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Fees Don't Fly on Southwest Airlines

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CEO Gary Kelly made these remarks at our annual shareholders meeting May 21, 2008 at Southwest's headquarters in Dallas, Texas.  He explains what sets Southwest Airlines apart and what will not change about LUV airline.
20 Comments
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Can you verify the following statement· Southwest: first and second bag free however, weight limitations do apply, $25 each way for a third checked bag, $50 for the fourth through ninth bags; will charge between $5 and $30 each way for aisle and window seats. I know about the baggage.Please verify the fees for seats as stated above
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The fee for seats is untrue.
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No fees on the seating.
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I LOVE Southwest! You guys are truly the best when it comes to customer service, in every sense of the word! Thank you for putting the flying public first, and especially for not inundating us with all those fees we get from other airlines!.... just because we need to change reservations or flights...! My only complaint-if you can call it that, is that you guys are losing your "fun" side. I know the jokes and quips might get old to you, as you fly everyday, but we, the flying public, love it. It can sometimes be the difference between a humdrum day, and that little something that makes us laugh or smile. I've even had the experience of the pilots joining in, and I still remember his comments! Now THAT was really cool! Keep up the great work, as we appreciate you, jokes, peanuts, and all!
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You're NUTS if you fly Southwest! My Custmer Service experience was a BAD one! I purchased a ticket online from Spokane to Portland, OR. I received a confirmaton number and email. Two days before the flight I called to see about making a change and I was told by a Southwest employee that I was NOT in the system and did not have a ticket! So I drove to Portland because 1-2 days before flight time I could only get a ticket for more than twice the fare. The following week I received my Credit card stmt and there was the charge from SWA for my ticket. I called Customer Relations. Armando told me: 1) "not our problem. We sent you an email; you had a ticket & didn't take the flight" 2) "When our employee told you you didn't have a ticket you should have called back & talked to someone else." I responded that when an airline employee tells you that you don't have a ticket, you don't go to the airport to get on the flight. He wouldn't give his last name or ID number, nor would he let me talk to a supervisor. He said I have the credit to use on a future SWA flight, to which I replied, "With customer service like this, I'm not sure I want future dealings with SWA!" In the end, he hung up on me. All in all he was very rude, not at all helpful or even polite. I can't believe SWA will lose a customer - or many customers - over a paltry $58! I will never recommend that anyone fly SWA and Armando's attitude and rudeness make a lie out of all Southwest's claims of being the best in Customer Service!
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Hmmm...sounds a little strange. First off, you could have just changed your reservation online. Even better - if your new flight was cheaper than the old one, you would have gotten an automatic credit to use on a future flight! There was no need to call the airline in the first place since it all could have been handled on Southwest's website. Secondly, if you had a confirmation number then you had a ticket. I suppose it's possible the agent misheard the confirmation number or that you provided your name because you didn't have the number and the agent couldn't find it. Still, it sounds awfully strange. Finally, Southwest allowed you to keep the funds in their system to use on future travel. Do you realize that practically NO OTHER AIRLINE ALLOWS THAT? Once you didn't take your flight, other airlines would have given you the 'too bad, so sad' routine - as happened to me after Hurricane Katrina (I had a ticket to New Orleans that I couldn't use because, well, the NOLA airport was being used as a hospital) when another carrier simply refused to refund the ticket or credit the funds to another purchase without a $100 change fee. On time flights. No charge for snacks. No charge for sodas. No charge for pillows. No charge for blankets. No charge to check your bags. No charge to change flights. No problem changing to a cheaper flight and applying the difference to future travel. No hassles with the website. No being told where to sit. That's Southwest Airlines. By the way, I say all this as a new convert. After years of just going with whoever was cheapest on an Internet travel site, a friend convinced me to try Southwest just this year. Not only was their fare actually the lowest, but the level of flexibility, service and lack of surcharges have convinced me. I signed up for a Rapid Rewards account and will be halfway to a free flight by the end of summer! If your experience with Southwest was as described, it was a definite anomaly. Still, you have the funds for future travel and will not be charged a fee to use those funds...which speaks volumes about Southwest Airlines all by itself.
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I absolutely love Southwest. Customer Service is the best and arrival and departures are painless. Last year while I was waiting to board my flight, I was looking out the window of the Baltimore airport and I actually saw the pilot actually walking around the plane checking evrything on the outside of the plane. I was so impressed with this extra care that give to ensure our safety. The flight was one of the smoothest ever. I am one that has a "fear of flying" but on that trip, for once I felt secure that I was in great hands. Thank you Southwest and the pilot who was on the flight from Baltimore to Birmingham, it was the 9:30 am direct flight, tuesday, not sure June 16 or 17th, 2007.
