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Acey559
Posts: 1468
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2007 3:30 pm

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 5:53 pm

usflyer msp wrote:
wnflyguy wrote:
capejet wrote:
Southwest canceled 307 flights yesterday (Saturday June 26) while AA canceled 82, United canceled 9 and Delta canceled 2. If this trend continues, in my opinion, business traffic will be flocking to United and Delta.


Yesterday unfortunately MDW had a good 7 hour stretch of
Tornado warning,watches and severe Thunderstorms roll through tanking one of its biggest cities.

Flyguy


Wouldn't UA/AA have the same issue at ORD?


Not necessarily. Oftentimes there may be weather in one part of the area but be fine in other parts. The big issue is traffic flows. It might be pouring at MDW and blue skies at ORD, but that weather will often shut down arrival/departure routes.
 
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FlyingJhawk
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:15 pm

I'm one of those very frequent business travelers - like 5 weeks out of 6. I could fly WN on a few routes but there are several drawbacks for me personally. Delta has a lounge and WN does not. I use them every week either when arriving to freshen and fuel up and on the return to complete some admin work. Fly into LAX quite a bit and frankly T2 is a freakin' zoo.

Assigned seats is a big deal to me and I am usually always upgraded to F so knowing where I am sitting, that I'll have space for my carry on and I get of the plane fast are thing I very much value.

Bottom line is business travelers like me like to eliminate as many negative variables as possible. Knowing where I am sitting, knowing I have a place to work when I arrive and depart, and on time performance means a ton to me since I do this almost every single week. It makes the difference between business travel that is, if not outright enjoyable, at least not a pain the ass.
 
rising
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:26 pm

I never quite understood no power. Is it that expensive to install while you put in new slimline seats, which they're doing anyway?
 
iAvgeek737
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 6:54 pm

vhtje wrote:
davidjohnson6 wrote:
If WN wants to attract business passengers, it needs to also consider scheduling. Business travellers do not like to travel in the middle of the day, or the middle of the night. We like frequency, and we like choice.


This....JetBlue also has a problem with this. I was looking at some of their flights to some large cities from JFK and their times are absolutely abysmal. 1x daily ORD-JFK and it leaves at 10 pm. Yet AA and DL both have at least 2-4x daily on those routes and if you look at LGA UA/AA/DL and SWA from MDW all have 4x day + schedules leaving at somewhat decent times. B6 is a great airline to fly when the Northeast isn't going through their summer or winter storms but their scheduling is abysmal for any business travel between cities pairs not named LAX/SFO/JFK/EWR/BOS.
 
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usxguy
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 7:34 pm

Wasn't Southwest's slogan in the mid 90s "The Company Plane" ???

Regarding lounge access: Don't discount it until you've been a member. In the case of yesterday @ MDW, Lounges provide relief for high-frequency travelers to escape the long lines at the gate, lack of seats, better wifi, access to food/drinks, etc. WN's focus was always on short-mid haul routes, but that's all changing. I don't think we'll see WN actually open lounges but maybe partner with The Club or others as an added perk (or discounted entry).

WN also got to see ALL the books on Air Tran, which had a very "decent" First Class / Business Class product. Rumors were that CCE (coca cola) was one asking for it.
 
sphealey
Posts: 326
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 7:41 pm

"WN has historically not been a business airline."

This may have been true in the 1980s but by the late 1990s through today not so much. On Southwest flights serving standard business routes Monday mornings / Thursday evenings / Friday afternoons are usually 80% blue shirts, khaki trousers, and business laptops.
 
32andBelow
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 7:57 pm

They should off some kind of package where you can buy x amount of flights for flat rate and go whenever you want
 
jplatts
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:06 pm

usxguy wrote:
WN also got to see ALL the books on Air Tran, which had a very "decent" First Class / Business Class product. Rumors were that CCE (coca cola) was one asking for it.


Coca-Cola has offices in some U.S. cities that WN currently doesn't serve nonstop from ATL such as Bedford (NH), Bellevue (WA), Cincinnati, East Hartford (CT), Los Angeles, Portland (OR), Sacramento, and San Jose (CA).

WN would likely need to add nonstop service out of ATL to additional destinations if it wants to capture more of the Coca-Cola business travel, even though WN already offers connections to BDL, LAX, MHT, PDX, SMF, SJC, and SEA from ATL.

One challenge that WN would face in capturing some of the Coca-Cola business travel (apart from the lack of WN ATL-CVG/BDL/LAX/MHT/PDX/SMF/SJC/SEA nonstop service or ATL being the main hub for DL) is that DL has hubs at LAX and SEA on the West Coast.

Another challenge that WN would face in capturing some of the Coca-Cola business travel is that some of the Coca-Cola employees were traveling internationally (at least prior to the COVID-19 pandemic) to non-U.S. cities not served by WN.
 
Italianflyer
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:12 pm

I think WN has a defined business niche in the corporate travel market already. Even running COVID schedules they make day trips possible within the Midwest, TX, California, etc. As far as the lounge access...I definitely see your points but highly doubt it would be willing to invest that kind of capital on a marginal or zero-sum ROI. Closest thing that I could see would be forming a (HYPOTHETICAL) alliance with Amex and allowing access to the Centurion, or other private lounges, based on RR status and/or fare buckets.
Anecdotally speaking.... A lot of business traffic that I see on WN works on commission or hourly billing. They're really not interested in free tickets to Hong Kong or Athens. More like taking the kids to see Mickey...going to Hawaii or a long weekend in MSY or FLL with the other half.

For better or for worse you have to admit that one thing WN does admirably is know their demographic. I can't see them sinking dollars into trying to pry people away from global network carriers.
 
