Southwest Airlines today
becomes the first airline to revolutionize the Customer relationship as it
launches the first-ever “direct link” to Customers’ computer desktops. The product, called DING!, can be downloaded from the
http://www.southwest.com/ web site and will reside in the “system tray” in
the computer user’s lower right hand corner, right where the network
connection and time icons are located. (Editors: see
http://www.southwest.com/images/swamedia/ding_window.gif for DING!
“The new product—DING!—is the newest technological innovation to let
Southwest Customers know directly when Southwest’s hottest deals are
available at southwest.com,” said Kevin Krone, Southwest’s vice president
of interactive marketing. “The product is downloaded to your computer and
will deliver specials direct to you.”
The DING! will put Southwest on the cutting edge of product distribution.
Shopping for the best deals online from competing airlines can take a lot
of unnecessary time. Southwest has always made it easy for travelers, with
the Southwest Shortcut calendar for low fares, the weekly Click ‘n’ Save
email specials, and full disclosure of all fares and availability. And
now, Southwest’s hottest deals will come straight to Customers’ desktops!
At any time, Southwest can offer DING! subscribers fare sales only a few
hours long to a multitude of cities with crazy, hot deals for travelers.
Krone said the DING! allows Southwest to offer a variety of cities, hot
fares, and booking and travel windows to Customers. To download DING! and
have access to hot, subscriber-only fares, go to:
“We know Southwest Customers who download the DING! are going to be amazed
at the fare deals,” Krone said. “They are going to say, ‘Wow, I like this
and want to share with my friends.’ We expect crowds of people to pass
along the link to download the DING!” The DING! will offer more
functionality, such as a prompt to check-in online for the ticket you
previously purchased, as the tool evolves.
During the initial launch week (through March 7, 2005), Members of
Southwest’s Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program will have the added
incentive of two bonus credits for downloading the DING! Members who have
joined the “Rapid Reward E-mail Update” list will receive an e-mail
notifying them of a limited-time offer. This offer will give Members two
bonus credits once they install the application and run it for a minimum
of 30 days.
The 65 million-plus people who fly Southwest each year trust the airline
to bring them the lowest fares and a great service experience. DING! will
create added excitement on getting the “hottest deal,” provide increased
value to Customers, and create added convenience.
DING! - Live Updates from southwest.com will be a big hit with airfare
bargain hunters and Southwest’s loyal Customers alike. These fares will be
so hot that Customers will be compelled to take an unplanned getaway,
Southwest Airlines is known for being “high tech and high touch.” It has a
reputation for legendary delivery of Customer Service that has not been
compromised with the growth in popularity of the web. Southwest was the
first airline with a web site, and March 2005 marks the 10th anniversary
of the launch of its site. It’s now one of the top travel sites and the
only airline web site that regularly makes it in the top rankings for
popularity, ease of use, and revenue generation (more than $3 billion
annually is booked through southwest.com).