KarlB737
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Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 6:15 am

Courtesy: Associated Press

Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/060620/southwest_seating.html?.v=3
 
goingboeing
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:01 am

IMHO, the tests will fail. IF only because how many people check in online or at a kiosk...now the entire flight will need to check in at the gate. That's gotta have an impact. The other potential "gotcha" is the traveller who hops online a day in advance, prints their boarding card to get an A or B card because they know that they will be cutting it close getting to the airport. If that's the case, they might as well have been in the C group. And I can't imagine that he or she would be very happy.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:17 am

This comes as no surprise, as it has been rumoured for months. WN is responding to customer demand, and need to figure out how to make it work most effiiciently. From my experience flying WN, it may actually speed things up as many times people first fill the seats in the front of the plane and move back. Starting with assigned seats from the back forward could meen less of a logjam. as those boarding have to inevitably wait while those on board stow their stuff.

Charles, SJ

Edit: My guess is that when (if?) assigned seating gets rolled out across the system there will be a facility for obtaining an assigned seat when you make your reservation and/or when you check-in either online or at the airport. Assigning seats at the gate will most likely be the case only for the test.

[Edited 2006-06-21 00:23:09]
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
seanp11
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:19 am

Yeah, I'm not going to be happy if they switch to assigned seating. For my several flights home from school a year, I always go online 24 hours beforehand and get an A pass. I have had only one occasion when I have not gotten the seat I wanted (window seat on the exit row) from the A group, and even then it was still a fine seat.
 
AirWillie6475
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:33 am

Quoting Goingboeing (Reply 1):
IMHO, the tests will fail. IF only because how many people check in online or at a kiosk...now the entire flight will need to check in at the gate. That's gotta have an impact. The other potential "gotcha" is the traveller who hops online a day in advance, prints their boarding card to get an A or B card because they know that they will be cutting it close getting to the airport. If that's the case, they might as well have been in the C group. And I can't imagine that he or she would be very happy.

It's nothing new, at the website you pick your seat and print out the reservation, that's it. Or just get to the individual computers at the airport and print out your boarding pass and wait for your flight it's very easy, no need to print out A or B or C and wait like cattle standing in line for 30 minutes. I don't think they would just give the pax their seat at the gate, that would be unfair.
 
FCYTravis
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 7:35 am

The problem with the whole "online check-in A" system is that as online check-in becomes nearly universal, you basically have to check in exactly 24 hours in advance or shortly thereafter to have any hope of scoring an A boarding pass. This has created this "arms race" of online tools designed to flood Southwest's servers at the exact instant check-in opens - and if you don't pick one of these tools, you're screwed.
USAir A321 service now departing for SFO with fuel stops in CAK, COS and RNO. Enjoy your flight.
 
StarCityFlyr
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:28 am

I've flown SW many times over the past several years as well as many of the legacy carriers (US, DL, AA and NW). The A B C boarding process really doesn't strike me as being much worse than the "Zone" grouping that the other carriers use today. There have been many times that I've had to crawl over a passenger seated in the assigned aisle seat in order to get to my assigned window seat. I realize that with the priority boarding of the FF elite passengers (and I'm one of them), it is possible to have to do so.

I'm just not sure how efficient the whole process is in terms of expedient boarding of a plane. Of course, these days everyone seems to want to bring everything on board including but not limited to the kitchen sink!  biting 
That slows down the process considerably and creates it's own source of frustration when all the overhead space is full.

No real ideas for solutions here..just my thoughts.

 Yeah sure

Happy Flying!
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:35 am

Quoting FCYTravis (Reply 5):
The problem with the whole "online check-in A" system is that as online check-in becomes nearly universal, you basically have to check in exactly 24 hours in advance or shortly thereafter to have any hope of scoring an A boarding pass. This has created this "arms race" of online tools designed to flood Southwest's servers at the exact instant check-in opens - and if you don't pick one of these tools, you're screwed.

