The Cost of Dissatisfaction

Selling a place in line

Selling a place in line

270°  Accountants and investors are killers of commerce. It just takes them a long time to do it.

I usually fly Southwest Airlines. I like Southwest, but sometimes they sacrifice customer relations for a few dollars more.

Southwest’s policy of seating is just slightly better than chaos. Instead of having a seat assigned when you purchase your ticket, you are sold a place in a line. Instead of First Class, Southwest has Business Select, which means the ticket holder is in the first 15 places in line. The catch is that if you’re plane is late, or the outgoing flight has a significant number of passengers continuing on, the place in line can be meaningless. 

It can be frustrating to be on a plane that is late because of a disorganized flight crew, then be one of the last in line for the connecting flight. This is only made worse if the first flight causes the passenger to miss the connection. The passenger then goes to the back of the line for the next available flight.

Now Southwest accountants have decided that not enough people are buying the Business Select fares, so they are selling  them at the last-minute. For $40 more I could have moved up 27 places in line for a two-hour flight to Denver. I didn’t take it, but I fly a lot with Southwest and it is irritating that Southwest accountants are ready to put the impulse buyer ahead of me.

I’m sure others are offended by Southwest’s whoring of the boarding process. It is a slap in the face to the flyer who brings the most business to the airline. Dissatisfaction has a cost in the long run. Dissatisfaction makes the customer ripe for alternatives, and once the customer decided to leave it is almost impossible to win them back.