Why Southwest Airlines Legroom Is The Quiet Game-Changer In Air Travel [Roundup]

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Surely Southwest has done some polling, and the no bag fees line sells better than the extra leg room line.

  2. Maybe Amsterdam could focus on what parts of it’s society leads to overtourism and consider limits on them. Limiting hotel rooms will create collateral situations.

  3. Amsterdam no longer wants budget and “partying” tourists. Centraal Train Station Doubletree $500+ per night. (It’s not that nice and a crew layover hotel.)

  4. While I have no doubt that the Amsterdam hotel ban will eventually have the effect you mention, I sincerely doubt that is the purpose of the law. Amsterdam has been desperately trying to ease off tourism for years. I think this law may be shortsighted unless it also deals with VRBO and similar rentals as well.

  5. Decades ago, when my state first allowed self serve gas, it coexisted with full serve at a higher price. Soon, full serve was gone. For years, people would pine for the return of full serve, stating they’d pay an even larger premium. I chuckled because I knew that 90% of them wouldn’t. So, DL offers a Y fare at 31″ for $300 an Y+ at 34″ for $400. They could only offer one Y at 34″ for $3??. Why not? They would lose too many to a competitor selling 31″ (or less) for $300. People love to b!tch about pitch, but still Y+ doesn’t sell out before Y. Maybe SW thinks pitch doesn’t sell.

  6. “Yet the biggest miss of all: Southwest always fails to market that they offer more legroom than standard coach on American, United and Delta. The number one differentiator for inflight experience, and the most expensive thing to offer passengers, is more space on the aircraft. Yet they never tell this story.”

    I could swear WN’s seats are wider also. I felt cramped as all get out on a UA -900 in coach; and I know it wasn’t just the lack of legroom, because I remember an odd gap between the window armrest and the cabin wall.

  7. Southwest should NOT go with assigned seating… they are getting 100% of people like me that HATE assigned seating… that with 2 bags free is why fly exclusively Southwest domestically.

    Assigned seating causes more problems than it solves. Getting flight attendants into interactions with families thst can’t seat together etc.

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