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Southwest Airlines Community

Our Six-Month Blogoversary

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It seems like just yesterday we were hunched over the computer repeatedly hitting "refresh" and waiting for that first blog comment to appear. The anticipation and excitment of launching this blog six months ago now pales in comparison to the daily pride and awe I feel when I visit "Nuts" and see the incredible dialogue being generated between our Employees and blog visitors. I'll refrain from launching into a long, boring "thank you" list but I will ask all of you for a small six-month blogoversary gift...your feedback. What do you like? Not like? Want to see more/less of? (And before you suggest "Flickr," yes, we are working on it.) After all, this is your blog, we just have the pleasure of producing it for you. Thank you for six awesome months...we look forward to many, many more.
27 Comments
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Angela is being much too modest! She was the inspiriation for our blog. About a year ago, she came to me and asked if I would be interested in working on a blog Team. I replied, "What the @#$% is a blog?" Without her hard work, her research, and her perseverance, this project would never have happened. The past year has been a great experience, and a big reason for that is Angela's infectious enthusiasm.Â
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Wow - it has already been six months? Hard to believe how time flies. If you are soliciting feature requests, I would love to have a "View posts since last visit" option. And thanks to all at SWA who make this blog possible and for letting us, your adoring public, have a venue to communicate.
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I appreciate that Southwest is still the only airline courageous/wise/not-so-full-of-itself enough to have a blog. I am impressed that nearly everything (as far as I can tell), including complaints, is allowed through moderation. My first suggestion is the addition of user accounts, and the ability of "trusted" users to post without moderation. I think making more of the replies immediate would help increase discussion and traffic to the blog. Granted, the issues inherent in managing a user community might be more than the blog team wants to tackle, but it can be done.
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Great job on the blog! I have enjoyed following your progress over the past six months and think that Southwest is certainly a trailblazer among corporate bloggers. To that end, (and this is not intended to be a sales pitch) I am the co-founder and CEO of a company that is seeking to provide the next generation applications so that businesses can do a better and more efficient job of engaging with customers over the Web. Our view has been that part of that effort is blogging, but that there are other parts which include monitorning and engaging on external sites, enabling customers to start conversations amongst themselves, and providing dashboards into the comment and conversation activity at home base as well as across the web. I would greatly appreciate any time or comments here or by email that anyone on the team has about the positives and negatives of your blogging (i.e. web customer engagement) experience from the perspective of delivering value for Southwest's business. These thoughts will help us to deliver applications that you may wish to use to take web customer engagement to the next level. As the trail blazers, we would be eager to know what challenges you'd like to overcome. Thanks in advance and keep up the great work! -- brian
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What a great blog this is. It makes my long days at the phoenix reservations center a little more enjoyable. Thanks everyone.
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Great blog but could use a little fine tuning. Names of posters should be at the top. A line between posts. The ability to edit a post.
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I LUV the blog! I can't believe it's been six months! It doesn't seem like it's been that long; it's gone by quickly. This is off topic, but I wanted to say I flew to CMH for a CSA GI & am still waiting to see if I go for a one-on-one. We were told we'll get a call in two to three weeks if we go back, & if not, we'll get a letter. As of today (Wednesday), it's been a week & a half. On Nov. 8th, I have a GI for RSA in OKC. After working one, or both, of those positions for a few years, I'll try again for FA.
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So Angela... now we know! You were the visionary behind this blog project. I love it! Now I see why Brian loves it too, being on a team with five beautiful women! I am sure this has been his best assignment yet! All kidding aside, thanks to all of you! You do a great job! I've especially enjoyed the special interest stories. Often times we hear about our Employee Catastrophic Assistance Charity but most of us do not know how it is decided on who is granted assistance. I am sure there must be some wonderful stories involving the families that have received help from this charity. I would imagine many families would prefer to keep their most difficult times private, but others might like to share their story. Again, thanks to all of you for your hard work! Congratulations on the first six months! K.
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I enjoy reading this blog. I check it everyday while I'm at work. I'd love to see some "day in the life" stories from everyone (pilots, FA's, CSR, Ramp Rats, Scheduling). I think it would just be great to get a behind the scenes look at daily SWA operations.
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Count me in as another fan of the SWA blog! I love the fact that I work for a company that not only welcomes comments from customers but from employees, too. I especially enjoy the behind-the-scenes blogs from people in different departments. It's like a day getting a day in the field while I'm in my PJ's sipping coffee (I read the blog at home!) I agree with Marcus - keep 'em coming! Happy Anniversary!
