AMSMAN
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:24 pm

Booking Periods With Southwest

Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:41 am

I'm going DUB-STL later in the year and I've been doing some research into the cheapest flights. Cheapest option is DUB-ORD with EI and ORD-STL with UA.

I've never been to LAX so I thought of flying DUB-LAX-STL-ORD-DUB, but when I tried to book LAX-STL on Southwest it said that they were only taking bookings up to Sep 12th.

Does anyone know why this is and when will it allow me to book in Dec?
Aer Lingus, Proud to be Irish.
 
ssides
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RE: Booking Periods With Southwest

Tue Mar 29, 2005 2:56 am

One of Southwest's keys to success is that they don't look too far into the future when it comes to booking.

Most airlines allow booking up to 330 days in advance, approximately 11 months. Lots can change in 11 months. Markets can change drastically. Fuel prices can swing wildly. If, for example, AA decides to pull out of a city, it may have passengers already booked there, meaning it must reaccomodate them on other airlines. This costs money.

Southwest doesn't try to predict the future as much. At one time, Southwest only offered flights up to three months in advance. Now, they've upped that to six months. Because of this, Southwest isn't stuck with passengers too far in advance, and has more freedom to tweak its schedule to meet market demands. Just another reason why Southwest is profitable.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
AMSMAN
Topic Author
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RE: Booking Periods With Southwest

Tue Mar 29, 2005 3:15 am

Interesting....seems reasonable....wonder if that was Herb's idea?
Aer Lingus, Proud to be Irish.
 
SWAFA30
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RE: Booking Periods With Southwest

Tue Mar 29, 2005 4:51 am

Quoting AMSMAN (Thread starter):
Does anyone know why this is and when will it allow me to book in Dec?

If history is any indicator, look for the December schedule to open sometime in mid to late July.
 
ssides
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RE: Booking Periods With Southwest

Tue Mar 29, 2005 5:46 am

Quoting AMSMAN (Reply 2):
Interesting....seems reasonable....wonder if that was Herb's idea?

Many Southwest policies stem from when it was a small three-plane, three-city operation. Back then, they didn't assign seats because their planes were often half-empty. They still don't assign seats. They didn't serve meals because most flights were less than an hour. They still don't serve meals. They also didn't plan too far ahead, because they had little clue as to what demand would be several months in the future. They still don't.

Given the fierce loyalty of its customers, they must be doing something right!
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
stirling
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RE: Booking Periods With Southwest

Tue Mar 29, 2005 6:11 am

I heard straight from Herb's mouth, that the policy was the result of them honestly thinking, that they weren't going to make it.
How much of this statement is modesty, and how much is meant to perpetuate the fairy-tale saga, no one but Herb can say for certain.
The established carriers at the time did everything in their power to keep Southwest from taking to the skies. And when they did, they fought them even harder. Braniff especially. Intra-Texas was a cornerstone of what that airline stood for.
David and Goliath story.
David wins.
David 2, Goliath 0
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FlyingTexan
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RE: Booking Periods With Southwest

Tue Mar 29, 2005 9:42 am

Quoting Ssides (Reply 1):
Just another reason why Southwest is profitable.

Exactly.

Southwest rarely has passengers effected by a schedule change. I see customers inconvenienced by schedule changes by legacy carriers day in and day out. Sometimes, I see a schedule change multiple times on the same reservation.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
UAalltheway
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RE: Booking Periods With Southwest

Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:05 am

You should be able to make a booking on WN by May or June at the earliest.
 
txagkuwait
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RE: Booking Periods With Southwest

Tue Mar 29, 2005 10:55 am

>> heard straight from Herb's mouth, that the policy was the result of them honestly thinking, that they weren't going to make it.
How much of this statement is modesty, and how much is meant to perpetuate the fairy-tale saga, no one but Herb can say for certain.<<

Well, I don't doubt that you heard it from herb, but that doesn't make it true. Bless his heart, occasionally Herb doesn't seem to remember things the way they really were.....of course that could very well be due to the FACT that for at least the first 7 yrs of the airline's existence, Herb had NOTHING at all to do with it except lawyer.

Here is an amusing anecdote for you.

As far back as 1975, Southwest was accepting reservations for 365 days out.

They were not on a computer system.....flight reservations were put on little index cards and filed.

Loads were such that you never started to worry about flights until 30-45 days before the flight.

Imagine everyone's shock and consternation when the pasteboard box containing "future date bookings" was sorted through and everyone discovered that Flight 125 on the Friday before Labor Day, 1975, from Dallas to Houston to Harlingen at 7:30 pm, was booked to 376. On a plane that seated 118.

There wasn't much anyone could do......Rez called folks and talked them into taking an earlier flight...a later flight....whatever.....but the truth is the day of reckoning arrived and Fortuna smiled on Southwest, big time.

A hurricane moved across the Gulf of Mexico and threatened to come inland right by Brownsville and South Padre Island, just a hop-skip-and jump from the Harlingen Airport. So instead of a massively oversold aircraft, it went out from Houston with, as I recall, a load of 28.

Shortly thereafter Rez did not take any more reservations that far in advance. Ultimately, Southwest got away from the index cards and went to a NCR computer inventory system....using little bitty Bunker-Ramo agent terminals.....and it was about all those things could do to keep track of a month's worth of records, much less 12.

And that's the way it was at Southwest Airlines Reservations, 1201 N Watson Rd, Arlington TX. Metro number 640-1221.
 
AMSMAN
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 6:24 pm

RE: Booking Periods With Southwest

Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:02 am

*wonders what position Txagkuwait held with soutwest in the past?*

Thanks guys, you've been a big help!!
Aer Lingus, Proud to be Irish.