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Southwest Airlines Community

Battle of the Brands

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I thought y'all might enjoy reading this post from Jonathan Berr on AOL's "blogging stocks:LUV" page.  He has some nice things to say about Southwest, and please note the online poll.
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Brian, Great article, but the responses below.. gasp!!!! people have no common sense. i guess they prefer to be held hostage on the runways all in the name of free TV onboard. Who needs TV when you have the best FA in the business.. they keep me entertained... USS BLOG BOY
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USS Blog Boy is talking about the comments below in the "blogging stocks" page, not below in this blog. He knows the Nuts About Southwest folks have a ton of commen sense. Blog Boy
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Brian, gasp!!! Thanks for clearing that up for me.... yes we all have common sense, we as in those that fly this wonderful airline.. If you go to the blog that Brian mentioned, some people left some nasty comments about Southwest... They obviously enjoy being stranded on a runway for 8 hours.. USS BOG BOY
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I'm confused. I read this article before and I promptly voted for Southwest (that was before 100 readers had voted). But to be honest, I have never flown jetBlue. Even if I did fly jetBlue, I can't imagine having a flight attendant like Michael Cunningham. After examining the thirty-four comments and the poll of 1,768 participants, it appears that the more customers are more satisfied with jetBlue because of extra features like DirectTV, Satellite Radio, and a wider selection of snacks. I still believe that Southwest should add more features like that. For thirty-five years, SouthwestÃ
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Hi - I have brainstormed a great marketing idea for Southwest and I can't seem to find the email addresses for any of your marketing people. I was wondering if someone could get back to me at powitz@gmail.com. I'm a high school teacher and a small business owner - so it's not like I'm looking for a job ... but I think you might be interested in my idea. Thanks. Mitch Powitz Toms River, NJ
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Micah, oh ye of little faith. I want to remind you that Jetblue has posted a loss the last few quarters, while Southwest has posted a profit for the past 35 odd years. why change something that has been working for so long? Also i want to remind you that Southwest hasn't had any layoffs, nor have the filed for bankrupcy. On top of that Southwest continues to have the lowest walk up fares in the industry. Their walk up fares are capped. Southwest continues to keep their costs low and yes they have raised their fares to offset the price of gas. But i want to remind everyone that we live in a pro-growth economy, prices will go up Has will hourly wages. Southwest carries more passengers than any other airline in the world all without having Direct TV onboard. As far as the load factor goes, think about how many daily flights Southwest offers compared to the other airlines and also think about how big Southwest fleet is. The other airlines have higher load factors because they have downsized their fleet and now offer less flights, yet the demand for air travel is stonger than ever. USS BLOG BOY
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Brian: Thanks for the plug of my blog post on your blog. The responses have been entertaining to say the least. Jonathan Berr
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I am very disappointed right now. Clearly this is a blog about how great Southwest is but I am about to criticize you right now. I flew Southwest last week for Spring break and was very very disappointed. Let me right off the bat; The crew on Southwest flights are amazing. They are very courteous and funny. Now what absolutely ruined my Southwest experience is the lazzie-faire seating. Boarding was a utter free-for all. People were lined up two hours before the departure time...before the aircraft was even on the ground. I saw many passengers verbally snap at others in line. "You know...I'm ahead of you. Don't get in front of me...". The worst boarding of my four flights on Southwest was in Philly gate D2 (or was it D3). Firstly the terminal seats are somewhat in line with the A B and C corral. ( I'm sure the airline has a softer term for the ABC lines but corrals are what they felt like.) I saw one woman in the "A" line tell an elderly couple that they could not sit down next to her because they had "C" boarding passes. That disgusted me. Now we arrived at the gate about 2 hours before departure time. People were already sitting/standing in the coral. 2 hours?!?! It got even worse. As soon as the gate agent informed the crowd the our aircraft was about ten minutes for touching down everyone, and I do mean everyone, lined up. Cramming them selfs into the coral. I am very very sorry to say yes my mother, bother, and I were part of this mad rush. We didn't want to be separated as we were four years ago on a SW flight. The environment that this boarding process creates is one of stress. I believe that it increases peoples stress level, and competitiveness. Unfortunately, I will absolutely avoid Southwest airlines from this point on. I love flying but my experience with Soutwest boarding made me want to be at home. Upon arrival in Manchester, NH yesterday I was happy to be finished flying for the day. I have never never felt that way; even after flying on Delta (which is bad in every other aspect except their boarding which is perfect.... Southwest you let me and my family down. 😞 . I truly hope that Southwest considers assigned seating; maybe then I'll consider flying you again. Right now I wouldn't consider booking a Southwest flight. Something that keeps occurring on this blog: jetBlue's February mishap. Stop bashing them for that. They made a mistake; they should have canceled the flights. Instead, they tried to get them in the air. This was a tactical error. I doubt that it will ever happen again.
