Oh goody! I love trivia quizzes!
Oh no! This quiz is haaarrd!
Well, here go my ridiculous guesses:
2) 55 million
3) 4 minutes
5) Albuquerque, Chicago, Houston, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, and San Antonio (this is the only one I know with any certainty).
And here's to all the great SWA Reservations Agents. Their customer service ROCKS!!!
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Susan, this "Buisness" fare that you refer to is nothing new. This is the same "Refundable Anytime" fare, just under a new name. The only difference is the new option of "Business Select", which allows ANY traveller (business or otherwise, Rapid Reward customer or not) to pay a small upgrade fee to enjoy priority boarding (plus extra Rapid Reward credits and a complimentary drink). Business travellers, like anyone else, can still book under the "Wanna Get Away" fares at 14 day and 7 day advance, and in some markets 10 day and 5 day fares. So nothing has been lost here, Susan. In fact, there are more options avalable to the passenger, whether flying on business or not.
As for all this concern about family boarding, keep in mind that we all have a new alternative available: If a family with children under the age of four is travelling, and they do not wish to priority board after the A group, then they can ensure first boarding by upgrading their tickets to "Business Select". This is hardly any new "class" system that treats the business traveller any greater than the family. It is an option available to all of us.
Southwest is still offering the "freedom to fly', just with the freedom of more choices to benefit all of us.
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Myself, I think that these new changes to boarding and fares show that SWA is working towards creative new approaches to the changing times and rising costs of air travel. There are now a wider range of fare options, and the whole "Business Select" concept provides a brilliant alternative for those who really, really want to board first.
As for complaints about the new priority boarding for families, since these folks get to board following the A group, I think it's hugely unlikely that families will find themselves separated. And in my many years of flying Southwest, I have found passengers to be pretty accomodating and easy-going. I sincerely do not think that many would balk when asked to make some room so that your children can sit near you.
I know that we can sometimes be reluctant when it comes to change. But it seems to me that SWA is thinking outside of the box here (that ol' "coloring outside of the lines" is still being encouraged) and coming up with new approaches to saving ground time, and thus keeping fares as low as they can.
Way to go, Gary. I applaud you and all of the creative People of Southwest Airlines!
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