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Southwest Airlines streamlines ticket counter computers

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By SUZANNE MARTA / The Dallas Morning News

Remember that scene from Meet the Parents where actor Ben Stiller waits as an airline agent types in about a million keystrokes to find out if he can get an earlier flight?

Southwest Airlines' Dallas Love Field customer service agent Pat Stock lives it every day.

"I've had people say, 'Why does it take all that? I'm just going to Houston,' and I just say, 'Because Mickey Mouse made it,'." she said, her fingers furiously clacking away to help a customer who had a paper ticket. "I'm just glad my mom made me take typing in high school."

Soon, checking in Southwest customers should be a matter of using a mouse to point and click.

The Dallas-based carrier has been testing a new customer service system called CS2 that ties information together under a single platform and uses intuitive icons and drop-down menus instead of thousands of cryptic commands.


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