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Avion346
Topic Author
Posts: 184
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 2:36 pm

Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:41 am

Just got the Rapid Rewards e-mail notifying me of the introduction of online check-in at southwest.com


Nice step for the traditionally hesitant airline (with regard to such passenger services as FF programs, lounges, etc.)
 
Guest

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:43 am

Odd... wonder how this will effect the boarding group system.
 
Thrust
Posts: 2587
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:17 pm

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:50 am

I bet that other airlines will be soon to follow. Kind of like AMC's movietickets.com, this can only send customers further to the airlines, it is something every airline needs Big thumbs up

Yep, it seems Southwest grows only better as the days move on. Eventually it will operate short-hops maybe over the Atlantic from Boston to London, which is right at 3,000 miles. The 737-700s are capable of the reach, especially now that they are being equipped with winglets. Their deals grow sweeter by the day. As the other airlines of the world crumble, Southwest and Jet Blue rise, operating only one type of aircraft, Southwest the 737 and Jet Blue the A320. They bleed the other airlines to death with their low prices. Hard to believe that SWA started out with such an out of character start in the 1970s became so big and powerful.
 
juanchie
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:17 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:59 am

"Eventually it will operate short-hops maybe over the Atlantic from Boston to London, which is right at 3,000 miles. "

Sorry to say this will probably never happen. First off, its too long of a flight without IFE or food. Also, southwests advantage of utilization of aircraft decreases as flights get longer. Turn around times and keeping the planes in the air is what makes WN money. This is why SWA will probably never fly trans-atlantic. This is not a big problem though bc the staff at WN will stay focus on what they do best.


Juan Carlos
 
Thrust
Posts: 2587
Joined: Wed Sep 17, 2003 12:17 pm

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:09 am

(Sigh*) I suppose so, Juan Carlos. Just talking about one way for Southwest to become THE airline for all

You are right. SWA ought to go to Asia instead, given that the 737-700s, with or without winglets, could be refueled while in the air by a 767 fuel carrier alongside them Nuts
 
rjpieces
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RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:20 am

Avion346, I would guess that online checkin doesn't increase their costs, it probably lowers it. FFP programs, IFE, food, lounges, etc increases costs.
 
Bicoastal
Posts: 2446
Joined: Wed Oct 06, 1999 5:56 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:24 am

Other airlines soon follow???

United has had online check-in for about two years now. I believe Northwest has been online for about 2 years, too. Southwest is following here, not leading.

Southwest seems to do what they want....no IFE, no food for sale, etc....not what the customers want. Fine for them...they are successful. There are other choices out there. Cost/benefit vs. what customers want...JetBlue, Song, Frontier....seem to be offering more for the buck than Southwest. Hopefully they'll grow to compete with Southwest market for market.
 
NIKV69
Posts: 14998
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:27 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:27 am

A 737 to London? That sounds uncomfortable, just like CO that files 757s overseas which I think is crazy! Southwest is better to stay out of the Intl market unless they can get the equipmenet. I do think they would do good with some routes if they can get their hands on some jumbos..
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 11:55 am

There are other choices out there. Cost/benefit vs. what customers want...JetBlue, Song, Frontier....seem to be offering more for the buck than Southwest.

They offer TV. What else do they offer? What the customer "wants" is value for their travel dollar. They don't book based on TV sets in seats. Sorry to burst your bubble.
 
juanchie
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:17 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:06 pm

I am not big on the IFE fad on flights that aren't Transcontinental or across the Atlantic. What happened back in the old days of the 1990's when not all flights in the world had tv's in the seat backs? I miss the days of a plane and a book, especially if the book is about planes!!
 
Airportguy1971
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 6:49 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:09 pm

They offer value for the travel dollar, Assigned seating, innovations like on-line check-in (Frontier's had this for close to a year) a pleasant experience from the reservation process to picking up your luggage. And oh yeah Live TV at your seat and in Frontier's case a light meal served on flights of over three hours. Not to knock the WN product, but statements like "What else do they offer?" seems shortsighted. WN Knows they have a great airline, but they can't ignore the other LCC's forever. That being said, God help the others if WN decides to gun for them.
 
Bicoastal
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RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:09 pm

Assigned seating, etc. and convenient airports, food for sale....

