I am a Companion Pass holder with Southwest. Every move I've seen lately from this airline - Business Select, A-list, the rumors of Rapid Rewards 2.0 and now Early Bird - has to my mind devalued the brand and removed what distinguished this once proud company from the other airlines. I have never and will never purchase a BS fare or this new EB fee. Southwest used to service the routes I fly with the lowest fare without question, but this is no longer the case. I've seen my average seating position checking in at exactly 24 hours before the flights I regularly take plummet from ~A20 to ~B10. Now with Early Bird I expect to fall again to the mid- to late-Bs or worse. So I will be punished for refusing to pay this thinly disguised fee.
Southwest still garners my business while the Companion Pass is valid or while the existing Rapid Rewards structure is in existence because these factors compensate me sufficiently for those times that the SWA fare is higher, and my flight patterns will never allow me to obtain elite status on any other carrier. I fully expect that a serious devaluation of Rapid Rewards is on its way and when that occurs, what bruised and damaged loyalty I still retain towards this airline will be completely erased.
... View more