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Southwest Airlines Updates iOS App with Redesigned Navigation, Airport Information Pages

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
50,386
11,759



Southwest Airlines has released a redesigned version of its app for iOS devices, with new features designed to streamline navigation. The app now includes a unified actions sidebar on the right of every page, airport information content pages, and the ability for non-logged in users to perform actions throughout the app. The app will also enable a mobile boarding pass feature starting on November 21st with flights originating from Austin, Texas and will be enabled in more cities throughout 2014.

What's New in Version 2.0.0
We've completely redesigned our app with new navigation and user interface. We took all of the same features from our old app and updated the experience. Plus we added some new features along the way including:

oPersistent menu for quicker navigation throughout the app
oContextual links to intuitively move from task to task
oAirport information content pages
oNon-logged in users can now view reservations
oAbility for mixed adult + senior bookings
oShowing the number of Rapid Rewards points earned while purchasing


Along with this complete redesign, we're announcing the roll out of mobile boarding pass throughout 2014. We're starting with nonstop and direct flights originating from Austin, TX* with other cities to be added during the year. With this update when your departure city is eligible, you'll be ready to utilize this exciting feature.

Most importantly, we're not stopping here. We're listening to your feedback and have already started on our next release to continue enhancing our mobile experience.

*Austin mobile boarding pass begins November 21st, 2013.
Southwest Airlines is a free app for iOS devices and can be downloaded through the App Store. [Direct Link]

Article Link: Southwest Airlines Updates iOS App with Redesigned Navigation, Airport Information Pages
 

zmanfx

macrumors newbie
Sep 6, 2010
9
1
Los Angeles
Their app has been pretty bad interface and usability wise for some time now. Any updates and improvements are welcome for me.
 
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pauliaK

macrumors regular
Jan 16, 2012
136
48
Banff, AB
Yet no support for built in mobile boarding passes... Though agree with the previous comment, it used to be the worst airline mobile app I've ever had a chance to put my hands on thus any improvements are welcome.
 
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Reason077

macrumors 68020
Aug 14, 2007
2,394
1,122
This is so exciting! I'm going to take the rest of the day off to celebrate!!

Seriously, I'm glad that MacRumors keeps me up to date every time an airline updates their app.
 
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KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,691
4,199
Their app has been pretty bad interface and usability wise for some time now. Any updates and improvements are welcome for me.

It is significantly improved. I used it yesterday.

----------

Yet no support for built in mobile boarding passes...

First things first. They have just started to roll our mobile boarding passes at all. They had an antiquated reservation system that they are completely replacing as part of their acquisition of AirTran.
 
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jschu22

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2008
256
186
One of the last to have mobile boarding passes, the last to allow small electronic devices throughout flights.

At least they are consistent(ly slow).
 
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DominikHoffmann

macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2007
182
93
Commonwealth of Virginia
Southwest Airlines has released a redesigned version of its app for iOS devices, with new features designed to streamline navigation. The app now includes a unified actions sidebar on the right of every page, airport information content pages, and the ability for non-logged in users to perform actions throughout the app. The app will also enable a mobile boarding pass feature starting on November 21st with flights originating from Austin, Texas and will be enabled in more cities throughout 2014.
I don’t quite get, why this is worthy of a mention on the iOS Blog page. There must be thousands of apps that get updated and improved every day and probably dozens, if not hundreds, fairly high-profile ones. What merits an article on the iOS Blog? I’m trying to be less critical than to understand the MacRumors team’s rationale.
 
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JonathanK81

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2006
589
100
One big issue I found after downloading it yesterday was mobile check-in. I'd sometimes check my family members in since they couldn't do it themselves. This app now requires me to logout before doing so. I used to be able to check them in without the need to logout. I'm not a fan of that. They could have easily made it so you can check yourself in and your family/friends without the need to logout each time.
 
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ToomeyND

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2011
433
224
At least they are consistent(ly slow).

