Issue removes elite flyers from first boarding group to lower levels.
Southwest Airlines’ A-List flyers are finding their choice of seats limited, after another computer glitch is resulting in many getting downgraded in seating status. Air Traffic World reports that a glitch associated with the airline’s transition to the Amadeus reservation system resulted in elite flyers being seated inside the lower groups.
Elite flyers who qualify for A-List status by flying aboard the airline automatically board in the first group aboard Southwest, with upgrades beginning 36 hours prior to departure. However, due to what is being described as a “break-in” issue, those flyers are currently not automatically being upgraded – resulting in boarding with lower groups and limited seating options.
Some on social media have gone so far to call the issue a deliberate move to upcharge flyers to pay for automatic check-in. The airline is calling the issue a technology situation which they are working to fix.
“There is currently an ongoing issue affecting priority check-in and tier member boarding positions,” Southwest said in a statement to Air Traffic World. “Our technology teams are working feverishly to resolve the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers.”
In a previous earnings call, Southwest called the glitch a “one-off” item and say that the glitch has nothing to do with the “elegance of the system.” Although the carrier is working to fix the issue, spokespersons have not given a timeline as to when it will be fixed. In an e-mail to elites, Southwest reminded elite flyers they can still board between groups A and B along with families who require extra time.
The situation is another documented example of recent Southwest computer issues. In 2016, repeated computer issues within the low-cost carrier resulted in unions calling for the resignation of airline chief executive Gary Kelly.