09 November 2007

Southwest goes all corporate

"Exciting Changes at Southwest Airlines!" screams the headline of the WN Email blast to some its customers this week announcing some new corporate initiatives. Still fumbling for a new strategy Southwest continues to push towards the corporate market. (Now being copied by Easyjet).

The highlights from the WN mail are as follows:

Enhanced Boarding – Now when you check in you’ll be assigned a boarding group (A, B, or C) and a position within that group (ex: A32) so there’s no need to wait in line. Simply board the plane when your group is called and find your favorite seat.
The Rapid Rewards A-List – Just fly 16 roundtrips in 12 months and we’ll put you on our A-List where we’ll reserve you the best boarding pass available on all your flights for an entire year, which means you’ll most likely get an A boarding pass.Log into your MySouthwest® account on southwest.com tomorrow to see how close you are to making it on the A-List. Members who qualify for the A-List as of November 8, 2007, will be receiving notification either by postal mail or e-mail within 3 to 5 days.
Freedom Awards – You can now convert two Standard Awards into one Freedom Award. With the exception of a few blackout dates, Freedom Awards are not subject to seat restrictions on Southwest Airlines flights, so if a seat’s available, it’s yours!
Business Select – When you purchase this new fare, you can guarantee that you’ll be among the first to board, and you’ll also get extra Rapid Rewards credit and a free drink to boot!
Simplified Fare Choices – Our fare choices are now even simpler! We’ve done the shopping for you, so it’s easy to find the perfect fare to meet all your travel needs.
Updated Gate Areas – We’re redesigning our gate areas to give you a more comfortable and productive space that will include comfy seats, power stations, a family area in which to enjoy those preflight moments!

Clearly this is the fork in the road for WN and its protege Ryanair.



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