No! No! No! to assigned seating.
I am a VERY frequent SW flier. I've just checked my Rapid Rewards Credit Summary and I earned 219.5 credits in the past twelve months. I luv SW and am a big fan of its easy, one-fits-all, great leveling, open seating.
Today I received an email asking me to fill out the Assigned Seating Poll. The Poll is basic and doesn't answer some bothersome questions.
For example, it asks if you woud like assigned seating if you could choose your seat at the time of ticket purchase. Well, does that mean that I can choose from ANY seat on the plane? Or, if I buy way out (and pay the low internet fare), will I have a 'select' group of seats from which to choose (i.e., middle seats in the rear)?
Will the front and aisle seats be 'saved' for the last-minute purchasers (who pay the highest fare)?
If this happens, are we on a 'slippery slope' towards the legend airlines model of the front cabin passengers enjoying cocktails and munchies while we 'steerage class' passengers walk through their gauntlet? I absolutely HATE that model; that's why I choose SW.
In the course of my flights on SW, I've sat next to lots of interesting people--SW executives, kids going to basketball games, soldiers returning from Iraq, owners of auto and truck dealerships, architects, CEOs, etc. This has really enriched my flying experience. I truly enjoy meeting all the different types of passengers the open seating model has afforded me. It is one of the GREAT things about open seating.
Look, guys, for me flying is just about getting from point A to point B, as quickly as possible with the least hassle, pomp and circumstance, and rigid procedures. It is not a religious experience; it's just a flight (a bus in the air, basically). Let's not make it complicated or elitist. Please do not become an American Airlines!!
Keep the Southwest Spirit...the FREEDOM to fly! (and sit where you want!)
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Please assure us that this eight year phase-out of the restrictions isn't just a ploy to give American additional time to find (fund?) politicians who will keep the Wright ammendment intact. My fear is that American will do like the sports jocks do...force the teams to to renegotiate their existing contracts midterm. Are there any 'penalties' written into the agreement if one of the parties (including the cities themselves) decides to bow out?
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