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bjorn14
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Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:35 am

With Southwest looking more like a legacy carrier over the last few years I was wondering why the haven't taken the club plunge? Any thoughts?
"I want to know the voice of God the rest is just details" --A. Einstein
 
skymiler
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 11:54 am

I would guess there is a bit of "KISS" here. WN loves to keep things simple.

I have been visiting DL's Crown Room (oops, Sky Club) for over 40 years and was a lifetime member of EA's I-club (which rolled up to lifetime membership in the United Club -- thank you CO!), and have thus had a lot of time to observe and note the changes over the years.

There is a tremendous cost to a lounge and there are,I suspect major administration headaches, especially seeing that you are replicating in many ways desk services that already exist, and having to staff them

There is nothing simple about a lounge! It amazes me that memberships (not cheap..) cost as little as they do!

I have seen attempts at private lounges, but none have seemed to be successful

I do not see WN ever opening a series of lounges.
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cjg225
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:00 pm

I think part of is also that WN still fancies itself a carrier for the everyman and doesn't take itself seriously enough to create the snob appeal of having clubs and lounges.
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par13del
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:20 pm

Opening a lounge would mean that WN actually carry business pax on their cattle call operation, based on A.Net we know this is not true  

On a more serious note, it would provide a golden experiment for WN to open a test lounge and have pax enter and be seated based on pre-assigned seats, the experience could be used to determine whether they want to expand the process onto their a/c.

Now Spirit on the other hand I could see them using this as a means to have another fee tacked on, purchase a $50.00 coupon which would allow you access to the lounge with the privilage of spending additional money to purchase food and drinks before boarding your flight, the food would be delivered fresh plane side, thus cutting out those pesky food outlet after security and alleviating some of the work load for the F/A's during flight.

Just a few early morning random thought before the tea kicks in.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:44 pm

Quoting bjorn14 (Thread starter):
With Southwest looking more like a legacy carrier...

With First class cabins? No.

With E+ or Economy Comfort sections? No.

With payment for 'preferred' seats? No.

With seat assignments? No.

With change fees? No.

With buy on board food? No.

One could go on. Limited-access lounges are so inconsistent with the brand that Southwest has built that the idea is not worth two cocktail napkins.
 
michman
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 1:35 pm

Quoting skymiler (Reply 1):
I have seen attempts at private lounges, but none have seemed to be successful

I do not see WN ever opening a series of lounges.

I also don't see WN opening lounges (as mentioned in previous post, they still distinguish themselves from the legacies in a number of significant ways).

However, Airspace does seem to be making some progress with opening private lounges (with locations in CLE, BWI, and JFK so far). Not sure how convenient the CLE and BWI locations are for WN fliers, but I could see Airspace opening more lounges at WN stations and appealing to WN fliers.

[Edited 2013-09-20 06:36:22]
 
skymiler
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 2:48 pm

Quoting michman (Reply 5):
However, Airspace does seem to be making some progress with opening private lounges (with locations in CLE, BWI, and JFK so far).



I checked out their Web site, and it appears that their goal is to provide a retreat for weary travellers in locations where airline lounges are non-existant (e.g. BWI) or there a few choices (CLE for example).

One advantage of airline operated lounges is the reservations staff that is available, but WN, due to its route structure has much less need for staff to help with changes, missed connections, etc,

Airspace does not provide such services (or I did not see it on their site) and it might be difficult for them to provide such services to an array of airlines, but could be appealing to WN's business customers.

I do wish them the best of luck and would be willing to give tham a try next time I am in BWI.

.
I love to fly, and it shows!
 
n471wn
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:14 pm

Since WN now prices their fares like the legacy carriers it only seems right that they should provide some lounges
 
rampbro
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:28 pm

They have one in most major airports its called Sbarros
 
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cjg225
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:31 pm

Quoting rampbro (Reply 8):
They have one in most major airports its called Sbarros

  

Wow, I don't even like WN and I think that is a low blow! Hah!

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 4):
Limited-access lounges are so inconsistent with the brand that Southwest has built that the idea is not worth two cocktail napkins.

You're right that it's inconsistent with the brand, but I wonder how this jives with their desire to increase business flier patronage.
Restoring Penn State's transportation heritage...
 
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par13del
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:18 pm

Quoting n471wn (Reply 7):
Since WN now prices their fares like the legacy carriers

Hmmm, I thought the legacies went into chpt.11 to reduce cost so that they could price their fares like WN.
WN has lost their fuel stations so their prices have been increasing in line with actual airlines and not oil companies  
 
srbmod
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:45 pm

I'm guessing that some of their passengers may already be members of other airline clubs, as you don't have to be flying on that airline that day to access their lounge.

But if you look at most of their major stations, there really isn't anywhere to build such a facility without getting rid of retail space that may be of more use to customers than an airline club.

Frontier did inherit Midwest's Best Care Club at MKE in the merger, but shuttered it last year (along with plans for a location at DEN that had been on hold since 2010).

I used to think that AirTran should have built a club down at the end of C at ATL in the area that had previously been used by Eastern Metro Express as a waiting area.
 
tortugamon
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:02 pm

Lounges go against everything WN is supposed to represent. If they had extra money to open up a lounge then fares are too high and the should be opening new routes. They do not have multiple classes for a reason.

