As a Culture Services Writing Supervisor, I have the privilege of reading several hundred letters each week from Customers who take the time to recognize the hard work and above and beyond efforts of our Employees. We also receive tons of “fan mail” from Customers who LUV and appreciate our overall service (safe, reliable air travel at an affordable price!). Most recently, as you can probably imagine, we have received hundreds of letters in support of our “No Hidden Fees” way of doing business. We have received letters of support from loyal SWA Customers; brand new Customers (who have decided to give us a try because of our no hidden fees); Rapid Rewards Members; and so many others that I thought it would be FUN to share a few of them with all of our Friends who frequent the best blog in the world!
Here are excerpts from a few of our Customers’ correspondence:
Dear Southwest Airlines, I am writing this letter to you simply to say, "Thank you - please don't change!" I travel frequently for work, usually on Southwest, and have come to regard Southwest as my favorite airline. With all of the nickel and dime fees being added by other airlines (baggage, soft drinks, pillows, etc.), your commitment, quality, efficiency, and customer service stands even taller over your competition. My fellow travelers and I are disgusted with these ridiculous antics being played out in the airline industry, all in the name of "rising energy costs." Then I think of Southwest and smile. When I book a flight on Southwest, I know I don't have to worry. I know that I'm usually going to arrive on time, maybe even early. But most of all, I know that I'm going to be served by people who love their jobs and truly value me as a customer. That is so rare in the airline industry, and it makes a huge difference.
I have always been satisfied with Southwest Airlines including the ease of using the computer for booking flights, I'm not real swift with computers (I grew up watching radio). I like the new boarding procedures and still manage to get the "first class seat” at the over the wing exit on occasion at no extra charge. The reason I wrote this letter is that Southwest Airlines does not play games for the price of a ticket I really appreciate Southwest pricing the ticket up front at the level needed for Southwest to make a profit and stay in business. Your system of pricing is truthful and honest, and I how how much the flight will cost when the flight is booked by Southwest by not tacking on fees when I arrive at the airport (baggage) or fees, and once on board the aircraft, cokes, peanuts, pillows, blankets, or a cover charge for the entertainment etc. Also no extra fee for changing a ticket.
I wil continue to fly Southwest Airline whenever possible and have always been pleased with the service provided and enjoy your crews, especially the stand up comics onboard. By the way I like your peanuts. I don't how how you could improve your service, but I know that if it is possible you will.,
Dear Southwest: I want you to know that I do not write letters, ever. What I usually do is just take it all in and let companies make their decisions, and then I make mine based on my needs. I don't complain and can't think of a time I've sent a written compliment. But I believe in this case it is totally necessary, and I've been meaning to do this for awhile now.
I fly almost every week, and my schedule changes frequently based on business needs. I have tried all the airlines, and even made the mistake of giving some a second and third chance, only to be disappointed (at myself by that point).
Your airline is absolutely terrific, and I cannot thank you enough for having the programs in place and the no hassle policies that allow me to do what I do. Without the ability to change my schedule on a dime, apply credit toward the next trip, and not pay all of the fees or deal with incompetent people, makes all the difference in my success on a daily basis or not. I commend you, especially in the industry that you are in and the times that we are dealing with, in your business philosophies and choices.
I have a sales team that travels quite a bit as well, and I can tell you that I have converted most of them over to Southwest. It's only a matter of time before the rest of them drink the Southwest Kool-Aid. Not only because I care about our bottom line (cost saving associated with using you versus the other options), not only because I want my people to be on time to their meetings, but mostly because like you, I care about the people I work with and if they are happy, so are our customers and so am I.
I have frequently found myself selling your company to others as well and I defend you to the highest degree when I hear negative things come out of others. Boy that's a true sign that you are doing things right. I did complain one time on the phone to one of your representatives when you started limiting the number of Rapid Rewards seats, and her answer was "sir we had to do something to be competitive as some flights were full of free flyers". I remember thinking to myself, hey, they've got to make money too.. instead of defending my position, I was thinking of how I could help you continue to do what you do. I wish my customers were thinking of us this way! Congrats to you. You've earned it.
Thanks for being a terrific business partner!
I know that some of you may be thinking that I had to search through piles and piles of letters to find these awesome commendations, but that was not necessary. You see, all of the compliment letters we receive are forwarded to the Executive Office for handling (and of course, Gary Kelly sees to it that every SWA Employee commended receives proper recognition), and while we receive approximately 1,000 external commendations (and 1,000 internal—that’s a whole different blog!) each month, every letter is so encouraging and so heartfelt that I was able to select three letters that were already sitting on my desk.
In the coming months, I will continue to share some of the letters we receive, and I can tell you from experience that the letters you will read will make you laugh, make you cry, and most of all—they will make you glad that you fly (or work for) SWA!