Except for the two stats that matter, taking off and landing on-time.

I'm glad they revamped the app, it was brutal before. I'm just starting to play with it, but it does look a bit nicer.
 
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avanpelt

macrumors 68030
Jun 2, 2010
2,932
3,802
I can't believe Southwest is just beginning to roll out mobile boarding passes -- and in only one departure city -- Austin, TX. I'll keep flying the legacy carriers who have had mobile boarding passes for years.

Last I checked, Southwest is often more expensive than the legacy carriers on the same routes. Pay more for a subpar customer experience on mobile devices and get obnoxious, corny schtick from flight attendants while on board? No thanks.
 
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ToomeyND

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2011
433
224
Last I checked, Southwest is often more expensive than the legacy carriers on the same routes. Pay more for a subpar customer experience on mobile devices and get obnoxious, corny schtick from flight attendants while on board? No thanks.

Depends on where you are flying from. Out of Oakland, I can (and do) fly everywhere in the west for under $200.

And southwest is much better about the cost of changing flights.
 
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JonathanK81

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2006
589
100
Depends on where you are flying from. Out of Oakland, I can (and do) fly everywhere in the west for under $200.

And southwest is much better about the cost of changing flights.

I agree with this, I usually get way cheaper deals out of California than any of the other airlines. Except maybe JetBlue or Virgin America.
 
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bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,040
12,214
I can't believe Southwest is just beginning to roll out mobile boarding passes -- and in only one departure city -- Austin, TX. I'll keep flying the legacy carriers who have had mobile boarding passes for years.

Last I checked, Southwest is often more expensive than the legacy carriers on the same routes. Pay more for a subpar customer experience on mobile devices and get obnoxious, corny schtick from flight attendants while on board? No thanks.

Depends on where you are flying from. Out of Oakland, I can (and do) fly everywhere in the west for under $200.

And southwest is much better about the cost of changing flights.

Not only with where you're flying from, but also where you're flying to. The legacy carriers outsource/contract out to regional carriers so they won't have to spend their own money and gas on the leg that is your destination. SWA, having that single aircraft type in their fleet, means their mainline will always get you to where you need to go. Cases in point:

KRNO. ASA sends you on a Dash 8, operated by QXE. UAL and DAL would send you either in a E120 or CRJ, operated by SKW. AWE? CRJ operated by ASH. SWA? 737.

KOKC. Same applies, though UAL and AAL might send something from their mainline fleet. AAL may send a MD80, and UAL may send either a B737 or A319/A320.

Bonus about where I live. Every SWA flight I have to where I want to go is nonstop. That's the benefit I have of Las Vegas. I also don't have to stop at a hub for a connecting flight.

The legacies may have had mobile boarding passes, but SWA, while being late to that game, kept your luggage free. So they may be late to the mobile boarding pass game, but I'd take being late on that than having to pay more to check in bags that I need when I fly.

BL.
 
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xdhd350

macrumors 6502
Mar 9, 2010
346
56
a subpar customer experience on mobile devices and get obnoxious, corny schtick from flight attendants while on board?

If you ever have a bad experience with a SWA employee, you should report it. They take customer service very seriously. I once read the story of a pilot applicant who didn't get hired depsite being very qualified because he got an attitude with one of the gate attendants.

I live in the Dallas area and know people who work for them. They have a corporate culture of being polite and courteous.
 
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pittsf

macrumors newbie
Nov 19, 2013
1
0
I hope Southwest reads all these comments

I'd like to add one:

I wish they would save credit card info. We fly SWA often and would be great to be able to book flights in iPhone IOS but too tedious to key in all the credit card info to do unless last resort and then if book another trip in same session still have to enter the same CC info all over again for next lap!
 
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bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,040
12,214
I'd like to add one:

I wish they would save credit card info. We fly SWA often and would be great to be able to book flights in iPhone IOS but too tedious to key in all the credit card info to do unless last resort and then if book another trip in same session still have to enter the same CC info all over again for next lap!

