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Southwest Airlines Community

Writer's Block

New Arrival
I've been trying to come up with something to write about, but I keep drawing a blank.  I think it must be Writer's Block.   Can you, our readers help me out?  What have you seen at the airport that you've always wanted to know more about? I don't have anything to give away, but maybe we can pry some Candy Corn from Blog Boy. 🙂
35 Comments
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What about those crazy terminator robot de-icers I saw recently at Cleveland Hopkins airport. I took a short jump over to Chicago and before takeoff these scary trucks with big robot arms and lights and whatnot swarmed the airplane and covered us in pink liquid. Can you tell us more about those? And what about some info from your baggage handlers. That seemed like an ok job. Out in the fresh air, loading and unloading airplane bellies. Is it hard on the knees? Do they wear special back supports? How about "that guy," you know the one. The happy guy who's been handling bags for 10 years and is everybody's friend. I want to hear from that guy. And what about these fuselage cracks I heard about on NPR today? What's that all about? How do those happen and what are the recommended repairs? I understand that Boeing says that it's no big deal, but nobody like to hear about stray cracks or broken things, so how does SW fix them? Thanks, I really enjoy the openness and candor of your blog. Just like the Sun microsystems blog. Everything is open.
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How about who sets up your numbered que lanes, you know the 1-5,. 5-10, etc. I was in LAX and saw a set that was backwards, meaning a the very front was a sign saying 5-10 to the right (towards the gate) and 1-5 to the left. I'm not sure I'm describing it right, but it seemed that we had left hand set at a right hand gate or something like that. Or how about Fuel Efficiency? Are you going to keep the -300's and -500's and outfit them winglets or are they going to be replace with more -700's or something bigger like -800 or -900's? Given the sky-rocketing price of gas, have you guys been thinking about using turboprops on some of your routes, though you would end up having 2 kinds of planes. How about In Flight Entertainment? Since Frontier, Jet Blue, and Virgin America all have IFE, you are alone with SkyBus as the only two LCC's without IFE. Of course you don't need it when your flight attendants keep us entertained, but they seem to be running short on humor these days. Can't wait to get on one of your planes this Friday!
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I live in Brentwood, TN so I frequently use Southwest out of Nashville. Do you like working in Nashville? If so, whats the best part and the worst part of your job? Thanks for the wonderful work you and your airline do on a constant basis.
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How about some photos of what our baggage goes through between the ticket counter and the aircraft? Or.. detail on what is involved in the process of upgrading the gate areas at all of the stations from start to finish? Or.. a polling campaign to have passengers determine what will be in the next edition of the snack box served on long flights... Or a little local interest... Why do the BNA baggage carousel screens frequently not match the baggage arriving on that belt? Does SWA control the screens, or does the airport have them set on a schedule?
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how about the people with high boarding numbers that cut in line and go unnoticed by the screeners. THere is typically a lot of space in the business select groups and I continually see people going in there with numbers like A 45.
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Hey there! Just wanted to stop by the blog to see what was up. I am a new employee with Southwest stationed in Denver, CO. I am a Ramp Agent. My first 3 days went fairly well with being on the gates, marshalling aircraft and loading luggage. It can be really hard on the knees when you're in the bins but they provide us with Knee Pads, and lemme tell you, you will want them!! Especially on heavier flights (lots of luggage/passengers). Today I got to witness firsthand what happens with luggage once you check it at the ticket counter. I got to go in the hole (or T-Point) and sort the luggage according to destination cities and transfer cities. There's all kinds of conveyor belts (mini-rollercoasters as what I like to think of them) that spit ur luggage out and we sort it. It was cool to see also how overload luggage is handled (skis, golf clubs, strollers, car seats). They go up a neat little "elevator" to the baggage claim area. So pretty much while you are walking about upstairs trying to make it to your flight, there's lots of action going on below you. LOTS!
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What Hotel Companys do the Flight Anttens Stay in.
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How about a day in the life of a CSA? I know what they do, obviously, but I think it would still be interesting! Joke for the day: What did one set of scales say to the other? We go weigh back! Ha, ha. I thought of that. P.S. This may get posted twice because it wasn't earlier. Maybe Blog Boy had candy corn stuck on his computer! SWA LUV! 🙂
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how come southwest doesnt fly out of boston,ma? wouldnt that be one of the biggest airports to fly out of? (Logan)
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Can always write about your 60+destinations or one that's unheard of like Omaha 🙂 How about talking about those southwest uniforms that we see with sleek tennis shoes? Why it seems that one flight crew is catching a ride in the back of the plane always wears those bluish polos? Discussing all the SWAg you guys have. Thank you for what you sent me as a result of the blog trivia. How do you get ideas for SPIRIT magazine? Maybe more about employess behind the scenes. Posting inflight pictures of great USA scenery. Keep up the great work!
