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Getting Down to Business

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As you can tell from our announcement today, we have a lot of exciting news for our business travelers and our frequent Rapid Rewards Members, and these enhancements go into effect tomorrow, hand-in-hand with the systemwide rollout of our new streamlined boarding procedures.  Much of my time and focus (and that of the entire Marketing Team) over the past year or so has been devoted to these changes, and I see them as reconfirming the vision of our Founders, Herb Kelleher and Rollin King, who envisioned an airline that would allow business travelers to park the car and travel by air.  Herb and Rollin intuitively knew that business travelers want safe, affordable, frequent, and friendly flights that provide outstanding value for their money, and today's announcement is dedicated to that goal. Road Warriors have special travel needs; their plans usually change at the last minute; and because their time is so important, they often arrive at the airport just before boarding begins.  If ever there was an airline that recognized the benefits of productivity, it is Southwest, and while great fares are extremely important for business travelers--and their companies--making the most of their time is critical.  The exciting changes that we have announced today will help these Customers meet both their productivity and budget goals.  We have a great interactive page at southwest.com, and it will provide you specific details. However, I do want to touch on the more significant aspects of these changes.  Our new Business Select Fare category ensures that, for a few bucks over our Business Fare, our Business Select Customers will be among the first to board and will also receive extra Rapid Rewards credit for their travels and a free cocktail (or beer or wine).   Along with this new fare category, our current unrestricted walkup fare is being renamed our Business Fare, and it gives business travelers total flexibility in their travel plans.  And, we haven't forgotten our leisure travelers with our Wanna Get Away Fares that offer our world famous discounted leisure fares.  (DING! fares remain generally our lowest fares and can only be accessed through the DING! "widget," which is downloaded directly to your desktop.  To sign up for DING!, click here.) Along with the changes in our fare platform, you will see enhancements at southwest.com as we have simplified our initial fare displays to help you find the fare that best suits your travel needs.  The Wanna Get Away fare section will always show the lowest available fare (again, except for DING! fares) for your selected travel date.  Searching for lower fares on other travel dates is also easier now with the newly improved "Southwest Shortcut." Aside from new fare product and web display, we have another exciting enhancement for our most frequent travelers, the Customers we call our A-Listers.  To be a part of this A-List, you don't have to walk a red carpet, hire a publicist, or hide from the paparazzi; you just need to complete 32 one-way flights (16 roundtrips) in a 12-month period.  Once you reach this milestone, you move to the A-List, and we will check you in automatically for your flights and hold your boarding pass(es) for you.  All you (or your publicist) have to do is print out your preassigned boarding pass and be at the gate at least 20 minutes before departure.  We'll do the work for you. Another exciting change is the availability to redeem two Standard Awards in our Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program for an unrestricted Freedom Award. We listened to our frequent travelers who wanted "last seat availability" on our flights, and we're introducing this new program today. With the exception of a few select blackout dates, Southwest is making it possible again to redeem frequent flyer Awards for unrestricted travel. Today is exciting because these new enhancements give us the ability to differentiate our product to meet the differing needs of our Customers without having to change our decades-long dedication to low fares and great Customer Service. I am hoping that you will be just as excited as we are about these enhancements to our product because we really want to be your airline of choice for both your business and personal travel needs.
293 Comments
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RB, I certainly was not dismissing Emily and my post never indicated that. If you look back you'll see I said I understood Emily's frustrations. I was simply pointing out to Emily that the boarding process is, indeed, VERY family friendly (speaking from LOTS of experience) and that there were procedures in place that answered her concerns, which were later confirmed by the blogmaster. I'm the first one on the plane to jump to the aid of moms traveling with children. They deserve my attention on the plane and they get it. I'm the first to admit that our passengers, business and leisure alike, are the reason we are here. All I can say, and I have said it before, try it before you dismiss it. I love my job and will certainly continue to do all I can on the plane (and not on this blog anymore) to ease the minds of those who choose to settle in on our planes for some good old Southwest LUV! Give it a shot! I know you'll be pleasantly surprised!
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Emily, last comment I swear! haha! Even if you board in the Family boarding, there MAY be 60 people in front of you in the "A" group, which leaves another 77 seats onboard, with lots of windows left over for your carseat. Even on a through flight, with continuing passengers still onboard, families take priority when it comes to a carseat being next to the window, per FAA rules. I have never had to move anyone just to get a carseat next to the window, but if needbe, that's what has to be done. And as for the "corporate" passengers with priority tickets ahead of you, you're talking maybe 15 people at the most....leaving another 122 seats onboard. No reason to worry. Ease your mind that SWA would NEVER leave you in a lurch onboard and would make sure you AND your family were accomodated. I think you're jumping to conclusions and rushing to judgment about something you haven't even experienced yet. Give it a shot! Happy Flying! Oh and P.S., Just in case, to further ease your mind, I have NEVER had a problem getting a volunteer to change seats so that your family can sit together! People would much rather move than babysit, trust me. Haha!
