Print from Airliners.net discussion forum
http://www.airliners.net/aviation-forums/general_aviation/read.main/5668081/

Topic: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: airliner371
Posted 2013-01-21 09:28:55 and read 12578 times.

Here's the info..
http://southwest.investorroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1740

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: yellowtail
Posted 2013-01-21 09:32:48 and read 12550 times.

Wow! $40! I could see $20 or so....but $40 seems a little excessive, especially if you can't purchase it in advance.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-21 09:34:07 and read 12523 times.

Where is this? Is it unused business select? After elites but before early bird? It's not very clear.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Rising
Posted 2013-01-21 09:34:49 and read 12522 times.

Seems like a good way try and build incremental sales. I'd be curious as to how many actually make the purchase.

Too bad though you can't purchase it in privacy at the kiosk.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-01-21 09:36:53 and read 12492 times.

So the only difference between the nickle and dime charges on other airlines which in a lot of cases is unavoidable and this new WN charge is that they are giving you the option to upgrade on day of travel within 45 minutes of departure?
I would be interested in knowing how they determine how many "slots" are availabe for sale 45 minutes before departure and whether the selection process has any negative effect on the other boarding groups where a pax may choose not to spend the extra cash.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-21 09:44:15 and read 12394 times.

Quoting par13del (Reply 4):
I would be interested in knowing how they determine how many "slots" are availabe for sale 45 minutes before departure and whether the selection process has any negative effect on the other boarding groups where a pax may choose not to spend the extra cash.

I would expect that this includes some or all of the following "slots:"

- Business Select passengers who have checked in but then cancelled
- Unused Business Select slots between the end of business select and 16 (so A11 to A15 if there are 10 business select passengers checked in)
- A-list passengers who have automatically been checked in and then cancelled

The way WN works is that if a passenger cancels after checking in, his slot is not automatically filled, but it can fill with a later checkin. So if the Business Select passenger holding A3 cancels after 8 passengers have checked in, A4 through A8 will keep those numbers. Currently, if a ninth Business Select passenger checks in after A3 has cancelled, he gets A3. Otherwise, it goes "empty." A-list works the same way (but they are checked in automatically, so it would have to be a booking or change within 24 hours to fill the slot).

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-01-21 09:55:56 and read 12269 times.

This is one of the sillier fees out there but I guess you can't blame them for trying.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: GentFromAlaska
Posted 2013-01-21 10:09:08 and read 12136 times.

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 1):
Wow! $40! I could see $20 or so

Concur! I could see $25 max. I'd like to see the numbers of the beta testing in SAN. I'll continue to take my chances with the free option 24 hours in advance. I also hope the gates tell military traveling in uniform not to partake in this in that they receive special boarding consideration at many if not all WN cities.

Reading between the lines I see this as a strong message from WN that they recognized the necessity the need to generate revenue from accessorial services but will not waiver or compromise the free baggage allowance.

Quoting par13del (Reply 4):
So the only difference between the nickle and dime charges on other airlines which in a lot of cases is unavoidable

Unavoidable    How is it unavoidable if someone in the chain of command opted for fee based accessorial charges or copied what carrier "B" was doing? When one has a choice I would call it avoidable.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: BD338
Posted 2013-01-21 10:11:02 and read 12117 times.

Unless you have a high B or C group number, or a carry on the size of Iowa, and need to take an entire bin to yourself, I'm not sure it will be worth $40. Depending on the number of 'throughs' there should be plenty of aisle/window and overhead space up to the late B's. At least that seems to be my experience. Still, it's entirely voluntary and if only 0.5% of WN passengers spend the cash that's still an extra ~$20M a year.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: JoePatroni707
Posted 2013-01-21 10:12:16 and read 12102 times.

I would not waste my money. I flew revenue last month on WN, and purchased early checkin. I did get position A31, but when I got on the airplane it was 80% full with thru passengers. I still ended up with a crappy seat. So now pay $40 and still get a crappy seat??? No thanks!

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: mrskyguy
Posted 2013-01-21 10:49:34 and read 11856 times.

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 7):
Reading between the lines I see this as a strong message from WN that they recognized the necessity the need to generate revenue from accessorial services but will not waiver or compromise the free baggage allowance.

Interesting theory. As a frequent WN traveler, I suspect it has more to do with taking advantage of an opportunity to sell "empty line space' than it does as an indicator of a need to generate additional sales to overlap bags flying free. Think about it. How many times have you stood in line at position A16 and had 3 people in front of you in positions A1, 2 & 3? It doesn't happen all the time, but it's certainly frequent enough to capitalize upon.

Plus, if I wasn't able to check in 24 hours before and I've got a 20 minute connection (or are otherwise tight on time) and I've got B58, I'd consider purchasing this to ensure my carry-on stays with me (especially on a -300 or -500 series).

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-01-21 10:56:34 and read 11790 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
Where is this? Is it unused business select? After elites but before early bird? It's not very clear.

From my understanding, it will be the unused Business Select positions. So if anything from A1-A15 is available, they can pay the $40 and move up to that. However, the Business Select perks (free drink, max points, etc) is not included in the $40.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: GentFromAlaska
Posted 2013-01-21 11:41:12 and read 11557 times.

Quoting mrskyguy (Reply 10):
How many times have you stood in line at position A16 and had 3 people in front of you in positions A1, 2 & 3? It doesn't happen all the time

Wow being able to board in A4 would be a treat. As a non-fee-er I don't think I ever have boarded less than A15. In all honesty I don't sweat it; if I have any "A" through mid "B" boarding group assignment I'm usually guaranteed a window or aisle seat. The "C" tend to scare me a little bit which only happened once. I still got a window seat. Flying with family can be a little more challenging.

BNA which is usually my O&D airport and a WN focus city offers multiple flights to a lot of places so I am afforded the opportunity to pick my flights carefully. My last WN flight was BNA-MDW-PVD with no change of aircraft in MDW. WN ka-bashed their BNA-PVD non-stop so I found the next best thing. Connecting through BWI was not an option on that day.

I usually end up with a higher "A" boarding group assignment. I might add I seem to have better luck with the WN smart-phone App 24 hours in advance than I do checking in on my laptop.

I would think Los Angeles also affords you the opportunity to pick and choose. If not at LAX but any of other airports in the region. I've flown into LAX and returned from SNA.

This new $40 fee was just reported in the media Fox Business News just aired it.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Dreadnought
Posted 2013-01-21 11:55:16 and read 11487 times.

They have ruined Southwest Airlines. It used to be so simple. Show up at the gate, get in line and board - first come first serve. Now it's more complicated than any regular airline.

I live in Atlanta and frequently have to travel to Dallas. Both are SWA hubs after thir purchase of Airtran, and every single trip I find cheaper prices on AA, US or other airlines. They are supposed to be simple and cheaper.

It's sad to see a great little airline screw themselves so badly - I used to love flying them. But I have no plans to ever fly them again.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: MountainFlyer
Posted 2013-01-21 12:09:58 and read 11392 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
Where is this? Is it unused business select? After elites but before early bird? It's not very clear.
Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 11):
From my understanding, it will be the unused Business Select positions. So if anything from A1-A15 is available, they can pay the $40 and move up to that. However, the Business Select perks (free drink, max points, etc) is not included in the $40.

   LA Times article is saying it guarantees you'll be in the first 15.

http://www.latimes.com/business/mone...t-new-fee-20130121,0,3072224.story

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: GentFromAlaska
Posted 2013-01-21 12:20:46 and read 11316 times.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
They have ruined Southwest Airlines. It used to be so simple. Show up at the gate, get in line and board - first come first serve

I agree. Only the handicapped generally took a precedence. In today's environment it's a "pay to play or take your chances." mentallity.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-21 12:20:52 and read 11316 times.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
They are supposed to be simple and cheaper.

They are supposed to be cheaper? Says who?

On a route like ATL-DAL where WN has to connect you somewhere, shouldn't they charge more than AA or DL? DAL is a poor airport from which to compare (at least until next year).

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
how up at the gate, get in line and board - first come first serve. Now it's more complicated than any regular airline.

