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Is this thing on?

jhallen
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Is this thing on? Where do I start this? Do I tell you about me? I love college football, Joey Ramone, dumb jokes and …… Write something huh? Writing makes me sweat. I'm confined. I can't breathe. Give me a room full of people and I can talk all day. All day. About anything. Writing means I have to follow some sort of order and structure. I hate that. However, the lack of structure is why I love my job. There's a lot of different areas that I play in at Southwest Airlines. I work in our Interactive Marketing department and have responsibilities with our online marketing and distribution as well as anything random that comes along . I like that. Randomness. You see, I've been at Southwest Airlines for over 14 years now. When you've been at a place that long, I think you get to know so many people and so much of the company's history that it allows you to be involved in a lot of random things. Like this blog. As we like to say "I know a couple of guys", and they asked if I might give this a shot. So here we go. Somewhere along the line, Southwest was crazy enough to let me commute from Phoenix to Dallas. So while my position is based in Dallas, my house, my husband (Tom) and Elsie the Wonder Dog are all in Phoenix. I usually spend 2-3 days a week in Dallas and then fly back to Phoenix. So I'm a commuter. I do a lot of sleeping on the plane, but I have been known to talk to folks along the way. I love talking (see above paragraph) and there are some pretty interesting people out there. So far, I've encountered a 34-year-old grandmother, a 10-year-old girl who flies between parents in Albuquerque and Phoenix, and an old Wisconsin college friend who ended up buying a house in our neighborhood (talk about random). I've been a sounding board for a father working out his response to his 12-year-old daughter who wanted to wear thong underwear, was so touched to have an 80-year-old woman share her experiences about her life, children and her deceased husband, talked with two young boys about Xbox (I think), and watched two linebacker-sized guys help the flight attendants decorate the plane with streamers and balloons in flight for the pilot that was retiring. So now you probably understand how online advertising, distribution and blogs all fit my job here at Southwest Airlines. It might also give some insight into my life. It's all random. If you're on a flight somewhere between Dallas and Phoenix, look for me. I'd love to hear your story, especially if it's random.
34 Comments
Melissa_Petri
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Sounds tiring and, at the same time, interesting. I, too, travel a lot for work. However, I normally tune people out to concentrate on work. You must learn a lot from these "talking" experiences with other passengers. Good for the soul AND, in your case (I dare presume) also good for your work.
John_Carmichael
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Great to see Southwest embracing the power of the Blog! I'm glad to see the personal nature of "Blogs" appears to be recognized and respected in the posts thus far and I look forward to it continuing. It's nice to see Southwest continuing with Herb's spirit! Well Done Jill. -John Carmichael
Keezer
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Jill, I'm so glad that you get to share your randomness and humor with the rest of the world now. I really did feel like I was listening to you tell us a story, which in my opinion, is a great characteristic of a writer. I think in your next write-up you need to make sure to include an official "Jill Joke." Great post!
Kyle1
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PHX OPS AGENT HERE I BOARD JILL ALOT ON THOSE EARLY FLTS. SHE IS ALWAY FUN TO BE AROUND, WILLING TO HELP AND LISTEN TO A DUMB JOKE. SEE YA JILL KYLE
Cynthia_E_Guzma
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I must say that I was quite excited to hear that Southwest had a blog. I thought finally, I can tell them how much I LOVE them!!! How their service has been through the good and bad with me, as I fly to visit family and friends, go on long due vacations, and support others during a rough time. GRACIAS!!!!!! For being concerned, sensitive to people's financial situations, and their need to travel! I prefer SWA over ALL other airlines. I have only been an avid customer of SWA since 2004, yet I have had an absolutely rewarding experience with them. ( I have recently earned my first round trip credit courtesy of Rapid Rewards!) No but really, thank you for all that you do...and all that you enable others to do. Cynthia E. Guzman Student Las Cruces, New Mexico
Jeff_LeCates
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So a horse walks into a bar and one of the patrons asks "why the long face"? To which the horse replies - "I've been trying to get Southwest to buy an amazingly comprehensive integrated customer communication package from WhatCounts that includes: Email, RSS, bloging and mobile messaging for an incredibly reasonable price (PEANUTS), yet they keep developing the individual pieces themselves". The patron (somewhat perplexed that a horse has such a solution) asks "can it be purchsed as an appliance and installed at the client location"? "Yes" says the horse. To which the patron asks "And it's not more expensive than developing the solution internally"? "Nay" the horse replied.