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Well, I am going back to American. Clearly, my use of the Chase Credit Card makes me a second class citizen. I have earned a lot of free tickets and 2 years of companion passes, but I am not "good" enough to have an "A" pass. You guys are giving mixed messages, I always appreciated Southwest for their attempts to be democratic. Please tell us what you are attempting to encourage. If I earn enough free passes with my credit card, I cannot earn enough in the way of purchased tickets - A passes. Just be clear as to what you want. I have been loyal to Southwest, but no more.
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I am confused by your changes to my rapid rewards program and as I fly short hops frequently, it becomes much less supportive of my needs. I am appalled at the increase in your fare structure. Before, there were more categories, but they were graduated and one could make choices combining available fares and flights. Often if the cheapest internet fare wasn't available, a fun fare would only be $10 more. Now, I will need to shop competively instead of just booking Southwest for my travel needs. I am disappointed in you. Liz
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Liz Wolf Spada They are the same fare. We just dont see the red anavaible. There also might not be a sale. I booked my short hop flight from kansas city to chicago. I paid 182. back in december now it is 18 dollars less. Trust me the fares have not risen.
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OK, I've been reading these comments for several days and just have to put in a few of my own. I'm an FA. I work A LOT. I also work in all three positions, meaning I'm in the front, middle and back so I deal with everybody. Regarding family boarding... I guess I could go either way on the policy but it seems to me that it is faster then before. I can't say that I've heard many complaints about it, honestly. Also, before, and after, this policy I have ALWAYS offered to help families with boarding. Our pilots often help too. If I see a parent struggling with too many items, or a rambunctious child, or more than one child, I ESPECIALLY offer my assistance. Just yesterday I held an infant while her father put in the car seat. One thing that hasn't changed... the stressed-out parent, they were stressed out before and they're stressed out now. I don't think the boarding process will really help that. I, as an employ can only do my best to help alleviate that stress as much as possible by offering help when needed. And to Emily, you don't HAVE to stand in line with the new boarding process. You can still chase your child while waiting for your group to be called. And for the other changes... I think people really need to give these things a chance. I worked several commuter (& vacation) flights over the last two days and the people I talked to didn't have any complaints. I had one customer complain about the new process, "Go back to the old way, people can't count!" My response, it's new, people will figure things out as they get used to it. Change is tough, but it's inevitable. I'm sure that if things are really the disaster that many of you are predicting you'll see more change... But I don't think doomsday is here just yet.
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Chad, I have flown four times now with your new "we-hate-families" policy and will be flying again on Friday. You aren't paying any attention to anything any of us mothers are saying. By letting us on early and ahead of the crowd WE GET OUT OF THE WAY. By letting 60+ people on ahead of us, we are IN THE WAY. I have seen it and I was in it. With Southwest's new We-Hate-Families policy I can't slide into a seat in the first few rows. I have to head to the back of the plane, requiring assistance I never needed before. I need the flight attendant's assistance, I need other passengers to move, I need to beg pardon to dozens of people who get bumped and jostled by me. I am now in the way. Before I was not a nuisance, but since SOUTHWEST NOW HATES FAMILIES, I am have to apologize my entire way through the boarding process. Think about brand experience. Think about all that "luv" that IS GONE. But why do I bother talking here? You aren't listening.
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Dear "b p heiss" who has made me feel like a terrible parent... I know that wasn't your meaning. But I get do a seat for my daughter nearly every time she flew as a lap child and I never relinquish my car seat until the gate. And sometimes I insist that they let me on the plane with it and only then do I give it up if the flight is absolutely full. I have flown with her on I think 36 legs and I have only not had a seat three times. Each of those times I had a second seat belt that attached her to my seat belt. They sell them at Babies R Us. They aren't great, bit they are better than nothing. I couldn't afford to travel if I had to pay full fare for my daughter and she has a wonderful relationship with her grandparents and aunts and cousins because I have been able to take her with me. Southwest made is very easy for me to bring her and the car seat. The general seating policy made it easy to make Southwest part of my family's bonding. I hear you, however, about the potential for accident. it was too late for me to buy her a seat on this coming flight but I will in the future. She is almost two anyway. But your warning is a good one. most of us haven't ever seen a child get hurt, much less killed. Your experience is rattling and thank you for sharing. It still doesn't change the fact that with or without a seat for my daughter I have to wrangle all the gear much further down the plane than before.