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Last week when I flew on SWA to Baltimore, I was charged $50 because my bag was "overweight." Fair enough, if I am taking up more than my share of luggage weight, then I deserve to be charged extra for the right to do so. However, when I got onto to the plane, a grossly overweight gentleman decided to "squeeze" himself into the seat next to me. Needless to say, he consumed all of the space in his seat and a good portion of the space that was mine. I would like to know why a bag that is "overweight" is required to pay extra, but a passenger that is "overweight" pays nothing extra and is allowed to take up not only his space, but the space another passenger bought and paid for. The seats keep getting smaller and the passengers keep getting larger. Why doesn't SWA make seats that are bigger for bigger passengers and charge them extra for them? What are my rights when some grossly overweight person takes up part of the space I paid for, especially when the plane is "full" and I cannot change seats?
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Any plans for a follow up to the book 'Nuts' It was a great read? I have had the pleasure and opportunity to hear Gary Kelly speak at two message's to the field and it demonstrated what dynamic leadership you have and how the organization appreciates and rewards it's employee's. However it would be great to understand how the business has changed since 'Nuts', with all the changes in the world, the economy and leadership.
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Here's a lighter question: How many Girl Scout Cookies did Southwest employees buy this year?
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How about some stories on your employee communications programs? I had the opportunity to attend a communications conference at SWA's Love Field headquarters last October, and would love to hear more about how you all stay in touch with your employees. How are the various communications programs organized (all within one department?)...how do you decide what goes where? How do you balance HQ news with news from the field? How involved are Gary Kelly and Colleen Barrett in deciding key messages? Who organizes the "Message to the Field" meetings? I also noticed posters hung about every 30 feet that contain the Southwest credo about Warrior Spirit/Servant Heart/Having Fun. Can someone explain why these framed statements were posted so many places around the building - it was very noticable. Thanks for the chance to ask!
New Arrival
Thanks everyone for all the great ideas! Keep 'em coming. Some of the ideas are outside my area of knowledge, but we'll see about getting those to someone who knows what they are talking about.
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I understand that COS are expected to buy two reservations (a reservation for two seats) when they book a flight and if the flight is NOT full then they would be entitled to a refund of their second seat. But isn't there a way since Southwest is a open seating airline to encourage or suggest that they select either a window (the best option) or a aisle seat so that they would not be encoraching (spelling) on two seats instead of one. Just an idea especially on full flights.
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I just finished reading The Southwest Airlines Way. Maybe someone could comment on the literature out there about Southwest and what the employees think of it? Thanks!
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I Love Leah's Idea. I am a Southwest Reservation Agent and I think it would really cool to go all across the company and "do a day in the life of a ...." You could do all sorts of things like CSAs, Reservation Agents, Ramp Agents, etc. The ideas are endless. Also, I know in reservations, we get all sorts of calls. Good to bad we have heard it all. It would be fun to hear about the funny stories that we have during the day. Anyways, you guys do an awesome job. When it gets slow at work I love getting on the blog and reading what is happening in the company. Keep up the good work. Ã
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Thanks, Cassandra! I suggested "A Day In The Life of A CSA" since that's what Bert does, but it would definitely be great to see "A Day In The Life of Flight Attendants," etc! :) I don't have a thought for the day. SWA LUV! 🙂
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Do you think Southwest will ever fly to the Lehigh Valley International Airport (Allentown,Pa)?? It would work well as a small station for you like say West Palm Beach, FL does. We certainly have the airport, population base, and demand for better air service .I know you set up shop in Philly but come on Southwest, bring some flights to Allentown, Pa!! We would LUV to have you here!!!!
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How about starting a survey what airport Southwest should fly to next.
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Please speak about the very limited seating currently allowed for Ticketless Awards vs. the past where Awards were permitted to be used for any open seat and how this impacts frequent fliers who saw this as the top benefit provided by Southwest Airlines. I have multiple free tickets and am now finding I'm unable to use them for the available flights I want, so I have to purchase tickets instead (from someone else). Please bring the old Award system back!
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Why not a post on what it's like for SWA employees to deal with the mass confusion of your passengers trying to deal with the confusing new boarding system. I have seen herds of sheep less confused than those of us who just want to get on your planes and get to where we're going. It doesn't work guys!