Dave34
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Hi Jill, Question for you - Everyone knows southwest now flies from Denver, which is great. But when will you start routing some of those flights through Kansas City? A couple of nonstops a day would remove that great barrier (the state of Kansas) between me and the mountains! - dave
Kyle_Hamilton
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Ah, Southwest, how do I love thee, let me count the ways... You started nonstop service between the city (in Arizona) I live in to a city close to the left coast of central California... but unfortunately priced it about $15 out of my reach each way. Your customer service is some of the best I've ever dealt with... but when I have a quick question about something, I don't want to have to pick up the phone and dial a long string of numbers, navigate an automated menu, and then ask a 5 second question and get a 10 second answer. (I'd rather drop an email, quite honestly; if an answer is complex, or is unclear, a reply email could ask the customer to call customer care.) (No complaint here!) Your gate agents are absolutely wonderful. The new computerized system you have in place sounds interesting (I hear the "boop" of the barcode being read, and then sometimes a "ding" if it needs a paper ticket attached). I've never had a piece of luggage go to Las Vegas when I was going to Phoenix or Tucson. Your desk agents, too, are superb. My boyfriend has extreme anxiety; when he went to visit some friends in New Jersey (something which was able to happen because I volunteered to be bumped off of a seat in Spokane and got a $200 travel voucher), we went through Tulsa. I went home from there after 2 weeks, he went onward to NJ after one week. Anyway, there was some confusion about the state of the ticket since it was a Southwest ticket on an ATA codeshare route that had been discontinued -- but your desk agents got it all worked out, and made sure that if he had any problems that the SWA agents where he did end up flying to (I can't remember where, but it was either New York or New Jersey) could call her and understand -- and I had enough money left over to make sure he could get where he needed to through the northeastern train system. I
Edwin_Fishman
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Why not issue seats when reservations are made. The A B C lines are not to everyones favorite system. Standing on line I hear every one complain about the lines.
Justin1
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I'm interested how you get from Phoenix to Dallas. The Wright Amendment prevents Southwest from flying between the two cities, so you must at least be connecting somewhere...something normal Southwest customers would have to buy tickets for each segment separately for. I know Southwest is doing all they can to repeal the Wright Amendment, but I am interested how you get around it, or *gasp* if you take another airline.
Maggie2
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Great writing Jill! Here's my question as a Texan recently transplanted in waaay north Phoenix....How DO you get from Phoenix to Dallas?? Anything new on that pesky Wright Amendment??
Robin9
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Hey Kyle, When you call for Reservations, or to get a quick question answered, we don't have an automated line. It is personalized service every time. The most that happens is that you may have to hold and listen to a couple of jokes while you are waiting. We pride ourselves here in Reservations about not having an "Push one for this" system because as human beings ourselves, we UNDERSTAND your frustration. Anyway, Thank you so much for the KUDOS. Robin Sell Reservations
Rich_Brown
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Several months ago I was at a business meeting in Philadelphia, and during an end of day cocktail, a lady approached our table...ssaid and asked.... who belongs to that Razor phone? The very first thing that crossed my mind was ... she is with Southwest (did not have uniform or any other markings on). What she needed was my phone charger and who could say no to Southwest??? The next morning my charger was left at the front desk and a thank you note.... I don't know how to reach this lady to let her know my neice will be flying Southwest from phx to phl next month & who knows if she would be on the flight..... Sandra...... #669.... anyone know her/or could she actually be reading this post...??? Please let me know.... When you can tell a Southwest employee just after one inocent question.... that says a lot about the company & employee.... you all are great! Thanks.
