I fly oversees on a regular basis, but always use SWA for flights in the US. I was not happy at all with the restriction on the number of rapid rewards seats. If you are concerned with not being able to sell the last few seats to business customers, simply allow every seat less the last few to be taken by rapid rewards flyers.
I am also not happy with the new boarding policy. It seems very un-egalitarian (un-SWA). Did business travelers really complain that much for you to change your boarding policy? SWA was the only airline that could actually get people in line to board the aircraft in a timely manner. If you are concerned with late arrivals, just shut the doors 10 minutes prior to departure and walk away (like RyanAir, except they walk away 15 minutes prior to departure).
SWA had the best rewards program by far, but is now slouching towards the industry. I still like SWA better than the others, but stop devaluing the rewards to your best customers.
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