How so? WN has three boarding zones: A, B and C. DL has what, eleven on a narrowbody?

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-01-21 12:44:00 and read 11189 times.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
They have ruined Southwest Airlines. It used to be so simple. Show up at the gate, get in line and board - first come first serve. Now it's more complicated than any regular airline.

I don't see that. You have a boarding pass with the number you get on the plane with. There is no need to mad dash to the gate counter and line up to get your plastic boarding card. The boarding is also pretty orderly. How many time those on other airlines when they call zones do people line up properly? Most of my experience is that it is just a mad mob rushing the gate area (combined with people standing right by the door already).

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
I live in Atlanta and frequently have to travel to Dallas. Both are SWA hubs after thir purchase of Airtran, and every single trip I find cheaper prices on AA, US or other airlines. They are supposed to be simple and cheaper.

Since when is hub to hub flying ever cheaper on a legacy? I would say the fare structure is maybe a bit simplier on WN (though not as much as it use to be) and you can build everything one way and not get screwed. However, they also haven't go through Chapter 11 like everyone else has.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
It's sad to see a great little airline screw themselves so badly - I used to love flying them. But I have no plans to ever fly them again.

Little? Largest domestic carrier in the United States is not little. I don't really see any justification in this post why you won't fly WN again, but that is probably best held for a different thread.

Quoting MountainFlyer (Reply 14):
LA Times article is saying it guarantees you'll be in the first 15.

Another part I left out. If you are on an Anytime fare already, you'll probably just be offered the upgrade to Business Select - since it'll be cheaper. Which I don't understand why anyone doesn't take the Business Select fare if they are flying full Y.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: 777fan
Posted 2013-01-21 12:53:57 and read 11141 times.

Looks like WN is increasingly sliding down the slippery revenue-grabbing slope. What's next, bidding for the unused Biz Select slots with the opening bid set to $40? I've become increasingly dependent upon WN as of late and agree with the other posts that mention just how convoluted WN's boarding/seat grabbing process has become. They might as well create a new tier of "Super Business Select-Your-Seat" fares whereby you can actually reserve a seat at reservation.

While we're at it, why not lay out WN's other revenue options outside of charging for bags (never say never), ala carte snacks (you know they wouldn't want to lug around dead weight) and IFE (doubtful given the capital investment required to pull it off).

777fan

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-01-21 13:08:38 and read 11040 times.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 18):
ala carte snacks (you know they wouldn't want to lug around dead weight)

I always felt a Delta SkyDeli type cart in the jetbridge option is something that could work. Make the snack box $5.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-01-21 13:13:14 and read 10993 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 17):
However, they also haven't go through Chapter 11 like everyone else has.

They didn't have decades of labor and regulatory baggage when Deregulation hit either.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 17):
How many time those on other airlines when they call zones do people line up properly? Most of my experience is that it is just a mad mob rushing the gate area (combined with people standing right by the door already).

I think WN and legacy carriers' boarding processes are converging onto the same overcomplicated morass, except you have an assigned seat on other carriers.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: usflyguy
Posted 2013-01-21 13:16:07 and read 10957 times.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
They have ruined Southwest Airlines. It used to be so simple. Show up at the gate, get in line and board - first come first serve. Now it's more complicated than any regular airline.

I live in Atlanta and frequently have to travel to Dallas. Both are SWA hubs after thir purchase of Airtran, and every single trip I find cheaper prices on AA, US or other airlines. They are supposed to be simple and cheaper.

It's sad to see a great little airline screw themselves so badly - I used to love flying them. But I have no plans to ever fly them again.

Because they haven't royally screwed their employees and debtors in the bankruptcy process? Those others you speak of have filed for bankruptcy screwing over their employees,, debtors, and the tax-paying public

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: airbazar
Posted 2013-01-21 13:29:37 and read 10896 times.

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 12):
Flying with family can be a little more challenging.

If you're traveling with children which is my case, you're guaranteed a window or aisle because the FA's will do anything they can in order to get someone to give up their seat so the kid(s) don't have to seat by themselves. That's been my experience. As for the fee, it's not for me. Life's too short to worry about little things like being stuck in a middle seat for a couple of hours.

[Edited 2013-01-21 13:30:35]

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-01-21 13:39:54 and read 10827 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 20):
I think WN and legacy carriers' boarding processes are converging onto the same overcomplicated morass, except you have an assigned seat on other carriers.

I agree here. I would like to see WN take the lead on a new boarding process method. It might lead to assigned seating, but with int'l coming that's going to be needed at some point. Would love to see a zone process that fills the plane more efficiently so people aren't waiting in the isles and crawling over each other. It might very well be a combination of assigned seat and boarding position.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-21 13:42:59 and read 10804 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 23):
but with int'l coming that's going to be needed at some point.

Why? VB does not assign seats.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 23):
Would love to see a zone process that fills the plane more efficiently so people aren't waiting in the isles and crawling over each other.

I think WN's process does a fairly good job of accomplishing this, actually, because passengers have different preferences on where to sit. Some go for the front, some for the back. Some grab a window, some like aisles. Most zone boarding processes necessarily put lots of people at the same part of the plane at the same time.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: HiFlyerAS
Posted 2013-01-21 13:51:33 and read 11035 times.

Why would you pay an extra $40 each way for a 'good' boarding position when you can fly another airline and have a pre-assigned seat...for FREE. I know that AA is getting bad about making you pay for an aisle seat but $40 each way seems excessive...and totally contrary to the whole idea of the simplicity of flying WN. They're no better than everyone else when it comes to nickle and diming.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-21 13:57:16 and read 10969 times.

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 25):
Why would you pay an extra $40 each way for a 'good' boarding position when you can fly another airline and have a pre-assigned seat...for FREE.

It's pretty hard to get a decent assigned seat without paying extra on most legacies these days, at least if you book fairly close to departure.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: par13del
Posted 2013-01-21 14:06:36 and read 11016 times.

Quoting GentFromAlaska (Reply 7):
How is it unavoidable if someone in the chain of command opted for fee based accessorial charges or copied what carrier "B" was doing?

If you are in boarding Group C or B it is your choice to pay $40.00 to improve you boarding position, if you choose not to pay the $40.00 the group selected at purchase remains intact.
If you are heading on a one week vacation with your family, can you avoid carrying a suitcase thus paying the charge?
Those are the instances that I call avoidable and unavoidable.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: MSPNWA
Posted 2013-01-21 14:13:42 and read 10974 times.

Seems like this policy is a no-brainer to me. Look at the advantages:

--the end of the BS boarding group is potentially filled, not hurting an efficient boarding process
--for WN, that's $40 in revenue, and it really doesn't cost them anything
--customers who either got a poor boarding position or just want the best position possible might have a better option now

More simple, convenient options for customers should only help both parties. I'll just stick with the Early Bird option, but if you want to pay for this, good for you.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-01-21 14:16:55 and read 10926 times.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 21):
Because they haven't royally screwed their employees and debtors in the bankruptcy process? Those others you speak of have filed for bankruptcy screwing over their employees,, debtors, and the tax-paying public

Are you sure about the last part of your claim? As for the rest I think WN announced that is has a labor cost issue recently. The employees will be getting a reality check very soon.


In 1990, the airline registered its aircraft in Houston so it could pay aircraft taxes in Houston, even though the actual corporate headquarters were in Dallas. Southwest was not physically relocating any assets, but Texas state law allowed the airline to choose either Dallas or Houston as the city of registry of its aircraft.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: MeanGreen
Posted 2013-01-21 14:18:41 and read 10918 times.

I agree with those that find the boarding process to be convoluted. I bought a business select ticket on a flight a few months ago (short notice trip) and had A7. The flight went on a mechanical and thy put me on another. I was shocked that I now had position B (something high). I asked the agent why I wasn't in the business select group and she said they couldn't double book the numbers. Their IT is horrible! I also don't like the lining up and having to ask people what number they are. I prefer assigned seats. I also wondered what would happen if you paid for an early slot and got stopped by TSA at the gate for additional screening. Do you lose your space in line?

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: flyfree727
Posted 2013-01-21 14:34:09 and read 10816 times.

