When companies are successful, they begin to become arrogant. My bet is that Southwest thinks that they're now monolithic enough that the loss of a few of us frequent flyers won't hurt them. The fanfare associated with the "new" Rapid Rewards program falls into the category of, "Telling someone to go to hell and making them feel happy they're on their way." Just the very nature of the announcement should make any experienced business person suspicious! I'm sure that I'm not the most frequent of frequent flyers but I'm A-Listed and have a Companion Pass so I fly Southwest enough that I would think they would be concerned with the loss of business like mine. They've already discounted the fact that they're going to lose a few frequent flyers and are willing to take the hit. Anything they say to the contrary is untrue. Who in the world were they listening to when they made these changes? Why would you take the most simple, attractive frequent flyer program in the industry and revamp it so that it has a complexity that rivals that of the bozos at the "hub and spoke" carriers? I've never heard an A-Listed person say that they've ever been proactively contacted by Southwest for their opinion on anything. I suspect that is because Southwest only gives lip service to caring about their most loyal customers.
Jeffery L Beck, EVP, Lumsden Corp.
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I am an A-List member and never fly on any airline except Southwest, even flying into airports that were out of my way and driving long distances into my final destination. For instance, I would fly into Birmingham when I had to do business in Georgia. The new Rapid Rewards program appears to be complicated and confusing. I just don't have the time to figure out whether this is going to benefit or hurt me. Mr. Kelly and Southwest, I will give you the bottom line on my feelings about this. I will try it for a while. If it stays the same or helps my status with Rapid Rewards, fine. If it hurts me, I'm leaving. It is as simple as that. Without the attractive, simple Rapid Rewards system, Southwest is just another airline with a "cattle call" for a boarding process. Southwest can run all the cool commercials they want. We'll see if Mr. Kelly can run his airline catering to fickle tourists that will sell Southwest down the river for a $10 difference in the fare. This isn't the same Southwest that I used to know. Jeff Beck
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