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In my haste I forgot to put this in. You should have never put this "battle of the brands" link up. If the author was comparing Southwest and jetBlue and had actually flown jetBlue, then the article would be a valid opinion. As he hasn't he hasn't a right to declare Southwest an immediate winner; even if this is what he would finally conclude.
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Will, We must remember that I nor you, nor Southwest is responsible for what people do while waiting in line. Whether people are being rude or not. It is up to the individual person to be responsible for their own actions don't you think? I could not imagine waiting in line at Wal Mart, and expect the cashier to make sure that someone at the back of the line is behaving. We are not in kindergarten. People need to take responsibility for the way they behave. No one said one must wait at the gate 2 hours before departure. If you want to assure yourself an "A" priority, then check in online. Arrive at your gate, in a timely fashion, and sit. Then when the last few people are in line for "A" seating, get in line. I know that the window seats get to the next destination at the same time as an aisle...and the front of the plane is just a nose ahead of the tail when landing at the next destination. So I'm thankful to be there, and safe. No matter which seat I'm in. I'm sorry you had a "bad experience". However, was the behavior of people truly SWA's responsibility? I think everyone always tries to find someone to blame for a "bad" experience. When many times it ourselves we need to look at. I'm not saying you...I'm just generalizing. Of course, SWA would need to take action if it truly was needing attention. But I don't think reminding people that they are "cutting" in line is cause for alarm. It it aint broke, don't fix it. It has worked for many many years this way. I hope you will give us a try again, and check in online the night before and assure yourself an "A" boarding. Then you don't have to wait in line. Hope you will give us a try again. Good luck
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Will, have fun on Deltoid or any other airline which is sure never to have any seating SNAFUs. You'll never find anyone sitting in YOUR seat by accident, huh? That's a good one.
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I wasn't sure where to put this comment, but we recently had a great experience with Southwest Airlines. On Sunday, we flew back to St Louis from a conference in San Diego, and left out iPod Nano on the plane. We didn't realize this until we were in the car on the way home. Of course the plane had already left, but we called to the Baggage Claim (which was dealing with a room full of people from the storms and a broken baggage loader in Las Vegas) to see if it was reported. The woman couldn't help us, but did tell us to call Birmingham (where the plane was headed). The Birmingham office transferred us to their ops center, a man named James, who met the plane and asked the flight attendants about our iPod. They had found it, and gave it to the ops center in St Louis before leaving. When we called back up to St Louis, we had the name of the guy who had the iPod, and when we returned, Baggage Claim was able to track the ops center guy done and get the iPod. While waiting, the Birmingham office called to check in on me. We've lost baggage before with airlines, and the response was underwhelming (downright criminal, to tell the truth). This was a tribute to Southwest employees, especially the Birmingham Baggage Claim and Operations. I wrote about it on our blog.
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Please let me clarify. My poor experience on SWA ended the second the cabin door was closed. SWA crew members are courteous, professional, and in many cases hilarious and entertaining. In no way do I hold the employees of Southwest Airlines responsible for other people's audacious behavior. Finding my perfect seat was and is never an issue. I don't care if there are any "seating SNAFU's" and I certainly don't have "my own seat". But Mr. T., that is indeed the attitude that other customers seem to have...they want their bulkhead/exit row. I don't care. Honestly, I prefer to sit ahead of the engines; I like, pardon, LOVE, the takeoff windup. :). But I don't really care. Simply others competitiveness made for an unpleasant boarding process. Their behavior does not in anyway reflect on the SWA staff; it didn't make my experience enjoyable. Air travel has become annoying enough, with long security lines, and a reduction in direct flights . I do not try to blame Southwest for the actions of my fellow passengers. Southwest's employee's are admirable. I simply fail to see the advantages of an open seating plan. Tamara, what I saw in line was a prime, perfect example of the parental anecdote, "Its not what you say, its how you say it". The tone of these passengers was not even remotely considerate. Again, SWA staff is great, just I respectfully suggest that they revisit that policy. Perhaps they could pass out surveys "Do you like this". Also, perhaps it would be very wise for Southwest to add individual televisions on their aircraft. If a certain other low cost competitor continues to expand its market, serving more of Southwests routes, it may become a highly formidable competitor. I'm sure that many readers of this blog are scoffing at the very idea of that even coming close to happening. But, Southwest should consider adding that feature. Yes, it would cost money, but SWA is profitable :). I'm sure I'll be a passenger aboard a SWA 737 again because your vacation week fares/walk up fairs are/were significantly lower than other carriers. Hey, maybe one day I'll end up flying for Southwest....airline pilot is on a short list for potential careers!