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i am just curious why are all of these families taking strollers on board a plane? i dont think they allow them do they? and julie phelps, why would you "get rude" seems like a dumb kind of thing to say huh? people need to take a chill pill. it's not your airline! you have not tried it. and if your kids can't fly together with both mommy and daddy? what happens when that lap kid who flies free now, is not allowed...who will be riding alone then? one of your children will not be allowed to ride by mommy and daddy both. so what wil you do then? perhaps get rid of all the junk you carry online. check your baggage. and the carseat? well, if safety was that important, you would have two paid seats with two car seats....instead, you are using that as an excuse to complain about something you have not even attempted yet. you need to get educated on things before you jump to conclusions and run your mouth. i happen to love flying on swa. what a great airline! excellent customer service, excellent SAFETY record and ontime...hmmm. what can i complain about...let me see, oh, they dont serve me the kind of peanuts i want all year long...let me lay down in the floor and kick and scream like a 2 year old child....let me have a tantrum! give me a break!
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whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa whaaaaaaaaaaa. i don't fly for free! i don't get an "a" for my free pass for my girlfriend. whaaaaa whaaaaa!!!!!!! i think swa should just give numerical orders...forget the "a" card. everyoen is hung up on that lol! and it's funny
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I don't understand the point of having people line up by number when the rule is not even enforced. My recent flights displayed this when higher number A's cut in front of me and the gate agent didn't even care when I mentioned it to her. What happens if I have a Business Select fare (which I do on Thanksgiving weekend) and a higher-A cuts in front of me? Do I get my money back from the upgrade when the gate agent allows that to happen as well? The problem is that enforcement of the new policies are very inconsistent...leading to even more line cutters than the original system.
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Wow, this has looked like a contest in negativity so far... BUT... about 200 negative comments out of 96,300,000 passengers can't mean that *everyone* is unhappy. I've flown four trips on the new system so far, and it works. The families who didn't check in online did not look distraught or rushed, and the rest of us actually got to enjoy the airport services instead of sitting on the floor. I think SWA is looking to lose the revenue of one roundtrip from each person in the the "I'm never flying Southwest again" crowd, one trip on the legacy carriers and they'll quickly realize what they've given up. When I walk by on my way to charge my cell phone at the gate before I board, I'll wave hello while you wait for your delayed flight. The economics of air travel have changed greatly in recent years, and changes must be made to allow SWA to continue to offer the low fares that we all enjoy today. I'm sure people are wondering, so... Yes, I am on the "A-List." I board the plane when I'm ready, sometimes with A, sometimes with B, sometimes C.. just depends on when I want to get up. Once we're onboard, no matter if we paid $83 on a DING fare or $359 on business select, we still get the same great service!
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Kudos on the new business concept, I think it is a step in the right direction for those of us who a) travel for business b) don't have all day to spend at the airport waiting in line and c) actually have someplace to go in a hurry when the plane lands. I for one will be happy to pay extra in order to get on and off the plane quicker and more efficiently. There has been quite a bit of conversation here in regard to families and those travelling with small children. I for one would suggest that you preboard them prior to the business select and have them go all the way to the back of the plane. That way they will be able to get the kids situated without having other passengers trying to come down the aisle. I believe this was tried at one point in the past and was abandoned due to complaints about having to go to the rear. The way I look at it is that if your major concern is keeping the family together you will not mind being at the back. If you don't want to preboard that you can get in line and fight it out with everyone else. Besides, at least at the back you are close to the restroom! I think most business travellers would be more than fine with the usual preboarders going first knowing that they will be at the back of the aircraft. I for one would be happy to carry your carseat back for you . . .knowing that there are rows and rows of seats between me and the your screaming and kicking kids! 🙂
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As a senior citizen with a husband who needs to board early due to medical conditions, may I add to the concern about famiies boarding after A group? He needs to be on an aisle seat due to a circulatory problem and another medical problem. He needs to get up several times during the flight due to those conditions. (Yes, he is healthy enough to fly and to travel in general, but he does need accommodations to travel in a healthly and safe manner.) He bruises easily, and I am now worried to pieces about him being jostled and bumped into as families load. We may be seniors, but we remember traveling with children. You are being so unfair to families and the other passengers by making families board after the A list. Why don't you take ten of your corporate staff, have each of them bring a child under one and a toddler along, carry the necessary items for those children to fly safely and to be occupied during a two to four hour flight. THEN tell us how deoightful your new boarding procedure is. There is evidently a lack of oxygen in the corporate headquarters preventing your brains' logistical systems from operating at full capacity. RECONSIDER THIS NEW FAMILY BOARDING PROCEDURE.
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Southwest really needs to improve the speed with which credits post from flight activity, this new A-List thing makes it more imperative. I had 31 credits in the previous 12 months when you announced this. So I flew my 32nd paid segment on Sunday, and I have flights coming up on Friday and Saturday, so I should be A-List for those flights. Well, considering my credit for Sunday's flight didn't post until Wednesday morning but my A-List counter doesn't update at the same time, I'm not holding out much hope of getting A-List for Friday's flight, hopefully it will come through for Saturday's flight at least. On a related note, I think you need to do something for A-List Companion Pass holders, my Companion will be flying with me on Saturday, who knows how far back she'll be in the line. We're just going to hold seats for our Companion anyway, why not make it easier on us.
