Southwest Effect Commercial?

Old Aug 6, 15, 11:09 am
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Southwest Effect Commercial?

What do you think of the latest Southwest effect commercial?

http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7eC3/southwes...uthwest-effect

I found it kind of odd, as it really seems the Southwest effect is largely a thing of the past. Yes---in the old days, whenever Southwest entered a market, there was a massive decline in fares, and you saved huge dollars even if you flew a competing airline that was forced to lower their prices.

But, SW fares have increased dramatically over the past few years, and the savings when SW enters a market are minimal.

The irony is that I now look forward to Spirit or Frontier entering a SW market or having a big fare sale in a SW market. I have never actually flown Spirit or Frontier. But, when they have a sale in a SW market, there is often a huge reduction in SW fares and I save lots of $$.

I think this commercial was a bad idea as it just reminds customers that the Southwest of yesterday is no more.
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Old Aug 6, 15, 11:32 am
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Agreed

I've had the companion pass for years so I always check their prices. I used to be shocked at how much cheaper southwest was than the rest. Now it seems the only reason it's cheaper is because I get the second ticket free. Recently there have been times where I have been better off buying two AA tickets than one southwest ticket.
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Old Aug 6, 15, 12:18 pm
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Maybe AA and UA should put out a commercial showing the "Southwest Effect" at MDW, where fares are on average $100 higher than at ORD.

No, don't have time to find the reference at the moment, but it's out there.
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Old Aug 6, 15, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Bonehead View Post
Maybe AA and UA should put out a commercial showing the "Southwest Effect" at MDW, where fares are on average $100 higher than at ORD.

No, don't have time to find the reference at the moment, but it's out there.
This has not been my experience.

And, this Crain's Chicago Business article contradicts your statement with charts showing that, as of a little over a year ago, MDW fares are, on average, $82.16 less expensive than at ORD.
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Old Aug 6, 15, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by oswaldjacoby View Post
What do you think of the latest Southwest effect commercial?

http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7eC3/southwes...uthwest-effect

I found it kind of odd, as it really seems the Southwest effect is largely a thing of the past.
Did Southwest name this spot "The Southwest Effect", or only this "ispot" website? I don't have sound enabled on the computer I'm using now, but I've seen this ad on TV before a few times, and I don't remember "The Southwest Effect" being a tagline or anything like that.

In any case, "the Southwest effect" was never previously a Southwest corporate term, it was a term industry watchers coined.
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Old Aug 6, 15, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by FindAWay View Post
This has not been my experience.

And, this Crain's Chicago Business article contradicts your statement with charts showing that, as of a little over a year ago, MDW fares are, on average, $82.16 less expensive than at ORD.
The figures were in an article (I think in the Trib but I'm not sure) that was linked in a recent thread here (for some other reason) that I need to try and dig up. It was a fairly recent development, as I recall.

ETA: Of course I could be hallucinating.

Last edited by Bonehead; Aug 6, 15 at 3:17 pm
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Old Aug 6, 15, 3:46 pm
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Originally Posted by oswaldjacoby View Post
What do you think of the latest Southwest effect commercial?

http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7eC3/southwes...uthwest-effect

I found it kind of odd, as it really seems the Southwest effect is largely a thing of the past. Yes---in the old days, whenever Southwest entered a market, there was a massive decline in fares, and you saved huge dollars even if you flew a competing airline that was forced to lower their prices.

But, SW fares have increased dramatically over the past few years, and the savings when SW enters a market are minimal.

The irony is that I now look forward to Spirit or Frontier entering a SW market or having a big fare sale in a SW market. I have never actually flown Spirit or Frontier. But, when they have a sale in a SW market, there is often a huge reduction in SW fares and I save lots of $$.

I think this commercial was a bad idea as it just reminds customers that the Southwest of yesterday is no more.
"When the truth becomes legend, print the legend..."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056217/quotes
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Old Aug 6, 15, 5:06 pm
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Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
Did Southwest name this spot "The Southwest Effect", or only this "ispot" website? I don't have sound enabled on the computer I'm using now, but I've seen this ad on TV before a few times, and I don't remember "The Southwest Effect" being a tagline or anything like that.

In any case, "the Southwest effect" was never previously a Southwest corporate term, it was a term industry watchers coined.
In the spot, they say "We call it the Southwest effect." It's run previously (some months ago).
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Old Aug 6, 15, 9:46 pm
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I'd say it's alive and well at least on the international expansion. Ever since WN put the HOU international flights on sale there have suddenly been a lot of sales from the legacy airlines particularly on BZE and SJO.
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Old Aug 7, 15, 8:39 am
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Originally Posted by oswaldjacoby View Post
The irony is that I now look forward to Spirit or Frontier entering a SW market or having a big fare sale in a SW market. I have never actually flown Spirit or Frontier. But, when they have a sale in a SW market, there is often a huge reduction in SW fares and I save lots of $$.
I have flown Frontier and OCCASIONALLY they are cheaper. With the new ULCC model, by the time you add their fees back in, sometimes they are and sometimes they are not.

