All of these blog postings are pointless.
This was a business decision, not a decision made based off customer opinion. That is why 90% of folks absolutely hate it - which includes the business travelers that receive the additional "benefits" supplied by this new structure.
I believe that Southwest is going to also make the business decision of keeping the new policies, regardless of how much everyone violently opposes it. I believe that it's been made clear that Southwest has started a new era where the company's pocketbook has higher priority than it's customers. There's a clear difference between a company that maintains fiscal responsibility and a company that is simply becoming greedy.
Southwest has taken a sharp turn from the reputation they've gained by treating everyone the same -- whether it be a business traveler, vacation traveler or family traveler. This model has proven to work wonders, and the reputation that Southwest has developed from it definitely contributed towards making it the only airline in the US that is debt-free and extremely popular. Now all it takes to get priority over everyone else is slipping them a a few extra $20 dollar bills and they'll hook you up.
They have also effectively de-valued their Rapid Rewards program. Customer opinion said that folks wanted more capabilities with the Rapid Rewards programs -- such as more flexibility in scheduling their free flight and less blackout dates. Their new system certainly allows a person to do that, but at what cost? With the new system, Southwest has the capability to add more blackout dates to a standard Rapid Reward, while still being to able to say that it's "possible" to choose a better schedule -- you just need to fly more to get it and give them twice as much money.
Southwest, I am ashamed.
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