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 1):
Wow! $40! I could see $20 or so....but $40 seems a little excessive

They're trying to play catch up in all the millions they've missed out in bag fees  

AA ORD

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: airliner371
Posted 2013-01-21 14:43:24 and read 10776 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 29):
The employees will be getting a reality check very soon.

No, all they are doing is when an employee retires, they aren't replacing them to lower expenses. No layoffs etc...

Quoting par13del (Reply 27):

You are 100% on target.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: type-rated
Posted 2013-01-21 14:54:38 and read 10693 times.

[quote=ouboy79,reply=19]I always felt a Delta SkyDeli type cart in the jetbridge option is something that could work. Make the snack box $5.

Ah, the return of the "Bistro Bag" ala AA.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: 737tanker
Posted 2013-01-21 14:55:58 and read 10704 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
Where is this? Is it unused business select? After elites but before early bird? It's not very clear

The spots are coming from the unused Business Select (A1 - A15). Another change to boarding is that any A-Listers who didn't get an "A" Boarding number will board after all "A"s and before family boarding.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2013-01-21 15:48:00 and read 10482 times.

Guys, I see no problem with offering something that customers are willing to pay for. They aren't forcing anyone to pay this fee.

As for the whole process becoming convoluted...it's the "me me me first" rush to the front mentality that creates demand for options like this.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-01-21 15:51:06 and read 10479 times.

Quoting HiFlyerAS (Reply 25):
Why would you pay an extra $40 each way for a 'good' boarding position when you can fly another airline and have a pre-assigned seat...for FREE. I know that AA is getting bad about making you pay for an aisle seat but $40 each way seems excessive...and totally contrary to the whole idea of the simplicity of flying WN. They're no better than everyone else when it comes to nickle and diming.

Why? Instead of getting on the plane early and getting a better seat...BIN SPACE. Granted not a major issue on WN due to no bag fees, but I still find bins to be extremely packed when I fly. Which can be an issue for me since I never check a bag unless I'm paying for the ticket.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 29):
Are you sure about the last part of your claim? As for the rest I think WN announced that is has a labor cost issue recently. The employees will be getting a reality check very soon.

WN does have higher than average labor costs, but don't expect any pay cuts or layoffs. Work rules is where the savings can be found. Not sure if there will be buyouts again, but wouldn't be shocked.

Quoting MeanGreen (Reply 30):
I agree with those that find the boarding process to be convoluted. I bought a business select ticket on a flight a few months ago (short notice trip) and had A7. The flight went on a mechanical and thy put me on another. I was shocked that I now had position B (something high). I asked the agent why I wasn't in the business select group and she said they couldn't double book the numbers. Their IT is horrible! I also don't like the lining up and having to ask people what number they are. I prefer assigned seats. I also wondered what would happen if you paid for an early slot and got stopped by TSA at the gate for additional screening. Do you lose your space in line?

While true they can't double book boarding numbers, if you were on a Business Select ticket than they should have made that accommodation regardless of the position number. As far as the lining up part, I never ask anyone's number. I just go in the section I'm listed under and if its off by 2 or 3 numbers who cares. As far as being stopped by the TSA, doesn't look like that is a WN issue so not much they can do about it. They aren't going to stop boarding until you are completely screened again.

Quoting 737tanker (Reply 34):
The spots are coming from the unused Business Select (A1 - A15). Another change to boarding is that any A-Listers who didn't get an "A" Boarding number will board after all "A"s and before family boarding.

A much needed change IMO. I still would like to see a couple more changes made. Rows 1-3 and Emergency Exits reserved for Business Select passengers. Not saying they have to sit their...just keep others from taking those more prime seats. I would also rather see employees sitting in the exit rows over paying pax.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: 777fan
Posted 2013-01-21 16:01:59 and read 10423 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 19):
I always felt a Delta SkyDeli type cart in the jetbridge option is something that could work. Make the snack box $5.
Quoting type-rated (Reply 33):
[quote=ouboy79,reply=19]I always felt a Delta SkyDeli type cart in the jetbridge option is something that could work. Make the snack box $5.

Ah, the return of the "Bistro Bag" ala AA.

I'm sure somebody at WN has already determined it's not worth the catering contract, additional carry-on/refuse weight, and labor (time spent collecting refuse and vacuuming crumbs) to institute such an offering...especially at a meager $5 charge!

777fan

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-01-21 16:43:31 and read 10264 times.

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 32):
No, all they are doing is when an employee retires, they aren't replacing them to lower expenses. No layoffs etc...

What happens when there aren't enough retiree's or volunteers in an early out?

Head count alone won't solve the cost issue. Also, WN employees are theoretically have the most productivity compared to other carriers. There isn't a great deal of room to ask for work rule enhancements. The only big item remaining to get real cost down is a combination of paycuts and head reduction. I could see WN starting to withdraw from some of the money losing and marginal profit routes.

WN has asset ownership on their side going into this struggle along with good cash on hand. However, they have some serious work to do. This fee for boarding is not going to be received well and it is just a precursor to more fees. Some of the WN employees may have their jobs saved by fees going forward.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: airliner371
Posted 2013-01-21 16:51:08 and read 10223 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 38):
WN starting to withdraw from some of the money losing and marginal profit routes.

They have been doing that for about 2 years now.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 38):
This fee for boarding is not going to be received well

It will be perceived fine, its really not the same kind of fee as a bag fee, its an added bonus fee.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 38):
What happens when there aren't enough retiree's or volunteers in an early out?

They haven't said anything but I would assume they would offer voluntary buyouts. Keep in mind much of the cut in head count is coming from HQ.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: crj900lr
Posted 2013-01-21 17:28:10 and read 9962 times.

Assign seats like the others and we can eliminate all of this lining up in A/B/C groups. When your section of the plane is called to board you board, everyone knows where they are sitting already cause the seat is assigned. Seems to work pretty well for DL, US, AA, and the others.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: airliner371
Posted 2013-01-21 17:37:15 and read 9815 times.

Quoting crj900lr (Reply 41):

Assign seats like the others and we can eliminate all of this lining up in A/B/C groups.

Frankly, open seating works so much better then assigned seating. People form a mob when the zone is called, people board in wrong zones purposely, it forms mobs in the isles. Open seating the way Southwest does it is actually more organized.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: 777ord
Posted 2013-01-21 17:37:35 and read 9821 times.

I'd rather pay $25 for a checked bag.. That just seems like a sneaky way of avoiding the inevitable...

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2013-01-21 17:43:41 and read 9731 times.

Quoting crj900lr (Reply 41):
Assign seats like the others and we can eliminate all of this lining up in A/B/C groups. When your section of the plane is called to board you board, everyone knows where they are sitting already cause the seat is assigned. Seems to work pretty well for DL, US, AA, and the others.


They tried it and the customers didn't like it. They tried many different assigned seating methods and they had a negative impact on boarding times so they came up with the current boarding method.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: NWAROOSTER
Posted 2013-01-21 17:43:52 and read 9727 times.

Can't wait.......What great big deal..........Whoopee........   

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: crj900lr
Posted 2013-01-21 17:45:33 and read 9708 times.

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 42):
Open seating the way Southwest does it is actually more organized.

Until you get into the jetway and its backed up or finally get onto the plane and there are people looking all over for seats cause there are 4 in their group and they need those 4 seats to be by each other. If they had seat assignments beforehand they would have already been seated when you got on the plane. I'm sure in due time they will go to assigned seating as they are changing things here and there.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: airliner371
Posted 2013-01-21 17:45:34 and read 9692 times.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 43):
I'd rather pay $25 for a checked bag

This fee does not relate to bags except helping people that are carrying a bag. This is an extra option for anyone that was simply not provided prior.

Quoting crj900lr (Reply 46):

Like a previous post said, they tested assigned seating and it wasn't as efficient, that says it all.

[Edited 2013-01-21 17:48:17]

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-21 18:10:04 and read 9318 times.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 36):
While true they can't double book boarding numbers, if you were on a Business Select ticket than they should have made that accommodation regardless of the position number.

I have had lots of changed flights on Business Select tickets - both of my doing and of WN's doing - and have never not gotten an A1-15 boarding pass.