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I thought I would post here for your customers, but I'll also send a note to your corporate office. Earlier this week, on a flight from Orlando to Dulles (VA), I left my iPod on the plane when I departed. I didn't even realize until almost 3 hours later, so I figured I'd never see it again. I called the airport in Virginia and spoke with Karen in your "lost and found". Initially she told me they didn't have it and gave me the number to the Southwest "lost and found" in Orlando because the plane was headed back to Orlando. I called Orlando and they told me that the iPod had been found in Dulles and to call there. So, I called Karen again and explained to her, she double-checked, came back on the phone and told me they did in fact have the iPod. She took my address and said she'd send it to me. The next day I got a Fed-Ex package with my iPod. Honestly, I thought with so many possible hands involved that someone would have taken it and claimed they never saw it - it would have been easy enough to do, but I was very impressed that I was able to retrieve my iPod and I wanted to commend the Southwest staff (and I have no way to know how many may have been involved in the process) for their honesty and customer service! Sincerely, Cory
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As an employee here at SWA, we have a great thing we can do...We can do a day in the field. Or a Walk in My shoes kind of a thing. One day, I decided to check out what our baggage handlers go through. (this was before I met my husband, who is a baggage handler a aanother airline across town) So I had my cute little ear protection muffs on, and my knee pads on and I was ready to go! First, I got into the bin...by way of that really neat conveyor belt (the belt loader) I was inside the baggage bin ready to go. The luggage started pouring in. I thought no problem, I can handle this. I'm short. That was a blessing for me during this day in the field. Most of our great rampers don't have the umm, luck, that I do being so short. They have to crawl on their knees while loading. I tried to do it their way. On my knees, I grabbed a suitcase that came off the belt loader. I tried to pick it up. When I attempted to lift it, the weight of the bag just "scooted" be across the bin floor. Then I realized I was not going to be able to lift the bags like the other guys/gals did. I had to stand up, and use my legs. I spent a few hours with our ramp guys, and it made me appreciate them alot more. GEESH! The strain on our folks' backs is reason enough to have strict limits on our luggage. These guys/gals work hard! I appreciate our company looking out for their health and well being as well as all of us. It is strenuous work. Sometimes more than other times. Now when my darling hubby comes home from work and says he's tired, I believe him. It's not an excuse to get out of his list of "honey do's"
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Just trying to plan a trip in Sept or Oct. ANy idea when I can book for Sept??? Thanks
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Maybe something on airport employee bloggers clearly in love with Southwest Airlines? There's a new employee blog in my town, called the Goodwill Ambassablog -- www.ambasablog.com -- at one of Southwest's dominant airports: San Diego International Airport. The employee bloggers there have already posted something cool about Southwest: http://www.ambassablog.com/2008/02/south-by-southwest.html It looks like they even based a Treasure Hunt on the online Southwest Boarding School: http://www.ambassablog.com/2008/03/treasure-hunt-winners.html Guess those guys really dig Southwest!
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I am one of the bloggers at SAN...I was browsing our site tonight trying to get ideas for my next post. I was so excited to see your blog listed under our "Ambassa-Stats" section. I just had to click on the link to check out your blog. We are trying to get ideas from other "Employee" written blogs. I love this one...it was fun reading and thanks So Caler for all of the nice comments. We love you guys and keep up the good work!
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Hi Denise, We have added your blog to our blog role, Link LUV, at the upper right. Brian
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2 words: Aircraft Swap. Why does it happen (start counting) and why are some customers left feeling like their plane was "stolen" to satisfy another flight's customers whose plane was delayed, cancelled...etc. Who makes the decision? (I know who...but customers might not). Is there ever any "begging" from station customer service to the "powers that be" to not swap or perhaps do a "flagstop" instead?
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Thanks Brian for linking us to your blog! You made our Ambassablogmaster's day today!
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ter, The top of the "Travel Tools" section of the Southwest.com website currently states that they currently plan to open August 23rd through October 30th on April 17th. Keep in mind most of the lowest fares are on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. But keeping checking the Travel Tools section frequently to make sure their plans have not changed.
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To Whom it may concern, I've been wanting to express myself to someone of higher authority about what I feel about my travel experience with SWA. I travel quite often for my employer and several months ago found myself taking the step of using SWA instead of one of the other airlines that of always used. It only took one trip between PHL and MHT to realize what an amazing airline that you have. From the check-in staff to the gate agents to the flight crews all I can say is WHAT AN AIRLINE!!!!!. You guys put the rest to shame. Everyone else should take lessons from your company and maybe the airline industry would be in better shape then what it is. Keep up the great work and I wish you all the best. Best Regards Dave Atkins
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*Why haven't Nashville's gates been completely re-done yet?...i.e. we have new numbering posts for the new process but they seem temporary and the new seating and television monitors and the other stuff that's supposed to there according to the renderings haven't shown up. *Does Southwest actually have a set list of "Focus Cities" since the term is always thrown around outside or do you truly not have any focus cties or hubs or anything? This information is nowhere to be found on the website and it would be nice to have someone from Southwest specifically address the focus city question since it is always skirted around.
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It's well known that money makes people disembarrass. But how to act if someone does not have money? The one way only is to get the home loans and just college loan.