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Dear Brian, Many of us have posted the request that families preboard and sit behind a certain row in order to satisfy parents and business people. Is anyone in management even considering this or are our voices simply wasted? It has been weeks since the initial announcement of the seating changes. A note of thanks for solving the boarding pass issue for for parents with lap children. PLEASE RESPOND, EVEN IF THE ANSWER IS NO. Again, I request that you email a survey to your most frequent fliers in order to see that they truly want this change also. This time keep the survey direct, not would you be more likely, less likely, or somewhat likely, that is nonsense. Thanks
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Please don't judge us before you have tried us! As far as family boarding goes, I want parents with children to know that we will do whatever it takes to get you seated next to your children. Having a child under 4 yrs old allows you to board in family boarding just after the A group, gaurenteeing you seats together. Yet those families who have a 5-8? old should equally comfortable, knowing we will do anything to get you seats together, atleast for 1 adult and 1 child. Seating a child next to an unknown adult would leave us liable in certain situations, so rest assured we will do anything to get families with small children seated next to on another!!!! As for the "Business Select" and "A-List" passengers, I will say that I don't like the picture it paints, leaving ordinary people from getting to board first according to how they checked in, but with fuel prices being where they are, we had to come up with ways to increase revenue. The 1st 15 boarding passes are reserved for Business Select passengers. But there may be only 2 or 3 passengers that have bought the fare. If you're an A-list member, don't be angry because you got a A-16 boarding pass. I recently had a frequent flier complain because when he checked, he got A-16 boarding position. There was only 1 Business Select Customer which meant that after preboarding, 1 passenger boarded before he did, since no one else had purchased the Select fare. I would hope that he changed his opinion of us once on-board, getting the seat of his choice: and if he didn't--then I have nothing else to say except "if you think you're better than everyone else, you should (and I prefer you to) to fly another airline! What travelers don't understand is that Southwest only flies 737 aircraft. All but a few have 137 seats on them (Our 500 -series aircrafts seats 122). On the majority of our our aircraftts there are 3 seats on each side and 22-24 rows which means that atleast the minimum of 88 people will have the choice to sit in an aisle or window seat. Yeah, it may not be towards the front of the plane, but you will be comfortably accommodated! With the exception of Business Select and A-list members, you are checked in and reserved a boarind position once the boarding pass is printed. WE LOVE OUR AIRLINE, and we hope you do too! Give us a try, we won't disappoint you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Holding a seat is allowed and encouraged as long as somebody else does not push for the seat you are holding. Customers who are disabled are still allowed preboarding but for many folks preboarding for certain seats became an issue that never should have never be allowed. Log on and get an A and step in line and have your turn. Everybody cannot be 1st, perhaps that is why they call it AIRLINE you have to stand in LINE to get in the AIR.
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The new boarding procedure worked very well last week, first day in Philly and only the second or third day in Columbus. I like not having to stand in line, and I like the fact that if you check in earlier you get to board earlier. It worked well, even though some people still thought they had to stand in line and didnÃ
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The SCHISM of SWA. Well Southwest, apparently you are still keeping up the propaganda campaign going strong with your employees based on the recent posts. Have you seen one passenger that has a family make a positive comment in all of these messages? But your propagandists still keep saying everything is going well on the plane. These people have flown under your new policy and are speaking! Are you listening!????? Even if boarding is going quicker, it's not pleasing these families and making the have/have not syndrome slowly crawling into the minds of SWA passengers. These single moms don't have $359 to blow for a one-way or catch a drink, but hey that doesn't matter, right!? And to answer the comments about the movie theater and restaurants. You don't pay extra to sit in a certain row in a theater or restaurant (the way southwest used to be). And if you got there early, you can get a good seat (the way southwest used to be). Do you get the pattern here!? And you don't have to split up families or beg the waitresses (like it's now with Southwest, spcly on connecting flights) to sit together. Do you think any restaurant/theatre would survive under this policy. Nope! And to say that only one flight on another carrier will make these families come back! Haha!! At least every other airline allows pre-boarding for those families. How many relationships that break up get back together again? (it's certainly is a small number). Do you really think Southwest will survive under this policy? You know in your hearts the right answer. Please get real with your hearts. Some change is good and some change is bad. This change is BAD! Now it's up to SWA to fix it soon... Tom
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Carroll, that was funny! air "line" lol hehehehehe! we are hoping to do away with all that "line" but i will think of you next time i'm waiting in line! 🙂
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Tom you took my point wrong, check in is available on line and you will be an A, chances are you will be with your family than not. I have had to split up at the theatre when it was a big opening and plenty of folks were there ahead of me and my family survived. As for the restaurant it applied to people insisting on being served 1st not on where they are seated. We have proven over the years we are very family friendly and are proud of it. Southwest is the 1st airline I flew back in the 70's and it is the only airline I would work for.