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 36):
As far as being stopped by the TSA, doesn't look like that is a WN issue so not much they can do about it.

At most airports with a decent number of WN operations, TSA is good about arriving at the gate and screening in time that they don't need to pull folks out of line. I often see TSA in BNA walking through the A group checking bags or IDs before boarding begins.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 38):
This fee for boarding is not going to be received well and it is just a precursor to more fees.

Why would it be any worse received than early bird checkin, which has been well received?

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2013-01-21 18:40:51 and read 8869 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 48):
Quoting mcdu (Reply 38):
This fee for boarding is not going to be received well and it is just a precursor to more fees.

Why would it be any worse received than early bird checkin, which has been well received?

Exactly. And it's not a fee in the bad sense. It's an additional service provided at a price. And the kicker? It's OPTIONAL!

Some replies above are missing the "In my anti-WN opinion" preface.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: bond007
Posted 2013-01-21 19:00:59 and read 8587 times.

Quoting crj900lr (Reply 41):
Assign seats like the others and we can eliminate all of this lining up in A/B/C groups. When your section of the plane is called to board you board, everyone knows where they are sitting already cause the seat is assigned. Seems to work pretty well for DL, US, AA, and the others.

You're kidding right?

I fly every week on a variety airlines, and the only 'cattle call' is on airlines other than WN. Please tell me which airlines you've been on where everybody boards in an orderly fashion instead of the 'Zone 1' rush to the door.

What I find quite interesting, and humorous, is that the WN boarding process once known as the most worse and chaotic, is now by far the most orderly and efficient of all.

Jimbo

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: airportugal310
Posted 2013-01-21 19:01:17 and read 8573 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 49):
Some replies above are missing the "In my anti-WN opinion" preface.

Well, not that I disagree with your sentiment per se, but your replies are just as biased   

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2013-01-21 19:19:50 and read 8334 times.

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 51):
Well, not that I disagree with your sentiment per se, but your replies are just as biased

Of course, by default. And for the most part, unless I have access to and am able to present facts to an argument, everything is simply my opinion and I try to present it that way.

But my point was, there is a lot being said as "fact" that's really more like wishful thinking from users who absolutely hate WN.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: N200WN
Posted 2013-01-21 19:26:28 and read 8201 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 48):

I have had lots of changed flights on Business Select tickets - both of my doing and of WN's doing - and have never not gotten an A1-15 boarding pass.

And that will now change - all BS and A-List without an A boarding pass will now board after Group A. That's part of today's rollout.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: 01pewterz28
Posted 2013-01-21 19:28:54 and read 8205 times.

Another reason I avoid SWA, hell I upgraded to Business Class for $50 on my MCO-MDW flight last Thursday, and $65 from MDW-MCO on Sunday well worth the price IMHO but hell SWA does not guarantee you a great seat and no Business Class too bad they purchased Air Tran I enjoyed the Business class.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-21 19:31:29 and read 8147 times.

Quoting N200WN (Reply 53):
all BS and A-List without an A boarding pass will now board after Group A. That's part of today's rollout.

Under what circumstances would a Business Select passenger not get an A boarding pass? A list would not get one if they booked or changed close to departure, but that has long been the case.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: bond007
Posted 2013-01-21 19:35:51 and read 8074 times.

Quoting N200WN (Reply 53):
And that will now change - all BS and A-List without an A boarding pass will now board after Group A. That's part of today's rollout.

Isn't this change just filling the empty A1-15 slots, that are not filled by BS. Nothing else changes .... or I misunderstood.

edited: Yes, nothing changes to anybody else's boarding priority or location ... of course it can't because this happens 45 minutes before boarding. All numbers have been issued. If there are empty slots in A1-15 they are offered ....that's it.

Jimbo

[Edited 2013-01-21 19:39:40]

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-01-21 19:40:25 and read 7995 times.

Amazing how the airline that has so artfully crafted such a populist, almost altruistic, image when it comes to fees is now going out of its way to find new ways to add ancillary revenue in places that carefully avoid the one big fee they've built their branding around (i.e., checked bags). Southwest obviously doesn't mind charging fees for preferential boarding (not unlike its other major U.S. rivals), nor does Southwest have any qualms about milking AirTran's fees for all their worth for as long as they have the opportunity.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
They have ruined Southwest Airlines. It used to be so simple. Show up at the gate, get in line and board - first come first serve. Now it's more complicated than any regular airline.

In fairness, if Southwest has been "ruined" by anything (and I don't think they have), it's their own success. The simplicity and efficiency that was a hallmark of Southwest's operations and its customer experience 20 years ago is simply no longer practical now that it is such a huge airline. "Complication" is simply inevitable. It's a lot easier to run that kind of an airline when you have 50, or even 150, planes as opposed to 550, and those planes are largely relegated to sunny, generally good-weather destinations. Having huge hubs in Chicago and Baltimore handling lots of connections in February doesn't really lend itself to 20-minute turns and just showing up, getting in line, and boarding.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 13):
Both are SWA hubs after thir purchase of Airtran, and every single trip I find cheaper prices on AA, US or other airlines.

That has generally been my experience as well. I can't remember the last time I priced out a ticket in a market where Southwest was among the competitors where Southwest was appreciably lower cost than any other airline. Indeed, in almost every case in the last several years, I have found Southwest to be more, not less, than their competitors. Again - the brilliance of their P.R. machine.

Quoting crj900lr (Reply 41):
Assign seats like the others and we can eliminate all of this lining up in A/B/C groups. When your section of the plane is called to board you board, everyone knows where they are sitting already cause the seat is assigned. Seems to work pretty well for DL, US, AA, and the others.

I tend to agree. Southwest has built up quite an infrastructure and a process simply to continue sustaining the open seating policy. But frankly, considering that Southwest's turn-times at domestic stations are often now not all that much quicker than their legacy competitors, and considering that their boarding doesn't happen (in my experience) all that much quicker than their legacy competitors, it does start to beg the question of why even bother with the boarding groups, different elaborate classifications of A/B/C, upsell for a certain boarding category, specialized signage and directions at the boarding door, etc.?

At some point - and I'm not saying Southwest has necessarily yet reached that point - it may well just become more efficient to assign seats and board by rows or groups. There is, after all, a reason why just about every other major U.S. airline does it that way.

[Edited 2013-01-21 19:44:57]

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2013-01-21 19:46:12 and read 7902 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 57):
At some point - and I'm not saying Southwest has necessarily yet reached that point - it may well just become more efficient to assign seats and board by rows or groups. There is, after all, a reason why just about every other major U.S. airline does it that way.

Again, they tested assigned seating a few years ago and it didn't work. Who knows if they will revisit the idea in the future, but they did try it a few years ago.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: bond007
Posted 2013-01-21 19:47:49 and read 7895 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 57):
There is, after all, a reason why just about every other major U.S. airline does it that way.

Not always good to assume that because everybody else does it, it's right ... all the other US airlines are hardly a model for efficient, low-cost, efficient, profitable companies.


Jimbo

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: N200WN
Posted 2013-01-21 19:48:44 and read 7877 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 55):
Under what circumstances would a Business Select passenger not get an A boarding pass? A list would not get one if they booked or changed close to departure, but that has long been the case.

Two things - first, if you are BS and your flight cancels/delays, you may get rebooked onto another flight and receive a B or C pass (let's say all 15 BS were already sold). Second, if you are A-List and book your flight less than 36 hours out (when A-List positions are assigned) you may get a B or C as well. In both these cases you will now be called to board after Group A.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: AeroWesty
Posted 2013-01-21 20:00:37 and read 7741 times.

Quoting BD338 (Reply 8):

Unless you have a high B or C group number, or a carry on the size of Iowa, and need to take an entire bin to yourself, I'm not sure it will be worth $40. Depending on the number of 'throughs' there should be plenty of aisle/window and overhead space up to the late B's.

I never board in the A group when I fly Southwest. I simply take whatever my assignment is, then head straight back for the 2nd or 3rd row from the rear. I can't remember the last time there was anyone in the middle seat in my row, and have never had carry-on storage problems.