Quoting par13del (Reply 3):
Opening a lounge would mean that WN actually carry business pax on their cattle call operation, based on A.Net we know this is not true  

On the West Coast and in Texas, WN certainly carries a lot of business travelers. It is too convenient not to fly them.

Do you think the 94 daily flights they operate between Los Angeles Area and the Bay Area are all filled with tourists?

tortugamon
 
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par13del
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:15 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 12):
Do you think the 94 daily flights they operate between Los Angeles Area and the Bay Area are all filled with tourists?

Preaching to the converted my friend, it was a dig  
The notion of them not catering to business pax may come from those closet pax who rail about cattle call and no assigned seats but go out and throw on a hat and jump on WN so they can get extra free time on their business trip.

The bulk of WN's route structure is multiple frequency, we accept that they only use one a/c type but it is only in recent times that their load factors have been staying above 80%, so the frequency was not for loads but convenience.
 
tortugamon
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:49 pm

Quoting par13del (Reply 13):

Sorry to misinterpret your meaning.

tortugamon
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:54 pm

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 12):
Lounges go against everything WN is supposed to represent. If they had extra money to open up a lounge then fares are too high and the should be opening new routes.

The idea would have to be that the lounges would pay for themselves.

Quoting tortugamon (Reply 12):
Lounges go against everything WN is supposed to represent.

Lounges are no worse than Business Select or frequent flier tiers. I'm not saying that WN should go out and open lounges tomorrow, but I do think that lounges at some combination of airports where they offer a lot of short-haul, high frequency stuff that caters to business travelers (LAX, DAL, HOU, AUS) and where they sell a lot of 90-120 minute connections (BWI, MDW, DEN, PHX, LAS) could make some sense.
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civetfive
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:31 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 17):

I derive a huge amount of value in my Admiral's Club membership from the ability to take showers. I fly a ton of redeyes to the east coast, and more often than not my westbound travel puts me on the first flight of the morning, and the ability to shower upon arrival is such a valuable benefit to me and well worth the $300. Otherwise, lounges are a neutral value proposition to me at best - they are often overcrowded, they charge for decent food and drinks, and free internet is becoming more and more available.

Since WN doesn't fly any redeyes, a lounge would not be a positive value proposition to me. While I'm probably in the minority, there is a value proposition to all of their clientele, and WN would need to decide if it was worth it to try.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:33 pm

Quoting civetfive (Reply 18):
Otherwise, lounges are a neutral value proposition to me at best - they are often overcrowded, they charge for decent food and drinks, and free internet is becoming more and more available.

I agree with all of that. I'd like to think that if WN decided to go the lounge route, though, that they'd do things just a little bit differently, just like in so many other areas.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
Sligo
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Sat Sep 21, 2013 12:40 pm

Quoting skymiler (Reply 6):
I checked out their Web site, and it appears that their goal is to provide a retreat for weary travellers in locations where airline lounges are non-existant (e.g. BWI) or there a few choices (CLE for example).

I've been to Airspace Lounge in CLE frequently as Im through there often. It's the best thing to happen in CLE in 2013 IMO. They get a bunch of Southwest people in there (at least when I've been there) b/c all WN flyers have to walk right by it to get the gates.

The difference Ive noticed with Airspace Lounge and also No 1 Traveler in the UK versus other common-use lounges (besides Airspace's good pricing model) is that they have been thoughtfully created. Some of these lounges say that they're concepts; i.e. Servisair's Aspire is just the same crappy Servisair lounge with a new name and the "Clubs" by Priority Pass are the worst in the business unless an airline like BA pays for everything; same with that Asian company whose name I forget that builds airline subsidized lounges under their own name.

It's clear to me that Airspace Lounge and No 1 Traveller are actually thought through properly by professional marketers. Airspace and No 1 are different concepts serving different lounge markets, but both are well done.

As far as Southwest partnering with Airspace Lounge; I think JetBlue beat them to it with the JFK T5 Airspace Lounge. Perhaps B6 has locked in an exclusivity or something with Airspace? If not, and if Im WN & Im chasing yield like everyone else, it would make a ton of sense to partner with them too.
 
srbmod
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Sat Sep 21, 2013 3:33 pm

Quoting michman (Reply 5):
However, Airspace does seem to be making some progress with opening private lounges (with locations in CLE, BWI, and JFK so far). Not sure how convenient the CLE and BWI locations are for WN fliers, but I could see Airspace opening more lounges at WN stations and appealing to WN fliers.

There's a competing company, The Club Airport Lounges, that has locations at LAS (T-1 at the D Gates and T-3/E Gates), ATL (Concourse F), DFW (Terminal D), RDU (Terminal 1) and SJC (Terminal A) and of those locations, on the RDU location is convenient to WN travelers as they are one the same concourse/terminal.

Another thing to note is that some credit cards include airline lounge access on their higher tier cards. In some cases, it may be for a certain airlines' clubs and partner airlines, but others don't. Then there are programs like Priority Pass in which you pay an annual membership fee that gets you access to various airline lounges.
 
airfrnt
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RE: Why No WN Clubs/lounges?

Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:04 am

While I would kill for a decent lounge at DEN (the only one that's even slight bearable is the Admirals Club on A concourse) - I just can't see WN spending the cash. UA has two on B concourse, that are in pathetically bad condition. I've played with getting a priority pass, but just can't justify it given the lack of lounges where I fly.

That being said, I am on the Nerd Bird flight most mondays, and it's 100% business. There is demand there.

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