Chemist
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 8:52 pm

Delete
 
graceintheair
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:00 pm

Actually Southwest started out with the business traveler in mind. Look at their high frequency intra-Texas network. That's always been aimed at business travelers. Very few fly within their own state for vacation. They also collected the fare once onboard so that business travelers could board any flight.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:07 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
vhtje wrote:
If WN wants to attract business passengers, it needs to also consider scheduling. Business travellers do not like to travel in the middle of the day, or the middle of the night. We like frequency, and we like choice. One thing WN might do is offer free same-day flexibility on business tickets. U2 do that here in Europe, and I have used it often. Meeting finished early? Great, change my flight and get me home sooner. It's a great convenience and it is something U2 have over BA, which is typically very inflexible unless you whip out your credit card and pay huge fees.


Agreed, realistically business travelers don't have time to be waiting around for T-24 to ensure they aren't stuck in a middle in row 30. I'm sure some have assistants who could do it for them, but again that's just adding in another layer of hassle to the journey. If I'm traveling for work on any of the US3 I can just check-in during the car ride to the airport.

For example, I got a new flight 2 hours before its expected departure this week on a US3, and I was able to, no hassle, get an assigned seat in First Class and be the first one onboard the plane. On multiple levels you would never be able to do that with WN.

Power outlets, first class, assigned seating, lounges, full meals, international network, codeshares/alliances, it's an easy choice for me.

Jshank83 wrote:
Agree on this. Living in a larger WN station almost everyone I know who flies for business flies a lot of WN. Nonstops matter and their companies aren’t going to pay business class seats on legacies anyway if they choose them. My wife’s company will pay for early bird seating if they aren’t already a-list. Mine won’t pay for anything extra except bag fees if you fly non southwest.

I will say once you get to markets where WN maybe isn’t as strong I can see business travelers wanting legacies because eventually they can get upgrades if they fly enough even if the company won’t pay for anything extra.


MGMT consulting and larger investment banks pay for First normally if it is upwards of 90 minutes-2 hours, which is what my company does.

Then again WN isn't really big in any of the locations where that sort of travel is happening at scale. Only place would be Chicago, but AA & UA have a hold of a big chunk of the corporate travel budgets in Chicago.

They also can't operate routes at the same frequency the US3 can, so even in Chicago they only are flying major routes like Chicago-NYC at half or a 1/3rd of the frequency of AA/DL/UA.


About half of my intra-north America business travel is on WN, almost exclusively for schedule/frequency reasons, and several of the criticisms in this thread strike me as misguided.

Starting with frequency: why would anyone expect WN to match AA, UA, and DL in frequency in a market like CHI-NYC that is hub-hub for all of them but not WN? Look at CHI-HOU and the picture is much different.

My experience with close-in (2-4 hours before departure) bookings is that WN is much more consistent because status all but guarantees an aisle or window in the front half of the aircraft. Too often on legacies it’s a middle or a seat in the back because that’s all they have.

Passengers on full-fare tickets and/or with status gain nothing from checking in at T-24.

And while I have had lounge access on and off over the years for me it adds next to no value on the stage lengths WN flies. If I’m in the airport and not trying actively to get an earlier flight, I’m almost inevitably eating a meal or on a call/Zoom. Twenty years ago lounges were great for both of those activities but now, honestly, they aren’t suitable for either because of service reductions and crowds. It’s different for long haul but that’s not the sandbox WN plays in.


Glad WN's schedule works for you and I'm sure many others, for me and many others it does not work, but again that's fine, WN does not need to be everything to everyone:

1. CHI-NYC is not a hub-hub market for DL, and 2. I bring up CHI-NYC because this thread is about WN attracting business travelers and pre-covid CHI-NYC was the 4th largest O&D market in the US and obviously one of the most important business routes in the country let alone from Chicago.

The most important aspect to attracting business travelers is schedule (frequency), not just for the business travelers buying the tickets, but for the corporations who employ these individuals and negotiate the rates and corporate contracts with the airline. The top 5 markets from Chicago are NYC, LA, DC, BOS, and SF, of which WN is behind AA/UA in each (some more than others).

Btw, Chicago-Houston is hardly even a top 15 market from Chicago.

My company does not buy full-fare WN tickets, not that many people are flying with WN anyway, but I would assume most companies don't allow it unless it is the only option.

Crowds in the airport are much worse than crowds in an airport lounge, plus even if you are flying short stage lengths the lounge is a safety net for IRROPS.

Italianflyer wrote:
For better or for worse you have to admit that one thing WN does admirably is know their demographic. I can't see them sinking dollars into trying to pry people away from global network carriers.


Except that's exactly what they are doing, they've spent significant sums of money to tie into the GDS system, and have explicitly stated it in interviews.

iAvgeek737 wrote:
vhtje wrote:
davidjohnson6 wrote:
If WN wants to attract business passengers, it needs to also consider scheduling. Business travellers do not like to travel in the middle of the day, or the middle of the night. We like frequency, and we like choice.


This....JetBlue also has a problem with this. I was looking at some of their flights to some large cities from JFK and their times are absolutely abysmal. 1x daily ORD-JFK and it leaves at 10 pm. Yet AA and DL both have at least 2-4x daily on those routes and if you look at LGA UA/AA/DL and SWA from MDW all have 4x day + schedules leaving at somewhat decent times. B6 is a great airline to fly when the Northeast isn't going through their summer or winter storms but their scheduling is abysmal for any business travel between cities pairs not named LAX/SFO/JFK/EWR/BOS.


Frequency & schedule, frequency & schedule....most important way to win over travelers.

