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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Just a few comments, coming from a regular frequent Southwest flier.
1. The public hasn't been presented with all of the facts of the case. It is believed that on the Southwest flight Kyla was actually wearing a slightly modified version of the clothing she wore later on the Today show.
2. Good or bad press for a company is often positive. A business wants free advertising. The vast majority of customers flying Southwest or any airline will dress in a manner unlikely to provoke others to the point of comment. This incident of Southwest removing a passenger due to attire does not directly affect those people.
3. Of the previous comments on the blog from individuals who will no longer be choosing Southwest as their airline, I am actually grateful as a fellow passenger. If this sort of situation leads you to such an emotional response that sends you to Delta, then that simply means I have very little chance of sitting next to you on future flights. I'd much prefer to sit next to a woman in a short skirt than the type of person that over-reacts in such a way.
4. The US, as we know, is a culture of suing and legal recourse. Everyone is looking to make some money in the easiest way possible. Everyone is a victim. An individual is not accountable for their actions. This behavior is normal, although often over the top. Fortunately Kyla was able to raise enough publicity herself to become noticed by Playboy, no doubt achieving a life's dream. Should instead she be thanking Southwest for helping raise her profile...?
5. Kyla was quoted as being 'traumatized' by the Southwest event. To quote The American Heritage Dictionary:
"Trauma - An emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis."
I believe Kyla's myspace page and her Playboy shoot may provide adequate indication as to her personality/psychological state both before and after the case with Southwest.
I'd personally like to thank Southwest for the years of trouble free, and even pleasant flying I've had the fortune of undertaking. When I need to get to A to B, it does the job. The most unpleasant part of flying is typically the other inconsiderate and ignorant passengers. They exist on all airlines, but headphones usually sort that issue out.
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