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SWA Poolies (2)

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Well-known member
Nov 27, 2001
Dear Poolies,

SWA's Rapid Rewards program is very different than most; not done by miles but by segments flown. Fly a determined amount of round trip segments or one way segments=1 free Rapid Reward ticket (for General Lee that always goes to LBB or MAF ;))

Here is an article that highlights the importance of treating customers well. Like those commercials for Ally Bank (which use to be GMAC and was bailed out with TARP funds...long story but don't support this bank IMHO) that shows the kids asking for a pony but not getting a real one with the voice background implying promising one thing and delivering something else is bad; saying you have free miles but not delivering on them has a cumulative impact on customer loyalty. Judge for yourself which customers have more loyalty and will respect the employees of those airlines more. Have a great Sunday.

Some US airlines are above 75% (good on them) and making an effort to comply but we all know it can't be 100% on all flights, however, SWA is working to make it as high as possible compared to most.

SWA isn't perfect (monthly DOT stats show that) and they are trying to improve in those areas but sometimes there are other metrics that tell the story of why SWA has loyal customers and has the degree of success it has.



Southwest Airlines is by far the most generous U.S. airlines when it comes to awarding free tickets, a consultant says.
United Airlines and http://profiles.portfolio.com/company/us/tx/houston/continental_airlines__inc_/519416/Continental Airlines -- which will be blending their frequent-flyer programs if their merger deal is approved -- as well as Alaska Airlines, also rank high in a recent study by IdeaWorks Co., a Shorewood, Wis.-based consulting group.

According to the study, Southwest, the busiest carrier at Sacramento International Airport, was the most likely to award free seats to frequent-flyer program members, IdeaWorks says. Southwest awarded free tickets in response to requests 99 percent of the time, with Alaska 75 percent of the time, Continental 71 percent and United 69 percent.

Those findings are based on 6,160 booking queries by IdeaWorks at the websites of 22 airline frequent-flier programs during February and March 2010.

United, the second busiest carrier at Sacramento International, and Continental have said that if their merger is approved, they will combine elements of their two frequent-flyer programs. Until then, the programs function separately.

The 10 most generous airline frequent-flyer programs, domestic and foreign, and their rate of saying "yes" to free-ticket requests are:

  • Southwest (99 percent).
  • Air Berlin, Germany (99 percent).
  • Air Canada (94 percent).
  • Virgin Blue, Australia (90 percent).
  • Lufthansa, Germany (86 percent).
  • Singapore Airlines (77 percent).
  • Iberia, Spain (76 percent).
  • Alaska (75 percent).
  • Jet Airways, India (73 percent).
  • Qantas, Australia (73 percent).
  • Continental (71 percent).
  • United (69 percent).

Rated the least generous among 22 frequent-flyer programs is US Airways, at an 11 percent approval rate, followed by Delta Air Lines (13 percent) and Emirates of United Arab Emirates (36 percent).

Denver Business Journal

Read more: Southwest rewards most frequent-flyer awards - Sacramento Business Journal:
Training center folks reporting that GK is very optimistic for remaining quarters of '10.

Question of manning came up. In previous years, SWA's need for pilots flucutated very little since our schedule didn't vary alot except for increases.

Beginning recently however, the "optimization" side of scheduling/revenue generation has resulted in spikes in demand that other airlines have flexed up and down; SWA is only now just doing that.

SWA has all pilots undergoing Step 4 RNAV training over the next 6 months. Combined with increase in flying this summer and normally higher rates of vacations (therefore more pilots needed), this translates to more demand for pilots and the excess we felt in 1Q10 is rapidly shrinking over the summer.

Hold on though, it doesn't necessarily mean more hiring in '10. Why? We go back to fewer vacations in the fall and a thinning out of the Step 4 training of pilots in 4Q10. That translates to a slight overage but far less than what we had 4Q09 a year earlier.

Going forward into 1Q11, our "optimized" schedule (not published yet) may show reduced flying (as it has in years past). GK is not going to add people just when the overages were being resolved but without knowing what the schedule will look like (a net gain or simply taking flights from other places and putting them on the new cities or new routes), it is hard to predict when the hiring will start.

Until the picture gets clearer for 1Q11 and 2Q11, the hoped for hiring that would occur then is hard to predict. That being said, the "hoped for "ROIC" (return on invested capital) numbers that GK has hoped for in '10 are far from certain but the trend line according to the folks who have heard him speak is extremely optimistic. Too far off for a clear crystal clear picture but certainly the optimism is higher than some have seen in some time.

Merger is not the preferred option or being seriously considered by the leadership for all the obvious reasons. Nothing against the possible candidates but SWA would rather go it alone.

Westjet broke the agreement by not being "exclusive" with SWA for US codeshare....they asked for release and that wasn't part of the deal. No hard feelings from GK toward them but SWA will look for other options as stated to include flying there ourselves.

Flying within 2 hrs of the US borders (Mexico, Caribbean, Canada) is a process that SWA can turn on quickly when GK says to....the folks who want to are standing by ready to oblige. Very encouraging news. Not sure what would cause the green light to come on but the engines are running to get going. Volaris is the codeshare choice for now in Mexico but SWA has no restrictions from competing on any routes of SWA's choice to Mexico just as we had no restrictions with ATA to places where we had gates.

My take, still nothing to get excited about for '10 but '11 as expressed by others is far more optimistic an outlook than what folks were saying a year ago.

Hang in there poolies, remaining current, keep your record clean and enjoy family and friends. It will all be worth it once you get on property :beer:
Chase --

Thanks. Good info -- I appreciate balanced intel like that. The picture looks brighter than it did 3 months ago, much better than 6 months ago, and will hopefully continue to improve for SWA as 2010 rolls on. All signs appear to point to poolies drying off in 2011. I'm cautiously optimistic for next year.

Continue to use the sunscreen sent to all of your homes....it is a buddy system in the pool so always know where your buddy is...kind of like keeping an eye out for your Captains...where would we be with our FOs!!

Here is the latest off the press from SWA on the 2009 annual report. It is in .pdf form and provides some perspective on how challenging a year it was for SWA as well as all airlines. Easy to understand why we didn't do any hiring. Bringing on more employees when times are this difficult simply results in guaranteed furloughs, something we don't want you or anyone at SWA to go through.

Enjoy the read. Cheers,

I keep hearing an occasional rumor of hiring this year, but I think it might actually be first quarter of '11. As stated, the step 4 RNP training is going to completely eat up every hour of sim time through the remainder of the year. Could they shift things around and run one class? Maybe, but it would be hard.

On a positive note, we have already announced two new cities for South Carolina and should announce ICT soon.

And the growing rumor of replacing 300's with 800's. It seems the 300 cost and longivity has not made it to the point Boeing sold it to us for, so they are playing 'Lets Make a Deal' on new 800's.

Hope that helps.

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