Can't say that the folks ahead of me made it off the plane more than 10 minutes earlier than I have, even on the busiest flights.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: LoneStarMike
Posted 2013-01-21 20:01:50 and read 7738 times.

Quoting 777fan (Reply 37):
Quoting type-rated (Reply 33):
[quote=ouboy79,reply=19]I always felt a Delta SkyDeli type cart in the jetbridge option is something that could work. Make the snack box $5.

Ah, the return of the "Bistro Bag" ala AA.

I'm sure somebody at WN has already determined it's not worth the catering contract, additional carry-on/refuse weight, and labor (time spent collecting refuse and vacuuming crumbs) to institute such an offering...especially at a meager $5 charge!

One small problem with this idea. AA's Bistro bags and Delta's Sky-Deli bags were given away for free. If Southwest were allowed to sell food at the gate, they'd most likely have to pay the airport a percentage of their food sales, just like all the other concessions at the airport.

That's why airlines have "Buy on Board" food sales rather than "Buy it at the gate" food sales.

LoneStarMike

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: N200WN
Posted 2013-01-21 20:03:54 and read 7713 times.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 56):
Isn't this change just filling the empty A1-15 slots, that are not filled by BS. Nothing else changes .... or I misunderstood.

That's the big change - customers are always asking how they can get a higher boarding pass number. For most "wanna get away" fares the value just wasn't there to upgrade to BS. Now those open 1-15 slots can be sold at a more reasonable cost. The other big customer driven change is allowing all other BS and A-List/A-List Preferred to board after Group A.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: crj900lr
Posted 2013-01-21 20:09:46 and read 7643 times.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 50):
fly every week on a variety airlines, and the only 'cattle call' is on airlines other than WN. Please tell me which airlines you've been on where everybody boards in an orderly fashion instead of the 'Zone 1' rush to the door

Im saying that if seats were assigned people would know where they are going before they got on the plane insted of standing there and deciding where they should sit and holding everyone up. The airline I work for has zone boarding and I have seen numerous times, in several different cities that I have been in, where the gate agent sends people to the back of the line when they are boarding zone 1 and someone from another zone trys to slip past. I only wish that all the gate agents would do this and enforce the correct procedures. I have voiced my point of view on what i've seen and all the upper management tells us lower management is "we will look into it"

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-01-21 20:09:48 and read 7646 times.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 59):
Not always good to assume that because everybody else does it, it's right

Assume? No. Reasonably conclude? Yes. Particularly when "right" is defined as economically optimal given constraints, and "everybody" is defined as most competitors in a competitive market. Again - there is a reason why virtually every single airline in the U.S. (including many other efficient, lower-cost operators) have concluded that assigned seating is the way to go. Southwest obviously has for quite some time followed a different model - in terms of seating and many other things - but at some point given the practical realities of being an enormous airline flying hundreds of airplanes across a nationwide hub network, it may well make sense for Southwest to adapt and change when it comes to seating, just as Southwest has done in various other areas that now form major parts of its present business model, but which would have been anathema to their original business model from 40+ years ago.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 59):
all the other US airlines are hardly a model for efficient, low-cost, efficient, profitable companies.

Well, you say that, but lately, the U.S. airline industry in general ex-Southwest has been basically as efficient and profitable as Southwest, particularly if you exclude presently-restructuring AMR. Southwest isn't the lean, mean profit-making machine it once was. These days, Southwest's margins relative to the industry are in most quarters hardly stellar.

Again - Southwest has had no problem moving towards the rest of the industry in a variety of ways in recent years as it has come to realize that "what got them here won't get them there." Southwest now has hubs, has lengthened turn times, flies into congested and delay-prone major airports, is tip-toeing into codesharing, and is flying overwater and soon internationally. None of that would have fit into the business model of Southwest circa 1971, but times change.

If Southwest wants to keep up with a rapidly-evolving industry and a rapidly-intensifying competitive environment with fewer, larger big airlines, they will have to continue to change. And frankly, given how Southwest has been performing financially in the last few years compared to how some of its major competitors have been doing, continuing to steal a few ideas from the legacy airlines may not be such a bad idea.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: N200WN
Posted 2013-01-21 20:10:39 and read 7637 times.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 61):
I never board in the A group when I fly Southwest. I simply take whatever my assignment is, then head straight back for the 2nd or 3rd row from the rear. I can't remember the last time there was anyone in the middle seat in my row, and have never had carry-on storage problems.

Hey...don't give those good secrets away! As a non-rev today on a full flight out of DEN, myself and five kids were all at the end of C 1-30, and we were all seated together except for one hard headed 9 year old that just grabbed the first window seat he saw.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: UA735WL
Posted 2013-01-21 20:23:57 and read 7500 times.

Quoting flyfree727 (Reply 31):
Quoting 777ord (Reply 43):

Flyfree727 nailed it. WN wants the revenue from bag fees, but also wants the advertising that stems from not having bag fees. This is just a way to raise a little ancillary revenue without charging for bags.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: bond007
Posted 2013-01-21 20:26:28 and read 7447 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 65):
virtually every single airline in the U.S. (including many other efficient, lower-cost operators) have concluded that assigned seating is the way to go. Southwest obviously has for quite some time followed a different model

Yes, and my point again is that for 'quite some time' WN has made a profit every year, and almost 'every single airline in the U.S.' that ' have concluded that assigned seating is the way to go' have lost billions of dollars.

I'm not saying everything that WN has done is perfect, or even the right way of doing it, but there is no logic either in saying that loss making airlines were doing the 'right thing' when WN was doing something different.


Jimbo

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2013-01-21 20:31:37 and read 7401 times.

Quoting crj900lr (Reply 64):
Quoting commavia (Reply 65):

Nobody wants to listen to me...   

Guys, this was an issue they looked into back in 2007. For 8 months they tried various methods of assigned seating and after listening to customer feedback and careful study of turn times, they opted to stay with open seating and focused on developing the system they have today.

Some of your points are valid, but they already took a careful look at the idea.

[Edited 2013-01-21 20:37:52]

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: hOmsAR
Posted 2013-01-21 20:52:23 and read 7181 times.

Quoting crj900lr (Reply 46):
Until you get into the jetway and its backed up

I can't remember the last time I've not seen a packed jetway, on any flight, on any airline.

Last week I flew US Airways and they had to briefly stop boarding halfway through because the backup onto the jetway had reached almost into the terminal.

But wait...everybody had a seat assignment. Why should it take so long?

Quoting bond007 (Reply 50):

What I find quite interesting, and humorous, is that the WN boarding process once known as the most worse and chaotic, is now by far the most orderly and efficient of all.

  

Absolutely. It continues to amaze me, whenever I fly United (for example), how long it takes to board a plane. And I'm usually flying their A320s and 737s, not 747s. So, basically, a plane with the same seating capacity as a Southwest 737, but it takes quite a bit longer than Southwest.

But wait...everybody on Southwest is lost and doesn't know where to sit. How can they be faster than the other airlines?

Quoting crj900lr (Reply 64):
Im saying that if seats were assigned people would know where they are going before they got on the plane insted of standing there and deciding where they should sit and holding everyone up

I usually don't see too many folks holding people up deciding where to sit. My experience is that the folks who are boarding in the high Bs and Cs know they're going to not get good seats, or seats together, so they just resign themselves to taking the first seat they see open. Often, FAs will encourage them with PA announcements to take whatever the first seat is that they see. Midway through the boarding process, the FA in the rear will tell people that there are still plenty of seats in back.

When you get to the last few people boarding, there isn't really much choice for them, so they just sit in whatever open seat they can find.

What often holds things up more than finding their seat is finding bin space. That's a problem on "legacy" airlines as much as (if not moreso than) on WN.

Years ago, the legacies may have had a better boarding process, because, other than F and preboards, they simply did it by rows, starting at the rear and moving forward. That way, theoretically nobody (or very few people) would have to wait for someone to get their junk in the overhead bin and take their seat before they could get by and head further back.

But nowadays, the boarding process of pretty much every legacy is such a cluster**** that, as others have noted, this is the real cattle call, not the WN style.