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GET A LIFE FOLKS.....SOUTHWEST WILL CONTINUE TO FLOURISH AND SURVIVE , WITH OR WITHOUT THESE "NASTY" COMMENTS.......THERE HAS BEEN EMAILS FROM PARENTS WITH KIDS WHO SAID IT WORKS JUST FINE, DON'T KID YOURSELF.........YOU SEE MANY NEGATIVES AND I APPLAUD SWA FOR LEAVING THEM ON THE BLOG, WHICH SHOWS CHARACTER....SOMETHING MANY OF YOU HAVE FAILED TO ACQUIRE.....ITS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD PEOPLE..........THEY ARE BEING UPRIGHT AND FORTHCOMING IN LEAVING THESE NEGATIVE COMMENTS ON THE BLOG, SO "YOU" WILL KNOW THAT THEY HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR.....I JUST DON'T KNOW TOO MANY COMPANIES (IF ANY )THAT WOULD LEAVE COMMENTS SLAPPING THEM IN THE FACE AS MUCH AS SOUTHWEST HAS.....THEY MADE THEIR DECISION AND IS STICKING TO IT AND I BACK THEM UP.........I DON'T LIKE EVERTHING MYSELF, AND I HAVE TWO LITTLE ONES AND WE TRAVEL LOTS AND LOTS, BUT, THIS IS A CHANGE I HAVE TO ADHERE TO ALSO. AM I DISAPPOINTED? SURE I AM...AM I GOING TO SHOW HOW HATEFUL AND NASTY I "COULD" BE BY WRITING SUCH NASTY COMMENTS? NO WAY.......YOU HAVE TO GIVE THIS SYSTEM TIME TO SEARCH OUT ITS FLAWS (IF ANY) AND SHOUL.D MGMT DECIDE THEY NEED TO "TWIK" THE SYSTEM THEN THEY WILL, BUT NOT BEFORE GIVING IT A CHANCE...............SO "CHILDREN", GROW UP... BRIAN, I DO HAVE A QUESTION THAT I'VE SEEN ALSO APPEAR ON THIS BLOG........ARE YOUR GATE AGENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING SURE THOSE IN LINE ARE IN THERE CORRECT ORDER??????????? IF NOT, THEN THERE IS A PROBLEM, AS THOSE WHO ENJOY CUTTING BECAUSE THEY "THINK THEY CAN" AND SEEM TO BE ALLOWED BECAUSE THE AGENTS AREN'T DOING THERE JOB CORRECTLY WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO UNTIL YOU HAVE A " FREAKIN RIOT " ON YOUR HANDS...I ALMOST WITNESSED ONE MYSELF, AND THANK GOD I WAS IN THE B GROUP AT THAT TIME.......SO YOU SEE, THERE IS ALWAYS A POSITIVE SOMEWHERE..LOL LOL PEOPLE SHOULD BE AWARE IN A CASE WHERE YOU HAVE "UNATTENTIVE AGENTS" THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO GO TO THERE RESPECTIVE PLACES AND IF THEY NOTICE IT DOESN'T LOOK RIGHT (MORE PEOPLE THEN SHOULD BE ETC) ASK THOSE AROUND THEM WHAT THERE NUMBER IS AND STAND IN FRONT OR BEHIND, WHICHEVER THE CASE MAY BE . SHOULDN'T BE HARD TO FIGURE OUT WHO IS WHERE THEY SHOULD NOT BE...............IN THE CASES WHERE THE BOARDING AREAS MAY NOT HAVE BEEN REMODELED YET, THAT IS A MAJOR FACTOR AND PROBLEM.........ALL AGENTS SHOULD MAKE SURE THE BOARDING NUMBERS GO EXACTLY IN LINE...IT DOESN'T TAKE A ROCKET SCIENTIST WHEN SCANNING A TICKET BEFORE ENTERING THE PLANE TO SEE IF A NUMBER 6 SHOULD BE NEXT, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU HAVE A NUMBER 12, THAT SOMEONE "CUT IN LINE" AND NEEDS TO BE TURNED BACK TO WAIT THERE TURN..........YOUR AGENTS NEED TO BE "LOUD AND CLEAR ON THIS FACT WHEN BOARDING", STATING ANYONE OUT OF SEQUENCE IN LINE WILL BE TURNED BACK.................YOUR THOUGHTS PLEASE........(ALTHOUGH ANOTHER EMAILER STATED IT WAS LIKE LITTLE KIDS IN LINE, SO BE IT!!! IT SHOULD WORK FLAWLESSLY IF EVERYONE DID WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSE TO, BUT THIS ISN'T HAPPENING EVERYWHERE... YOU MADE THE CHANGE, NOW CAN WE HAVE YOUR WORD THAT ALL AGENTS WILL MAKE SURE IT IS ABIDED BY........(WHETHER THE GATES HAVE BEEN REMODELED OR NOT, THE SYSTEM SHOULD STILL BE DONE THE SAME) HOPEFULLY YOU WILL REPLY ... EVERYONE ENJOY YOUR FUTURE FLIGHTS.....