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Will, Thanks for the clarification. Hey, at least you like US! Jedi Blog Master
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Will, While I can empathize with your experience based on 31 years of flying Southwest Airlines as a passenger, I really think that Tamra made some excellent points. I've been in some airports where the anxiety about getting onboard seemed higher than others, and that appeared to be more of a function of the attitudes of the passengers than anything else. I've been in plenty of airport gates waiting on SW flights where a much more relaxed atmosphere existed among the departing pax. The bottom line is, I've never seen any behavior on the part of a Southwest Employee that has encouraged that sort of agitated line-forming. From what I've been around, that behavior seems peculiar to some cities, or sometimes the time of day and/or destination. I've waited in line at some concerts or large events where the folks were polite, orderly and conversationally friendly to those around them, but I've also been at venues where a surly attitude and a can of pepper spray should be considered necessary equipment. In none of those cases have I considered the behavior of those people the fault of the entertainer inside. Neither Tamra nor I are trying to pick on you about your remarks, but it was you who said "Unfortunately, I will absolutely avoid Southwest airlines from this point on...Right now I wouldnÃ
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Will, thanks for the clarification.... and Kim, thanks for getting my back. We are a nice bunch of folks around here. I'm proud to be a Texan. And to me, that means respectfulness and courtesy....sometimes to those who least deserve it...."kill it with kindness" is my motto. When I am around rude people, I usually try even harder to be nice. Maybe their bad day will get better. Will, hope to see ya on one of our beautiful birds sometime soon. 🙂
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Brian, I decided to check the blog's today and boy am I glad, this Blog site is one great idea, I love it. Like most people I go by my first experience on anything and that sets my opinion until the next experience. Our first experience last September had ups and downs but our frineds at SWA, sold us on SWA, as far as we are concerned. Yes I have seen the line up for boarding, like cars at the raceway, but no matter how you assign the seating by A,B,C or preselecting you will still have the same result. People are people and just like driving on interstates they are all in a hurry. As far as SWA versus Jet Blue, I can't comment becasue I have never flown Jet Blue other than to say they just don't have enough flight availability, and I don't want to drive two hours to an airport to catch a flight. Southwest is doing just fine, please don't change a thing..... that is unless you can get the Dallas Cheerleaders to work the flights also. Just kidding wow this will really get me in trouble with the spouse. One other thing where is the Airline show, I really liked it, what a novel idea put a show on the air and let the public decide about SWA. The thing I liked especially was no matter that SWA was right or wrong they aired it and let the public decide, ofcourse I wouldn't expect anything less from SWA. See you all in September for our next visit to Houston.
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Over the years my hubby and I have flown with quite a few airlines.. SWA quickly became our airline of choice after our 1st flight with them many years ago and they still are our 1st choice.. We have many reasons why but for anyone that has flown SWA and the others its easy to figure out why.. 1.) There are NO other airlines with employees like SWA.. 2.) If your only complaint is the boarding process then try talking to the gate agents of those other aairlines, that can be scary! 3.) No fee for changing your flight 4.) No fee for calling an CSA on the phone 5.) Best fares generally speaking 6.) Best FF program available period + free drinks :o) 7.) They actually like their jobs, amazing isn't it? 8.) Their blog teaches all of us how to open those pesky bags of peanuts...lol I could go on and on but anyone that flies alot and has flown with the others already knows that SWA has no competition when it comes to customer service.. Tamra...See, theres the difference between SWA employees and other aairline employees...You actually try to be nice to grumpy passengers and they (the other aairlines) have never considered that option..
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Cindy, thanks for the great compliments. I am very grateful to be working for such a great company. my hubby actually works for aanother aairline. i can't believe even how they treat their own employees sometimes. we really are lucky to have such a great company to work for and we truly have the best Customers in the world. I truly believe that all of us believe that too. We would be nothing without our Customers. That's why every paycheck of ours states "made possible by our Customers" or something to that effect....and you better believe i will not forget that! when people ask us what we do for a living, i always tell them that we both work for airlines....i work for the good one, and he doesn't. :) and by the way, the #8 on your list....it amazing how many people do have trouble with those little bags of peanuts.
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I do not like the other AAirline you're talking about, either! Out of every airline I fly, Southwest is definitely the best! 🙂 SWA LUV!