I fly Southwest a great deal. 80% or so of the flights out of my home airport of Nashville are SWA. I have always enjoyed the airline and appreciated the smiling faces and the ability to make a profit on your own two feet.
I was pleased with the news of the Letter / Number system to eliminate the "cattle call". This seems like a good evolutionary step.
However, I'm deeply troubled by the preferential seating for the "Business Select" fares, and frequent fliers. When its all said and done, this essentially means B&C for everyone else. In talking with many of my fellow fliers, I think the switch to the Letter/Number system would have been enough to incent a lot more business travelers who are often paying at or near full fare.
I know you don't really care because its an issue of who paid more, but most of your guaranteed "A's" will be flying single anyway, while families, couples, and others will be spread all over the plane because they all have C tickets.
Typical boarding of your competitors:
"We'll now take our Super Duper A+ World Class Platinum Passengers"...."We'll now take our Preferred Gold Glass Passengers"..."We'll now take our Silver Select Elite Passengers"....."Ok - the rest of you third-rate wastes-of-our-time get on, sit down, shut up and don't ask for anything".
If you get to close to the same thing, I'll fly with them. At least their planes are only half-full and you have plenty of room. Besides, maybe it will save me some taxes to bail them out.
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