If you sign in with Rapid Rewards, you won't have to worry about that, because RR would keep that info for you. It at least does on the previous version of the app. I have yet to update to the new one (will do so tonight).

BL.
 
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mdelvecchio

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2010
3,117
1,056
i appreciate this news, since i just deleted the craptastic app a week ago.

i cannot understand why

1) it was as bad as it was (think mobile website bad...in an app).
2) why they wouldnt release a much-improved version.
3) why mobile boarding pass isnt the absolutely must-have feature? what else is the app really good for? if they say "booking", theyre thinking as merchants, not as the customer.

not having Passbook integration is just a mind-numbing fail, at this point in time.
 
Comment

bradl

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2008
4,040
12,214
i appreciate this news, since i just deleted the craptastic app a week ago.

i cannot understand why

1) it was as bad as it was (think mobile website bad...in an app).
2) why they wouldnt release a much-improved version.
3) why mobile boarding pass isnt the absolutely must-have feature? what else is the app really good for? if they say "booking", theyre thinking as merchants, not as the customer.

not having Passbook integration is just a mind-numbing fail, at this point in time.


When you think about it, most of the features that people are talking about weren't available, even as proof of concept, when the app came out. The app was available as early as iOS 3.0, and really hasn't been updated since, until now.

So you're going back to at least when the iPhone 3G was new. Since they released it, it was fairly stable (I booked many a flight, hotel, and checked in through it). Now, with how things have changed with iOS 7, it was well and truly outdated.

BL.
 
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KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
15,691
4,199
Last I checked, Southwest is often more expensive than the legacy carriers on the same routes. Pay more for a subpar customer experience on mobile devices and get obnoxious, corny schtick from flight attendants while on board? No thanks.

Need to check a bag on a legacy carrier? That will be $25. Two bags? Another $35. Did your plans change and you need to change your flight? That will be $200.

On Southwest: Bag 1: $0. Bag 2: $0. Change fee: $0.

As far as base fares, they all have gravitated toward the same level, except for the deep discounters like Spirit who charge for carry-ons, etc.

Southwest also pays its workers above the industry average, while the legacy carriers are pushing more and more flights onto regional affiliates who pay pilots as little as $24,000. I can live with them being one of the last with mobile boarding passes.
 
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maxwelltech

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2011
419
102
Irvine, CA, USA
Official airline of the ghetto.
Nope, it is actually one of the better airlines in the US.

I usually get way cheaper deals out of California than any of the other airlines. Except maybe JetBlue or Virgin America.
Last time when I booked a flight from SoCal to Las Vegas on Thanksgiving Day, JetBlue out of LGB only costs about $500 roundtrip while Southwest out of SNA costs about $900. Granted SNA is closer to my house and this is a very popular vacation day, but still this is quite a big difference in terms of airfare.
 
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spicynujac

macrumors regular
May 24, 2012
176
1
2 things to keep in mind with SWA:

1) They do not fly you on other regional cheap airlines--you are always on Southwest planes with Southwest pilots. Most of the major legacy carriers use small regional carriers where the pilots may be overworked and paid $20,000 per year (See Frontline expose which was inspired by a "Continental" crash that wasn't a Continental plane at all--they often pay these guys by the trip not by the hour, which encourages them to fly in bad weather if the situation is "iffy" since they would otherwise not get paid)

2) Bags fly free, no change fees, and can use what you paid for your ticket as a credit if you have to cancel.

As for this app, I really hope they fixed how your frequent flyer number was not saved previously in the app. That's the kind of thing I should have to enter only once. Mobile boarding pass? OK Glad you added it, but if you're checking bags it doesn't really save any time. And thanks to the TSA you pretty much have to check your bags now since they will confiscate your shampoos and deodorants. The main reason I got this app was for the DING! fare alerts which used to be great deals but seem to have disappeared lately.
 
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