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I fly Southwest every chance that I can. The fact that Southwest allows you to change your tickets if you need to without a fee is a sign of great customer service. Southwest is the best! Keep up the good work.
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I have only been flying since 2005-when my daughter moved to CA (I live in New England). I was terrified, and still am a little nervous at take-offs and landings. But the friendliness, humor, and even the "singing flight attendants" have me smiling as we take off. I have always found everyone i have dealt with, from the reservations people, to the ticket counter reps, to the flight crew to be courteous, friendly and really top notch. I had to fly to Puerto Rico in March and for the first time had to fly another airline-what a difference!! The food that they actually charged for (thank goodness I brought my own) was positively awful. And I missed my SWA peanuts-LOL. And our flight was delayed-no surprise-and some of my fellow passengers were very nervous about catching their connecting flights. On one flight from Orlando, I heard other passengers in line talking about how so many of the other airlines were always late-but SWA-even if the flight arrived a little late, always seemed to make up the time in flight and get you to your destination on time. A big plus if you are catching a connecting flight! Now I know why I only fly Southwest-and always will. I even told my daughter she'd better always live near an airport SWA services!! Last month, I had to pick up my elderly father at the airport and needed to go to the gate to help him. I was a bit nervous about a slightly confused 88 year old man traveling alone-but your attendants took good care of him-and getting the security pass to pick him up (and drop him off on the return flight) at the gate was no problem. Thank you all for all you do and keep up the good work.
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I, too, loved the fun side of the trip. I will always remember the gal that sang "Up, Up and Away" as we left Seattle. She also sang and made appropriate remarks as we traveled from Seattle to Phoenix. Where is she????? We have encountered others who are so friendly and make the trip go so fast when they stop and talk or fuss with a child who doesn't like being where they are. A trip does not have to be scary. People do make a difference and I am hoping that Southwest will encourage flight attendants to "carry on" with some antics!! Thanks.
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A Good video from southwest on excessive fees that I think is great... On YouTube... or the link below. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ccinu-bY3s I hope that everyone enjoys it as much as I did.

John

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FEES DON'T FLY ON SOUTHWEST that's what grabbed my attention to click on their ad on a web page i was visiting. after connecting to the southwest airlines ticket site and punching in destinations and dates, the rest of my day was spent singing : " all you need is luv ~~~~luv is all you need " the trip involved an unaccompanied minor traveling to visit grandparents this summer. now for you who don't have to deal with this type of ticket--getting a ticket for these cute little kids requires a lot of patience and tons of money. you may not ticket online. there is a fee to call for a ticket. there is a $100 each way fee for the ticket of the child. there is no way the child can fly on any flight that connects. cha- ching cha- ching now add in the fee for the little one's bag ( one month stay at gramma's--it;s not really an overnight with just a few shirts ). gramma does have a washing machine, however , is it really fair that she only have a few shirts to work with that have been stuffed into a backpack ? he really is not going with any more than 1 bag ( a check in ), BUT feel the luv here at southwest as i tell you how easy it was to ticket him. 1: go online 2: punch in travel dates and find flights that may have a stop AS long as it doesn't change to a different plane it's considered ok for the little one to travel 3: pay for ticket at the adult fare 4: print itinerary 5: call southwest and tell them it's really a minor child not an adult 6: they check that you were smart enough to figure 1 stop without a new flight # meant southwest just dropped off folks and picked up folks somewhere along the way and the child just stayed on the plane the whole time til the end. almost like nonstop. NO EXTRA FEES !!!!! really - no extra fees. they mean it. i remember saying to the agent that answered my phone call WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF SOUTHWEST FIRST ???? an airline that really likes to fly people around. really. she chuckled and said thank you and everyone should feel the luv. absolutely. the ticket on another airline ( the only one with a nonstop) would have been more than double the cost on southwest. a higher ticket price because i couldn't book online and then the FEES. an add that is truthful --southwest add above -- no fine print to make you feel duped at clicking the add and finding 5 pages of disclaimers that make the add shameful. all you need is southwest ~~ luv is all you need.
