There's an old adage that has served the wise well over the years: If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
As a very frequent flyer of PSA in California in the 70s, one of their strongest points for passenger satisfaction was the open seating that allowed one to race through the airport and catch a flight. Their InstaTicket was a stroke of genious for the harried business passenger. I always had a stack of those in my briefcase to fill in and rip from the fanfolded stack.
Sadly, I watched as management too far removed from the founders started tinkering with what worked so well for PSA, e.g., diversifying their fleet away from the B727s and expanding into markets already saturated. And so PSA is no more.
Herbie took the PSA model and fine tuned it, ignoring the mistakes of the Johnny-come-latelies, creating undoubtedly the most successful -- and most influential -- airline ever to fly. That's why, as infrequently as I fly now (once or twice a year), I book on line with SWA. Maybe it's a nostalgia thing, PSA all over again, including the casual irreverence.
Perhaps as suggested the compromise is to have a first class section for those few who just have to have the royal treatment. Frankly, I have to believe that most of your customers prefer that you continue to be profitable and operate those great ontime schedules with the ability of the customer to show up at the gate credit card in hand to hop the LUV Bird.
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