I love having my own blog. You know why? Because I meet amazingly wonderful, caring, intelligent people through the comments. Like this chap below. I'd name him by name, but I can't as he signed his comment as "anonymous". I'll just call him "an'us" for short. He responded to my little rage on Southwest the other week. I won't waste your time and ask you to dig for it, oh no dear reader, I won't. No instead, I'll put it right here on the front page, and… maybe, just maybe, I'll comment to a line or two. Yeah. I think I think I might…


an'us wrote:



It never ceases to amaze me how folks such as yourself want everything dummyed down.



It's spelled "dummied", or "dumbed down". But not "dummyed". Dummy.



It is really that hard for you to read the simple signs? Are you kidding?



Hm, yeah actually, it was. Especially the A sign that was half-rotated to B (so was it in the A or B position?). That being my first (and hopefully last) time experiencing this abomination of organization, since I was looking for the 'B' group, I wasn't quite sure if that line was for me or not. Remember, there were two lines side-by-side -- one for San Jose and one for San Francisco, and even this was plainly unclear.



If you have trouble with that how do you drive with stop signs and green, yellow and red lights. You musy be in a state of constant shock!!



Erm, because they're red, yellow and green. If the stoplights were "A1-5 = GO", and "B6-10 = SLOW", and "C11-15 = STOP", then yes, I do think I'd drive right off the road.



It is a system designed to help you and I continue to get a great seat.



No, the only way to get a good seat is to check-in online 24 hours in advance, or turn up to the airport early. Then you used to have to stand at the front of your line while the rest of the passengers lined up behind you. Now the point is that you can wander around the airport instead of waiting in line, however since most passengers seem to spend most of their time trying to figure out this system, I don't think we've progressed too much. They've created an over-complicated version of assigned seating. Why assign in groups of five? Just assign to a "group" of one, and everyone gets a seat.


And the only way to get a GREAT seat is to fly another airline and get upgraded to business/first.



And also help SW make money. Do you think they fly for you? No, they fly to run a business.



Ooh, good question. Let's ask Southwest, shall we? Let's see... their Mission Statement says: The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. That's very nice. I like it. Sounds like they're flying for me.



This way they are being true to you the customer and also to the simple fact that costs are rising and they figured what I feel is an excellent way to see to a win win.



"Win win", did you learn that in business school? I fail to see who's winning here. Certainly not the customer. When you hear customers yelling (and no I'm not making that up) to the boarding staff that "this system sucks", and "we hate this", I fail to see how that's a "win" for the customer. Or for the airline, since they will probably lose customers. I never went to business school, but I think you'd call that a "lose-lose".



In my experience people complain about anything and everything. There is no reason for it.



No reason to complain? You're absolutely right. We should all just be happy with the way things are and never complain. Gosh. I see the light now. Thanks Karl, you've made it all so clear. Now where do I get my fur hat and stand in line for toilet paper?



I also know folks who complain like you do not have a better answer.



Actually I do. It's called "assigned seating". Seems to work just fine for every other airline. Or stick with the simple A/B/C system. No one I know who travels for business likes flying Southwest, but hey for budget travel, I'll stand in line. I don't like it, but you get what you pay for.



Why not try to see the positive side and expect people to have at the very least a 4th grade education with the ability to stand by a number.



Well *I* have a 4th grade education (possibly more!), and I struggled with it (the boarding system, not the 4th grade). Look, clearly this is a complicated system. Case in point... as I flew back into San Jose yesterday returning from Tokyo, I walked by a Southwest counter and overheard the gate agent explaining to everyone over the microphone how to line up. If you have to explain something as simple as "lining up", you've already lost the plot. But don't believe me... believe Southwest. On the front page of their own website, they have a link for "Boarding School", and a sophisticated flash site titled "Boarding 101", which is a five-page explanation (I'm not kidding) of their new boarding system. So I repeat... as soon as you have to explain how to do some thing as simple as line up, you've just lost the plot.



I mean how stupid are you?



Apparently quite. I responded to you, an'us.


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