They typical boarding process is now something like:

Group 1 *First class passengers, MegaAlliance SuperElite
Group 2 *Business class passengers, MegaAlliance MediumElite
Group 3 *MegaAlliance LowerElite
Group 4 *LegacyAir MegaAlliance premier MasterCard select cardholders
Group 5 *LegacyAir SupremEconomy passengers
Group 6 *LegacyAir priority-pass purchase for those that want to buy into a better boarding position but have no status or credit cards
Group 7 *Preboarders, families with kids, etc.

(Meanwhile the entire Southwest flight has boarded and pushed back)

Groups 8-34 *The rest of the plane

Now, that may be a slight exaggeration (but seriously, not by much). Plus, within each of those groups, it's quite a cattle call because everybody is converging on the gate and you're not quite sure if the person standing in front of you is boarding in the same group as you, or if he's just standing there.

Then you get on the plane, and you're stuck again because the guy that got on before you is in row 9 and you're in row 22, and he's in the window and has to wait for the person in the aisle to get up and let him in after he's done putting his stuff in the overhead bin, then you finally get past, only to repeat the same dance at row 16. And just bypassing that seat and taking the same seat a row or two past (with nobody sitting in the aisle to block your way in) isn't an option, because you're in an assigned seat.

With Southwest, you know exactly when to line up, and where to stand in line. All you have to do after that is find an empty seat and sit down.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: vegas005
Posted 2013-01-21 22:55:15 and read 6292 times.

I ride the train every day and it is always full and hard to find a seat. I can either go first class and have a decent chance at a nice seat or gut it out and ride with the peasants. Same with the airlines, ride with the peasants or get a cushy assigned seat. The choice is yours really.....

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: PWMRamper
Posted 2013-01-21 23:45:43 and read 6004 times.

Quoting hOmsAR (Reply 70):

That's why I loved the OLD UA boarding. Window-Middle-Aisle worked very, very well. It was easy to explain to passengers, and since it actually makes sense, people generally boarded when they were supposed to.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Antoniemey
Posted 2013-01-22 00:14:36 and read 5837 times.

Quoting UA735WL (Reply 67):
Flyfree727 nailed it. WN wants the revenue from bag fees, but also wants the advertising that stems from not having bag fees. This is just a way to raise a little ancillary revenue without charging for bags.

In many cases (not all) you can see those "nonexistent" bag fees included in the fare, most notably with the advance purchase, discount fare levels. This is a way to let people who have an urge to be important or who are overly concerned about getting the exact seat they want pay to have that option. I think the cost is a bit steep for what's being offered, so I won't be using it, but it's certainly nothing sinister.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 05:19:44 and read 4224 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 56):
That has generally been my experience as well. I can't remember the last time I priced out a ticket in a market where Southwest was among the competitors where Southwest was appreciably lower cost than any other airline.

I'd suggest that that shows the effect of WN. If you take two similar markets where one has WN and the other does not - say DFW-OMA versus DFW-DSM, the effect of WN is still as clear as it always has been.

Quoting N200WN (Reply 59):
Two things - first, if you are BS and your flight cancels/delays, you may get rebooked onto another flight and receive a B or C pass (let's say all 15 BS were already sold).

The point of having 15 Business Select spots rather than 5 or 10 is that Business Select very rarely sells out, so this very rarely happens.

Quoting commavia (Reply 64):
but at some point given the practical realities of being an enormous airline flying hundreds of airplanes across a nationwide hub network, it may well make sense for Southwest to adapt and change when it comes to seating

I certainly understand why getting bigger might lead to the need for many changes - several of which we have already seen. I do not understand, however, how getting bigger has any effect on optimal seating strategy.

You have to remember that the boarding process at other carriers is not optimized for speed. We saw that very clearly when DL and NW merged and they kept the slower, more cumbersome DL process.

Quoting commavia (Reply 64):
And frankly, given how Southwest has been performing financially in the last few years compared to how some of its major competitors have been doing, continuing to steal a few ideas from the legacy airlines may not be such a bad idea.

Given the vastly different market dynamics, is it an apples to apples comparison? WN isn't outsourcing its MDW-BDL or MDW-BNA flights to MQ.

[Edited 2013-01-22 05:20:06]

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-01-22 05:26:12 and read 4154 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 73):
Given the vastly different market dynamics, is it an apples to apples comparison? WN isn't outsourcing its MDW-BDL or MDW-BNA flights to MQ.

I don't see how it's apples-to-anything-else at all. They are both in the same fundamental business: air transportation. The tools that AA uses to compete, such as outsourcing some flying to a smaller regional operator, is merely a tool, not a shift in the market they compete in itself. Southwest uses tools of its own to compete.

And the point I'm making is that Southwest using all the tools at its disposal, and the rest of the U.S. airline industry using all the tools and its collective disposal, has produced returns that aren't all that dramatically different from each other.

Whereas 10 or 20 years ago Southwest could be counted on to consistently over-perform, profitably, relative to the industry, those days are now gone. These days, Southwest's margins are really not all that impressive compared to Delta, Alaska, etc. And now that AA has substantially restructured in bankruptcy - the last major U.S. network airline to do so - the pressure is only going to intensify. And Southwest's leadership has essentially acknowledged as much (see: Gary Kelly's memo of December 5, 2011).

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 05:31:27 and read 4130 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 74):
Whereas 10 or 20 years ago Southwest could be counted on to consistently over-perform, profitably, relative to the industry, those days are now gone.

Well, sure, but WN hasn't been through C11. And if WN can manage to perform similarly to (or even a little worse than) other carriers without screwing its employees and shareholders in C11, I think that's admirable. YMMV.

Quoting commavia (Reply 74):
And the point I'm making is that Southwest using all the tools at its disposal, and the rest of the U.S. airline industry using all the tools and its collective disposal, has produced returns that aren't all that dramatically different from each other.

If you account for the shareholder value wiped out in bankruptcy and take a 10 or 20 year time period, is that true?

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: commavia
Posted 2013-01-22 05:35:27 and read 4099 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 75):
Well, sure, but WN hasn't been through C11.

Absolutely. But, alas, that's a major challenge they will have to contend with.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 75):
And if WN can manage to perform similarly to (or even a little worse than) other carriers without screwing its employees and shareholders in C11, I think that's admirable.

Trust me - I couldn't agree more. But, sadly, we see how far "admirably" trying not to use bankruptcy got AA and its unions.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 75):
If you account for the shareholder value wiped out in bankruptcy and take a 10 or 20 year time period, is that true?

Doubtful. Although of course that's not the way returns are measured in bankruptcies. The old shareholders almost always get wiped out, and the returns being generated post-bankruptcy are being generated for the new shareholders, who need not necessarily be the same as the old ones (and often aren't).

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-01-22 05:59:58 and read 3923 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 48):
And the kicker? It's OPTIONAL!

Isn't that the case with all of the various airlines fees?

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: flflyer
Posted 2013-01-22 06:06:07 and read 3868 times.

A way to raise some funds to offset the free drink lawsuit they lost??

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: ultrapig
Posted 2013-01-22 07:23:06 and read 3309 times.

Tell me where my suggestion has been discussed-All of us have suggestions to the experts at SWA who seem to do a pretty good job.

It seems to me that Busienss or wealthy travelrs don't care so much about getign on first as havign an empty seat next to them. granted getting on first gives you a good shot at a seat up front.

I would pay extra if SWA blocked off the first four rows using colored seat covers and reserved those seats for the now 16 BS passengers and only allowed others to use the middle or empty seats if the plane had more than (Capacity) minus 8 passengers in which case those last eight could sit up front. The boarding agent could easily tell if that wre the case as he/she has a running total on the screen. Further it would streamline boarding in that people would not be blockign the aisles setlign into the front roms until the end of the boarding process (with the exception of the BS passengers.

OK experts what is wrong with my idea?

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-01-22 07:23:34 and read 3310 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 68):
Guys, this was an issue they looked into back in 2007. For 8 months they tried various methods of assigned seating and after listening to customer feedback and careful study of turn times, they opted to stay with open seating and focused on developing the system they have today.

