieve Companion pass status annually. What is odd is that some of SWA's competitors reward their most loyal customers "Global Services"  with priority boarding before anyone else. The idea is a customer who has achieved the highest level of status is rewarded despite having an assigned seat. So wether this person boards first or last, their seat is still the same asigned seat he/she chose. Now, SWA allows those their most loyal customers who have achieved Companion pass status, highest status achievable with SWA,  with the opportunity to board with crying babies/ families after half of the plane has boarded with the A-group (assuming an A-group boarding pass wasn't assigned during check-in due to last minute changes as is usually the case with corporate travel). What truly makes this a conundrum is that on SWA boarding sequence matters significantly since their policy is open seating and the most loyal sometimes get to board after at least 60 other people have boarded the plane. With the other airline, the most loyal are rewarded with priority boarding before anyone else despite boarding sequence having no impact on the seat that the customer was assigned/chose?

 

Although I don't know this for sure, I would assume that a Companion pass status customer generally has a higher propensity to fork over the cash for a business select seat. I would assume a greater propensity for this scenario that a non-A-list customer to pay the money for business select. If my assumption is even partly true, then the number of Coamanion pass status customers who are not business select (either because all of that particular fare was sold out or travel was booked at the last minute) are few at best, why not let those customers board with business select? 

 

Any thoughts?

2 REPLIES 2
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Re: A-list Boarding Makes No Sense on SWA

Top Contributor

A-list preferred is probably the top status since that means the customer is flying the most number/cost value of flights.

 

There are many other non-ticketed methods to contribute towards companion pass - which I'm sure benefits Southwest as well, but let's assume that they make the most money from ticket revenue then I think A-list Preferred may be the top, A-list second, and Companion Pass third in terms of predicting how often someone flies or what they spend specifically on airline tickets.

 

I agree with your point though that why not allow a companion to board with the primary member? It ends up being largely academic - when boarding at the proper time I've never not sat with my companion, although I have also had the benefit of A-list position to get the first seat. Then when companion boarded later any one middle seat is as good as another.

 

Now we do family boarding with our new addition, so we're all "A-61" and it also works out fine.

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: A-list Boarding Makes No Sense on SWA

New Arrival

I totally agree with you I have been posting about the unfair treatment of there A-list and A-list preferred members for a while now but get no satisfaction from SWA they don’t care about us just the bottom line money that’s why I haven’t flown them in a long time I have taken Delta where I get upgraded to first class all the time or business class and I don’t really have a lot of points with them but still get treated as a person not just money!!! SWA needs to stop open seating and give seat numbers it would fix 80% of the complaints they get. And if I was you I would fly another airline that takes care of there frequent flyers!!!!!