Your observations are just that and worth as much as mine. My observation says that all things being equal....and JetBlue, Airtran, Frontier, Southwest are equal in fares....then the consumer is going to go with the product that offers more. Southwest has over the years done it their way...and it worked. In the future, they'll have competition in the low cost market with carriers that offer more than what Southwest has wanted to give. Interesting to see how Southwest will respond.

 
juanchie
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:17 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:22 pm

IMO, I think WN will last longer than Frontier, America West, and Airtran because in the long run, their brand is the same. The key to the LCC is low costs. These other airlines starting adding little frills here and there and they begin to add up. For instance Airtran has the new radio thing in each seat which costs money to be installed and I believe is free to use. Well, to the customer, Airtran and Wn really aren't drastically different. WN will keep its loyal customer base that is looking for just cheap fares and is more interested in getting there than getting there in style. I would predict that as the other airlines like Jetblue and Airtran start adding new things like radio and TV, their customers will begin to expect it and MORE. Eventually Jetblue passengers will want internet, maybe little DVD players with movies or whole computers in seat backs (although unlikely). Who knows, the customer will gradually want more and more for the same price and when the price stays the same and the costs go up, well profits go down. A lot can be said for just keeping things simple. The more airlines like Jetblue (adding the emb170), Airtran (adding xmradio) and others add frills, the advantage I believe goes to WN. Just my two cents.

Juan Carlos
 
Airportguy1971
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 6:49 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:27 pm

Juanchie

I don't believe this to be so. K-mart dominated for a long time. Static brand killed them. I'm sure the overhead at a Target is more than K-mart, but Target isn't in bankruptcy closing stores. I firmly believe WN will evolve. Smartly and slowly, but it'll happen.
 
juanchie
Posts: 188
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 7:17 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:31 pm

AirportGuy1971-

ooo, very nice point. Well, Ill stick to my view although you bring up a very good example. But, couldn't you say Walmart was WN in this situation since it came in and took over with a new and innovative idea of buying a lot at low prices. I would say Kmart was more like a United or TWA that had a long history and brand recognition.
 
luv2fly
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RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:33 pm

AirportGuy1971

Good anology and I agree....
 
Airportguy1971
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 6:49 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:43 pm

Juanchie

Too true. But I was just throwing an example out there. WN = Walmart is closer to real life. They are smart, slow to change, and no one wants Walmart or WN gunning for them. But you'll notice in looking at Walmart... They are closing down many of their smaller profitable stores and replacing them with New Clean Super Walmart stores. Very slowly and conservatively evolving into what the public wants and making a ton of money.
 
SWAFA30
Posts: 436
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 1:57 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 12:55 pm

I firmly believe WN will evolve.

I would submit that in one form or another WN has been making small but impactful "evoluntary" changes for years now. While the core business model may not have changed, WN has continually evolved over their 32 year history and more so than ever over the past 3-7 years. When I started working here in 1996, STL-PHX was considered a long haul. Now we are operating transcons and even small east coast markets have a long haul to the PHX or LAS. Classic orange livery and cloth seats have given way to Canyon Blue and leather. Lounge seating? Going, going, almost gone. Goodbye plastic boarding cards, Hello self-serve kiosks. FF Award tickets have gone ticketless and soon passengers will be able to check in for originating and connecting flights at the start of their trip. 10 years ago if
WN had started service to Pennsylvania it would have likely been via Allentown. Three months from next Monday WN will begin service to Philly. The evolution is there...you just have to know where to look for it.
 
bobb
Posts: 241
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:15 pm

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:27 pm

Look, lets speak truthfully, Give Customers What they Want is the old standby marketing-speak. In real life, if a company always give everything the customer wants, it will go broke in no time!

I am with JuanChie. NO IFE, you, yeah you, turn off that IFE so I can get some zzzz.
 
rjpieces
Posts: 6849
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 8:58 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:29 pm

Actually, WN hasn't changed their business model in 30 years EXCEPT to add transcon flights. B6 in their shortlived life has changed their model several times--Embraers, LGA, LGB.

Airportguy1971, in no way can you compare an airline to WalMart!  Smile It has not yet been proven if JetBlue can suceed in the long run, their costs are likely to increase big time once the 320s age, employees demand higher wages, they will have a 2nd fleet of planes. WN on the other hand always keeps costs low and sticks to their business model which is a proven formula that has worked over time. If WN starts adding thrills they will become in bad as shape as the majors are in now.

And as I've said in this forum many times, there is a reason WN and B6 don't compete head to head on any route, because WN always wins!
 
FLIBOYZ
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 2:33 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:19 pm

WOW...Really!!!! Not that I fly on them anyway..But kind of slow for an airline like WN. They may be one of the last ones to do so.
 