This is EXACTLY why I won't fly them. I think WN flyer's in SAN have a real opportunity to improve service on WN starting in July and hopefully this will work and be implemented system-wide by next year. Next up for WN; International flying to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean!
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
 
steeler83
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:48 am

I have checked in 2 hours before my flight and managed to get an A or B class pass... on a PIT-PHL-PIT flight at that. I prefer the unreserved coach seating; I like getting a window seat. With assigned seating, my chances of getting a window seat are 33%...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
lincoln
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 8:58 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 8):
With assigned seating, my chances of getting a window seat are 33%...

If the flight is 100% full... If the flight is 66% full then you have a better than 50% chance of getting a window seat...because at least a few people are going to want a middle seat (i.e. family of three, coworkers traveling together...)

Or something like that (hey, I stink at math).

Not to mention that there will be some people who don't get seats assigned. I've never had a problem in 100+ segments getting a window in Coach. (In first it's been a little bit more hairy)

I find it curious though that the story says they're going to be calling people and reminding them to check in at the gate for a seat... why not just assign the seat while they're on the phone? Or are they going to be using the old-style "sticker sheet" method for their test?

Lincoln
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goingboeing
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:02 am

Quoting AirWillie6475 (Reply 4):
It's nothing new, at the website you pick your seat and print out the reservation, that's it. Or just get to the individual computers at the airport and print out your boarding pass and wait for your flight it's very easy, no need to print out A or B or C and wait like cattle standing in line for 30 minutes. I don't think they would just give the pax their seat at the gate, that would be unfair.

I based my comment on this quote from the article

Quote:
During the San Diego test, passengers will be called ahead of time and told to check in at the gate for an assigned seat, said Southwest spokesman Ed Stewart.
 
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par13del
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:28 am

I'm not sure I like this idea.
Someone mentioned that WN is responding to customer demands, which
customers are these, WN has never had assigned seating, and look at where
it has gotton them?

Another poster mentioned that the first pax tend to take the front seats, that gives the idea to change the boarding card from A,BC to F,B,M meaning Front Middle and Back, place a colour marker as the boundary.

Essentially, I think whats happening is that WN has been picking up some mainline carriers pax who tend to be "vocal" and they are the driving force behind this move. I just hope that the trend of being like the rest does not continue in principle, WN is distinguished from mainline carriers by more than just being profitable, any bets on which one is more recognizable of WN, profit or no assigned seating.
 
CentPIT
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:32 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 8):
I have checked in 2 hours before my flight and managed to get an A or B class pass... on a PIT-PHL-PIT flight at that.

So now when you go to the airport and borad, you can get whatever seat you want? I am flying PIT-PHL-RDU next week with WN and I really want window seats. If I get into the A or B then are my chances pretty good?
Pittsburgh International: US Airways---160 daily departures! (52 destinations)
 
sw733
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:33 am

Any reason why WN would choose San Diego of all their cities to test this on, and not a hub like Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, etc.?
 
sllevin
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:37 am

Ugh. I hope they don't do this. One of the features of flying Southwest is that a semi-last minute flight doesn't always assure you of a middle seat.

Steve
 
steeler83
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:37 am

Quoting Par13del (Reply 11):
Essentially, I think whats happening is that WN has been picking up some mainline carriers pax who tend to be "vocal" and they are the driving force behind this move. I just hope that the trend of being like the rest does not continue in principle, WN is distinguished from mainline carriers by more than just being profitable, any bets on which one is more recognizable of WN, profit or no assigned seating.

Another thing I like about WN, and you took the words right out of my mouth... Unreserved coach seating makes WN more unique and distinguishes them from the rest of the pack, or the flock in this case  Wink

Heh, I guess these folks have been flying the legacies for so long that they are under the hypnotic spell that has them convinced that assigned seating is better. Then again, I should be so vocal about WN... I was an amtrak/PA Turnpike customer until WN offered PIT-PHL service. It would be nice if they came to MDT or LNS, but that ain't happenin anytime soon, with the exception of charters from LNS-MCO...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
goingboeing
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:38 am

Quoting SW733 (Reply 13):
Any reason why WN would choose San Diego of all their cities to test this on, and not a hub like Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, etc.?