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Angela, I want to say thanks to you and your wonderful group for choosing me as one of the BLOGGERS ... I can't believe it's been six months already... Time flies when you're having fun...and I'm having fun.!!!
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Luv the blog, a true testiment to culture of the company. Just curious, how many hits a day does the blog get?
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Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. The idea for this blog came from many, many individuals - both internal and external - to Southwest. I just had the honor of seeing it through with the help of several co-workers (especially you Brian...you know you're the one and only Blog Boy in my book). I can't tell you how grateful I am to everyone who supported this effort and all of our bloggers who take time (outside of their normal job duties by the way) to write. Kelli - love the Emergency Catastrophic Assistance idea - I put it on a list of "to dos". Leah..hang in there girl...I love your spirit!. Marcus, you're right about the "day in the life" posts - they're my fav too (and apparently our Employees like them too, right Laurie?). As for all the technical suggestions...um, that's not my area of expertise so I'll rely on RD2 (the company that designed this little blog) for some insight and get back to you on it. See how cool this blogging thing is? Alright...time to wrap it up and head to the Friday afternoon Deck Party...over and out. Thanks.
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Thanks, Angela! I will. I have a second CSA interview in CMH on November 3rd! I'll fly up the day before & home the day after. 🙂 I'm obviously very excited! I have fun on the blog!
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Angela, Congrats on the 6 month blog birthday! It's just like Southwest to do something unique like start a blog all the team can write on. I just wanted to inform you of my meeting with your dear old Herb Kelleher about a week ago. I got THE GREATEST PICTURE with him ever! Me, him, some cigarettes and a bottle of Wild Turkey whiskey :-) http://www.nevblog.com/2006/10/herb-kelleher-southwest-airlines.html I figured everyone down at Southwest would get a kick out of it! -Neville Medhora -NevBlog.com
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To Angela, Brian, Sunny, Shelley, Colleen, Gary, Herb and the rest of my friends at Southwest: Congratulations on the six-month Blogoversary!! I've told each of you separately, but I'd LUV to reiterate here publicly that not only is the Blog a wonderful thing, it is a terrific representation of the true Spirit of Southwest Airlines. I have had a number of occasions to visit the websites of different companies in an effort to reach their home offices. Sometimes I have a question, sometimes a complaint or sometimes a compliment, but I'm not shy about contacting corporations. However, there are quite a few companies that "hide" behind their webpages. They don't list their physical address or phone numbers, but have a website e-mail program that only allows you to communicate with them online. Firms that don't want to talk to their customers make me nervous and suspicious. Contrast that with SWA: your contact information, both USPS snail mail and phone numbers, are very available through your website. But, you go beyond that level of accessibility. By providing this interactive blog, you give your Customers and Employees the chance to 'talk' directly to you, AND to each other, sharing funny stories, gripes, touching moments and suggestions. Being this "open" in an environment that blends internal and external dialogue is a rare thing these days. It also indicates that you WANT to hear from people, and is clear from many of the postings here, you don't censor out the negative comments to make this just a "puff piece" for Southwest. In the words of a real wise guy, oops, I mean, an intelligent fellow ( http://www.blogsouthwest.com/2006/09/13/maybe-itÃ
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I thought of a topic I'd LUV to see posted, & that is one on Customer Service Agents; I'd like to see ones such as "A Day In The Life Of A CSA", or "So, You Want To Be A CSA?" The FA blogs are great, & so are the others! 🙂
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I've never seen a blog before, so this comment may be in the wrong place. I want Southwest management to know about a flight attendant named Shari on Fight 1969 from PHX to LAS on 10/23. This was my first ever flight on Southwest. When boarding the flight, Shari was very delightful and helpful. I mentioned that I am a Gold MVP on Alaska Airlines, but as much as I fly, had never been onboard Southwest until now. She welcomed me and her personality was bubbly with enthusiasm so I knew she enjoyed her work. The service cart was cancelled early due to forecast turbulence. When deplaning she recognized me and handed me some bags of peanuts with the request that I fly Southwest again and get to experience the hospitality. Her statement was sincere and warm and I truly believe she meant it. I look forward to the opportunity of again planning my trips so I can fly Southwest. Her attention to customer care and her excitement about the airline no longer exists with the other carriers. Southwest is lucky to have employees like Shari. Keep up the good work and I will be one of your regular customers when routing allows.