NIKV69
Posts: 14998
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:27 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:29 pm

RJpieces,

You know what you are talking about! This lovefest for JetBlue here makes me vomit! When all they did was copy what all the other LCCs are doing, only they had the luxury of tons of capital and new planes. Once they age and their employees start putting their hands out it's all over and they will be right in the fight with all these airlines, which you are right WN will always win..
 
alexchao
Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2001 12:35 pm

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 2:36 pm

Hmm, back to the topic of online check-in. Has anyone tried the service?

If so, how user-friendly was the service? Were you able to check bags without hassle? Were you able to directly proceed to the gate without dropping off a copy of the boarding pass to an agent? What did the printed boarding pass look like?
 
NIKV69
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RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:06 pm

Just noticed on Sun Country's web site they too have online check in, one question once you have picked your seat and got your boarding pass what do you do with your baggage? I assume you have to use curbside checking. Does anybody know?
 
SWAFA30
Posts: 436
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 1:57 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:26 pm

Just noticed on Sun Country's web site they too have online check in, one question once you have picked your seat and got your boarding pass what do you do with your baggage? I assume you have to use curbside checking. Does anybody know?

Don't know about Sun Country but for WN the baggage check-in process has not changed. A passenger can either use the ticket counter or curbside for baggage check. With online check in the only thing that has changed is that while in the past the CSA/Skycap issued your boarding pass...now you will already have said boarding pass in hand when you check your bags. Online check-in is just an opportunity for people to obtain the coveted holy grail of WN travel, the ever elusive, "A" boarding card.
 
NIKV69
Posts: 14998
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:27 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 3:34 pm

Oh I see, so this in essence does not preclude you from waiting on line? Sun Country's online check in advertises "No more waiting in line" I am curious once you have checked in online how you check your bags. If anyone knows please let me know.
 
jeffinbwi
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:59 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 5:05 pm

You cannot check your bags on the internet. Starting at 1:01AM you can retrieve your boarding pass for that day. This will be nice for our business travelers, the majority not checking bags. Now they stop at the Kiosks and head up to the gate for boarding, with online check in they can go straight to the gate.

As for your boarding group it is still first come first serve regardless of where you check-in. What has changed is that instead of the flight check-in being available four hours before scheduled departure all flight are available for check-in at 1:01AM local time. Baggage policy has not changed, bags will not be accepted until four hours before scheduled departure.

We have been told the transfer boarding passes will not happen until April but the Kiosks will be checking bags soon.
 
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flashmeister
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RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 5:35 pm

I've used online checkin on both AS and DL, and loved it both times... both segments were with no checked luggage, so I printed the pass, got to the airport, sailed through security, and right onboard... I literally talked to one person before I was on the plane. Very convenient, although the in-airport kiosks offer similar advantages.
 
alexchao
Posts: 665
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2001 12:35 pm

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 5:48 pm

The website now shows you can check-in at 12:01 AM local time. I have no idea why it was 1:01 AM for a while.
 
NIKV69
Posts: 14998
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 4:27 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 6:29 pm

That's what I fugured, online check in benefits the business traveler, if you don't have to check anything and only have one carry on piece it works great.

 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 8:58 pm

My guess is that IFE is going to be a passing fad. Customers may "want" it, but when I see tray tables (a piece of plastic) that can't stand up to day to day use, I wonder how long sensitive electronics will last. And how much will it cost to fix them. Nope...IFE is going to start costing more, and airlines are going to have to pass those costs on to the consumer. And guess what...they won't pay more for TV sets. And God help any airline who's plane catches fire in-flight because of faulty wiring in the TV set.
 
Guest

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Thu Feb 05, 2004 10:44 pm

Looks like the "no assigned seating makes you get to the airport on time" argument doesn't work anymore. I guess I could check in online and be fine as long as I get there in time for boarding.

Thanks Southwest for making the airport experience more bearable (shorter).
 
zrb2
Posts: 862
Joined: Sat May 20, 2000 10:07 am

RE: Southwest Introduces Online Check-in

Fri Feb 06, 2004 2:00 am

I just tried using Southwest online checkin for my flight later today (before I read the fine print). Unfortunately my wife and I constitute a "multi passenger" reservation so it won't let me do it. Looks like for now, it's limited to solo travelers above Youth age and before senior citizen age. Oh well, i guess I have to checkin the old fashioned way.....get to the airport early.

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