In the article they mention that it's because SAN has a mix of short, medium and long haul flights. The test flights will have to be originating flights...can't assign seats if someone on a thru flight and boarded with open seating is on the plane.
 
sw733
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:41 am

Quoting Goingboeing (Reply 16):
In the article they mention that it's because SAN has a mix of short, medium and long haul flights. The test flights will have to be originating flights...can't assign seats if someone on a thru flight and boarded with open seating is on the plane.

Makes sense...guess I should read a bit further! Thanks.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:38 am

Quoting SW733 (Reply 13):
Any reason why WN would choose San Diego of all their cities to test this on, and not a hub like Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Las Vegas, etc.?

In addition to the mixture of short, medium, and long haul flights, SAN also has a fair balance of business and leasure travellers. Also, SAN's unique layout of the facility allows these tests to be isolated. I believe the tests will be conducted at gates 1 and 2.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
sccutler
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:48 am

Unless something really remarkable pops up, I am against it. The current system works well, and (notwithstanding the derisive comments one so frequently reads here), "cattle boarding" is the universal mode for all carriers.

Difference is, on Southwest, I am not doomed to a crappy seat if I have to make a last-minute trip.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
vegasplanes
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:05 pm

I don't see how this would make WN any more efficeint, seems to me it will take longer to board the aircraft therefore increasing turn-around times. I'm all for keeping the existing system of open seating, quick and easy just like their flights. I have a bunch of flights to/from SAN in July and August, will have to see if any of them are going to be an assigned seating test flight.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 2:13 am

They should keep their current system with flights of less than 2 hours and go to 'reserved' seating on flights over 2 hours. Perhaps that will be the result of these tests. That would be a good balance for both WN airline and passangers. On longer flights, you are more likely to have leisure travelers in the majority, perhaps with family or a group of people that want or need to travel together. The shorter flights are more likely to have a majority of business travelers on them (like the HOU-DAL 'shuttle') who are traveling solo or maybe 1-2 others.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:32 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 15):
Heh, I guess these folks have been flying the legacies for so long that they are under the hypnotic spell that has them convinced that assigned seating is better. Then again, I should be so vocal about WN... I was an amtrak/PA Turnpike customer until WN offered PIT-PHL service. It would be nice if they came to MDT or LNS, but that ain't happenin anytime soon, with the exception of charters from LNS-MCO...



Quoting Vegasplanes (Reply 20):
I don't see how this would make WN any more efficeint, seems to me it will take longer to board the aircraft therefore increasing turn-around times. I'm all for keeping the existing system of open seating, quick and easy just like their flights. I have a bunch of flights to/from SAN in July and August, will have to see if any of them are going to be an assigned seating test flight.

I'm not so sure it's about efficiency or about having to hold so tightly to a tradition. WN is responding to an incrasing demand by its customers that there be a way to select a seat, particularly as other LCC's have assigned seating and have been able to exploit this as a competitive advantage.

It's refreshing to see an airline do more than pay lip service to meeting the demands of their customers. WN are one of the few that realize that customer satisfaction is the real key to stable profits and that they have the freedom to let go of a piece of their perceived uniqueness and can see when such uniqueness becomes a liability are examples of a true customer-focused culture.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
vegasplanes
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:39 am

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 22):
Ctbarnes

What customers are complaing about open seating other than on A.Net, all the WN flights I been on over the years, can't recall in instance where someone complained about open seating. If there are significant costs (delays) involved with assigned seating/boarding, WN will drop it.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 3:44 am

Quoting Vegasplanes (Reply 23):
What customers are complaing about open seating other than on A.Net, all the WN flights I been on over the years, can't recall in instance where someone complained about open seating. If there are significant costs (delays) involved with assigned seating/boarding, WN will drop it.

It's not a matter of complaints. It is looking at market data, surveys and conducting focus groups of frequent travelers, and truely listening to attitudes about why or why not people choose Southwest.

In other words, it is good marketing research and a desire to take findings seriously-even when the results tell you something you don't want to hear.

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
vegasplanes
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:11 am

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 24):
It is looking at market data, surveys and conducting focus groups of frequent travelers,

So where is your market data, surveys, focus groups, and other useless BS that academics love yet rarely yields valid results.