Rachel1
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Nice blog, Jill. I assume the 10 year old was flying as a UM. Of course I am going to be judgemental here, but it would be nice if the parents could live in the same town as the child so the child could have frequent access to both parents. It is self-centered for a parent to move so far away from his/her child and make that child fly in order to see one parent. Parenting is not a priority with one of these parents. There are more UMs today than there were in the 80s when I first started working in the airline business! Rachel
Cari
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I like chatting with people on planes too. It's nice to find friendly, interesting people to help pass the time. Before you know it, you're at your destination. 🙂
Heather1
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I really enjoyed your blog, Jill. It is very personable and it's apparent that you enjoy meeting Southwest customers on your flights. Maybe we'll see you soon on a flight. My daughter is an Irish Dancer. She's good at it and she loves it even more than mint chocolate chip ice cream and puppies, which is saying a lot. One of the fun things about being an Irish Dancer is that you get to compete at least once a month in great cities all over the southwest. One of the not so fun things about being a parent of an Irish Dancer is having to figure out how to pay for getting to compete in great cities all over the southwest! That's where Southwest comes in. Because of Southwest's low airfares I can afford to take my daughter to Arizona for a feis (that's an Irish Dance competition- sounds like fesh) or to the Northwest. The Southwest crews are always great- they help us find room for my daughter's competition dress and ask her how she did in competition. They make her feel great. They've also taught us great songs- my favorite is this one: We love you You love us We're much faster than the bus! (song to the Barney tune) And now that we can check in 24 hours in advance, I don't have to get up in the middle of the night and go to the hotel computer center to check in! Thanks, Southwest! (Now if you can just open up direct flights between San Diego and Seattle- the world will be a perfect place!) 😉
chris_elsmore
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hey jill.. I commute between philly and boston (providence) USair put me in the poor house.. southwest made me love flying again !! you guys rock,
Jill4
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Good question about commuting between PHX and DAL. The Wright Ammendment prohibits us from selling and promoting service between Dallas and any state not connected to Texas, except now Missouri! Anyway, I am able to get back and forth by connecting in one of the "legal" connecting state/cities, like Albuquerque, El Paso, Austin or San Antonio. So please! Help get rid of the Wright Ammendment so we can fly nonstop to/from Dallas Love Field! Thanks for all of your comments too! This blog thing you kids do is really cool.
Al__Debbie__amp
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We would just like to comment on Southwest obvious outlook on the future. This blog for instance, what a way to have customer tell there stories, what a fantastic idea. We live in Niagara Fall, Canada and have been a happy and satisfied SW customer for 3 years now. Since are very first flight we dicided that for all are flying needs we'll use Southwest. Comparing the Canadian airlines to Southwest for price, service Southwest is second to none. Keep up the great work and well see you in September.
Blaine_Pickett
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Hey Anybody!!!! Why have all the non-stop flights been taken off the schedule from Nashville to Manchester, N.H.??? Will somebody let me know. Southwest has messed up my summer plans, and now I'll probably have to drive. It's a real bad corperate decision. Think of your customers, Southwest!! We're the ones who put you on top, and we can put you on the bottom!! Think about it!!!
Maggie3
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Hi Jill, Way to capture a true SWA flight. Im a SWA flight attendant and what you described is my job. It is amazing how many stories, lives, and situations you come across on a flight. Everyone is traveling for one reason or another. Either to meet someone they met online, to go to a family reunion, or a funeral. It pulls your emotions every which way. So whenever I find myself with nothing to do, (seldom in Texas, often between PHL and LAX) I simply ask, "Going home, or just going to play in Omaha?'
Robin_Gibson
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You may have broke out in a sweat to write your blog entry Jill, but I honestly think you have a knack for it. Thanks for being the kind of employee that takes the time to listen to folks. From one "people person" to another... job well done!
faultolerant
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Jill, Southwest CAN fly anywhere it wants - in the entire Unites States - and it can do it TODAY. RIGHT NOW. Of course, that would mean that the company would have to keep the promises Herb Kelleher made a decade or so ago in which he gave his word to uphold the LOVE FIELD DEVELOPMENT PLANT and to respect the Wright Amendment. I guess it's too much to ask a company like Soutwest to keep a promise made by the chairman. So, if you want to fly from Dallas to Phoenix all you need to do is go to Dallas-Ft.Worth International Airport. Southwest could do it today AND keep Herb Kelleher's promise. As long as Southwest persists in attempting to play "oh-we-forgot" games and spew all sorts of vitriol about Wright, I'll keep donating to Anti-Southest causes, keep petitioning the Mayors of Dallas and Ft.Worth and pushing for the eventual closure of Love Field. After all, that land Love sits on could be put to a LOT better use than as a taxpayer-supported (It's a money loser, folks) "gift" to Southwest. Y'all afraid of a little competition?
