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White House seeks customer service advice from Southwest Airlines' Gary Kelly

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By DAVE MICHAELS / The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON – The White House says it wants to make government more customer-friendly – so it turned to an airline for advice.

In an industry in which companies keep alienating customers with fees and late arrivals, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines has done the opposite. The carrier has managed to embed loyalty in employees and travelers.

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I wish that SW would restore nonstop or at least more flights from FTL to Manchester that do not require a change of planes. Recently, I paid for ground transportation to the airport 3 hours early for my flight to have my flight delayed to the extent that I would miss my connecting flight. They put me in standby for the only other flight that would get me to my destination, but I was not able to take that flight because the flight became full before my standby number, I then had to again pay ground transportation to take me back home, and then again to bring me back to the airport. This not only caused added financial expenses, but it made me lose one precious day of my vacation.
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Vice President Al Gore also asked for Southwest Airlines for advice about how to put more Customer Service in Government. The key is hire the right people in the first place. We care because we share in everything. Profits and losses matter to us, Customers matter to us, being able to make decisions matter to us, humanity matters to us, family matters to us, attitude matters to us. All of these things add up and I just do not know if the Culture can be changed because it what makes Southwest so darn GREAT. When things matter to your people it changes everything about how they work. What matters where you work?