From the press release:

"We want to make sure that we have studied all the possibilities and aspects of assigned seating before we make any change to what has been a very successful formula for the past 35 years," Kelly said in a statement Tuesday.

Travelers on Southwest flights board in three groups, with priority given to those who get boarding passes first -- up to 24 hours before the flight.

Priority boarding passes are so valued that some customers pay Web sites to check in electronically and secure a Group A pass. In May, Southwest filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Dallas against one of the Web sites and has asked more than a dozen others to stop handling electronic check-ins for customers.

During the San Diego test, passengers will be called ahead of time and told to check in at the gate for an assigned seat, said Southwest spokesman Ed Stewart.

"We're going to take a look at this and see if it improves overall operational efficiency and see whether it customers are still smiling," Stewart said. "We really want to know how it affects turn times."


Seems to me they are trying to extinguish the lady who started the business of charging $ 5 for an "A" boarding pass. As part of that they are testing assigned seating. WN's knows that their customers are happy with the service now, question is will assigned seating make the experience better or worse. It might make it better for Joe Schmo and his 12 kids taking their yearly trip to MCO, but how will their bread and butter customers, the business travelers, react. WN is known for being affordable, convenient, and efficient, how does assigned seating fit into that mold is the question WN is asking with this test.

I would chalk this up to being an experiment, the last sentence I quoted says it all about WN's view on assigned seating. If those turn-around times take a dump with assigned seating I am willing to bet that WN will not implement it.
 
SeeTheWorld
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:30 am

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 21):
They should keep their current system with flights of less than 2 hours and go to 'reserved' seating on flights over 2 hours. Perhaps that will be the result of these tests. That would be a good balance for both WN airline and passangers. On longer flights, you are more likely to have leisure travelers in the majority, perhaps with family or a group of people that want or need to travel together. The shorter flights are more likely to have a majority of business travelers on them (like the HOU-DAL 'shuttle') who are traveling solo or maybe 1-2 others.

Unfortunately, that is unlikely to happen and doesn't really make sense. There are too many people that take 1- and 2-stop flights of varying trip lengths, so it would not be unworkable. Also, you'll confuse your customers by arbitrarily having assigned seats on some flights and not on others, solely based on length of haul. That will just frustrate a whole lot of people. It'll never happen.
 
ctbarnes
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:38 am

Quoting Vegasplanes (Reply 25):
So where is your market data, surveys, focus groups, and other useless BS that academics love yet rarely yields valid results.

Why not phone up Colleen Barrett and ask her.  

Just because you haven't experienced something does not necessarily make it false.

Edit: Michael Boyd makes some interesting statements, about this which are indicitive, but still probably what people don't want to hear:

Fact: The low-cost phenomenon, as it is structured today, is running out of steam. Fact: without the fuel hedges (which, again, was a brilliant bet) Southwest would have reported not only net losses, but probably operating losses as well. The conclusion is inescapable that the future is in the revenue stream - and that's where the traditional low-cost model is running into problems.

Rather, it's where low-cost carriers are running into each other. And that's fixin' to get worse, with the capacity increases coming on line at Southwest, jetBlue, and AirTran.

Southwest - take this to the bank - is fully aware of the situation, and is without doubt in the process of revising its traditional set - yes, set - of business models. The easy-meat markets are gone, so they have to now concentrate more heavily on taking share from other carriers, like at Denver and IAD, as opposed to relying on fare stimulation.

They surely know that their traditional product - such as the "fall of Saigon" boarding process - might have been fun for the DAL-Lubbock crowd, but it's less and less competitive when compared to what Frontier, AirTran, jetBlue, United, and the rest of the industry are offering. They also know that their labor costs need to be addressed. Some exciting labor negotiations may be in the cards.

