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Southwest Airlines Offers "A" Boarding Group for $40

DALLAS, Jan. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines Customers LUV the coveted "A" boarding group, and now they have one more way to be among the first to board. Beginning today, Southwest Airlines will offer Customers the opportunity to purchase one of the earliest boarding positions at the gate for $40 per flight, when available. "At Southwest, we have developed boarding options that fit a variety of our Customers' needs—from EarlyBird Check-In to our Business Select… ( さらに...

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Business select used to be $15.00 and boarded before A group. The latest greatest new deal? WTF? And from Southwest yet, my how they have grown. And I get the window seat Wallace, so they have to work to assault me with those huge bags.
Yea, I'm a window seater too. I like to see where we are when it's not cloudy. Good for sleeping too-not good for bathroom usage. Lol
Me three. Never really have a problem getting a window seat and on SWA I usually don't go far enough to have to 'go' enough for it to be a problem.
I like the window seat because I can look out of the window. Or I can sleep while leaning against the fuselage. Can't do that in an aisle seat.
Third. nobody need climb over me to get to the restroom.
I learned my lesson real early about aisle seats. The only time I selected an aisle seat I got stuck next to a woman with a bladder the size of a thimble. What a jerk. Two hour flight and she had to pee three times? The third or 4th time I pretended to be asleep and kept her from getting up for a bit just to torture the wench.
homburge 5
Here's the real import of this: those of you who check in properly early and get, say a B20 number, could end up bumped further down the line effectively as people buy spots in front of you.

I agree -- this is a pathetic move, and doesn't do anything to lessen the boarding-process antagonism that the airlines have created these days.
It has been proven that boarding people in windows seats first saves more time & money. If all these airlines were serious about "customer satisfaction" instead of enticements of boarding first they should just board passengers but windows passengers first then the plane could turn around faster, thus saving the airline money. But this is simply a "revenue raising exercise" nothing to do with customer satisfaction nor time/money saving.
Don't get me started on people who try to get onto a plane when their row has not been called.
People who get onto a plane first don't take-off first.
I am quite happy to be last on the plane thankyou when all the crazy people have seated.
Sorry but when people get to an Airport their IQ drops 50%! Why because of an Airlines Mismanagement.
Sorry about the rant :)
I used to wait until the last minute to board. Can't do that anymore. Why? Because many PAX are now carrying on many many more things than they are supposed to.
For example. Typically one is allowed one carry on and one personal item.
Now people are wearing back packs. So it's their carry on, personal item( usually some kind of bag and the back pack. They get to their seat, stow the carry on AND the back pack. And if it's winter, they stow their coat as well. By the time the last people board, there is no more room in the bins. And of course, people will try to stuff their sh...I mean stuff in the bins anyway which prompts the flight attendant to come over and get the picture.
I think anyone who does the back pack thing should be charged double the checked bad fee just for being a douche bag.
They would make a lot of money. Lol
Just start to charge for the 2nd Bag.....keep the boarding process Goodness! A little here and a little there. Bit by bit....who's idiotic idea was that any way? Why not just spread the "wealth"??
Imagine how much quicker and more efficient the process would be if the airlines just went back to boarding the plane from the back to the front? Common sense has left the building…
That's the way it should be. It's much more efficient.
I'm still waiting for the extra charge for oxygen.
"cabin pressurization fee"
jbermo 4
$40 just for boarding early?? Not long ago, a LAX - SFO ticket cost about $40.
Heh.. $40? Not long ago, a LAS-LAX ticket was $29 each way. Only ROK undersold them, with their flights being $19 each way.

Anyway, what this PR release doesn't mention is if this is for *ALL* A Boarding group tickets. In other words, does this cover A1 - A50? If so, that means that no matter how quickly you check in before your flight, unless you pay the $40 at the gate, you will always get the B boarding group.

