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The retirement of Flight Status Notifications

Flying_Slug
Active Member

Preparing for an upcoming flight, I came across the following message on the website:

“The Flight Status Notification feature will be retired sometime in 2019. [….] But don’t worry—you can always check your flight status at Southwest.com/air/flight-status/”.

 

I don’t see how this change could possibly be framed or spinned as benefiting me, the paying passenger.

 

The last two times my flights were changed or cancelled while I was already at the airport, it was thanks to these notifications, that I knew I needed to quickly step out of the restaurant or gift shop, to go to the SWA Customer Service podium in order to re-route and minimize the inconvenience (in these situations, the early bird gets the worm).

 

The message says that I don’t need to worry; I can always check the Flight Status. This is clearly disingenuous, as that is obviously not a replacement for the notifications designed to alert us when something out of the ordinary requires our attention.

 

This isn’t a pro-customer move, and whoever signed off on the decision to make this change doesn’t get any love from me. Man Frustrated

 

Flying_Slug

8 REPLIES 8

Re: The retirement of Flight Status Notifications

dfwskier
Rising Star

I was unaware of the change, and agree with you. Letting passengers know of delays and cancellations makes sense. IMO stopping the practice does not.

 

However, this is a customer to customer forum. So if you really want to let Southwest know of your displeasure, I'd suggest that you contact the airline directly. You may do so by clicking on "contact us" at the bottom of this age, and then pick your desired communication method from those listed on the top left of the ensuing page.

Highlighted

Re: The retirement of Flight Status Notifications

TheMiddleSeat
Rising Star

Hopefully Southwest will implement a new notification system soon after the retirement, I find the current one to be horribly unreliable and gave up on it long ago. Until something new and reliable is in place I would recommend using an app such as FlightView to track your flights.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: The retirement of Flight Status Notifications

chgoflyer
Top Contributer

Southwest announced quite some time ago that they were discontinuing Flight Status Notifications, I actually thought they were already dead. This was the system by which you would actively sign up to receive a single email or text at a set time (1-4 hours) prior to a flight's departure or arrival. Useful years ago, it's necessity has long since been replaced by other methods.

 

What hasn't changed: When you purchase a flight, you select your preferred notification method -- email, text or call -- and Southwest continues to use this to notify you of any changes to your itinerary. (In theory at least. As many have mentioned for years now, this system is pretty abysmal in practice. Updates are often never received, contain outdated information, or are received too late to be of any use.)

 

Ironically, Flight Status Notifications seemed to work flawlessly. But their usefulness (as a single notification) was limited. The surviving flight change notification system absolutely needs significant work. IMHO it should be a major priority for Southwest.

 

I recommend proactively checking flight status via google (just enter "WN" + your flight number) or websites like FlightAware.

Re: The retirement of Flight Status Notifications

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@chgoflyer wrote:

Southwest announced quite some time ago that they were discontinuing Flight Status Notifications, I actually thought they were already dead. This was the system by which you would actively sign up to receive a single email or text at a set time (1-4 hours) prior to a flight's departure or arrival. Useful years ago, it's necessity has long since been replaced by other methods.

 

What hasn't changed: When you purchase a flight, you select your preferred notification method -- email, text or call -- and Southwest continues to use this to notify you of any changes to your itinerary. (In theory at least. As many have mentioned for years now, this system is pretty abysmal in practice. Updates are often never received, contain outdated information, or are received too late to be of any use.)

 

Ironically, Flight Status Notifications seemed to work flawlessly. But their usefulness (as a single notification) was limited. The surviving flight change notification system absolutely needs significant work. IMHO it should be a major priority for Southwest.

 

I recommend proactively checking flight status via google (just enter "WN" + your flight number) or websites like FlightAware.


I've really enjoyed App in the Air for an added layer of notification, including gate changes.

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: The retirement of Flight Status Notifications

chgoflyer
Top Contributer

@DancingDavidE wrote:

@chgoflyer wrote:

Southwest announced quite some time ago that they were discontinuing Flight Status Notifications, I actually thought they were already dead. This was the system by which you would actively sign up to receive a single email or text at a set time (1-4 hours) prior to a flight's departure or arrival. Useful years ago, it's necessity has long since been replaced by other methods.

