Having posted the above -- let me just say that I do so only because I consider Southwest the best of the air carriers and it is "disappointing".
Yes, some other airlines do have specials to the same destination (or fly more convenient flights to IAD or DCA instead of to BWI from MHT for instance) but - overall - Southwest is still an exceptional value.
What I am disturbed about is loss in value of Southwests "loyalty" program.
To be fair, I have also noticed other programs (notibly hotel programs) also showing a higher use of points in order to get a "free" room.
I hope Southwest listens -- with a slowing economy and ridership and airline stock prices falling in response - this does not speak well for the future of airline programs.
It's easier to keep a customer than to try to regain a lost customer.
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I (too) was disappointed to see that the Standard Award travel has been devalued to the 2 for 1 "Freedom" Award. I understand the business in trying to make yourselves more competitive in the air market - especially given $100 oil - however it does not make the enhanced cost of this type of award travel any more palitable.
Nor - given this change - does my having to charge $ 38,400 on my Southwest Visa in order to get that type of award. I understood the 2-for-1 conversion on the ATA flights to Hawaii....but not this.
My card comes up for renewal in July 2008 and whether I will renew or not will depend on what Southwest does between now and then. Any further
"degredation" of awards will determine this.
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