Admittedly, while that's not quite as catchy as Caesar's famous Latin phrase "veni, vidi, vici" ("I came, I saw, I conquered"), it pretty well sums up the aftermath of my "Why Can't I Make Reservations Further In Advance?" blog piece. In it, I explained the rationale behind Southwest's policy of not allowing reservations more than 180 days in advance, and why we on occasion will drop to 90 days of bookable "inventory" before we extend the booking window back out to 180 days. Talk about sticking your head into a hornet's nest! We got 274 replies, and from the tone of some of them we quickly realized that, at least for some of you, a few of our policies were out of step with your travel needs. So...we're changing! We heard, from both Customers and Employees alike, that you didn't like our policy of not publishing the dates on which we plan to extend the schedule. No problem! We now make the tentative, planned date of the next schedule extension available to our Reservations Agents, and in short order this information will be prominently displayed at southwest.com. Bear in mind that the planned schedule extension date will always be subject to change, as we have to "tweak" the date every now and then, due to forces beyond our control–so while you can use the date as a planning tool, please check back occasionally to make sure the date doesn't change. As they say in the commercials."but wait! There's more!" Effective immediately, we will consider 120 days of bookable inventory as our minimum when getting our schedule ready for peak travel periods, such as summer or the Holiday Season. I can't promise that we will never go under this minimum for those heavy demand periods again, but I can promise that we will do everything in our power to make sure you always have more than 120 days of available flights to choose from. I can promise that it will take something almost cataclysmic to prevent that from happening. For other, less heavy travel periods, we will try to keep a minimum of 100 days of inventory available for your booking pleasure. On the other "end" of the booking window, we're going to push the maximum available inventory from 180 days to between 190 and 200 days of inventory–and once again, we'll pay particular attention to making peak travel periods available for booking as far in advance as possible. So there you have it. We heard you, loud and clearly, and we reacted. I realize some of you wish we would extend the booking window even further out, and while we won't do that this "go-round" we will continue to study the issue and may, at a later time, choose to do so. In any event, I hope these changes make planning your travel on Southwest easier. Like all airlines, Southwest appreciates your business–but unlike other airlines, we LUV you, and we appreciate your honesty! Thanks for all of the responses and thank you for reading "Nuts About Southwest!"
I BLOGGED. YOU FLAMED. WE CHANGED.
Apr 18 2007