Recently, I flew Frontier for $219 Classic Plus on a last minute trip (5 days advance notice). At that same time, Southwest was $310 to $350 (Anytime/Business Select). Frontier lost my checked bag (could happen at any airline I guess). They paid for replacement clothes AND returned the bag 28 hours after the flight had landed.

Looking further out, near Christmas time, Frontier is $450 + "the works, their new bundled checked bag, carry on bag and seat upgrade when available) whereas a similar flight at Southwest is $186. On another Christmas flight, Southwest $240, Frontier $270 including "the works."

Frontier is sometimes cheaper, I would say maybe 10% to 20% of the time. The other 80% to 90%, give me Southwest. Southwest also has more flights so when problems occur, your delay will likely be less.
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Old Aug 7, 15, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by FindAWay View Post
This has not been my experience.

And, this Crain's Chicago Business article contradicts your statement with charts showing that, as of a little over a year ago, MDW fares are, on average, $82.16 less expensive than at ORD.
I suspect the difference in average fare is because at ORD there are more long haul, international and First Class fares.
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Old Aug 7, 15, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Bonehead View Post
Maybe AA and UA should put out a commercial showing the "Southwest Effect" at MDW, where fares are on average $100 higher than at ORD.
I've not seen that.

To the places I fly most (ONT, SJC and OAK) Southwest has always been cheaper. Usually substantially so. Maybe to LAX or SFO they might not be cheaper.

I realize exceptions exist. I was surprised how much Southwest wanted to charge to MSP, for example.
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Old Aug 7, 15, 1:48 pm
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
I suspect the difference in average fare is because at ORD there are more long haul, international and First Class fares.
Although "research" into anything airline related is often half-assed and easily torn apart by Flyertalkers, I would *hope* that they were smart enough to look at true apples-to-apples: nonstop routes from one city to both ORD and MDW.

My experience is that MDW is more expensive by a little bit, but that's probably because I'm coming from MCI which has two ORD carriers.

It also depends on how one does their comparisons. For example, I always compare assuming 1 checked bag and, if Spirit is involved, the fee for the Big Front Seat. People who regularly check 0 or 2 bags, or people who are shorter than Yoda, might choose to compare differently.
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Old Aug 7, 15, 3:31 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
I suspect the difference in average fare is because at ORD there are more long haul, international and First Class fares.
Although "research" into anything airline related is often half-assed and easily torn apart by Flyertalkers, I would *hope* that they were smart enough to look at true apples-to-apples: nonstop routes from one city to both ORD and MDW.
I agree with pinniped. And, although it is unclear, I think the data is limited to domestic fares because of the following at the beginning of the link: "federal data show that average domestic fares there are rising..."
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Old Aug 7, 15, 4:34 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
It also depends on how one does their comparisons. For example, I always compare assuming 1 checked bag and, if Spirit is involved, the fee for the Big Front Seat. People who regularly check 0 or 2 bags, or people who are shorter than Yoda, might choose to compare differently.
This is the core reason why we have so much debate here. There is no single right answer. It depends on your flying habits, which also may be different for work trips vs. vacations.

With different rules and parameters at each airline, making an apples-to-apples comparison is almost impossible. It only becomes slightly easier if you define one set of controlled variables for yourself (e.g., I always fly work trips with 1 checked bag).

However, with regard to earning points or miles, I would suggest that the comparison is slightly easier. In the example I gave above, I earned 942 miles on Frontier for a $219 ticket. I earned 759 Southwest points for a $150 ticket.

If you assume (and this is a big IF) that I can get a 12,500 mile award ticket at Frontier, I earned 942 / 12500 = 7.5% of a free ticket. Say that free ticket is worth about $100, so I earned $7.50. For the cheaper Southwest ticket, I earned about a $10 WGA award. Also I know fairly well that it will be worth about $10. The variable points per dollar issue at SWA for WGA fares does make predicting slightly more difficult, but still a better chance that my calculations are correct with SWA.

Also with Frontier, a free ticket is not necessarily completely free. You've got bag fees with the free ticket and the free ticket may take 12,500 or 20,000 miles. You never know until you are ready to go (book). Makes for too many variables which always concerns me that I will get screwed on the deal. Fewer (almost NO) ways to get screwed at Southwest.

With Frontier, I have to worry about points expiring every 6 months, without any good way to earn non-BIS miles. I don't fly them enough to make the credit card practical and they don't do dining for miles. Southwest, dining for miles always works to keep the account alive and I get 24 months, not 6 months between earnings. That's never a problem for me.

With all that in mind, I keep Southwest as my primary or focus airline. But, I am not afraid to take somebody like Frontier when the price justifies it (even though my last two Frontier flights have been "flights from hell" -- late one time and kicking screaming kid and lost bag the most recent time).

I continue to believe that if its close, take Southwest. If you have a pretty wide spread in prices, consider one of the other guys, knowing their limitations.
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