FlyingJhawk wrote:
I'm one of those very frequent business travelers - like 5 weeks out of 6. I could fly WN on a few routes but there are several drawbacks for me personally. Delta has a lounge and WN does not. I use them every week either when arriving to freshen and fuel up and on the return to complete some admin work. Fly into LAX quite a bit and frankly T2 is a freakin' zoo.

Assigned seats is a big deal to me and I am usually always upgraded to F so knowing where I am sitting, that I'll have space for my carry on and I get of the plane fast are thing I very much value.

Bottom line is business travelers like me like to eliminate as many negative variables as possible. Knowing where I am sitting, knowing I have a place to work when I arrive and depart, and on time performance means a ton to me since I do this almost every single week. It makes the difference between business travel that is, if not outright enjoyable, at least not a pain the ass.


:checkmark:

msp747 wrote:
I think there are two types of business travelers. The road warriors, which everyone here seems to be focused on, and the business that has a lot of employees traveling, but not all of the time.


People focus on road warriors because they are obviously the most lucrative business segment, not that the other types of travelers doesn't matter.
 
Speedy752
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:21 pm

I think they need to segment who they’re going after. I’d agree, if I traveled enough to get status I’d be booking legacies to be able to do first class/comfort plus regularly. However with one exception I’m just below that threshold most years. WN would spend way too much capital trying to install first class/changing boarding or offering lounges but if they offered quicker status I could be persuaded. The status could just be A-list plus drink certificates and that would probably equalize the field with those of us who typically sit behind the curtain. Unless you have a chance of hitting the upgrade lottery WN offers the most spacious seats in economy
Last edited by Speedy752 on Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Mboyle1988
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:22 pm

I do not get why people are upset there are no assigned seats. For like $15 you can guarantee A status and get a window or aisle. Does it really matter if you are in row 14 or 15?

I travel every week and am both EP and A List Preferred. Reasons I split my loyalty (other than the fact I can) are:

1. I have to get to the airport 1 hour ahead of time for WN. For AA, I can get by on 45 minutes. The reason is that, on WN, if I do not board on time, that impacts my seat selection and my overhead bag room.

2. AA mainline internet is much better than Southwest's. However, the internet on Eagle is pretty awful too.

3. No power on WN is a problem.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:24 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
My company does not buy full-fare WN tickets, not that many people are flying with WN anyway, but I would assume most companies don't allow it unless it is the only option.

Crowds in the airport are much worse than crowds in an airport lounge, plus even if you are flying short stage lengths the lounge is a safety net for IRROPS.


Anyone who lives in a city where WN sometimes makes sense, travels a lot for business without a lot of advance purchase, and isn’t actively avoiding WN is going to have WN status. It simply isn’t that hard unless all your purchases are 21+ days in advance.

And as far as lounges, I can’t think of any IROPS experience I’ve ever had where lounge staff could have helped me more. On WN, CSAs see the status and almost invariably get right on it. While crowds in the airport are probably lot worse in in the aggregate, I know a quiet spot with good cell service in virtually every airport I’m in more than three or four times a year, even places like MDW that are congested messes.
 
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Spiderguy252
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:33 pm

IPFreely wrote:
Southwest: 48 years of profitability. No bankruptcy. No layoffs. Good return for long term investors exceeding every publicly traded airline except ALK by a lot.

Legacy Airlines: Years of profitability offset with years of staggering losses. Bankruptcy reorganizations, some multiple times. Many many rounds of layoffs, pay cuts, and reduced or lost pensions. Horrible return for long term investors.

Airliners.net logic: Southwest will fail unless they start copying from the legacy airlines.

Priceless.


Post of the thread.
 
CobaltScar
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:33 pm

av8tiongeek wrote:
I say acquire JetBlue and keep the assigned seats and business class.


I whole heartedly agree. Acquiring jetblue is the missing link in their path forward.
 
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Midwestindy
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:34 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
My company does not buy full-fare WN tickets, not that many people are flying with WN anyway, but I would assume most companies don't allow it unless it is the only option.

Crowds in the airport are much worse than crowds in an airport lounge, plus even if you are flying short stage lengths the lounge is a safety net for IRROPS.


Anyone who lives in a city where WN sometimes makes sense, travels a lot for business without a lot of advance purchase, and isn’t actively avoiding WN is going to have WN status. It simply isn’t that hard unless all your purchases are 21+ days in advance.


I live in Chicago.....and travel extensively for work. No one that I know of within my office has WN status, and in the off chance they do, it is low tier. No reason to fly WN when the company will pay for F unless it is a very short segment.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:36 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:
My company does not buy full-fare WN tickets, not that many people are flying with WN anyway, but I would assume most companies don't allow it unless it is the only option.

Crowds in the airport are much worse than crowds in an airport lounge, plus even if you are flying short stage lengths the lounge is a safety net for IRROPS.


Anyone who lives in a city where WN sometimes makes sense, travels a lot for business without a lot of advance purchase, and isn’t actively avoiding WN is going to have WN status. It simply isn’t that hard unless all your purchases are 21+ days in advance.


I live in Chicago.....and travel extensively for work. No one that I know of within my office has WN status, and in the off chance they do, it is low tier. No reason to fly WN when the company will pay for F unless it is a very short segment.


That’s probably right unless you live (e.g.) in the South Loop where the additional difficulty of getting to ORD is hard to justify.
 
hiflyeras
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:41 pm

I had a dollar for every time they said they were going to try and attract more business travelers.
 
usflyer msp
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:55 pm

Midwestindy wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Midwestindy wrote:

Agreed, realistically business travelers don't have time to be waiting around for T-24 to ensure they aren't stuck in a middle in row 30. I'm sure some have assistants who could do it for them, but again that's just adding in another layer of hassle to the journey. If I'm traveling for work on any of the US3 I can just check-in during the car ride to the airport.

