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New SWA reservation system coming

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by Joe, Dec 3, 2016.

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  1. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Throughout its history, Southwest Airlines has always operated a bit differently than its competitors, whether it’s the lack of assigned seats or its continued adherence to free checked luggage.

    And while those quirks have become beloved by the carrier’s many fans, the truth is the airline would be hard pressed to charge for them today -- even if it wanted to -- due to an aging reservations system that dates to the 1980s.


    http://www.dallasnews.com/business/southwest-airlines/2016/12/02/southwest-airlines-new-ticketing-system-next-step-carriers-evolution
     
  2. greekjim

    greekjim VIP Whale

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    About time
     
  3. bluesdude

    bluesdude VIP Whale

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    "The reservation system will make it easier to introduce and charge for new amenities, although Southwest executives haven’t speculated on what that might look like."

    What new amenities do you suppose they would want to charge for?
     
    Maybe not this year. Looking forward to 2021!
  4. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    My guess is seat selection
     
  5. vegasdev

    vegasdev VIP Whale

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    pick ur seat
     
  6. Fet297

    Fet297 113 survivor North Vegas

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    That's funny. Here all along I thought SW was forward thinking in their boarding process. Now I find out it's because of their computer system limitations. :jester: I feel disappointed like the day I learned the tooth fairy wasn't real. :cry:
     
    AirBnB Henderson. They say social distancing...Will we make this trip?
  7. Chuck2009x

    Chuck2009x VIP Whale

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    Sounds to me like they are going to use the logistics capabilities first. That will mean more flights in some markets and fewer in others.

    Optional seat selection won't be far behind and I'll bet it will be at least double the EB charge.
     
  8. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    This reminded me of a funny thing that happened a few weeks ago as I was boarding a Southwest flight, MDW, not LV. I had a mid B and picked an aisle seat toward the rear of the plane. (Hoping to get an empty center seat, of course.)

    This young lady came up to me and said that I was in her seat. She had just boarded from the front so I know she was not sitting in my seat already.

    Conversation went like this:

    She: You're in my seat.
    Me: Huh?
    She: Yes, I'm in 22-C.
    Me: Uh, Southwest does not assign seats.
    She: But that's what my ticket said, C-22.

    No! I am NOT making this up!
     
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  9. bubbakitty

    bubbakitty Doing retirement again and happily so....

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    It is not going to happen but I would hope there would be a checkbox when buying your ticket available to those not carrying items for the overhead bins---either no carry-on or fits under the seat. Boarding would then be assigned with these people getting A and high B numbers. 14 or 10 days out the box would disappear. Once these people are boarded those following would have access to overhead bins.
    This could be monitored by the individual scanning the boarding pass. No roller bags or ginormous backpack combo sets just passengers walking on and sitting down. Last trip we had to wait a good 45-60 seconds in the aisle while someone fiddled with the overhead bin and their tennis racquet contraption or something which finally fit but only of loaded a particular way unbeknownst to the clueless lady in the aisle.
    I realize that is not a great amount of time in and of itself but consider how long it takes to stow a bag and take a seat and then how long it takes to scan your pass and then actually take your seat.
    Finally, back in the 80's when they handed out the colored plastic cards to board a friend of my wife was married to a swa agent. He said (back then)'it would add 1$ (He said it like it was a lot of money) to each ticket to have reserved / assigned seating. I thought it a no-brainer but it was a no go apparently.
     
    It can’t be a rodeo without the bull
  10. GottaLuvCruising

    GottaLuvCruising High-Roller

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    If they offer seat assignments, even for a fee, I'd be more willing to fly Southwest.
     
  11. deansrobinson

    deansrobinson VIP Whale

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    Sounds reasonable to me. I've had people - thinking they're being courteous - gesture for me to board before them, not realizing that on the left of the stanchion are seats 1-50 while to the right are 51-99. I get the hairy eyeball, what's up with you, look when I simply say "no, we're 65 & 67". Gotta remember, there's no entrance exam for travel.

    BTW: how did this issue get resolved?
     
  12. PsyDoc

    PsyDoc High-Roller

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    Well, remeber that some people do not travel very often. Some travel by plane once every few years. And I have realized that some people get very nervous when they travel.
     
  13. Jimbucc

    Jimbucc VIP Whale

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    Whatever they do, it probably won't benefit us in the long run. Anytime something changes, it usually ends up costing us more money. It's like the new and improved slot clubs that just end up ripping us off.
     
  14. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    I can't envision a way to add assigned seating in a way that would board faster than they do now and that efficiency is something they prize. It may allow them to do a genuine business class like ATA used to have, which is something that would be a nice sell for some of their destinations out of the country. I also can see code sharing in their future.
     
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  15. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    I'm pretty surprised about how an old reservations system has limited them from offering red eye flights and caused rigid scheduling Sunday-Friday and Saturday which prevents matching demand with flight availability. Seems as if there has to be off the shelf softwear available, but they developed their own.

    Southwest made a big splash years ago here in the Philly area which caused big problems with US Airways, but now their flights are almost always more expensive, even with adding in baggage charges. Almost every airline is now charging for seat selection, so paying for early boarding is more palateable.
     
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  16. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I gave her a very fast crash course in Southwest 101. :) I explained what "Open Seating" (like in what the Gate Agent said multiple times) was and told her that she could have any seat that did not currently have a tush in it. She quickly grabbed a window seat across the aisle.
     
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  17. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

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    I worked for the FAA through the nineties and oughties and they constantly bought payroll software that didn't understand that some of their employees worked 24/7. Anything that crossed midnight was impossible or a work around. If they are actually running eighties software then I am amazed they can read a smartphone boarding pass.
     
  18. wishman35

    wishman35 VIP Whale

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    I am all for them switching to a reserved seat system - even if its just the option to pay for a good seat and keep the general admission boarding for those who dont care. Why?

    #1 - I am tired of seeing people pay for Business Select - or have A List - or pay for Early Bird and then watch 20 preboarders and their families, and then their relatives get on the flight for the person with a sprained ankle.

    #2 - any sort of reserved seating will eliminate a majority of the preboarders. I just flew American and United within the last week and it was uncanny how there are crickets when they call for preboarders

    I realize there are those who need it, and thus it is warranted. Too often do I notice it being abused though. Call me insensitive - but the era of the Southwest miracle flights will need to come to an end :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
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  19. Rush

    Rush MIA

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    This sounds a lot like, "We've added Resort Fees for your convenience".
     
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  20. ams722

    ams722 Side Bet Shunner

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    I guess I never realized that Southwest doesn't do red eye flights...
     
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