Nothing has changed, 3 days later. I still want my affordable business class, and I still want XM radio.
Oh, and it'd be nice to at least SEE the price of your tickets on sites like Kayak.
I'm not even going to ask for reserved seating since we all know how you somehow cannot make that work. But I'm going to miss that on AirTran too.
You people slobbering at the mouth about how great Southwest is have apparently never enjoyed those offerings of AirTran.
... View more
If I'd wanted to fly your airline out of BWI, I would have. I flew AirTran instead, because they have dual class, pre-assigned seating, and IFE. They were also a great deal easier to shop prices for since they allowed their airfares to be seen by aggregators like Kayak. Thanks so much for taking that all away from me. You've clearly already made up your mind and couldn't care less why AirTran's customers were flying them, since you've already announced your intention to remove those things that made AirTran unique. Thanks again, I don't know what I'd do without your obviously superior product being rammed down my throat.
... View more
Welp, 200 comments later, and we can summarize the pro-cattle-call-camp as follows:
1. I love being able to buy my ticket at the last minute and still get a good seat.
My counter argument: as a business traveller, I too buy my tickets at the last minute--and yet I almost always get a good seat anyway, just by asking when I check-in if I can sit in the exit row, or front bulkhead. Half the time, it's no problem. But I didn't have to print my boarding pass at midnight and stand in line for an hour.
2. I hate kids.
Really, that's what most of these "keep me away from the screaming children" (and the guy who wants "kid-free flights") are sayiing. Well here's a clue for you kid-haters: I PAID FOR THEIR SEATS, TOO. In fact, unlike you, who just paid for your own behind to be on the plane, I bought at least three, probably four tickets. I'd say that makes me MORE valuable to the airline than you, don't you?
In any case, I have never, ever been bothered by a child--but drunk adults talking at the top of their lungs and laughing at crude jokes across seventeen states seems to happen every third flight. How about we make THOSE people fly in the cargo hold, while I play with my kids?
3. I like the rock-n-roll, free-wheeling, slug-fest that is the cattle call.
Well, whatever floats your boat. I guess if the Greyhound experience is what puts the romance back into flying for you, good for you.
But the economic reality for SWA is this: they have the highest labor costs in the industry. Without their famous fuel hedges, they'd be losing money. Meanwhile the legacy carriers, fresh from Chapter 11, have lower seat-mile costs than SWA, but have fully developed networks that can get people from East Podunk to East Timore with one connection--something SWA will NEVER have (look at their route-map--they don't cover half the country!)
On the other flank, AirTran, Frontier, and jetBlue all offer the same smiling, joking in-flight staff as SWA, at the same low prices, but they also offer XM Radio, DirecTV--and assingned seating.
SWA isn't run by dummies stuck in the past. They know who they're battling and what they need to do to survive; when they see people flock to AIrTran to fly to Boston in a pre-assigned seat, instead of stand in line to fly to Providence between two fatsos, they know it's time to change up the game and consider new things.
Speaking of Boston, my next prediction is that Logan will soon be the next airpot to get some LUV, as part of that bid to stay competitive. No doubt you open-seaters will all come on here and rant about what a mistake that is because you enjoy that drive down from Manchester.
... View more
So, you all love open seating...great. Good for you. Let me tell you what I think of open seating: I live 20 minutes from BWI, an airport I love, yet I drive an hour to Dulles--an airport I loathe--to fly jetBlue instead. Not only do they offer assigned seating, they have on-board entertainment.
Crazy, you say? Well, I'm not flying 45 minutes to Albany. I'm flying trans-con. And I don't want to be crammed in the middle of two fat people for six hours, with nothing to do except stare at the in-flight magazine. And before you tell me that that's my own fault for not gaming the General Admission seating, I'll explain that I also have better things to do than stay up until midnight the night before to print my boarding pass, so I can stand in line for an hour in the "A" group.
Clearly SWA is a great airline for those flying short-haul (especially if you think flying to Long Island is a great way to get to Manhattan), or for those who think that the Greyhound-in-the-air experience is some lind of a lark. But for those of us who want a little comfort in our travel, and are trying to go someplace farther than Buffalo, there's plenty of quality LCC competition (jetBlue, AirTran) that offers the same low prices, but with a superior product--including assigned seating. So that's where I'll be.
That should leave plenty of room for you guys to wax poetically about how wonderful it is to be treated like schoolkids on a field trip.
... View more