Southwest unveiled today a raft of new initiatives designed to shore up revenue, including new pricing plans that benefit business travelers. The discount carrier’s new “business select” program will price seats $10-30 higher than regular fares. In exchange, Southwest, which doesn’t assign seats on its flights, will guarantee business travelers first access to the plane and a complimentary cocktail.
The company also cut in half the types of fares it offers customers and expanded its frequent-flier program, granting loyal passengers who meet certain requirements top-priority boarding passes. The initiatives are part of the company’s efforts to raise $1 billion in revenue by 2010 to cushion increased labor and fuel costs, MarketWatch reports. Many of the new changes begin tomorrow.