What will suck about this is how many people will now try to game the preboarding system without having a valid reason to preboard.
They are only selling their unsold Business Select boarding positions (A1-A15) only. All the rest of the positions are locked in.
SOuthwest you are pathetic for trying to get more money. I really dont think you are the low cost airline anymore . Ill stick with United
Makes sence to stick with united. I mean, bag fees, change fees, et al fees. This is only a fee if you want to pay it. If you don't care about your seat, don't pay it!
DAL498 1
They both suck. Delta priority boarding is $9.00 if your not a medallion member. $40 is stupid and United is a joke.
So they are selling boarding position instead of seat preference. Same thing. You would only buy boarding pref to gain seating pref. everyone leaves at the same time. Nothing I like better than an isle seat near the front so every jackass can ram their oversize bag into me. Yes!!! And only $40 bucks.
Exactly. If I'm paying an extra $40, I'd like to just reserve a particular seat! Besides, there are only so many "A" slots to go around. Bad move Southwest.
Just another way to raise revenue without raising ticket prices,, think about how much the other airlines made when they added baggage fees, enough to show a huge profit..
This fee seems to be their feeble attempt to get revenue from all of the Business Select spots (A1 through A15). Guess they don't sell all 15 Business Select consistantly. Only those who got online after T minus 18 hours and got B30 or higher would consider paying the $40. This is also targeted to WGA fareholders who want a "Business Select" position.
Hmmm... Pay extra to get stuffed in a cramped seat in a cramped cabin while strangers lift large heavy bags over your head and try to stuff them into the overhead bins or... Relax a little longer in the boarding area where you can stretch your legs and move around? Difficult choice to make that one... not!
Same plane, same flight ... Same arrival time !??! As long as I get to where I'm going is fine by me ... While I do prefer a window seat, for photography, I can find other things do work on, on the I-Pad. Don't need to pay extra, to "look important"
suz 1
Marketing, marketing, marketing. There are people out there who will gladly pay ... suckers.
Us pee-ons get what is left......poor choice by Southwest. It all comes down to the dollar......the System worked....leave it alone!
There will come a time when the pax(s) will just get in line like they use to.....and just board. It happens all the time already. I have seen it already as late as last week on a Southwest Flight. The person(s) who pay $40 is just wasting their money and efforts. They already offer a $10 Early Bird checkin......they do it for you on a regular ticket. 36 hour checkin by Southwest is the best choice. That way you do not need to checkin yourself. That is the way it should stay!
I like Southwest. Its great for hopping around the U.S. I don't like the idea for an extra fee for faster boarding. In fact, I'm against any of these snobbish VIP fees which seem to showing up everywhere. Soon McDonald's (for example) will pick up on this idea to generate more income. The boarding system SW uses now works well. If they really wanted to speed up boarding, start from back to front and get a strong assistant to load the overhead bins to get the passengers sitting down faster.
Forty dollars per year might be more palatable for some travelers, but overall I think it is a bad route to take. Don't try to duplicate Spirit Air, Southwest, or your reputation will head down the drain.
Yes, I remember the days of when BS was $15 and boarding was before A group. I always had a window and then changed companies and didn't fly much anymore. I had three free flights anywhere on their system, I used one in 2010 and asked if I should pay the additional funds to guarantee I had the others, party with SW said no problem, I could do this at any time. About 8 months later when I received my statement no free flights were listed, I called and got customer service, they could do nothing, I lost the flights. Wrote a letter to the CEO, intercepted by Customer Service and advised of the same results. Sent to employee of SW who could send the direct, they were sorry but they were not valid anymore it didn't matter what their employee had stated. It is no wonder they are making 481 million in profits with their stealing from the people who made them successful in the first place. I don't fly SW any more, I pay more and get what I want and occasionally use private jets so let them sucker everyone else, they are the same as the others, they have just been cheating the customers better for a longer time.
Business Select has never been $10 and it includes a fully refundable ticket. Early Bird was $10 as a promotion when it started. Business Select does not board ahead of A. A1-A15 are reserved for Business Select but if they aren't sold then those boarding spots can be purchased at the gate for $40. Taking a gamble on whether those spots are going to be available may pay off, but it may not.
