Btw - please don't tell those of us with corporate backgrounds to "read" the new website to get the rules, especially since you know we have.
At least be big enough not to condescend to those of us who do (or studied) marketing and statistical analysis too. You didn't do your homework on the way the math will shake out. There's no getting around that fact. I used to write the same "feel good, don't worry be happy" propaganda for my corporation too. Even after my bosses conceded their new programs were flops.
This program is going to erode some of your base because you don't have any of the other amenities other airlines have to go with the new RR program.
Add airport lounges, partner with Platinum American Express, and add a true business class and I'll be right there with you - maybe..
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Okay - what am I missing. I'm a stockholder and you'd think I'd be the first person to celebrate a change that might bring in more business (given the stagnant nature of the stock for the last 13+ years).
But I'm not. I fly a lot and I can't find ANYONE who thinks this is new system is a good idea.
I'm not a "short" hop person and yes - although some people game the system most do not. I've been flying SW primarily even when the price was higher out of loyalty. It's the only airline I use to fly my daughters (now teens and in college).
But I just looked at an upcoming roundtrip I'm planning.
Business travelers will earn 8400 points per roundtrip. Leisure travelers will earn 1500 at the lowest price. To "buy" the flight with points at the wanna get away price - the leisure traveler will have to fly 10 times while the business traveler (whose ticket is more often paid by a corporation) will fly three times.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that the points accumulated by corporate travelers will be used to buy up the capacity at the lower price point subsequently choking off the companies core business.
I don't know any marketing course on earth that looks at elasticities of demand and suggests throwing core customers under the bus to chase a theoretical new business model.
I have enough stress in my life without "calculating points." Whoever told corporate "customers" were asking for this new feature is a fraud.
Very disappointed that you didn't "poll" the customers or your stockholders before making this bonehead move. On my recent flight on United I had an assigned seat and didn't have to worry about paying extra for early boarding. My platinum Amex paid for my bag fees and my airline lounge access.
So the "advantages" of not having an assigned seat and free bags just got smaller on Southwest for those of us who have other options.
(Btw - you still have the nicest flight crews and ticket staff on the planet with one exception. How about running the company the same way?)
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What I get is that it will now take longer for my college daughter to earn a flight. That to chase new customers, you threw the rest of us under the bus. We've flown SW almost exclusively for years. The only time we DON'T fly them is when they don't service the airport. I've flown then even when the flights are less than convenient than other airlines. I've flown them when the cost was more expensive. For goodness sakes, we even flew them as the airline of choice to Hawaii when you partnered with another airline.
And now - reading the ponzi scheme you created - business travelers can use their RR # on full cost flights their business pay for, and then redeem those points for lower cost tickets. So if you earn 26,000 points on a single round trip by flying Business select, you have enough points to fly two round trip economy tickets for free. Which then cuts the amount of those seats available for customers (like my college age daughter) who fly economy out of necessity.
I want the Amex points program back (I'm platinum) and I want more rewards for those of us who bought the stock and stuck with the airline in good times and bad.
Non-expiration doesn't help if you've stacked the deck in favor of business travelers. I know you have to appease the Air Tran group - but good grief. SW used to stand for fun and different. Now it's going to be easier to just shop for more convenient flights on other airlines.
Very VERY disappointed. The Southwest culture is pretty much DOA now.
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