[Edited 2006-06-21 21:57:18]
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
ORDagent
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:55 am

Trust me on this one. Many of my business traveler clients avoid WN like the plague as they want those assigned seats as they can't kill a lot of time
during their day to be at the terminal early enough to ensure getting to that a line even if they preprint the passes. I avoid them for that matter as well. They MUST do this as they start competing against b6/fl/f9 etc on overlaping routes. So would you rather fly FL with a seat assignment and IFE or cattle call and no IFE?
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 4:56 am

Quoting Vegasplanes (Reply 25):
WN's knows that their customers are happy with the service now, question is will assigned seating make the experience better or worse.

WN is in fact responding to an increasing demand from customers for assigned seating.

Quoting Vegasplanes (Reply 25):
I would chalk this up to being an experiment, the last sentence I quoted says it all about WN's view on assigned seating. If those turn-around times take a dump with assigned seating I am willing to bet that WN will not implement it.

Exactly. This is a test. This test does not mean WN has decided to move forward with assigned seating. They are testing the effects (IF ANY) assigned seating will have on the efficiency of the operation, especially turn-around times. As the company puts it, they owe it to the customers to investigate all possibilities of improving the product.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
luvfa
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:02 am

I personally don't like the idea of assigned seating. However I don't work at the GO and don't know if it is a big source of complaints!

With that being said, here is some problems we may have to overcome:

Point -to- Point. Unlike other carriers which flies their A/C to a hub and back, our flights have multiple stops. i.e. TPA-SAT-PHX-PDX. When the Wright phase-out is implemented you could see DAL-AUS-LAX etc. This creates the double-seating nightmare!

Stowing Luggage: Its interesting that we are using SAN as a test city. No where more than So Cal do people bring their "house" with them. Seriously its not abnormal for us to have to check 30 rollerboards at the gate on a full 300.
If someone gets seat 5A and they board last, they WILL have to check their bags! At least now if you show up early and get an "A" or "B" pass your bag can make it!

On-time Departures: The one thing that A-netters hate, the being there early is the one thing that works for us. It forces people to be there to get the best seat and more often than not we don't have to page people to board. With assigned seating people are more apt to "lolligag" knowing their seat is reserved. Also we may have to move the cut-off for clearing stand-bys from 10 to 15 minutes in order to assign them an unclaimed seat.

It will be interesting to see how it works. I have faith in my company to consider this and more issues and make the best possible decision. As I said before I feel no need to fix something that aint broke. However if it helps us in the long run, I am all for it!
 
vegasplanes
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:04 am

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 27):
Just because you haven't experienced something does not necessarily make it false.

Seemsrnto me like WN is viewing this as an experiment to see if assignedrnseating is worthwhile or not. Nowhere in the press release does it sayrnWN is trying assigned seating due to customer dissatisfaction. As tornupgrading their computer system to handle assigned seating, they didrnthis at the same time they added/adding international ticketingrnabilities, my guess is that is so they can code-share flights with TZrnor possibly more (new) partners and be able to ticket an internationalrnflight while also choosing the seat you want on TZ or others as theyrnhave assigned seating. Could it be that WN is trying to make theirrnsoftware more compatible with TZ's ?

So neither of us have access to these surveys, focus group data, etc. etc. regarding WN's view or WN's customer view of WN.

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 24):

It's not a matter of complaints. It is looking at market data, surveys and conducting focus groups of frequent travelers, and truely listening to attitudes about why or why not people choose Southwest.

Inrnother words, it is good marketing research and a desire to takernfindings seriously-even when the results tell you something you don'trnwant to hear.

Again, how do you come to thernconclusion that WN customers want assigned seating as neither of usrnhave access to the data you are sourcing nor Colleen Barrett's, Herb,rnor Gary Kelly's direct line. This is a test in the same fashion as AE charging for a pop on intra-CA runs, a little off-topic but in the same spirit as what we are discussing.

Irnam saying I don't think assigned seating is going to work for WNrnbecause I see an increase in turn-around times which is a decrease inrnefficiency, something that WN is quoted in the press release as arnno-no, they will not sacrifice efficiency.
 
ssides
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:13 am

I think this is a good move by WN (testing the option first before implementing it system-wide), but I don't think it's a good idea by testing the procedures without testing an underlying computer system to assign the seats. It can't be done in a vacuum.
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!
 