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Leah -- Glad to see you back on the blog. I'm sorry that the FA position didn't work out, but, hang in there, girl! As enthusiastic as you are, SWA will surely find a place that's perfect for you! Jerry -- Welcome to the wonderful world of Southwest Airlines! What you have seen just a small glimpse of is something they call "POS" -- Positively Outrageous Service!! You'll find that Southwest is a bit different from many other companies and virtually all other airlines. Their Employees are upbeat and happy folks who LUV their jobs, and as a result, they treat their Customers well and as if they appreciate your business. The difference is, they really DO! I hope you get the chance to fly SWA again soon, because after just a couple of flights, you'll be hooked! Since we know that attitudes flow down from the top of any organization, I'll give you a couple of perfect examples of why Southwest is the way it is. How many Chairmen of the Board of corporations of more than 32,000 employees is known just by his first name (Herb) and frequently walks the aisles of "his" planes handing out peanuts to "his" passengers? And how many huge companies have a President (Colleen) whose standard greeting for ANY of those 32,000 people is a big hug? This company based in Dallas has 32,000 goodwill ambassadors who spread "LUV" around this country on more than 3,100 flights per day! Come be a regular part of it! Kim 🙂
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Nev - Thanks for linking to the photo on your blog...it's hilarious and very "Herb." Speaking of Herb, he tells me he reads this blog a lot so I'm sure he'll get a kick out of the picture as well. Kim - it was great meeting you face to face on Friday. Thanks for all of your comments to this site and for engaging in dialogue so frequently and passionately. You are the kind of Customer that every company dreams of having. The next time I meet you I promise I'll be sans the face paint and leotard. You caught me on a strange (but "normal") day. 🙂
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Angela, Well, I assume that by "...meeting you face to face..." you are being figurative, since I got the impression that the "face" I met was not "the" face of Angela. If it was, please accept my apologies for staring, but you could definitely stand to get out in the sun a bit more often. And while we're being brutally honest, you've GOT to find a new hairdresser... LOL Kim 🙂
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Congrats!! It sure doesn't seem like 6 months!! I love reading this blog, I don't post as often as I should but I have read every story since the beginning!! Kim...I loved your response (above) to Jerry!! Once you go SW you never go back!! There isn't another airline out there like SW, I've been hooked for quite a while.. Jerry..Kim is right! Fly SW again and you will almost always find a Shari.. SWA POS is second to none!! LUV you guys!! Cindy
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Jerry, Cindy is absolutely correct. (Fly SW again and you will almost always find a Shari) On a recent flight, I had a situation where all three FAs were male, and coincidentally, all three of them were named Shari!!! LOL Kim 🙂
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Thanks, Kim! I'll let everyone know how my second CSA interview goes this Friday, the 3rd, in CMH. :) SWA LUV! SWA is So Wonderfully Awesome!
New Arrival
I'm catching up on my blog fix because Halloween rehearsals kept me so busy last week. Did I mention MARKETING took 2nd place? Oh ya! My blog suggestions: More Jillness and Jillisms in the mix and no she didn't pay me to say that. Well, she might now. I love our blog, but I would like to see new additional bloggers mix it up. Maybe a Herblog too. (Herb Blog) Can we post photos with a comment?
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SHH!!! Please don't tell the other airlines about your blog site. You woudn't want to have them to copy your ideas. I realise that some of the your competitors probably do try to be like SW, but I have heard more bad then good comments about other airlines. (NO NAMES MENTIONED) It kind of reminds me of a bus driver who gets to tell people where to get off. Ofcourse first they would have to offer the fantastic service, the great employees, the great deals on flights, and in general your spirit. Wow, I guess you don't have any worries. I love the Blog site, I started using it just prior to a Houston trip, and love reading the comments, appreciate the jocularity, and want to see this continue. You have a winner, keep it up. Jacsr
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I'm a subscriber to the Southwest Airlines Google News and Web Alert. Google has added a feature that tracks blog as the well as news site. As a result I'm now getting e-mail alerts when comments are added to this blog just by subscribing to "Southwest Airlines" as a topic on Google News. I was going to suggest that you add an e-mail feature when someone posts a new comment to a "thread" that you posted on but it seems that Google doesn't make that necessary. Keep up the good work.