Serge_Lescouarn1
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JILL If you keep at it (the writing) long enough, you will find your rhythm. I have been writing 'Serge the Concierge' for over a year (300 plus entries) and I still enjoy it. Take care SERGE Biz: http://www.njconcierges.com Blog: http://www.sergetheconcierge.com
Linda12
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I'm thinking that thirty years has been enough committment from Mr. Kelleher and not a decade. Let's talk about tax dollars...mine are being used to fund other airlines for bankruptcy protection which in turn are used to prevent Southwest Airlines from efforts in the repeal of this antiquated law. The other airlines might use my (our) tax dollars as the government intended them to be used, to restructure their broken wings and become financially healthy. Using my dollars to oppose the competition is absurd, what other industry or company is under such restrictions? Let's move forward with efforts that really are worth my tax dollars.
Tony
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Edwin, the reason we do open seating is because it is the fastest way to board. Our planes only generate income while in the air. We are one of the only airlines making a profit and we don't want to be like all the other airlines who're on the edge of bankruptcy. Our regular travellers love our system and we'd lose many of them if we became just another airline. True, some people would like us to assign seats but we'd lose more customers than we'd gain. Tony, Ops / FLL
naunnie
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Jill, what an interesting position you have. It is very obvious that you enjoy your job. I too work for SWA as a reservation agent, and I identify with your stories. On any given day I will speak with those grandmothers going to be with their daughter for the arrival of their first grandchild or the one traveling to Florida to be with their seven year old grandson in the hospital, because mom put him there...and he is not expected to live... or the business man or woman who can now go home early to be with their families, because their meeting ended early or having to stay longer. I speak with the Coaches from any given University, out recruiting or bewailing their loss, The Dr's from Planet Hospital or some other hospital traveling for business or pleasure., or the Mother or Father expecting their unaccomapined minor, or having to send them away.I speak with Secretaires booking flights for all their traveling staff, or a well earned vacation for her and her family. I speak with the Person, that is traveling to Dallas for an interview with SWA, yes I give them pointers ..and I speak with our own traveling Staff and those from other Airlines. Unlike you, I could not speak to a roomful, but one on one I can talk all day, and I do. Random, that is what it is all about, I laugh, I cry, I rejoice, I sympathize, I apoligize...so next time you call me if you hear a tear in my voice, it really is there, if you hear a smile in my voice, it really is there..Call me, I love to talk, I know you have a reason to travel, and I Thank You, for choosing SOUTHWEST...
Ivan_Roberts
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i was wondering about something, if someone can help me out with this issue then please shoot an e-mail or replay to this blog, but first and formost, this blog site is awsome , i always wondered where i could get southwest information after leaving the company back in may of 2002 , now i can get updated to the fullest. Now, back to my question , i was wondering if anyone could find me information on upcoming HUBÃ
Lynda_Hayes
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I too, love this blog site - thanks SW. I have been a RR cardholder since 1997, I fly only SW. On a few rare occassions I have been forced to fly on another airline only because I was traveling to a city that was not on the SW map. I love SW, I have friends that fly other airlines and experience more problems in one year than I have in 10 with SW. I have encountered a few but they have all been resolved with very little effort on my part - after all we or nothing is perfect. I am so proud to say my daughter-in-law was a flight attendant with SW until she delivered our one and only grandchild. We are very fortunate, I believe that since our granddaughter, Autumn has been flying since she was conceived she is not at all fearful of flying. I am sure there are several flight attendants that cover the flights fromTulsa or OKC to SD know her. She is quite friendly, a real cutie and knows just exactly what she can and cannot do on the flights. She has flown from OKC or Tulsa either to LV, PHX, Ontario, Burbank or SD at least 60 times in her 8+ years. My only complaint with SW - since we moved to the Palm Springs area in 2003 you have cancelled the direct flight from OKC to Ontario - her parents now take her from Tuttle, near OKC to Tulsa, we drive to SD or I fly to PHX for her to visit. Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can shorten our travel time to pick her up and deliver her to the departing airport - or is there any chance tthe non-stop OKC to Ontario route will be reopened - we love her so and want her to visit once a month instead of once every two months. In the meantime - thanks for making her flights pleasant and enjoyable and taking such good care of her - we love SW!!!