New Arrival
One things is for certain. I will be paying VERY CLOSE attention to the November traffic numbers that will be disclosed during the first week of December (3rd throught 7th) especially the Revenue Passenger Mile and Load Factor statistics. I'm assuming that management will be as well.
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Meenie Me, It is our Operations Agents duty to make sure the correct folks are boarding at a specific time. Our Ground Operations Leaders are paying careful attention to this, and they are monitoring the blog. Our goal is to be uniform across the system and to ensure the right order in line. Since humans are involved, I obviously can't "guarantee" that the procedures will be followed on every specific flight, but I can tell you that they should be, and we will followup when they aren't. Brian
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Scott, I am not sure that paying attention to November Revenue passenger miles will tell you the whole story . A lot of people already got their tickets for November (and for the matter December) trips before this new policy was initiated and will fly because they don't want to hassle with refund requests or losing their money. My guess is that you will have to wait until early Spring to see any results from potential loss of customers. Casey
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Meenie Me, You obviously woke up on the wrong side of the bed. You mistook my comments that some change is not good, and this is a great example. If you don't mind this change, that's your opinion. Your name tells enough and I won't respond to you demeaning comments calling customers "children" Tom I also applaud SWA for letting customers voice their opinions on this website! Now can you take this same attitude towards helping families?
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I find it hilarious that not two months ago, frequent fliers were telling the parents flying with children that they weren't entitled to preboard just because they have small children and a lot to carry. Frequent fliers said THEY were the bread and butter of Southwest and should be able to get on first. My haven't the tables turned. Now the frequent fliers sound like little children going, "hey, that's unfair!" You're complaining because as Southwest's bread and butter you shouldn't have to pay extra for seats or line up behind Business Select or have to use two rewards for one. Didn't you frequent fliers see this coming? Did you think you were in the clear when they made the first set of changes? With all of these changes, Southwest basically presented you with good news and bad news. You chose the good news first, now you have to deal with the bad news. Sorry frequent fliers, don't ever assume your that high and mighty. It obviously didn't take much to knock you off your pedestal did it?
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carroll wrote: "Tom you took my point wrong, check in is available on line and you will be an A, chances are you will be with your family than not. I have had to split up at the theatre when it was a big opening and plenty of folks were there ahead of me and my family survived. As for the restaurant it applied to people insisting on being served 1st not on where they are seated. We have proven over the years we are very family friendly and are proud of it. Southwest is the 1st airline I flew back in the 70Ã
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I am thrilled with the new boarding process. It is very frustrating to have booked early have an A3 ticket and watch the Ã
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TOM, OBVIOUSLY I HIT YOUR SORE SPOT....MY COMMENT WAS OPEN TO ALL THE PETTYNESS WRITTEN, AND THANK YOU FOR COMING FORWARD TO ADMIT IT. I GUESS YOU THINK ITS OKAY FOR "BIG CHILDREN" TO ACT SO HATEFUL IN THEIR EMAILS.....I DON'T, AND IF ASKING FOR EVERYONE TO GROW UP "OFFENDS" YOU, GEE, WHY WOULD YOU BE SO DEFENSIVE?????? THANK YO BRIAN FOR YOUR REPLY, I DO APPRECIATE IT AND ALL THE "LICKS" YOU AND ALL OF THE SWA STAFF IS AND HAS TAKEN FOR OUR BENEFIT.....MANY THANK YOU'S!!!!!!
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Just wondering, how many other airlines out there let families pre-board at all? Seems to me that you always board in your zone or section or whatever they call it. I know for a fact that on United to sit in the front 12 to 14 rows of coach is called "economy plus" and those seats cost up to $30.00 more than regular coach. All for 2 more inches of leg room. I know change is sometimes difficult. All I ask is that you give us a chance. Thanks.
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Emily, first you say that you have been traveling with your child for more than 2 years and then you complain about not getting a boarding pass because you have a lap child. FAA regulations require that lap chilren are UNDER 2 years of age. Could it be that you are exaggerating just a bit? The new system allows you to hold your position in line while your daughter runs around and "burns off excess energy" so that arguement holds no water. In fact, because of the numbers, you do not even have to get in line untill boarding time so there is no need to "camp out". (This is also good for those who have small children with proportionally small bladders!) All of the baggage associated with small children slows the boarding process. The new system will likely have you sitting further back (after the A group) which will afford you more time (while the front passengers are boarding and deboarding) both getting on and getting off so that you do not inconveince others as much. It allows you to sit with your daughter but does not guarantee the bulkhead seat just because she is traveling with you. I want that seat as well, so I check in early and arrive early. Now I don't have to. I love families as much as you do, (I have 3 daughters) but that should not entitle one to the most favorable seat with the most leg room. Try the new system. You will still sit with your daughter, it's just that she won't likely get the extra leg room of the bulk head seat (which she has no use for) and taller customers who need that room will have the opportunity to get it.
