I think this assigned seating issue is just a smokescreen for a bigger issue that will be coming down the pipeline over the next months. That issue will be the inability of Rapid Rewards members to utilize their award tickets with the ease that they can use them now. When the new policy of 24 month expirations with NO BLACKOUTS came out, all of us were supposed to get real excited about this great deal.
What the fine print said was don't expect to get a guaranteed seat (even if one is available) since there will be a LIMITED number of RR award seats available on every flight. As those of us with "old" RR awards gradually use up those awards, I'm betting that we will find it increasingly difficult to find an available seat using a RR award. When that happens, SWA will be just like the other airlines frequent flyer programs.
So now we will lose our ability to use our RR award ,but they want to assign us a seat on a flight we won't be able to take. I agree with the majority of the bloggers above me: if you want to be more like the other failing airlines, keep proposing changes like the new RR award and the assigned seating.
Five years ago, I switched all my credit cards to a SW Visa card and started flying exlusively on SWA. I have now almost come full circle: looks like I'll be switching credit cards again and go back to my original frequent flyer program. At least I can fly to Denver and Kona again using frequent flyer miles.
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