Two-Meat Tuesday

Bedside, I’ve got a proof copy of the book with that name. I’m still impressed by my own writing – some evenings, I just wish I was clear now as I was, just a few years ago. The soul’s joy lies in the activity. Or something like that.

With Rue My Heart Is Laden:
On the weekly video, part of the closing sequence includes a shot of a wing-tip that should be familiar. From their advertising, and the “in your face” marketing, and for that matter, the way the business is run? South West Airlines. I’m partial because, from my perspective, it’s a point-to-point airline that ran from San Antonio to Dallas Love Field to Houston. The Dallas airport, for me, is about a hundred times more convenient. I’ll be flying in, Xmas day, a quick hit ad run to see the parents for the holiday.

My latest fishing flyer from Southwest Airlines had a two or three tiered purchase policy, a new addition to the rapid rewards deal, too. I’ve been a card-holding “frequent flyer” since 1994. Buy the tickets on sale, when I know where I’m supposed to be, and it was cheap. These days, I still like it.

From Austin or San Antonio, to El Paso, or up to Dallas (Love), Southwest was pretty cheap. I was checking against American Airlines, though, and now there’s a competitive streak. Turns out Austin, or San Antonio to El Paso? It’s cheaper on American. Maybe ten bucks less, bought on sale, non-refundable, various restrictions apply. The way it works, though, Austin or San Antonio to El Paso, about an hour in the air with Southwest, straight shot, I think, they just follow the freeway. That ten dollars cheaper on American? All flights connect through DFW, the dreaded airport. Not that I’m against that airport, it’s a good hub, and everyone (and everything) connects through there. Or so it seems.

But why add a level of unnecessary complexity in a simple equation? From Point A to Point B, straight line. Easier, less time in the air, and if the plane gets lost? I don’t have to worry, those Southwest pilots are barnstormers of the first degree.

American Airline invented the frequent flier program, I think. Get miles for every purchase made here? With the right credit card, I’m sure. All the convoluted and weird rules, though, I never could – never bothered – to figure it out. Southwest used to have the simplest program: fly 16 trips, get a free ticket to anyplace they fly. Period.

I’d commute to Dallas, El Paso and Midland (Odessa) enough times in a year to make it worthwhile. Simple, easy, no miles, and then, 8 round trip tickets to those places? And I’d get a free ticket to the furthest (and most expensive) destination I could find. One ticket went to a member of Sister’s ensemble, for her business. But other than that? I think I used one ticket on an El Paso trip, makes for a profitable trip with no travel expense, but usually, I’d hoard those freebies until something good came up.

That’s when it was all easy. The most recent notice from SWA was all about the new boarding regulation, the new routine, the new stuff. Not nearly as much fun, not nearly as equal, and it’s starting to smell like every other airline.

The way I see my business, I see it as simple, straightforward. I found a niche, and to pay for that niche? That’s why I charge admission. But it’s simple and cheap.