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Dear Pamela, Your suggestion is a good one. Unfortunately, it has been tried without success. Parents with small children were told that they could preboard provided that they sat behind a given row, and invariably, they complained (loudly) and did not comply. Once on the plane, what could the flight attendants be expected to do? Physically move them? You are obviously rational and reasonable and if everyone was like you, that policy would work, would likely still be in effect and many would be pleased. Unfortunately, all parents are not as reasonable and understanding as you are, and another system became necessary. And since we are talking about parents and small children I will quote from "The Little Mermaid" with Sebastian's lament about misbehaving teenagers. "Teenagers!..... You give them an inch, and they swim all over you! It seems that parents with small children acted similarly. It is also important to remember that the speed at which the passengers board and deplane is of critical importance. Airplanes do not make any money sitting at the gate. If the ground times increase by only a few minutes per flight, the airline will need more planes, crews, and ground personal to handle the same number of flights. And that only translates into higher fares. We all want large, aisle seats with gormet dinners and hot towels, but we need low fares. If we want the former, first class seats at rediculous prices are available on other airlines. If we need the latter (I do), we have to work with the airline. I hope that this clears up some of your questions.
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This new assigning of board pass number 36 hours prior to flight time based on the usage of Southwest is the most unfair ill thought out thing Southwest has every done. The one thing our company has always admired about SWA was it fairness and equal treatment of all passenger and the ablility to have an equal change at a seat of choice via logging in early and get a boarding pass number. As CEO of a small company who pay the bills I now found unless I am willing to pay you full fare +++ I am stuck with a 'B' 'C' ticket as I do not fly as much as my empolyees you are the true frequent flyers. All you have done with the new boarding assignement system is force us to go to other airlines. After all you price are not that great now that we are forced to buy full fare tickets. YOUR ADS OF 'Do you want to get away - use SWA' should read 'Just get away from SWA for stupidity' Dennis Badzik, CEO - JB Developers, Inc.
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I recently read that Southwest would no longer allow parents with young children to board early. If this is incorrect please ignore this comment! I for one really appreciate that Southwest puts families first. As a father who has had to travel with young children I've always appreciated the willingness of the airline and fellow travelers to allow me to find a convienient seat where I can have my children near by. The complaint I've heard is, "why should parents who arrive late to the gate be permitted to board ealy?" Let me answer that (1) The number of parents and kids who usually board early are typically a fraction of the total number on board (in my experience and I'm sure LUV has statistics on that). There are PLENTY of good seats available for the business traveler (2) Very often parents arrive late because of a late connection. They have no control over when they arrive at the gate. I've experienced this myself on numerous occasions (3) Have a "HEART". We're talking about families with SMALL CHILDREN. I find it ironic that an airline that has a "HEART" as a logo tells parents with small kids to line up with everyone else. Please show more kindness to parents with small children. Let them board early. Thank you for listening, Fred
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Emily, just wondering who is taking care of your child while you are blogging. Seems like you spend more time on the computer than quality time with your child. Southwest - thanks for being the BEST!!! Becky
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OK SW, here is some tough LUV. I fly your airline at least 20 roundtrips a year, so I will be an A-lister. Whoopee. I see no benefit to me being part of this new program. I check in 24 hrs in advance, so I get the A list anyway, and if you fly 16 RT a year, you end up using drink tickets for everyone around you anyway! With that being said, I immediately noticed the fare hike on my last purchase. $99 one-way internet only or $389(and I get a drink!). SO WHAT? For $800? In Herb's book, Herb and the "Over the Hill" gang developed an airline where everyday people could afford to fly to see family and friends. I especially like the David and Goliath example where SW was competitive at all costs and beat the big guys by playing different. Well, it is sad to say we are conforming. BE CAREFUL SOUTHWEST-SOME YOUNG DAVID MAY COME KNOCK US OUT IF WE CONTINUE ON THE CURRENT PATH....Now, please do what Southwest does very well and that is LISTEN. Listen to your customers and keep reasonable fares. We, the business traveler like who you are. If I want high fares and stuffy airlines, I can go to US scare, AA, or Delta. No Thanks. I will remain loyal, but let's go see a councelor, huh?
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Seems Southwest is starting to look - and act - like all the others. Too bad...
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I LUV IT. most of the time, only people with complaints post. The new boarding system is greatystem. Eliminates the Jockeying and hours before line up, and the people who ignore the line etc... if common couretsy was more common then it would not be an issue. Parents with children now board after the A group. 60 people? really, is your complaint that after 60 people board this is too large an issue. Even on a fuill plane people will move to allow seating together. So now waiting to board after 60 people is a slap in the face. REALLY? come on SERIOUSLY? And this new process sucks in comaprision to who...which airline? at what fare rate. I think the new procedures are good, and the latest round of fare hikes reasonable.