For example, I got a new flight 2 hours before its expected departure this week on a US3, and I was able to, no hassle, get an assigned seat in First Class and be the first one onboard the plane. On multiple levels you would never be able to do that with WN.

Power outlets, first class, assigned seating, lounges, full meals, international network, codeshares/alliances, it's an easy choice for me.



MGMT consulting and larger investment banks pay for First normally if it is upwards of 90 minutes-2 hours, which is what my company does.

Then again WN isn't really big in any of the locations where that sort of travel is happening at scale. Only place would be Chicago, but AA & UA have a hold of a big chunk of the corporate travel budgets in Chicago.

They also can't operate routes at the same frequency the US3 can, so even in Chicago they only are flying major routes like Chicago-NYC at half or a 1/3rd of the frequency of AA/DL/UA.


About half of my intra-north America business travel is on WN, almost exclusively for schedule/frequency reasons, and several of the criticisms in this thread strike me as misguided.

Starting with frequency: why would anyone expect WN to match AA, UA, and DL in frequency in a market like CHI-NYC that is hub-hub for all of them but not WN? Look at CHI-HOU and the picture is much different.

My experience with close-in (2-4 hours before departure) bookings is that WN is much more consistent because status all but guarantees an aisle or window in the front half of the aircraft. Too often on legacies it’s a middle or a seat in the back because that’s all they have.

Passengers on full-fare tickets and/or with status gain nothing from checking in at T-24.

And while I have had lounge access on and off over the years for me it adds next to no value on the stage lengths WN flies. If I’m in the airport and not trying actively to get an earlier flight, I’m almost inevitably eating a meal or on a call/Zoom. Twenty years ago lounges were great for both of those activities but now, honestly, they aren’t suitable for either because of service reductions and crowds. It’s different for long haul but that’s not the sandbox WN plays in.


Glad WN's schedule works for you and I'm sure many others, for me and many others it does not work, but again that's fine, WN does not need to be everything to everyone:

1. CHI-NYC is not a hub-hub market for DL, and 2. I bring up CHI-NYC because this thread is about WN attracting business travelers and pre-covid CHI-NYC was the 4th largest O&D market in the US and obviously one of the most important business routes in the country let alone from Chicago.

The most important aspect to attracting business travelers is schedule (frequency), not just for the business travelers buying the tickets, but for the corporations who employ these individuals and negotiate the rates and corporate contracts with the airline. The top 5 markets from Chicago are NYC, LA, DC, BOS, and SF, of which WN is behind AA/UA in each (some more than others).

Btw, Chicago-Houston is hardly even a top 15 market from Chicago.

My company does not buy full-fare WN tickets, not that many people are flying with WN anyway, but I would assume most companies don't allow it unless it is the only option.

Crowds in the airport are much worse than crowds in an airport lounge, plus even if you are flying short stage lengths the lounge is a safety net for IRROPS.


CHI - NYC/WAS are not great examples of WN ignoring the needs of business travelers. The schedule they run in those markets is more a function of their limited LGA/DCA slots rather than them not taking Chicago business travelers seriously.
 
AshFlops
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 9:58 pm

I fly SWA every week in/out of DEN. I used to be a United 1K for over a decade. I switched to SWA because of the no change fees policy. Now that field is levelled, I stick with SWA because of the companion pass, free wi-fi, and the great frequent flyer program. I can always fly somewhere on SWA points for far less than united points. United is my backup, and I save up those points for international travel.

However, I wish SWA had power outlets.
 
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usxguy
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:01 pm

jplatts wrote:
usxguy wrote:
WN also got to see ALL the books on Air Tran, which had a very "decent" First Class / Business Class product. Rumors were that CCE (coca cola) was one asking for it.


Coca-Cola has offices in some U.S. cities that WN currently doesn't serve nonstop from ATL such as Bedford (NH), Bellevue (WA), Cincinnati, East Hartford (CT), Los Angeles, Portland (OR), Sacramento, and San Jose (CA).

WN would likely need to add nonstop service out of ATL to additional destinations if it wants to capture more of the Coca-Cola business travel, even though WN already offers connections to BDL, LAX, MHT, PDX, SMF, SJC, and SEA from ATL.

One challenge that WN would face in capturing some of the Coca-Cola business travel (apart from the lack of WN ATL-CVG/BDL/LAX/MHT/PDX/SMF/SJC/SEA nonstop service or ATL being the main hub for DL) is that DL has hubs at LAX and SEA on the West Coast.

Another challenge that WN would face in capturing some of the Coca-Cola business travel is that some of the Coca-Cola employees were traveling internationally (at least prior to the COVID-19 pandemic) to non-U.S. cities not served by WN.


And Air Tran worked hard to get both of Coca Cola's corporate business (CCE & CCB). Air Tran offered pretty much every Coke product on board, was first to have fleet-wide wifi, had Sirius XM, and yes - a business class. No lounges, though. And a frequent flyer plan that would let you get enough points they would BUY you a ticket if it was to a place that FL didn't fly.

I'm not sure that CCE/B's ATL business is on WN's radar as much as it was FL consider ATL is just a large spoke/conneccting point now. I'm sure that WN has a sales agreement with CCE/B, but it may not be nearly as extensive (or profitable) as it was under FL.
 