faultolerant
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Linda, If you're so concerned about how your tax dollars are being used (and who isn't!) then maybe we should get ALL the airlines off the public dole. Of course that would include Southwest. So, I'm for getting rid of public bailouts of failing airlines (and let them fail if that's what happens) and have others who eat at the public trough have to make a go of it on their own. No more money to American, Delta and United - and no more publicly funded airports. Let's close Love Field and let the big boys live or die on their own. If Southwest is the only one left (and we all know that won't be the case) then so be it. I'm all for free, fair and unfettered competition - so let's have some. It's the height of hypocracy for Mr. Kelleher to whine, carp and complain about other airlines consuming public money and then turn around and throw a hissy fit about closing Love Field. So, Herb, which one is it: Either airlines DO deserve public money or they DO NOT. You can't have it both ways!
Tom1
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Jill, I really liked your blog about "Conversations in the Air". I don't know about you or anyone else reading this string, but flying is like the last sanctuary we have in our technologically stressed out world. I know when I leave the earth (for however long the flight is) my cell phone is off and I can't turn it on. I seldom turn on my computer while flying. I don't worry about the stuff I can't resolve while I am in the air. It is nice to sit on a plane and make small chit chat with others who you will probably never see again. I don't sit there and execute a conversation that is long enough to be a movie script, but I do try to smile to my seatmates, be courteous and if they give me the clue that conversation is ok, I will talk briefly with them. I fell like I have gotten a bit of humanity back in our crazy world. Then I will doze off, read a book (gulp - does anybody do that anymore?), watch a movie on my dvd player, listen to music etc... On a recent flight from LAX to BNA the flight was packed. The woman sitting next to me was separated from her family. When I turned on my dvd player to watch a movie, she was trying to follow along. Noticing this, I offered her the extra set of earphones I had so she could watch the movie with me. She was so grateful and we really didn't talk much during the movie or flight but just doing something nice goes a long way. We need more respect and pleasantries for each other when we fly - it makes for a much nicer experience. I dig flying SW. They are great for short little hops from Los Angeles to cities like San Jose, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Phoenix. When I got my last award I flew from LAX to ISP (long island) The flight coming home was ISP to PHX (with a stop in BWI) then a plane change in PHX. I thought going cross country on SW would be brutal but it really wasn't that bad (the booklet of drink coupons helped alot - how cool are they!) Plus I saw the same theme plane (the maryland plane) twice that day - in ISP and PHX and when I boarded my flight to LA from Phoenix I also had finally gotten to ride on a theme plane - New Mexico One. The purpose of this part of my post is to say that unfortunately for the first time on that flight I had a FA that was miserable and viewed every request of a passenger a chore. I caught her continually rolling her eyes to an off duty mechanic that was sitting across the aisle from me. I wanted to tell her that if she was that unhappy (for whatever reason that day) she should conceal her unhappiness. If the employees of SW convey a message that they are happy and pleasant, it will rub off on passengers who will be happy in flight - they everyone is happy. How cool is that! P.s - SW has the coldest BEER in the sky! Dear Southwest, please send me more drink coupons!
Tom1
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Sorry for the typos in my Blog post! I didn't spell check! Tommy Blog
Gary3
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SWA is awesome. And DING is MORE awesome. My parents live in Central Florida, and I can fly into either Orlando or Tampa and visit them. Which, thanks to DING, I do several times a year. I just flew back from TPA to STL on Sunday, and one of the flight attendants serenaded us as we were taking off. I wish I could remember the words but they included turning off our cell phones, folding our tray tables, and the usual stuff...bnut musically! One of the coolest experiences I had was when I met a young lady in the departure area who was wearing a Valpariso University t-shirt, and I asked her what her major was, and was pleasantly surprised to find out it was "music theatre". So, for the 2 hour flight, we sat togther and entertained our neighbor passengers with tunes from different Broadway musicals. I hope they appreciated the talent! Keep up the good work!
luciana
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I just wanted to ask you do you have a younger sister or older brother