Letters to U

In your case i assume your a preferred passennger( no pun intended there). For that ther is a higher price. sir you receive many more choices of non stop flights. Flexablity in your travel arranging.... Upgrades, free coupons, boarding priority, early service aboard the aircraft etc etc .. The very things your complaining about are the disadvantages and pain that our new rules are having on you. For the most part if you were what we call BUISNESS passenger you would be paying the higher fare and would not be affected by the new rules. The fact that your company or yourself made the decesion to cut cost and are trying to save, is unforunate for yourself and im sure you had your reasons. No body blames you there !

First of all, am I missing something - what is the pun in being a preferred passenger?

I am really, really trying to hold my temper in check at the utter arrogance of the post above. Are you stating, not even implying, that if I have the foresight and business acumen (of which your airline clearly has neither) to plan a trip ahead of time and pay a lower fare, that I am not a BUSINESS passenger? You have got to be kidding. I was insulted before, but if this is the attitude of the majority of US Airways employees & particularly management, then I have been flying the wrong airline for the last 3 years. Pardon me, but I am most certainly a business passenger. Unlike US Airways, however, I have learned to plan ahead and to control costs for my company and my customers. Thanks so much for your generosity in not "blaming" me for this. But while I have on occasion paid a somewhat lower fare - and this is said with my tongue firmly implanted in my cheek, as just this week I paid the "reduced" - and non-refundable - fare of $775 for the privilege of flying back & forth from Boston to Philly. In your world, does this make me disloyal to your airline or any less worthy of receiving preferred miles/segments? How many leisure travelers would pay that rate? Or could? But to you, I am not a business traveler. Honestly. I have paid upwards of $2000 for non-refundable tickets, but I'm not a business traveler....

Furthermore, the idea that I can no longer stand-by for a later (or earlier) flight because of a change to my schedule is the most absolutely ludicrous part of this entire misguided endeavour by U. Notwithstanding all the arguments listed above by far more articulate writers than me, the most compelling to me is that U has now essentially stated that it is preferable to steal my original fare and force me to pay a usurious (sp) fare rather than allow me to put my tushie into a seat that will go empty. No one is asking for U to bump passengers holding valid reservations, just to be allowed to fill a seat that would go empty otherwise.

Loyalty is measured in numerous ways. Your airline this week has told us LOUDLY & CLEARLY that the only kind of loyalty you want is from people who pay full fare. Up until this week, my loyalty could be measured by the number of flights I had taken with you this year, regardless of the fare basis. That number stands at about 77 as of today (I am US2 btw.). Of the 77, I would venture that 40 are on your shuttle, and there would have been 20 more before the end of the year. Since there is no preferred boarding for the shuttle, no first class, and oops! no discounts, I have not cost you a penny "extra". The other 37 have been a variety of trips - sometimes paying full fare, sometimes not. Sometimes I chose your airline over others bc I was loyal and elite status made my life as a FF easier. Sometimes I even chose your airline (gasp!) over others even when it was more convenient bc you (not me!!!!) put incentives in front of me to make it attractive to do so. Some of my flights have been with my family, and even though sometimes you were a bit less convenient, or even more expensive, we chose U bc we all belong to DM. By doing what you have done, you have pushed me into the arms of another suitor wherever possible bc you have effectively commoditized your own product. You may see this huge difference between U and the cheapos, but at this point, without status, there is absolutely no difference. Your planes are reprehensably filthy, your FAs unaccomodating & rude(yesterday we were told not to push the FA call button unless it was a "real" emergency), your gate agents stressed to the max. Your seats are tiny, there is no food, no blanket or pillow, no magazines, no nuthin' - and for this you want me to pay 7-10x more? If this is how you buy, please let me sell you something, ok?

Analogies to Nordstrom (bad idea), ballgames & concerts (really bad idea) just fuel the fire. Either you have not shopped at Nords or you are crazy. Yes, business is down there. Guess what, it's a recession. But instead of playing blame the bad, nasty frequent customer, they are rewarding us. They ask me nicely to come to the store; they even give me a discount for doing so. The people who work there smile at me, say thank you & please, and best of all, they clean their bathrooms. Ballgames & concerts - well, enough said on that point, but really? Couldn't you guys think of something better than that?

For the record, I HATE Southwest. I hate standing in line, cattle car mentality, the whole uncivilized experience of it. But from now on, I am going to have to fly them in certain markets bc I can never be sure if I will absolutely, positively make my flight back, and the thought of having to walk up to your counter and drop thousands of dollars to get home is nauseating when I can apply the value of a SW ticket to their walk-up fare and know I won't be hosed.