DenverTed
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:24 pm

What seats do the early boards go for? I assume some people are paying to get access to the few exit row seats with extra room. Why not just make rows 3 through 6 with 36" pitch, and save people the walk to the middle of the plane? Maybe I'm paying $79 for a leg. If some people are paying $279, I don't think a few inches of pitch is much to ask for that premium.
 
jeffrey1970
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:31 pm

I guess this means the FA's, and pilots will stop telling jokes to the passengers.
 
atsiang
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:33 pm

The problem with SW IMO is that it does not offer value over time for a business traveler. The flights/miles that you gain from flying SW is only good if you fly SW. You can't go to Asia or Europe. But if I fly UA, AA or DL, I can go anywhere internationally with those airlines or their codeshare partners.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:43 pm

Anecdotal and completely subjective, but our biz won't even consider WN, for the lack of assigned seating and wifi/power.

I won't fly them in my person travel for the same reason. I'd consider using them regionally (LAX-LAS/PHX/OAK/etc) even without wifi/power, but the lack of assigned seats is a huge no-go for me.

Lack of lounges and stuff like that is irritating, but not insurmountable in any way.
 
rising
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:58 pm

I think I work for the wrong company! We have to buy the lowest price ticket (within reason of course for the times we need to be at the destination). Southwest is often the winner. There are some contracts for certain trips but generally the direction is “must purchase lowest available fare” Heck I even have to justify every meal with receipts and have a cap etc. You cant book LUV on Travelocity but you sure can on corporate travel portals right along with United and the others. Many times they are at a great price and time. Firm could care less about my comfort or my airline preferences. It’s costs plain and simple. If you happen to be somewhere where you can book on comfort and convenience, when your shareholders are paying the tab, you’re very lucky.
 
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FiscAutTecGarte
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 11:43 pm

rising wrote:
I think I work for the wrong company! We have to buy the lowest price ticket (within reason of course for the times we need to be at the destination). Southwest is often the winner. There are some contracts for certain trips but generally the direction is “must purchase lowest available fare” Heck I even have to justify every meal with receipts and have a cap etc. You cant book LUV on Travelocity but you sure can on corporate travel portals right along with United and the others. Many times they are at a great price and time. Firm could care less about my comfort or my airline preferences. It’s costs plain and simple. If you happen to be somewhere where you can book on comfort and convenience, when your shareholders are paying the tab, you’re very lucky.



I have a similar issue. I work for myself (automation and controls engineering), but allot of my work comes from 4 plants of a single division of a multi-national conglomerate. I can do a tremendous amount of spec, engineering, deployment and troubleshooting remotely. However, there are installations or breakdowns that require site visits about 6 times a year. Those are handled differently than the standard work that I perform under our pre-agreed upon retainers. When it comes to scheduling the travel work and making the travel arrangements, they begin to behave like a business that is going out of business tomorrow.... IS that really the lowest fare? Can you find a cheaper hotel? Why did you rent a car from National? They will schedule a two week trip... and then say since we don't want to work weekends, we want to just pay expenses for the 5 week days a week, etc... I never cave, but it's the stupid back and forth. Bear in mind, it's a 9 hour day of travel on each end of these trips. Then of course there is the 45-60 day wait for payment after the invoices are submitted.

I'm flying out on Tuesday for a two week gig.... and the grief/antics over getting a Purchase Order for the work and travel almost compelled me to call it off and leave them high and dry... This trip I have a per diem amount of $300 a day for 15 days... period... that's all expenses. I'm quite thrifty. I'm charging 11 full days labor at my full rate... period. If they want to let me in the factory to work only 9 of those.. that's on them....

So yeah.... I usually end up flying WN.... Allot! Get's old. If WN wants to attract business they will have to do it soley on price..... Because that's all that business care about. This major client has rally bellyached about the high cost of travel for most of 2020/2021. Get's old.

The trip I took in February and this trip next week.... I've stopped itemizing... It's just perdiem now.... I don't have time to keep going back to find better deals...they've soured the relationship... And quite frankly... travel during Covid is a regular pain. I'm the one sitting in an airline seat or terminal chair wearing a mask for 9 hours and rubbing elbows with heavy people... I'm the one staying in a hotel for 2 weeks where the staff won't do any cleaning or open up any of their facilities...I'm the one taking whatever dirty car is left at the terminal when I arrive at 8pm because the car agencies sold off all of their inventory during the Covid crisis and now have no product.... Race to the bottom.... Business have no interest in reversing it at all.....
 
alasizon
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2007 8:57 pm

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 11:49 pm

FiscAutTecGarte wrote:
This trip I have a per diem amount of $300 a day for 15 days... period... that's all expenses. I'm quite thrifty.

A per diem of $300/day is not thrifty by any means and that definitely is not the customer WN is going after.
 
Cubsrule
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Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Sun Jun 27, 2021 11:58 pm

LAX772LR wrote:
Anecdotal and completely subjective, but our biz won't even consider WN, for the lack of assigned seating and wifi/power.

I won't fly them in my person travel for the same reason. I'd consider using them regionally (LAX-LAS/PHX/OAK/etc) even without wifi/power, but the lack of assigned seats is a huge no-go for me.

Lack of lounges and stuff like that is irritating, but not insurmountable in any way.


You’ve lost me on WiFi. WN has WiFi and has had WiFi fleetwide (something that I don’t believe is true on any legacy) for about four years.
 
TwinStarRocket
Posts: 19
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:36 am

Iloveboeing wrote:
https://thepointsguy.com/news/exclusive-southwest-wants-business-travelers-and-will-double-down-on-them-as-it-recovers-from-the-pandemic/

I pray they don’t start charging for bags.