I don't think their res system is particularly good at assigning seats either, which may have been the biggest obstacle. Year after year, the number one complaint at WN is lack of assigned seats.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 75):
Well, sure, but WN hasn't been through C11. And if WN can manage to perform similarly to (or even a little worse than) other carriers without screwing its employees and shareholders in C11, I think that's admirable. YMMV.

Is it though? When WN showed up on the block, the other carriers still in existence today already had 40+ years of regulated labor and cost baggage. WN never had to deal with regulation as it was only an intrastate carrier just prior to Deregulation. What WN has done is certainly impressive, but in the context of history, it was up against carriers whose business model was destroyed literally overnight.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 07:26:51 and read 3270 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 80):
What WN has done is certainly impressive, but in the context of history, it was up against carriers whose business model was destroyed literally overnight.

That's certainly a popular narrative, both here and elsewhere, but I don't know that it's supported by the facts. The rate of return to shareholders (perhaps I should say lack of return to shareholders) didn't change much with deregulation. The primary changes were to wages (down) and to fares (also down).

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-01-22 07:34:47 and read 3199 times.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 81):
The rate of return to shareholders (perhaps I should say lack of return to shareholders) didn't change much with deregulation

The rate of return has converged, as we are now seeing with WN and legacy carriers. B6 is another good example of how a young carrier's early high margins have slid as their costs have grown, legacies have gone through bankruptcy, and their cost advantage dissipates. Both B6 and WN are finding that the revenue advantage may be more important in the longrun than the cost advantage, hence things like $40 to stand in line.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: GentFromAlaska
Posted 2013-01-22 07:36:49 and read 3177 times.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 60):
then head straight back for the 2nd or 3rd row from the rear. I can't remember the last time there was anyone in the middle seat in my row, and have never had carry-on storage problems.

Good strategy not everybody likes to sit in the back of the bus. We also have to keep in mind overhead bin space is less of a concern on WN because checked baggage flys for free. On other carriers it can be a war zone. Especially those who believe the bin space is solely theirs.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 68):
Nobody wants to listen to me...

Nah, I liken WN to Alaska (the state) you either like it or hate it. Everybody's opinionated.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-01-22 07:44:10 and read 3109 times.

Quoting commavia (Reply 74):
And the point I'm making is that Southwest using all the tools at its disposal, and the rest of the U.S. airline industry using all the tools and its collective disposal, has produced returns that aren't all that dramatically different from each other.

And you think assigning seats will really change that? Sure, it might make a few customers a bit happier, but it will also cost WN millions as turn times will have to be increased substantially.

Assigned seating is nice, but it destroys turn times.....take a look at the pathetically long-turn times for UA/AA/DL.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: bond007
Posted 2013-01-22 07:49:30 and read 3057 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 82):
hence things like $40 to stand in line.

But let's be clear here .. nothing has changed here except for folks who wish to pay more money to get in the first group of 15. Everybody else has the same number they would have had, A-List members are first in the A15+ group, and BS folks are first in the A1-15 group. If there is a gap between the BS and A-list, then it will be offered to other folks.

The worse case is that a couple of more pax might be in front of you....in a group that in theory could have been filled anyway.

Nobody is being charged any more money to stand in line.


Jimbo

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-01-22 07:54:41 and read 3018 times.

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 84):
.....take a look at the pathetically long-turn times for UA/AA/DL.

They're not that much longer anymore, if at all. This isn't 1985.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: jayunited
Posted 2013-01-22 07:59:23 and read 2968 times.

It has been a couple of years since I've flown WN but I know that they do allow passengers to remain onboard when it is a thru flight. Offering an "A" group boarding position when there are thru passengers on the plane is interesting because you still could end up with a horrible seat.

Now I know that the $40 dollars only gets you an earlier spot in the line and that WN is not guaranteeing you a better seat on the plane, but I think if someone pays the extra $40 they probably are expecting to get a great seat on the plane and might get upset when they walk onboard and see that the plane is 70% full with thru passengers.

It sounds like a great program if the flight is originating and there are no passengers on board. If it is a thru flight and more than 50% of the passengers are remaining onboard then I hope they would not sell people an earlier spot in the line because there is no point and no benefit to the customer.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: bond007
Posted 2013-01-22 08:02:50 and read 2927 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 86):
Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 84):
.....take a look at the pathetically long-turn times for UA/AA/DL.

They're not that much longer anymore, if at all. This isn't 1985.

The truth is, as much as I might think that the WN method is efficient, if any airline wants to board 120 pax in 20 minutes, they can do it. The main reason we don't see UA/AA/DL boarding in 20 minutes is because they don't need to ... WN often simply has to board quickly.

I've been on many other airlines' flights, where the inbound was delayed and we had to turn in a short time - and it was done quite easily.

You can have the most efficient, MIT designed boarding process, but as long as you have several folks that can't get their bag into the overhead and take 3 minutes to get into their seat, you may as well board randomly.


Jimbo

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 08:07:55 and read 2897 times.

Quoting jayunited (Reply 87):
It sounds like a great program if the flight is originating and there are no passengers on board. If it is a thru flight and more than 50% of the passengers are remaining onboard then I hope they would not sell people an earlier spot in the line because there is no point and no benefit to the customer.

Most of the flights with that many thrus (e.g. BNA-BHM-DAL) have been cut. Nowadays, 30-40 thrus seems like about the maximum.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: delta2ual
Posted 2013-01-22 08:11:02 and read 2855 times.

I am one of those that would happily pay the 40 bucks. My only question, as someone else pointed out, is what happens if you pay the fee and you board a thru flight and it is 80% full? You're still stuck in a less desirable seat and out 40 bucks. Are they selling this option of full thru flights?

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: bond007
Posted 2013-01-22 08:16:00 and read 2820 times.

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 90):
and it is 80% full? You're still stuck in a less desirable seat and out 40 bucks.

But you are still getting the most desirable seat possible for your segment. If the flight is 80% full, and I've never experienced this, then unless you did pay that $40 or was BS, A-List, there's a good chance you'd end up in a less desirable seat.

You will always get the most desirable seat possible by paying the extra.


Jimbo

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: skycub
Posted 2013-01-22 08:33:44 and read 2660 times.

Quoting ultrapig (Reply 79):

I would pay extra if SWA blocked off the first four rows using colored seat covers and reserved those seats for the now 16 BS passengers and only allowed others to use the middle or empty seats if the plane had more than (Capacity) minus 8 passengers in which case those last eight could sit up front. The boarding agent could easily tell if that wre the case as he/she has a running total on the screen. Further it would streamline boarding in that people would not be blockign the aisles setlign into the front roms until the end of the boarding process (with the exception of the BS passengers.

OK experts what is wrong with my idea?

This is what is wrong with it... There are too many different scenarios with a Southwest flight and the people onboard a Southwest flight.

Lets take your idea....

Lets take a flight operating Chicago-Saint Louis-San Antonio. Chicago-Saint Louis is full... Saint Louis-San Antonio is only half full.

A non-BS pax traveling Chicago-San Antonio boards in Chicago and takes one of the empty middle seats in the first four rows since those seats would NOT be reserved/blocked on a full flight. Like you said... the flight is full...Southwest needs those middle seats.

Now the plane stops in Saint Louis for the half-full Saint Louis-San Antonio leg. This non-BS thru-passenger who boarded in Chicago and made themselves comfortable in the second row is now NOT ALLOWED to sit there on the second leg because the first four rows are reserved for BS passengers only on a not-full flight?

"We're sorry, Sir, since this particular leg of the flight is not full, we now need you to gather your belongings and move further back." Errr... that's not going to go over so well.

Or let's say the flight was border-line in bookings... say there are going to be 8 less passengers than capacity... so enough that the eight middle seats in the first four rows could be saved for BS pax. Yet... One of those BS pax doesn't want to sit in the first few rows. They want that seat in the exit row with all the room.

So now what do you do? Are you going to tell the BS pax that they can't sit in the exit row? They have to sit in one of the first four rows? Or do you tell one of the NON-BS people...."Normally you wouldn't be able to sit in the front row... but in this case, we need you to." And then which NON-BS pax gets chosen to sit at the front of the plane with a middle empty seat? Some random last-boarding group person? While people who paid for early boarding were not given the chance to sit there?

