About printing passes while on a trip:
You might consider that you can Check in and NOT print the pass when it is displayed. When you get to the airport, just go directly to the ticket area (or other area... some airports have kiosks where you can get boarding passes without going to the ticket area) and reprint the boarding pass. Its still just as valid, and it saves you the trouble and expense of finding a printer. You can also check in on your web-enabled PDA or cell phone. Try it out at mobile.southwest.com
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Wonderful to read the posts of those who understand the Southwest Culture and the business pressures behind this experiment. As a CP holder and a passenger that does care about my seat selection, I mostly like this idea. I have the following thoughts:
What of the "Boarding Pass" software and websites? While I understand that they are necessary at times with very frequent fliers (think of being in the air when your 24 hour window opens!) I generally frown on them. Perhaps they should be allowed to exist, but only able to access the system after the first 30 minutes of online check in have passed, allowing those sitting at the PC a fair shot at it. I have noticed recently that the online check in system becomes "unavailable" for up to 10 minutes just after the 24 hour window opens. I have to wonder if this isn't in part due to the afore mentioned boarding pass websites and/or software clogging the system.
I might suggest allowing CP holders the ability to check in an hour earlier than others. This would give your true core frequent customers a way to check in and be more sure of a good A-1 etc pass. You might also consider enhancing the system software to allow customers who are on a flight when their 24 hour window opens to check in some time before that.
I like the SAT system in principal. I especially like that families board AFTER the A group, if they don't hold an A pass. It seems more fair. I have often thought of creating a "rent a kid" airport kiosk business to help those with C passes board early as a group. Of course, I'm joking, but it is a point of frustration for many core travelers on WN.
Like many, if not most, of the frequent fliers I have read and spoken to, I prefer the open seating plan. Not just as a personal preference, but as a reality of WN and its success.
We all have choices when we fly. I applaud WN for understand it's foundation while still being open to improvement, but never at the expense of it's success!
LUV is in the AIR!
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