WN already charges for bags. The price of the two 'free' bags is built into the price of the ticket. You, as the paying passenger, have no option to not pay for bags. You're just bringing a backpack for a weekend trip? Too bad. You're still paying for the bags. You're only brining one bag? Too bad. We'll still charge you for both.

This frankly is a very surprising and ignorant comment coming from someone here. Surely you're aware of the manpower, equipment, and time required to check a bag, transport it to the jet, load it on the jet, fly it, load it off the jet, and then get it to the baggage carousel. Southwest's "bags fly 'free'" is great marketing but isn't even remotely accurate. I really thought everyone here could see through the Kook-Aid.
 
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DarkSnowyNight
Posts: 2903
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 7:59 pm

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:46 am

FiscAutTecGarte wrote:
rising wrote:
I think I work for the wrong company! We have to buy the lowest price ticket (within reason of course for the times we need to be at the destination). Southwest is often the winner. There are some contracts for certain trips but generally the direction is “must purchase lowest available fare” Heck I even have to justify every meal with receipts and have a cap etc. You cant book LUV on Travelocity but you sure can on corporate travel portals right along with United and the others. Many times they are at a great price and time. Firm could care less about my comfort or my airline preferences. It’s costs plain and simple. If you happen to be somewhere where you can book on comfort and convenience, when your shareholders are paying the tab, you’re very lucky.



I have a similar issue. I work for myself (automation and controls engineering), but allot of my work comes from 4 plants of a single division of a multi-national conglomerate. I can do a tremendous amount of spec, engineering, deployment and troubleshooting remotely. However, there are installations or breakdowns that require site visits about 6 times a year. Those are handled differently than the standard work that I perform under our pre-agreed upon retainers. When it comes to scheduling the travel work and making the travel arrangements, they begin to behave like a business that is going out of business tomorrow.... IS that really the lowest fare? Can you find a cheaper hotel? Why did you rent a car from National? They will schedule a two week trip... and then say since we don't want to work weekends, we want to just pay expenses for the 5 week days a week, etc... I never cave, but it's the stupid back and forth. Bear in mind, it's a 9 hour day of travel on each end of these trips. Then of course there is the 45-60 day wait for payment after the invoices are submitted.

I'm flying out on Tuesday for a two week gig.... and the grief/antics over getting a Purchase Order for the work and travel almost compelled me to call it off and leave them high and dry... This trip I have a per diem amount of $300 a day for 15 days... period... that's all expenses. I'm quite thrifty. I'm charging 11 full days labor at my full rate... period. If they want to let me in the factory to work only 9 of those.. that's on them....

So yeah.... I usually end up flying WN.... Allot! Get's old. If WN wants to attract business they will have to do it soley on price..... Because that's all that business care about. This major client has rally bellyached about the high cost of travel for most of 2020/2021. Get's old.

The trip I took in February and this trip next week.... I've stopped itemizing... It's just perdiem now.... I don't have time to keep going back to find better deals...they've soured the relationship... And quite frankly... travel during Covid is a regular pain. I'm the one sitting in an airline seat or terminal chair wearing a mask for 9 hours and rubbing elbows with heavy people... I'm the one staying in a hotel for 2 weeks where the staff won't do any cleaning or open up any of their facilities...I'm the one taking whatever dirty car is left at the terminal when I arrive at 8pm because the car agencies sold off all of their inventory during the Covid crisis and now have no product.... Race to the bottom.... Business have no interest in reversing it at all.....


Far and away the most honest postings in this thread. People yammering on and on about lounges and status do not fully understand how anachronistic those concerns are. If they are doing any travel that can in any way be done remotely or omitted, they need to focus on being thankful for having a job at all.

The reality now, and going forward is that your' experiences are and will remain the norm. Companies do not care about comfort or handshakes.

WRT itemizing per diems, I do not miss that at all. I think I took a similar stance to yours toward the end and started adding an extra hour, non-billable, to what I submitted to the Company. I still feel like I was probably being generous about that.


alasizon wrote:
FiscAutTecGarte wrote:
This trip I have a per diem amount of $300 a day for 15 days... period... that's all expenses. I'm quite thrifty.

A per diem of $300/day is not thrifty by any means and that definitely is not the customer WN is going after.


He said all expenses. So take half of that off for a hotel, maybe another 70 or so for the car, and we see that it is not something very unusual.

As for WN, not really seeing why they are going after this. Companies are not eager to start sending people around again anytime soon. After more than a year, most cost structures will have changed, and they will not be pleased to assume that back, plus liability for something that can be done on a Zoom or teleconf.

I see this as WN turning over every stone, rather than being purely innovative.
 
Wneast
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 12:48 am

How about WN just buy 787 and create a business class and drastically expand lol
 
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lightsaber
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:00 am

Business travel is down. It would be a good strategic play to gain more market share during the recovery.

Flflyer83 wrote:
Iloveboeing wrote:
https://thepointsguy.com/news/exclusive-southwest-wants-business-travelers-and-will-double-down-on-them-as-it-recovers-from-the-pandemic/

I was once told that when companies forget what made them great, it leads to their eventual downfall.

WN has historically not been a business airline. They were focused on offering low fares to families and making air travel more affordable. They were unconventional and that’s what people loved about them.

Now they’re trying to be more “business-like.” You can tell with the flight attendants’ new attire, with the men wearing suits and ties and the women wearing more dresses and pantsuits. What happened to the polos and khakis?

I think one thing that’s going to hurt WN in the long run is not equipping their aircraft with in-seat power outlets for all seats. I know they were trying to save money, but business travelers will definitely prefer power outlets. They rolled out their WiFi very well.

I pray they don’t start charging for bags.