SWA learned a lot from American Airlines. I will NOT fly SWA and AA lifetime!
Was AirTran a bit more than you cared to chew.?......should have let them go under....have them compete in the market.
Being the Big Person on the block sometimes is not very fun.....your customers are the ONLY reason you are in business. Southwest, you have a great business model. Let it ride!
What happened to the $10 cost for the same thing?
I can't believe that the airlines have that much gall, to charge people $40 for their own INEFFICIENCY!
People with disabilities, should be boarded first, free of charge, then people in 1st Class, and then the coach passengers. Why should the flying public be raped with fees,
to compensate for the inefficiency of the carrier? Beats me, how people can just
plod along, like Cattle, and agree to such stupidity.
@Barbara: Interesting point. As for charging people with disabilities, I think they'd find themselves with a huge ADA lawsuit on their hands.
@Terry...wouldn't it be funny, if the flying public brought a class action lawsuit against the SWA, for descrimination? Think about it. If you don't have the $40, and someone else does, then you are being descriminated against, for not having the money for that "fee". Greed is so rampant in our society, today. The price of fuel has come down, and they are STILL looking for deep pockets! Unnnnbelieveable! :)
My Father owned a GTCC (Group Travel Charter Company)in the 60's flying Military personnel from NY to Frankfurt, for $99 each way. He saved the U.S. Govt. tons of money and he still made a profit! He didn't charge for overweight baggage, he didn't pork and gouge the Government, he did it because, as a retired Military pilot, himself, was fed up with the cost the Commercial carriers bled the Government for, and he was written up, in the Pentagon Newspaper, for his idea and the savings he brought to the Military budget.
When I see things, like this, my blood boils. There are no American companies today, that have Patriotic leadership. The CEO's love their six figure salaries, and private jets, and Patriotism has died in our Country. :/
Best way to complain is to not fly with them or not pay for this service. It is optional. I have never understood why people who pay to sit in the front want to board first and then have everyone else parade past them banging them with luggage, coughing on them, farting in their face, and generally causing the boarding process to drag. On most airlines you have assigned seating. On SWA I guess it's to avoid the middle seat.
Why pay $40 when all one needs is a pair of crutches or a walking cane.
I saw a woman with crutches deplane from a forward seat. As soon as she and her (looked like her husband) got into the terminal she stopped using the crutches and began walking normally.
On the way back...REmarkably, I saw the SAME COUPLE...There she was with the crutches. The couple got to board first along with the people with children( that pissed me off too)..Unreal...But hey. Since I don't hit girls, I felt like running up behind her husband and slew footing him.
Can you imagine my surprise when, after paying the $10 fee for auto-checkin on my SWA flight from MHT>MCO, I fetched aeat B11? It all became clear when the gate agent announced that seats A1 through A15 had been reserved for anyone willing to pay $40 for a "preferred seat."

I smiled, sat back, and watched to see who might pony up the extra $$ to get a head start on boarding.

By the time the pre-boards were all settled, NO ONE had lined up in the A1-15 queue!

I hope someone from SWA was watching and, when it happens often enough, they will see abandon this silly practice.
The existence of fees charged by carriers is this: fares are too low to cover the cost of carrying a passenger from here to there and back.
The first thing carriers should do is charge by the mile. The farther one travels, the more they pay. Only makes sense.
Another idea would be to END advance purchase fares and all of the other complicated nonsense. Carriers should simply set the fares. All one price for first class. bus class and coach. Set the fares high enough so the carrier can turn a profit on each seat sold.
I did some checking with an inflation calculator. If a regular coach fare from say JFK to LAX was $400 RT back in 1985 that flight should now cost close to $900 now adjusted for inflation. Take it or leave it.
Perhaps if air carriers could charge appropriate fares, we would not have the screwball system we have now where among 140 seats on an aircraft there are 30 or 40 different pricing structures. If carriers knew what they were getting in advance perhaps they could do some simple accounting to make sure their margins are being met.
Another great reason to have a pilots license.


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