JetBlueGuy2006
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:19 am

Quoting Goingboeing (Reply 1):
IMHO

Whats' that mean?
Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 5:19 am

Quoting Ssides (Reply 32):
I think this is a good move by WN (testing the option first before implementing it system-wide),

It's not about testing before implementing. It's about testing before even deciding to move forward with implementing assigned seating.

Quoting Ssides (Reply 32):
but I don't think it's a good idea by testing the procedures without testing an underlying computer system to assign the seats. It can't be done in a vacuum.

Right now they are only testing the actual boarding procedure to see how the turnaround will be effected. For that, all that is needed is the assigned seat which pax will receive at the gate. No need for a full-blown assigned seating system to run this test.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
WNCrew
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:07 am

I know this comes out of left field....but

--What about enforcing carryons? As a FA what holds up my flights 95% of the time is HUGE checked size luggage and people bringing on 3-4 pieces. --

That could affect our turn times a little..no?
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Silver1SWA
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RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 10:34 am

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 35):
--What about enforcing carryons? As a FA what holds up my flights 95% of the time is HUGE checked size luggage and people bringing on 3-4 pieces. --

That could affect our turn times a little..no?

Definitely. And I thought rules were set in place regarding checked luggage, but clearly they are not being enforced.

There is nothing more frustrating for me on the ramp than to be ready to go at push time, sitting on the pushback, and having another 3-5 bags come barrelling down the slide.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
CWFan
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:58 pm

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:06 am

No offense to Southwest's hardworking employees, but I was a loyal WN traveler as a college student (pre-1999), and since then I've refused to ever fly WN again.

I see myself as the kind of person this policy is meant to address. If I flew WN and had to catch 1 or 2 connections (usually 1), I'd stand in line (a) to get flight 1's boarding card, (2) at the gate with my other group-boarders, (3) to get flight 2's boarding card and (4) at the gate for Flight 2 with my other group-boarders. And since I usually travel carry-on light, on legacy airlines I like to board close to last to hit the concourse bathrooms, rather than using the plane lavs.

And sometimes WN attracts a clientele that lines up EARLY for each one of the four "line-ups" I mentioned above, so unless I was willing to wait 30-45 minutes at the desk, I'd inevitably get a B or C card (usually C); ditto for the line-up at the gate.

If, say, you are traveling early in the morning and are half-awake, or are shrugging off a hangover, this process is an absolute nightmare.

And, concurrent with the post-9/11 era (around the time I stopped flying Southwest), American and the other legacies got a lot cheaper -- nearly competitive -- on the routes I fly, and I can use my FF miles for international travel, which I've done around 5 times so far (Europe and Australia).

So, ciao WN! Switching the check-in proces would be Step 1 to get me back.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:19 am

Quoting ORDagent (Reply 28):
So would you rather fly FL with a seat assignment and IFE or cattle call and no IFE?

I'll take the extra legroom and no IFE. Especially on a long flight.
 
ctbarnes
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 2:20 pm

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:26 am

Quoting Vegasplanes (Reply 31):
Again, how do you come to thernconclusion that WN customers want assigned seating as neither of usrnhave access to the data you are sourcing nor Colleen Barrett's, Herb,rnor Gary Kelly's direct line. This is a test in the same fashion as AE charging for a pop on intra-CA runs, a little off-topic but in the same spirit as what we are discussing.

Go back and read ORDagent's post. He's a travel agent and ought to know a thing or two about customer demand.

What are you basing your conclusions on?

Charles, SJ
The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
 
737tanker
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:47 am

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Thu Jun 22, 2006 11:33 am

Quoting CWFan (Reply 37):
If I flew WN and had to catch 1 or 2 connections (usually 1), I'd stand in line (a) to get flight 1's boarding card, (2) at the gate with my other group-boarders, (3) to get flight 2's boarding card and (4) at the gate for Flight 2 with my other group-boarders

You definitely haven't flown WN in a long time. The way it works now if you have a connecting flight you get the boarding card for that flight when you get the boarding card for the 1st flight. So that means you can get all of your boarding cards 24 hours before your 1st flight and you never have to stand in line. If you want you can wait until the end of the "A" group to board and you will be nor worse than 45 (plus the preboarders). I think that WN will find that doing assigned seats will cause the turns to increase by about 10 minutes, thereby making a 30 min turn into a 40 min turn, and right now they are trying to find ways to make the 30 minute turns 25 minutes.
 
