ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

New Southwest Capacity Controls For Rapid Rewards

Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:10 am

I read recently that WN would be introducing capacity controls on its frequent flyer program in exchange for expanding the earnings window.

I have tried to book some Rapid Rewards tickets online and have had a hard time finding available flights -- a much harder time than I have had on AA or other airlines.

Has anyone else had this experience? I'm interested to see how this is playing out among loyal WN customers.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
toltommy
Posts: 2465
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 9:04 am

RE: New Southwest Capacity Controls For Rapid Rewards

Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:18 am

Rapid rewards have a 2 year window now,from what I've heard. Your problem could come from where you are trying to go and when. Florida over a holiday, its a problem. But since you don't say, one can't make an accurate observation. AA may have more seats in the market. Are you getting standard award availability on AA? Hard to tell based on what you've told us so far, unless you were just looking to complain. Hard to get used to since WN used to be so easy to use.
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: New Southwest Capacity Controls For Rapid Rewards

Thu Mar 30, 2006 6:23 am

Believe me, I'm not complaining -- yet. I have always flown both AA and WN, depending on price and destination. I am loyal to AA, but I am absolutely not a WN-basher (as you can see from my signature, I despise those people).

However, I have been trying to book Rapid Rewards tickets more than two months out for routes such as DAL-ELP, DAL-MAF, DAL-SAT, etc., and have had no luck. I understand that getting to Vegas or Florida might be a bit difficult, but I wouldn't expect it to be very tough to get to El Paso or Midland.

I admit that I am disappointed in WN on this issue. I have long defended the airline against the outrageous allegations against it on this board, and will continue to do so. However, one of the key aspects that kept me flying WN was the simplicity of its frequent flyer program. If I ultimately find that this program is no better than a legacy carrier, I will likely exercise my consumer choice and fly with AA exclusively.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
Tango-Bravo
Posts: 2887
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 1:04 am

RE: New Southwest Capacity Controls For Rapid Rewards

Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:35 am

Quoting Ssides (Reply 2):
If I ultimately find that this program is no better than a legacy carrier, I will likely exercise my consumer choice and fly with AA exclusively.

With utmost respect, if the only reason you choose AA over WN is what you can get for nothing, I seriously doubt that WN will rue the loss of your business.

On the other hand, now that Rapid Rewards can no longer rightly claim to be "an award program you can actually use" (at least in the same generous sense as before, when the only restrictions for booking free tickets were a handful of blackout dates and the flight not being sold out) it will be interesting to see how difficult it becomes to book RR award seats.

[Edited 2006-03-30 02:00:03]
 
ssides
Posts: 3248
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2001 12:57 am

RE: New Southwest Capacity Controls For Rapid Rewards

Thu Mar 30, 2006 10:41 am

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 3):
With utmost respect, if the only reason you choose AA over WN is what you can get for nothing, I seriously doubt that WN will rue the loss of your business.

I don't expect them to at all. But frequent-flyer benefits are not the only reason I choose AA. More destinations (including international), first-class options, and more comfort on board all fit into the equation.

At the same time, however, there should be little doubt of the fact that frequent flyer programs play a large role in winning the business of the frequent business traveler. Why else would UA and other airlines "match" a flyer's elite-status benefits?

I used to be able to fly WN for 4-6 round-trips and get a free flight (depending on bonus credits available through the web site and SWABIZ). The trade-off, of course, was that I couldn't use those free flights to go to Hawaii, London, Sydney, or wherever, and earned no upgrades or any other type of perk.

Now, I can fly WN on 8 roundtrips and get what appears to be a difficult-to-use reward ticket to maybe Vegas, Florida, or California. Or, I can take about 10 round-trips on AA, plus throw in some credit card miles, and get to the Caribbean.

I'll admit, I know little about WN's internal business workings, so they may have rationally discovered that they were losing too much money on reward tickets. That is absolutely fine with me -- I want them to remain profitable. If it becomes quite difficult to book reward tickets, however, I will gladly take my business elsewhere. I don't expect WN to care, however, unless many other business travelers do the same.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
supa7E7
Posts: 1360
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 2:05 am

RE: New Southwest Capacity Controls For Rapid Rewards

Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:38 am

This is a case where the legacies were right and WN was wrong... all along. And in the end they admitted it. Next question?
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
atmx2000
Posts: 4301
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 4:24 pm

RE: New Southwest Capacity Controls For Rapid Rewards

Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:39 pm

Quoting Ssides (Reply 4):

I'll admit, I know little about WN's internal business workings, so they may have rationally discovered that they were losing too much money on reward tickets. That is absolutely fine with me -- I want them to remain profitable. If it becomes quite difficult to book reward tickets, however, I will gladly take my business elsewhere. I don't expect WN to care, however, unless many other business travelers do the same.

Increasing the window would naturally increase the number of people who could take advantage of the program, which would increase the costs. The question is whether they changed the program to to make people who didn't fly frequently happy, or to compensate for a planned reduction in seat availabilty.

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 5):
This is a case where the legacies were right and WN was wrong... all along. And in the end they admitted it. Next question?

As a *frequent* flyer program Rapid Rewards made plenty of sense as it was, because it rewarded *frequent* flyers as opposed to anyone who travels enough over an extended period of time.
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
hoosiercfi
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 9:16 am

RE: New Southwest Capacity Controls For Rapid Rewards

Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:49 pm

I just booked two tickets from BWI - SEA leaving the week of the 4th of July, returning the following weekend. Availability was a little spotty, but we were able to work it out. I too though, was a bit surprised with how little availability there was, especially considering that the July schedule was only recently opened up.

Good luck to anyone trying to get the Hawaii awards. It will be like trying to get concert tickets (Wait until WN releases their schedule, and book immediately).
 
N200WN
Posts: 694
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:09 am

RE: New Southwest Capacity Controls For Rapid Rewards

Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:00 pm

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 3):
I seriously doubt that WN will rue the loss of your business.

Southwest would rue the loss of any Customer. You may have already done this, but you should write a letter to Customer Relations and let them know how you feel. There's nothing better for a company than feedback from the Customer.
 
atrude777
Posts: 4258
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 11:23 pm

RE: New Southwest Capacity Controls For Rapid Rewa

Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:31 pm

Quoting N200WN (Reply 8):
outhwest would rue the loss of any Customer. You may have already done this, but you should write a letter to Customer Relations and let them know how you feel. There's nothing better for a company than feedback from the Customer.

Agreed, SWA released something awhile back showing a data of how the loss of ONE customer does to SWA and how it affects then monetarily. It was a very good detail and explained why every SINGLE customer is important to Southwest Airlines and how a customer can make the difference between profitablity or not.

Quoting Supa7E7 (Reply 5):
This is a case where the legacies were right and WN was wrong... all along. And in the end they admitted it. Next question?

Ya, are you INSANE?

This worked for 35 years, or whenever they started rapid reward which was close to the date they started. SWA changed this policy because the CUSTOMERS wanted a longer time to get the award ticket, however it had to come with a setback, there would be restricted seats. So now, SWA listened to the customers and changed it now customers are getting a first hand experience of it. If they don't like it, they will complain to SWA and if SWA deems it ok to change it again or back to what it was, then they will. There's the difference, SWA listens.

Alex

[Edited 2006-03-30 06:32:52]
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 817Dreamliiner, admanager, Baidu [Spider], CHCalfonzo, GSP psgr, jonchan627, LCKip, MAH4546, NolaMD88fan, stlgph, tcaeyx, xiaotung, Yahoo [Bot], ZKLOU and 139 guests