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2010 One Report: Customer Service

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This is the seventh in a series of posts about our integrated annual report, the 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report™, where we have illustrated our commitment to a triple bottom line and how our passion and focus on Performance, People, and Planet continues to propel us forward.

The mission of Southwest Airlines is to deliver the highest quality of Customer Service with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. It’s a mantra we live by around here. Our People create a FUN travel experience; respond with compassion when travel plans change; generate innovative ideas that enhance the Customer Experience; and donate their time and LUV to those who need it.  This Legendary Culture that we have nurtured throughout the decades has set us apart not only in the industry but has set us apart from companies throughout the world.

Sure, our wallet-friendly bags fly free policy, no change fees, no nickel and diming sets us apart in the industry and it goes along with us doing the right thing for our Customers, but a lot of our Customers fly Southwest just because they like us.  And that’s something we take just as seriously as seeking out ways to enhance the Customer experience. What airline employee will reach across the counter to give you a hug when you’re traveling for a funeral, give you a few dollars out of their own pocket to cover a taxi ride, or call you to tell you they found your book in the seatback pocket?  This is the Southwest Way. 

Looking back at 2010, a lot of companies were looking for ways to increase revenue, including us. We’re proud to say we found revenue generating opportunities that enhanced the Customer experience. After all, if you’re paying more, shouldn’t you get more? We invested back into our Operation with new capabilities like WiFi and International Connectivity.  On the other side of the coin, we took a firm stance on how we would not gain revenue by continuing our Bags Fly Free and no change fee policies.  At Southwest we believe we must improve our product to improve our revenue, not just find ways to charge the Customer for services they used to receive for free.  And, you just can’t buy great Customer Service and a caring, happy Employee that makes traveling FUN, which is why we see our Customers come back time and again. 

The 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report shares more details about our initiatives and our most valuable asset, our Employees. We’re learning all the time. Whether it’s through our Customer Service Agents, our social media channels, or a letter in our mailbox, we LUV hearing from our Customers and working to make traveling on Southwest Airlines the best it can be.

We are proud of our commitment to being a good citizen of the world.  We look forward to sharing the journey with you in our blog post series on Performance, People, and Planet, and we hope it will inspire you to read our 2010 Southwest Airlines One Report™, which, in an effort to conserve our natural resources, can only be found online at
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Southwest Airlines is terrific with able-bodied passengers. Unfortunately, the hidden members of our society (me included) the disabled, gets absolutely LOUSY service through Southwest Airlines. I travel with a service dog every month. Each flight crew makes up its own rules, NEVER consults its on-board manual related to the disabled, and the rights of the disabled and service animals under the Americans with Disability Act. 4 months in a row, I was humiliated, harassed and tormented by Southwest flight attendants. When I lodged a formal complaint Southwest did NOT contact any of the 10 fellow passengers that passed on their numbers to corroborate what happened to me on that last and final flight. The "lovely" customer service agent whom contacted me did admit that there is training needed. And when confronted with not contacting the other passengers to corroborate my story, I emphatically informed her that she had not done a thorough investigation. I fly Jetblue every single month. And you know why? Every flight crew is absolutely CLEAR about the rights of the disabled and the rights of service animals. Until Southwest Airlines realizes that the disabled to fly with service animals and they have no right to break FEDERAL LAW they are always going to be at the bottom of the barrel in customer service for us "unseen" and never-polled passengers. Jetblue is consistent and has treated me and my service animal with respect and assistance. Consistent every single flight.
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Just fly in from Las Vegas today. Had the best flight atendant ever on the way there. Cassanda! She was fantastic! Super fun, entertaining, and went above and beyond with a smile! Even better she left us with a smile too!
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For me flying Southwest has been a great experience. I have always enjoyed the service and prices. My preference for Southwest has only increased. You guys rock!! Sam
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You are promoting rapid rewards, but the restrictions associated with using them appear to be very stringent!! Much more so than in the past. Today, I attempted to book flights for our family ( 4 people) initially over the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend leaving on a Thursday from Philly to Orlando and coming back Monday. Planned on purchasing 2 tickets and using rewards for 2 of the round trip tickets. Only 1 reward was available for the trip from Philly at 630pm. No awards were available on Monday at all except for 700 am in the Morning. President's Day weekend was even worse. The website has flights for the 630 pm flight listed as low as 111 dollars. The flights from Orlando have flights listed from 137 leaving in the afternoon. Mind you I attempted to book these flights 4 months ahead of time. Who are you kidding with that kind of service. John Sweeney