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Southwest Airlines Community

SOMETHING WE REALLY WANT YOUR “FEED” BACK ON

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Bloomberg news ran a story today headlined “Southwest Airlines may start selling food.” 

While we haven’t made any decisions yet, the thought of food sales is one of many ideas we have been considering, and the possibilities are intriguing to us.

Some of the initial online chatter made us curious about what you think of the idea.  Drop us a comment below and let us know your thoughts on inflight food service!

22 Comments
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Something like the old New York Air food (the flying nosh) would be worth a few bucks.
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It would all depend on how it's priced. Are we talking grocery store, 7-Eleven or inflated airport concessions levels? More than likely, I will continue to bring my own food and use my drink coupons. : )
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I don't mind SWA selling meal options as long as the currently served snacks remain complimentary on longer flights.
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Will this require installing galleys on your planes? I would welcome food being sold on Southwest, but I'd be disappointed if fares increase despite charging for food due to the costs of retrofitting planes. Now that some flights are relatively long, it would be nice to be able to buy meals onboard.
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If you are going to sell mashed up sandwiches and a bag of chips for $5 forget it. It's an insult.
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I say "go for it!" I would love the choice to purchase something on a long haul.
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meh... The all-in-one snack pack that we received CMH-LAS was pretty cool...quite satisfying considering the cost - FREE... The carry-through snack tray (SFO-MDW) probably costs WN less...but it was certainly more awkward because we didn't know how much we could/should take...and no meat stick! Offering actual meals onboard doesn't seem necessary to me...this article doesn't mention if it would be free or BOB...I guess either would be nice options. Depending on the cost, time of day, and length of flight - I'd probably bite (haha...no pun intended), but I don't see too much of a need to change the current setup.
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southwest, there is a reason why people fly your airline! one of those reasons is because of the free snack boxes, peanuts, and drinks. this will not do well. do not become another lousy airline like american or delta who makes people pay $5 just for a small bag of chips, you guys are better than that. i love your airline, i wanna work for it when im older so lets not ruin that.
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Haveing Food on the long flights like from BWI to LAX or TPA to PHX would be good like Sadwitchs and cheps and.
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Hi Southwest! My family and I have been with you for years and we pride ourselves on the fact that you do not have hidden costs or frivilous cost. Seriously, I would prefer if you just made the bottom line a little bit higher than to give me miscellaneous charges. I am committed to you as a customer because of this fact. I believe that you are being targetted because you are the last company to not fold in, don't fold, you will lose the loyalty of your customer base, I mean why stick with Southwest if your just like the rest? Don't do it, don't do it...as my friends and I often discuss the ridiculous state of traveling, I have REFUSED to fly the other airlines, boycotting this foolishness. Although, I was primarily a Southwest customer, I would go for the cheapest rate, now I just go directly to Southwest unless you are not going into my area and I am trying to get my friends onboard. I believe the majority of your customers respect that about you and you are the only airline that I know of that has committed to your customer base this way. I mean, we wouldn't know the difference and I would simply prefer if it were added into my bill, w/o telling me-you don't need to post it on my bill then people will complain; don't do it southwest, don't do it and why? why? why? advertise it on the news, without our feedback, at least advertise that you want to hear our thoughts on tv as opposed to saying it is going to happen. I hope you don't do it...Love you guys! I know times are hard, but I believe you will survive. H. Fisher
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I think that you should concentrate less on food and more on service, cleanliness and comfort. The last flights I have taken with you made me feel like a cow being rounded up. Here's an idea: Assign seats; limit carry on baggage; clean the plane; make the seats wider or eliminate the middle seat which is a nightmare. These are just a few suggestions. Jet Blue has cheaper fares and they have free in-flight entertainment at your seat, free healthy food and drinks and it's clean. They also assign seats. If I can avoid it, I will never go on your airline again and it has nothing to do with food. Give me peanuts, but give me a little comfort, sanitation and dignity.
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I don't see how you can be profitable selling food on flights less than 90 minutes since most people can easily eat before or after the flight at the airport. Plus the flight attendents really don't have time to prep it, server it, and clean up. On flights longer than 90 minutes, I can see this being successful. Most airlines have food I wouldn't give to my dog, it tastes so bad. Now if Southwest could partner with a national food chain and sell their food onboard, I can see this being a hit!
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I vote no to the idea of food in our planes. I take pride in the fact that we are a simple operation we get people where they are going in a safe, fast, and courteous manner. I think thats why we have so many repeat customers. We offer a great product as it is and I don't want to be like any of these other airlines, I like the fact that we stand alone. Lets stick with what has made us great and keep it the way it is.