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My family will no longer fly SW, period. Unless the pre-board policy is changed. Shaun Dakin
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Kevin Why don't you all swallow your pride and go back to the successful policy you all have enjoyed for many years. This is the biggest airline blunder of all time. Anyone with any common sense can see that. Why the heck don't you listen to the customers? Quit defending a plan that is doomed to failure.Your loyal flyers were not the ones who suggested the changes. To coin a phrase"Can 50 million Frenchmen be all wrong?". For God's sake, listen to the folks who buy your tickets.They are mad as hell.
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You have greatly reduced what distinguishes you from your competitors! I had always flown on airlines that offered assigned seating, but gave your airline a shot. I was impressed! Southwest demonstrated a true Egalitarian attitude - it didn't matter if you were a student returning from school, a family going on vacation, or a business traveler. All had an equal opportunity to get great fares, and an equal opportunity to board among the first and get the best saetin - all it took was confirming as soon as you could, and then showing up at the gate in time to get near the front. All of this is gone! You give "preferred" seating to those who fly the most, and charge significantly more for a business travelr who wants to board first without getting their boarding pass early or showing up early. I am greatly disappointed in Southwest, and will now check your competitiors fares before I bother to book with Southwest!
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There are several people in my office who can be described as SWA "junkies". We've gone out of our way to book SWA travel. Now, "not so much". If we don't catch the $99 Web Special, the fares are of zero benefit. So I qualify for an "A" boarding pass? I'm a 13 year SWA FF ...thanks! I get a drink ... on the way to a business meeting? Thanks again. SWA has always been cutting edge, but this is a fumble. I view the changes as internally-driven, certainly not what your bread and butter has been asking for. This SWA loyal customer will now "play the field". Thanks for the memories.
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All these comments add up to one thing: At one time Southwest was easy, not anymore. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. What was wrong with things before? The company is and has been profitable. The post before me hit it. With the exception of dealing with the family pre-boarding problem, these changes are internally driven. You're alienating a huge group of customers to try for a new group of biz customers. If you start looking out for yourself instead of your long time loyal customers, business will go down the tubes. I started flying Southwest again as my primary airline a while back, but I don't have a reason to be loyal anymore. I'm not a business traveler, the fares are no longer cheaper, I'll probably never get an A boarding pass again, and the rapid rewards program has just turned into a clone of every other airlines program. I managed to collect 2 award tickets this year, 1 of which I was counting on for Christmas. I logged on to discover blackout dates, which I never recall having to deal with on Southwest. The only dates that were open I can't go and they required 2 awards. Sweet deal, way to take care of your customers. Unfortunately, I don't have $700 laying around to buy the ticket and fly your "low cost " airline. Thanks to Southwest policy changes, I'll be alone for the holidays. I luv you too. You guys just lost me.
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I had the expierience at southwest in the past week--your new boarding policy is a mess, and to say the least unorganized--with no checks and balances--it was a very frustrating time --the flight was good on all four planes--but i'll check elsewhere next time i fly(business)--You have shot yourself in the foot---please come back to the regular travelers----Jack
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Took my first flight last week since the changes, OC to San Jose. I fly 10-14 times per year, my kids both fly the same but not enough to be an A-List. The way the boarding passes are handed out is wrong. I pay the same price for the same flight and have to board behind the A-List business flyers. I need to book a flight for Jan and Mar, just checked American airlines. I can fly for $30 per flight cheaper and have an assigned seat by the window!!! Once I use up my two free flights (don't know if I will ever be able to book them though...) My 3 flyers as well as my sisters brood of 6 will all be switching to other airlines. Southwest, you have taken away the things we loved. Oh and by the way...sit back and relax before your flight is called...that is a pipe dream as 100+ people fight for the 25 seats left in the seating area at San Jose since all the seats were removed to expand the boarding area!!! Later days Southwest
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As a faithful follower of SWA for 15 years (since those great plastic, numbered boarding passes, and not minding getting up to in the middle of the night to go online and check in to assure A status), I've got a solution for the problems now facing the business class folks. I'm thinking that all of you families out there with small kids should let those business guys board and then follow them right on and sit right down beside them. Be sure that the kids are wound up and filled with sugary treats.Once the fun begins, SWA will realize the big mistake it made by putting business ahead of families.We fly SWA faithfully 3-4 times a year at least and have just made reservations for March. May well be our last flight as we are a family, and like travelling together that way.
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What a brilliant idea the Ã
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Just wanted to add to my post above. My check in exactly 24 hours ahead for my flight produced A-31 for OC to San Jose and A-41 for San Jose to OC. The wierd thing is as I talked to people in line, the guy behind me checked in two hours before the flight and got A-42, and a woman who is a frequent A-List flyer got A-54(checked in 18 hours ahead of the flight)...not sure how the numbering works.