WN started the business giving away liquor with the tickets… to businessmen. High frequency, P2P routes aren’t for leisure travelers.

That was my thought. WN was initially a business airline.

To others:
However, reading through this thread, there are features WN could improve to attract business travel. Most suggestions add cost (delayed boarding by assigning seats, Y+, J). However, thinking about cost/benefit, power and wifi would probably be needed for higher RASM passengers.

Lightsaber
 
ytib
Posts: 710
Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:22 am

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:00 am

Wneast wrote:
How about WN just buy 787 and create a business class and drastically expand lol


Where do you come up with these crazy ideas?

In the long run they bring your credibility to zero.
 
Wneast
Posts: 969
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:37 pm

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:09 am

ytib wrote:
Wneast wrote:
How about WN just buy 787 and create a business class and drastically expand lol


Where do you come up with these crazy ideas?

In the long run they bring your credibility to zero.

It literally was sarcastic could you not tell
 
Runway765
Posts: 386
Joined: Sun Feb 07, 2021 1:21 am

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:12 am

They need to codeshare with foreign carriers to expand international connectivity. With all of their domestic capacity, why oh why have they not codeshared like virtually everyone else?
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:12 am

Cubsrule wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Anecdotal and completely subjective, but our biz won't even consider WN, for the lack of assigned seating and wifi/power.

I won't fly them in my person travel for the same reason. I'd consider using them regionally (LAX-LAS/PHX/OAK/etc) even without wifi/power, but the lack of assigned seats is a huge no-go for me.

Lack of lounges and stuff like that is irritating, but not insurmountable in any way.


You’ve lost me on WiFi. WN has WiFi and has had WiFi fleetwide (something that I don’t believe is true on any legacy) for about four years.

...which is why power was attached to it each time it was said.
 
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PA727
Posts: 214
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:12 am

Schedule and non-stops will always rule for business travel, but from a perk perspective, I cannot think of something more valuable than the Companion Pass. As a former AA Exec Platinum, I will trade the overcrowded lounges, indifferent experience and assigned seats for the opportunity to take my SO anywhere I go for free, no questions asked.

Obviously, from a business perspective, the WN model has several drawbacks, but again, I can't think of a status benefit that's better. Especially when combined with A-List.
 
DenverTed
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:23 am

TwinStarRocket wrote:
Iloveboeing wrote:
https://thepointsguy.com/news/exclusive-southwest-wants-business-travelers-and-will-double-down-on-them-as-it-recovers-from-the-pandemic/

I pray they don’t start charging for bags.


WN already charges for bags. The price of the two 'free' bags is built into the price of the ticket. You, as the paying passenger, have no option to not pay for bags. You're just bringing a backpack for a weekend trip? Too bad. You're still paying for the bags. You're only brining one bag? Too bad. We'll still charge you for both.

This frankly is a very surprising and ignorant comment coming from someone here. Surely you're aware of the manpower, equipment, and time required to check a bag, transport it to the jet, load it on the jet, fly it, load it off the jet, and then get it to the baggage carousel. Southwest's "bags fly 'free'" is great marketing but isn't even remotely accurate. I really thought everyone here could see through the Kook-Aid.

What is the actual cost to the airlines of checking a bag, bringing one on the plane, or not bringing one? If everyone brings two full size bags on the plane, I assume that will slow down boarding and deplaning, which is a cost. It really doesn't matter to me if I have to pump my own gas, check my own groceries, or roll my bags to the plane. Who wants to wait at baggage claim for another 15 to 20 minutes to get out of the airport anyway?
Are checked bags mostly obsolete? Should they build more luggage storage in the aircraft cabin? The only way to find out is to charge the actual cost to the airline for a checked bag and a carryon, and let the market determine where bags go.
If a carryon is half the cost of checked, I wouldn't check. From my perspective the problem with WN is that they don't charge for carryons, so people don't pay their freight as they take up time boarding and deboarding with two large carryons in the bin.
 
DenverTed
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:26 am

ytib wrote:
Wneast wrote:
How about WN just buy 787 and create a business class and drastically expand lol


Where do you come up with these crazy ideas?

In the long run they bring your credibility to zero.

Well, I suppose it is the most logical response to WN can't attract business travelers because they don't fly transAtlantic/Pacific.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15270
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:49 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
LAX772LR wrote:
Anecdotal and completely subjective, but our biz won't even consider WN, for the lack of assigned seating and wifi/power.

I won't fly them in my person travel for the same reason. I'd consider using them regionally (LAX-LAS/PHX/OAK/etc) even without wifi/power, but the lack of assigned seats is a huge no-go for me.

Lack of lounges and stuff like that is irritating, but not insurmountable in any way.


You’ve lost me on WiFi. WN has WiFi and has had WiFi fleetwide (something that I don’t believe is true on any legacy) for about four years.

...which is why power was attached to it each time it was said.


But I’m not sure why you’d package them other than for effect. On a stage length of, say, 2.5 hours, no WiFi is much more detrimental to productivity than no power.
 
MohawkWeekend
Posts: 877
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:53 am

TwinStarRocket wrote:
Iloveboeing wrote:
https://thepointsguy.com/news/exclusive-southwest-wants-business-travelers-and-will-double-down-on-them-as-it-recovers-from-the-pandemic/

I pray they don’t start charging for bags.


WN already charges for bags. The price of the two 'free' bags is built into the price of the ticket. You, as the paying passenger, have no option to not pay for bags. You're just bringing a backpack for a weekend trip? Too bad. You're still paying for the bags. You're only brining one bag? Too bad. We'll still charge you for both.