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Speed, how do you remember the Flying Nosh? I still have a few of the red nylon drawstring bags that held the cheese and delicious soft roll that NY Air served. I was the 3rd person hired way back in 1980 to help get those MD-80s off the ground! Nice to hear from someone else who remembers. If the food SWA serves is as quality as the other services we offer, it's a terrific idea!
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I think having sandwiches or salads available for sale on longer flights would be good. Maybe even sell them at the gate before departure, not sure if that's logistically easier or not, just something that popped into my brain. $5 seems like a reasonable pricepoint as long as it is tasty. I would visit some of the FBO's @ DAL and take a look at what they get for a "boxed lunch". It's usually a good sandwich, pasta salad, some sort of fruit, and a cookie. I don't want it to replace the free snacks though, I appreciate those!
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I may be too conservative but with 103.8 million bags of peanuts and an average aircraft trip length of 626 miles with an average duration of 1 hour and 52 minutes (The shortest daily Southwest flight is between Ft. Myers (RSW) and Orlando (MCO) (133 miles). The longest daily Southwest flight is between Baltimore (BWI) and San Diego (SAN) (2,295 miles).) I would think you would get a few people to buy some of these. On the other hand, I would rather buy a sandwich at the Quiznos in the terminal and take it on with me. Since I know exactly what I'm getting and how much it will cost before I get on the plane. As Kumar said, "Will this require installing galleys on your planes? " In the current environment I can't see the extra expense, whatever that is, verses the economic gain. It seems a very tough decision when you have peanuts (fares for peanuts) that probably never go bad and then you introduce meals that you probably end up throwing away or don't have enough for the passenger demand at other times. You might endanger the customer service experience with either choice but people know what to expect from Southwest and should be able to plan ahead and "be prepared." Good luck with the decision and if the crews don't have time to get food when they're on the ground I'm all for having sandwiches on board but you might end up with overweight crews cleaning up the leftovers (added weight = added cost.) - Arvin
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I wouldn't mind, on flights longer than 90 minutes, paying for a lunch kit (like the tasty "Fresh Express" sandwhiches I buy from 7-11 ...whole wheat, havarti, crisp lettuce, perky turkey). But charging for water or soda is so ridiculous. If my dentist's office can toss a bottle of water at me in the waiting room, I think SWA should be able to tack $.50 onto my ticket before I pay for it on the assumption that I'll need to rehydrate and can't go find a water fountain.
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personally, I think people are used to either bring food from home or from airport concessions. Look at Midway Airport as an example; I actually look forward to getting some type of 'take onboard' food their as the quality and price are reasonable. Same with Love Field, St. Louis and Baltimore. You service right now is WELL above other carrier standards/practices in seat pitch, inflight service (which is just beyond scope of any other airline), and your generous baggage and booking/rebooking policies. Just keep it simple (internet is simple if card swipe and doesn't preoccupy the flight attendants who already work their buns off). Also, I would be concerned that you'd start increasing your ground times for catering ... I fly from Love Field to the west coast on one stops BECAUSE you normally have 25/30 minute stops at intermediate points. I'd hate to see you start compromising your quick turns for a service few passengers would participate in. Love you guys and glad you're looking outside the 'box', but you have a pretty good thing going on NOW, so don't tinker with a good thing.
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Great "feed" back here yall. Wonderful ideas and thoughts! Keep it coming!! Christi
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I fly Southwest religiously! I'm flying you guys tomorrow actually! R/T from ISP to MCO, then again in May, Oct, and Nov! (May will be a free R/T thanks to the awesome Rapid Rewards!) I don't really think that we need to get food service that is above and beyond the snack packs or the simple bags of peanuts or crackers. I think everyone that typically flies SWA would mostly agree.. I, as well as many people I see getting on various flights, pick up something in the airport and head to my plane. I get what food I want, it's either hot or cold, however I want it. SWA is known for being simple. Don't complicate things.... Food means extra costs for all passengers, I don't think adding the food service will make someone switch to SWA, I think it may eliminate some passengers due to increased costs. Since I love SWA, I fly with you guys even if you are a few bucks more expensive than JetBlue (I've only seen this 2 times!) But increased prices may bring people to reconsider JetBlue, especially considering the amenities in their aircrafts. Then you always have more complaints when you provide more services. You say your selling food, but then people complain because that's what people do.... Maybe you might run out of something....COMPLAINT! Maybe your equipment isn't functioning correctly....COMPLAINT! and many more!! Keep SWA the way it is!
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NOOOOOOO!!! Southwest Airlines prides it's self on being a "no hidden fee" airline. When you start adding fees here and there you undermine wat the airlne stands for. Airline food is never worth the price and you are just setting yourselves up for dissapointment.
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Please don't! As a customer with severe food allergies, your airline is one that I can still fly with confidence that my life will not be put in danger by an unwelcome snack. I can't control many environmental factors that I encounter daily, such as walking past a concession stand that is roasting nuts, but I can choose to fly an airline that does not serve food. On behalf of all food-allergic consumers ( and our numbers are increasing rapidly) please do not add more stress to our travel experience. Please do not offer food sales. Even if we do not eat an allergen, if the person next to us does we may have a reaction. Thank you for reading these comments!