OOer
Posts: 920
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:10 pm

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:43 pm

Quoting Goingboeing (Reply 38):
I'll take the extra legroom and no IFE. Especially on a long flight.

With Southwest probably expanding to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, and the Carribean I can see WN installing some form of IFE on those longer flights!
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4455
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Fri Jun 23, 2006 4:30 pm

Quoting OOer (Reply 41):
With Southwest probably expanding to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, and the Carribean I can see WN installing some form of IFE on those longer flights!

There something we should know about?
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
SeeTheWorld
Posts: 1090
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2005 2:46 am

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Fri Jun 23, 2006 9:36 pm

Quoting WNCrew (Reply 35):
--What about enforcing carryons? As a FA what holds up my flights 95% of the time is HUGE checked size luggage and people bringing on 3-4 pieces. --

That could affect our turn times a little..no?

Carry-ons are probably the single biggest problem with getting a flight out quickly, but strictly enforcing a policy that is more stringent than the competitors will cause a lot of customer grumbling. I think if all the airlines could, they'd love to reduce carry-ons but people are very protective of their stuff.

Quoting OOer (Reply 41):
With Southwest probably expanding to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, and the Carribean I can see WN installing some form of IFE on those longer flights!

3-5 years at the earliest, I would guess (not including ATA).
 
fantasticflyer
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:52 am

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Fri Jun 23, 2006 11:45 pm

Quoting JetBlueGuy2006 (Reply 33):
Whats' that mean?

In My Honest Opinion
 
JetBlueGuy2006
Posts: 1482
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 5:38 am

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Sat Jun 24, 2006 12:17 am

Quoting FantasticFlyer (Reply 44):
In My Honest Opinion

Thanks a lot
Home Airport: Capital Region International Airport (KLAN)
 
OOer
Posts: 920
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:10 pm

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Sat Jun 24, 2006 6:29 am

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 42):
There something we should know about?

I made an educated guess in regards to WN expanding to those markets!

Quoting SeeTheWorld (Reply 43):
3-5 years at the earliest, I would guess (not including ATA).

I think in 2-3 years we will hear something from Southwest in regards to looking to open up some markets in those areas soon!
 
skyharborshome
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 11:19 am

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Sat Jun 24, 2006 6:41 am

For those of us who fly out of SAN quite often, any chance we will get a heads-up on which flights are part of the test?
Fly CHD!
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4455
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:23 am

Quoting SkyHarborsHome (Reply 47):
For those of us who fly out of SAN quite often, any chance we will get a heads-up on which flights are part of the test?

Give me the flight number and I can try to find out for you. From what I have been told, the tests will take place at gates 1 and 2. If you give me the flight number(s) I can tell you if they will be going out of those gates or not. I'm not sure how they are going to assign flights to the gates. From what it sounds like, they may deviate from the current gate schedule a bit so they can move flights they'd like to test to those gates. That might make it hard to be able to tell you in advance if your flight will be part of the test or not.

I work at gate 1 on Sunday morning and I'm anxious to see what this is all about first-hand. Will be interesting...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
jeffinbwi
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:59 am

RE: Southwest To Test Assigned Seating

Sat Jun 24, 2006 7:43 am

Quoting Ctbarnes (Reply 24):
It's not a matter of complaints. It is looking at market data, surveys and conducting focus groups of frequent travelers, and truely listening to attitudes about why or why not people choose Southwest.

In other words, it is good marketing research and a desire to take findings seriously-even when the results tell you something you don't want to hear.

Charles, SJ

Thank you! I don't have anything to quote but word is that we did studies that told us what A-Netters have been saying all along. There is an entire group of the travelling public that won't even consider Southwest because of open seating. With fuel prices soaring we cannot afford to ignore any revenue. If assigned seating will let us try to compete for these Customers, we want to do that.

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