This frankly is a very surprising and ignorant comment coming from someone here. Surely you're aware of the manpower, equipment, and time required to check a bag, transport it to the jet, load it on the jet, fly it, load it off the jet, and then get it to the baggage carousel. Southwest's "bags fly 'free'" is great marketing but isn't even remotely accurate. I really thought everyone here could see through the Kook-Aid.



Wasn't my experience at all. SW fares normally matched everyone except American. Our sea going employees had at least 2 large bags when going to or from a vessel. Saved the company a "boatload"
 
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FiscAutTecGarte
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 1:59 am

DarkSnowyNight wrote:
alasizon wrote:
FiscAutTecGarte wrote:
This trip I have a per diem amount of $300 a day for 15 days... period... that's all expenses. I'm quite thrifty.

A per diem of $300/day is not thrifty by any means and that definitely is not the customer WN is going after.

He said all expenses. So take half of that off for a hotel, maybe another 70 or so for the car, and we see that it is not something very unusual.
As for WN, not really seeing why they are going after this. Companies are not eager to start sending people around again anytime soon. After more than a year, most cost structures will have changed, and they will not be pleased to assume that back, plus liability for something that can be done on a Zoom or teleconf.
I see this as WN turning over every stone, rather than being purely innovative.


Dude (Alasizon), That's ALL Expenses, for travel just before and after 4th of July weekend to the NorthEast... Round Trip Cross Crountry Airfare, Hotel, Car Rental, Fuel, Tolls, Airport Parking for my car left at the airport 45 minutes from my house, Meals, Last year my per diems were $225-$250... Not now. Have you priced what all of these items cost right now around a holiday with all of this pent-up travel demand, especially the forever on lock down New York State? Trust me, there is no meal allowance in this number.... I'll be eating that... no pun intended.

Anyway, the point of my gripe was that if WN is focusing on Business Travelers because they think they can extract more money from them... that's fool hardy.... I'm spending all that myself and my clients will bear.... there's no more extra to give..
 
SteelChair
Posts: 1652
Joined: Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:37 am

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:06 am

So he wants to increase business travel, but doesn't really say if he will make any structural changes to attract that segment. Increasing his share without any changes means (to me) that he is relying on sales and marketing, helping businesses to see the value of the existing product.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:23 am

USAirALB wrote:
Not showing up in corporate travel platforms is probably a big detriment.

For me, I think the hardest thing about WN would be that AFAIK their frequent flyer program lacks any international partners or ability to use points to travel overseas.


Well most of their "hubs" are located in secondary airports that don't have the long runways needed for long haul international flights. It would take me at least 2 flights on WN to get to an airport that has international flights on other airlines to which I could connect.
 
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BawliBooch
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Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:37 am

Cubsrule wrote:
About half of my intra-north America business travel is on WN, almost exclusively for schedule/frequency reasons, and several of the criticisms in this thread strike me as misguided.

Starting with frequency: why would anyone expect WN to match AA, UA, and DL in frequency in a market like CHI-NYC that is hub-hub for all of them but not WN? Look at CHI-HOU and the picture is much different.

My experience with close-in (2-4 hours before departure) bookings is that WN is much more consistent because status all but guarantees an aisle or window in the front half of the aircraft. Too often on legacies it’s a middle or a seat in the back because that’s all they have.

Passengers on full-fare tickets and/or with status gain nothing from checking in at T-24.

And while I have had lounge access on and off over the years for me it adds next to no value on the stage lengths WN flies. If I’m in the airport and not trying actively to get an earlier flight, I’m almost inevitably eating a meal or on a call/Zoom. Twenty years ago lounges were great for both of those activities but now, honestly, they aren’t suitable for either because of service reductions and crowds. It’s different for long haul but that’s not the sandbox WN plays in.


Well the WN product works for you. But for a lot of the business travelers it doesnt. WN already has you. But this topic is about WN changing its successful product to try and appeal to the other 95% of the market.

I am in the other 95%. I need lounge access, WiFi, seat blocking and stuff like that. Seat power is an absolute must in this day and age!

That said, I usually find myself on WN simply because they fly direct while UA/AA etc fly via someplace else. But where there is a direct competing flight, the choice is going to be UA/AA! My company pays for F/J class for flights > 3 hours because they expect us to work or atleast be available even while travelling.

Miles, Lounge access, Power - they matter. Thats why people stay loyal to airlines like UA even after they pull nasty stunts like "Basic Economy"!
 
mcdu
Posts: 1696
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:23 am

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:45 am

wnflyguy wrote:
capejet wrote:
Southwest canceled 307 flights yesterday (Saturday June 26) while AA canceled 82, United canceled 9 and Delta canceled 2. If this trend continues, in my opinion, business traffic will be flocking to United and Delta.


Yesterday unfortunately MDW had a good 7 hour stretch of
Tornado warning,watches and severe Thunderstorms roll through tanking one of its biggest cities.

Flyguy


Wasn’t ORD seeing similar conditions and the carriers there faired much better it seems.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 15270
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: WN Wants To Attract Business Travelers

Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:57 am

BawliBooch wrote:
That said, I usually find myself on WN simply because they fly direct while UA/AA etc fly via someplace else. But where there is a direct competing flight, the choice is going to be UA/AA! My company pays for F/J class for flights > 3 hours because they expect us to work or atleast be available even while travelling.


What do you see as the difference between you and me? Of course I prefer to fly airlines that have F. But sometimes WN’s schedule and flexibility are enough better that that doesn’t matter. It seems the same is true for you.

For the record, AA is the only carrier from whom I actively book away and it’s because of their byzantine refund infrastructure and the operational mess at CLT.
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