What if one of those BS passengers has a companion pass they are using? Does their companion NOT get to sit next to them in the front of the plane because the OTHER BS passenger in that row is guaranteed an empty middle seat?

"We are sorry Mr. 2A BS passenger, your wife who is flying free as your companion because you have been such an awesome customer with us and flew 100 segments on us last year CANNOT sit next to you because we have to make sure the other BS passenger in 2C gets the middle seat next to him empty."

These are just THREE scenarios that I came up with off the top of my head.

There is just too much policing to be done by employees and too many random, odd-ball scenarios that could happen to say: "If the plane isn't full, just block off the middle seats in the first four rows for the BS passengers."

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: FlyPNS1
Posted 2013-01-22 08:57:04 and read 2469 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 86):
They're not that much longer anymore, if at all. This isn't 1985.

There's still quite a difference. WN still turns planes in 25-30 minutes. UA/AA/DL couldn't do that with a similar aircraft unless the plane was half empty!!

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2013-01-22 09:22:20 and read 2278 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 77):
Isn't that the case with all of the various airlines fees?

This is very different than, you need to check a bag? Pay up. Or you want a small snack on your flight? Pay up. They are not saying you must pay an additional fee if you want to board the flight.

Does anyone go to an airport and ask, hey I'd like to check in a bag...if I pay extra, will you please let me check a bag? No. They pay it because they have to and the only way to avoid the fee is to not check a bag. But people have asked to pay to upgrade their boarding status. There is demand for this!

What's funny is before this change, if someone wanted to board in the first group, your option was to PAY to upgrade to Business Select. Was that such a horrible thing? To give the option to upgrade?

This new "fee" is essentially an upgrade for those who want it, but at a reduced price (fee) and without all of the perks of a full business select upgrade which makes sense because its a cheaper upgrade option.

[Edited 2013-01-22 09:49:39]

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: ultrapig
Posted 2013-01-22 11:10:53 and read 2089 times.

Skyclub:

Thanks-You are right! And you said it in such a logical polite manner. You should be banned from Airliners.net!

Seriously thanks.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: mcdu
Posted 2013-01-22 12:31:23 and read 1977 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 94):
This is very different than, you need to check a bag? Pay up. Or you want a small snack on your flight? Pay up. They are not saying you must pay an additional fee if you want to board the flight.

There is nothing different. If you don't want to pay a fee for a bag you may use a carry-on or join the airline FF program/credit card.


What free dining options does WN provide? Do they offer free salads, sandwiches, etc?

WN is in the fee club no matter how anyone cares to spin this. Perhaps we should ask that judge in those lame WN commercials if this is as ancillary fee like the others.

It is the hypocrisy of WN and their FEE FREE mantra that is most amusing. They need these fees and watching them join the retreat is definitely enjoyable.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Cubsrule
Posted 2013-01-22 12:35:48 and read 1969 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 96):
It is the hypocrisy of WN and their FEE FREE mantra that is most amusing. They need these fees and watching them join the retreat is definitely enjoyable.

Maybe, but WN already has an early boarding fee, so I don't see how the addition of a second early boarding fee changes things any.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2013-01-22 12:40:52 and read 1939 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 96):
WN is in the fee club no matter how anyone cares to spin this. Perhaps we should ask that judge in those lame WN commercials if this is as ancillary fee like the others.

Again, before offering this new option customers still had the opporunity to get these same spots by upgrading to the Business Select fare. They are giving people the option to take those spots in line at a now smaller upgrade price, if available.

Where's the problem there? Is it really that different? It doesn't hurt anyone.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: MaverickM11
Posted 2013-01-22 12:45:13 and read 1924 times.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 98):
Is it really that different?

From everyone else? Nope 

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: Silver1SWA
Posted 2013-01-22 13:00:02 and read 1900 times.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 99):
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 98):
Is it really that different?

From everyone else? Nope


LOL Well played.

But you know what I meant.  

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: ouboy79
Posted 2013-01-22 14:14:59 and read 1808 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 96):
There is nothing different. If you don't want to pay a fee for a bag you may use a carry-on or join the airline FF program/credit card.

Sure you can avoid the bag fee by just carrying on, but you'll be limited to what you take. Which I guess there are limits to everything. As far as the ways to get out of it...you need to actually achieve status with the FF program to get the free bags. I have an AAdvantage card, yet I still pay for bags when I fly on them...since I obviously don't fly enough with them. Getting a credit card with an airline is an option, but not logical. Of course that is coming from someone who is anti-debt.  
Quoting mcdu (Reply 96):
What free dining options does WN provide? Do they offer free salads, sandwiches, etc?

Have they ever? Why is this even a point?

Quoting mcdu (Reply 96):
WN is in the fee club no matter how anyone cares to spin this. Perhaps we should ask that judge in those lame WN commercials if this is as ancillary fee like the others.

I don't think anyone denied that? Every airline has charged fees for decades - overweight bags anyone? However, WN is sticking to its guns when it comes to keeping the basics free - no bag fees or change fees. IMO all food, early boarding options, or extra frills above the basics are free game to charge for.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 96):
It is the hypocrisy of WN and their FEE FREE mantra that is most amusing. They need these fees and watching them join the retreat is definitely enjoyable.

Again they've never claimed fee free totally...but don't charge fees for the basics. I really won't be shocked if there comes a time (post-Amadeus) that seat assignments will be sold for a fee to replace Early Bird. Then those that choose not to buy a seat assignment fall under the same system now - open seating, pick whats left.

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: bond007
Posted 2013-01-22 15:41:23 and read 1731 times.

Quoting mcdu (Reply 96):
There is nothing different. If you don't want to pay a fee for a bag you may use a carry-on or join the airline FF program/credit card.
Quoting mcdu (Reply 96):
It is the hypocrisy of WN and their FEE FREE mantra that is most amusing. They need these fees and watching them join the retreat is definitely enjoyable.

This is completely different. If you don't want to upgrade then absolutely nothing is different than it was before. This an extra option that if you don't pay, does not change your original boarding number/priority.

It is not comparable to bag fees in any way. If everyone could simply "use a carry-on", then we would never have checked baggage on ANY flight. We do often need to check bags, and when we do, on many airlines we have to pay a fee. I don't have to pay the WN upgrade charge, and if I don't, then nothing is different then before the change.

Jimbo

[Edited 2013-01-22 15:43:27]

Topic: RE: SWA Offers New Boarding Option
Username: aklrno
Posted 2013-01-22 16:42:02 and read 1642 times.

Quoting bond007 (Reply 102):
This is completely different. If you don't want to upgrade then absolutely nothing is different than it was before. This an extra option that if you don't pay, does not change your original boarding number/priority.

Exactly. This is Business Select Lite. No free drink, no cash refunds, no special security line, no extra rewards points.

Just a bit of fine tuning. I might do it if I have a tight connection and somehow ended up with a number above A40, or if I wanted to keep my carry on and was in the upper end of C. Usually I pay for early bird when I want a low number, but if you make a last minute booking or change you can get stuck in back.

I can see how this might not work well for someone in the middle of the country who is boarding a flight that has several stops. The plane might be quite full at any intermediate stop. For those of us on the edges that is less likely. I rarely board a flight with more than a dozen through passengers, and not all of them move up. Some of them move up too far, to the narrow seats in rows 1-3.

I have no problem with WN's fees. The basics are free. The no-fee change policy makes up for the early bird fee. Even though there are frequently UA flights that I can use that may be $10 less, I still prefer WN

Last month I made a mistake and booked a flight for the wrong day. Didn't catch the mistake until a few days before the flight. It was an LAX departure that I had to change from Friday to Saturday. I guess Saturdays are less busy at LAX; the new flight was $25 less. Not only was there no change fee, I now have a $25 flight credit I'll use next month. I LUV WN!


The messages in this discussion express the views of the author of the message, not necessarily the views of Airliners.net or any entity associated with Airliners.net.

Copyright © Lundgren Aerospace. All rights reserved.
http://www.airliners.net/