 

What hasn't changed: When you purchase a flight, you select your preferred notification method -- email, text or call -- and Southwest continues to use this to notify you of any changes to your itinerary. (In theory at least. As many have mentioned for years now, this system is pretty abysmal in practice. Updates are often never received, contain outdated information, or are received too late to be of any use.)

 

Ironically, Flight Status Notifications seemed to work flawlessly. But their usefulness (as a single notification) was limited. The surviving flight change notification system absolutely needs significant work. IMHO it should be a major priority for Southwest.

 

I recommend proactively checking flight status via google (just enter "WN" + your flight number) or websites like FlightAware.


I've really enjoyed App in the Air for an added layer of notification, including gate changes.

 

 


 

I need to check that out. I tried a similar app a while back (I can't remember the name for the life of me; I uninstalled it after a few weeks) and I had mixed results at best. Do you happen to know where they get their data -- especially things like gate changes? I found earlier that an app is really only as good as the data is, and if Southwest isn't updating their systems (or, more often, the airport ones) with things like gate changes, the app isn't helpful. I wondered if there was a crowdsourced solution, but that doesn't seem ideal since there would be a lag in updates (and the obvious problems with crowdsourced data).

 

It really would be awesome if there were better standards for this, coordinating data among carriers and airports. I was hoping that Southwest's move to Amadeus might facilitate improvements, but that doesn't seem to be the case. Yet, at least. I do know that they were threatening Amadeus with legal action unless they worked out the many bugs that showed up post-conversion, but hopefully that's been resolved. 

 

I'm sure they realize this is a priority, for efficiency as much as customer experience. The new wayfinding and signage initiatives depend on good data, so hopefully improvements are coming. 

Re: The retirement of Flight Status Notifications

DancingDavidE
Top Contributer

@chgoflyer wrote:

@DancingDavidE wrote:

@chgoflyer wrote:

Southwest announced quite some time ago that they were discontinuing Flight Status Notifications, I actually thought they were already dead. This was the system by which you would actively sign up to receive a single email or text at a set time (1-4 hours) prior to a flight's departure or arrival. Useful years ago, it's necessity has long since been replaced by other methods.

 

What hasn't changed: When you purchase a flight, you select your preferred notification method -- email, text or call -- and Southwest continues to use this to notify you of any changes to your itinerary. (In theory at least. As many have mentioned for years now, this system is pretty abysmal in practice. Updates are often never received, contain outdated information, or are received too late to be of any use.)

 

Ironically, Flight Status Notifications seemed to work flawlessly. But their usefulness (as a single notification) was limited. The surviving flight change notification system absolutely needs significant work. IMHO it should be a major priority for Southwest.

 

I recommend proactively checking flight status via google (just enter "WN" + your flight number) or websites like FlightAware.


I've really enjoyed App in the Air for an added layer of notification, including gate changes.

 

 


 

I need to check that out. I tried a similar app a while back (I can't remember the name for the life of me; I uninstalled it after a few weeks) and I had mixed results at best. Do you happen to know where they get their data -- especially things like gate changes? I found earlier that an app is really only as good as the data is, and if Southwest isn't updating their systems (or, more often, the airport ones) with things like gate changes, the app isn't helpful. I wondered if there was a crowdsourced solution, but that doesn't seem ideal since there would be a lag in updates (and the obvious problems with crowdsourced data).

 


I had used TripIt before which was nice, but the way they import Southwest flights they end up with a lot of duplicate trips, since that's my primary airline the service was not useful.

 

I think some from there was on the community and maybe could answer some questions but I don't recall the name right off hand.

 

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: The retirement of Flight Status Notifications

Flying_Slug
Active Member

@DancingDavidE wrote:


I've really enjoyed App in the Air for an added layer of notification, including gate changes.

 

 


Receiving notifications when flight details change at the last minute, allows me to relax before the flight. I'll look into App in the Air. Thanks for the suggestion!

Re: The retirement of Flight Status Notifications

Flying_Slug
Active Member

I will look into FlightView. Thank you for the suggestion!

 


@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

Hopefully Southwest will implement a new notification system soon after the retirement, I find the current one to be horribly unreliable and gave up on it long ago. Until something new and reliable is in place I would recommend using an app such as FlightView to track your flights.

 

--TheMiddleSeat