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i dont think that Anonymous, on the comment dated 5/29/08 , is telling the whole story.. First, why would anyone, with a confirmation number and an email confirming a reservation, not follow up and talk with another agent if the first agent is saying something that is obviously incorrect... Second, SWA did not make you eat the cheap fare you paid,, they left it available to use on future business with SWA.. I dont know if any other airline that does that.. SWA seems to have it right.. sell a ticket at a reasonable price, give me a clean airplane, give me agents, pilots, flight attendants that seem to like their jobs, and get me to my destination on time and without a bunch of hassle... GO SWA,,,, Keep up the good work
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suggestion to SW airlines. take out the overhead bins,,,,people don't need to carry on that much stuff. quit serving all drinks and eats,,,,,would lighten the load and save lots of fuel enforce the carry on size
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I love the folks who are complaining about Southwest after one bad experience. Wow, you must not fly much huh? Try Delta or American some time....I GUARANTEE you will RUN back to Southwest. To the person whining about a lost bag - see previous sentence. My best friend has had her luggage lost by Delta FIVE times with no recovery! Southwest has the lowest number of lost luggage in the industry, as well as the lowest number of customer complaints. I have been flying Southwest for more than 15 years, and I WILL NOT fly another airline unless I'm flying to somewhere where Southest just doesn't go. And I'm VERY hard to please.
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I'm a regular on Southwest, but with Suns B-ball season over earlier than usual, it has been a less frequent need to fly to Phoenix. Hearing the news on the TV about airlines putting it to the passengers with a fee for this and that, I was afraid to look at what Southwest was doing. As I clicked on to the website, I held my breath...then...in amazement, I saw the wonderful depiction in comparing SWA to the Others...no extra fees for SWA! As I talked to myself outloud, "Your simply the Best!"..."Southwest needs a Blog". And what do you know...I found the blog! Now it's my turn to say, thank you so much for keeping SWA on top. I have no complaints and cannot say I ever had. SWA is not only keeping it simply and inexpensive, you also have a host of attendents that have a great sense of humor. I like that. If it were possible, I would donate to the SWA cause, because I know from my own lifestyle...times are tough. Travel is a luxury right now and it's very easy to just stay-put at home. Here's kudos to you...Cheers! A faithful SWA traveller
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Earlier this year I flew on Southwest Airlines for the first time in my life. I loved the whole concept. Find your own seat. Cabin crew don't bother you. BYO snacks and drinks. Really wonderful. Reasonably priced too. Now let me tell you why I will never fly Southwest again. After flying from Houston to New Orleans in the morning and then back to Dallas in the evening I picked up my luggage to find the top half of the slide out handle had been ripped clean off, effectively making the case useless. I sought out the Southwest customer service counter and was told that Southwest takes no responsibility for damage to customers luggage only loss. Not good enough folks. Not only was the handle destroyed but the case was drenched. All of my clothes were soaked. It was only sheer luck that I had dragged all of the important paperwork along with me in the cabin rather than check it. I can relate to limited service models and think you have a great service going. But a passenger's luggage is important too. Losing it is one thing. Damaging the case and ruining the contents with water is just not acceptable. Then flatly denying any responsibility rubs salt into the wound. I would like to thank all of the staff at Southwest but especially that customer service officer in Dallas. She made sure all of the good will and high opinion garnered during the flights was shattered against the hard rock of her intractable, bureaucratic, don't care attitude. It is not a good bargain if the flight is cheap but I have to buy a new case and replace all of the ruined clothes. Success is the sum of many small things done correctly. Luggage is a small thing that must be done correctly. Mr. Kelly, you have a great formula for success and I wish you and your staff all the best. But no matter how well you do I will never fly with you again and never tire of telling this story. Because one good turn deserves another. Don't you think?
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FLY ANY AIRLINE EXCEPT NORTHWEST!!!!!!!!!!! I used to always fly Northwest if Southwest was not landing in the city where I needed to go, big mistake! NEVER FLY NORTHWEST AIRLINES! They have the worst customer service ever, stick with SOUTHWEST!
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After missing my flight to MSY, I rebooked for an additional $240 on a flight the following day. When I called to see if I could extend my stay an additional day (to spend more time with the folks in New Orleans), I was told it would cost an additional $127. The difference the person on the phone said, was the difference between 10 day and 7 day fares. Well... pardon me for living, but that is not the impression the commercials nor these posts give. "No change fees" should really mean it, not only if you fly business select, not only if you change 10 days in advanced etc. I hate lies in advertising... and I work in advertising.
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I no longer have a reason for Southwest to be the first place I check. No longer are your prices no longer the best, but now you no longer allow credits to be used by other family members. This was our main reason for flying Southwest and the convenience is no longer there. I was not warned about the changes and it is not clearly posted in bold anywhere. I was going to use a credit to fly my dad to his grandson's graduation and now he has to stay. I will consider driving more often than not and other airlines with more non-stops and better or same prices. No longer an incentive to put up with more, (including airplanes opening in midair) when there are other options out there and the main incentive and convenience is gone.