I’m “two” excited to share the news. In the latest tribute to our incredible Employees and Customers, Southwest has been chosen as TripAdvisor’s Favorite Airline for the second consecutive year!
This recognition means a lot, because loyalty like this is a direct result of Hospitality, setting us apart from the rest. Every vote came from an extra mile our Employees went for a Customer, a bit of FUN they provided in an otherwise busy day, or that personal connection they made with a weary traveler.
Thank you from the bottom of my Heart. We are two, two thankful for this recognition!
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This year was our eighth year supporting Kidd’s Kids, an extraordinary organization that provides chronically or terminally ill children and their families a trip of a lifetime to Walt Disney World. This year, I had the honor to be the official Southwest liaison to Kidd’s Kids. From kicking off the fundraising telethon manned by Southwest Airlines Employees several months ago to celebrating our partnership at the actual sendoff yesterday, it is definitely one of my favorite and most inspiring Leadership roles to date.
It has been a little over a year since the passing of Kidd Kraddick, the mastermind behind this idea, and it was heartwarming to see the outpouring of support from Southwest Airlines as we sent off more than 60 children and their families to spend five magical days enjoying the Walt Disney World parks, providing them with a life-changing escape from their own tough reality. Each year, we donate a roundtrip charter plane with all the trimmings—a Fun-LUVing Crew who donates their time and all the pretzels and soft drinks that can be consumed on their way to and from Orlando!
Kidd’s Kids is funded solely by generous donations from the public. More than $533,000 was collected in contributions from businesses and sponsors from around the nation and from the faithful Kidd Kraddick in the Morning listeners. As Southwest Airlines stood side-by-side with the Kidd Kraddick in the Morning radio personalities, I was filled with so much pride for our Company’s contributions to this honorable cause. At Southwest Airlines, we pride ourselves on being members of the communities we serve, and sharing our Heart with Kidd’s Kids allows us to pass on our own passion and LUV to very deserving children and their families. Thank you all for your time, hard work, and even your own contributions to Kidd’s Kids. To learn more about the Kidd’s Kids charity, visit KiddsKids.com.
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Pack up your sunscreen and don’t forget your sunglasses–Southwest Airlines is now flying international! Today marks a huge milestone in Southwest’s international future as we launch inaugural nonstop service to three Caribbean locations: Oranjestad, Aruba (AUA); Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ); and Nassau, The Bahamas (NAS).
A momentous occasion like this wouldn’t be complete without a proper Southwest sendoff. Our Customers and Employees at Baltimore/Washington International Airport enjoyed traditional steel drum music, tropical smoothies, and festive decor. Of course, we treated our inaugural international Customers to a few special goodies. How could we call ourselves the Fun-LUVing airline if we sent them off to paradise without commemorative snorkel gear and beach balls?
Thousands of our Employees have had a hand in launching our international service to bring our convenient and affordable way of air travel to the world and broaden the horizon for more than 100 million Customers who fly with us every year. It’s time to take our Friendly Customer Service and Low Costs beyond the U.S. border and onto foreign sand.
Welcome aboard, and welcome abroad!
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Congratulations on being recognized for providing excellent customer service. In the years I've flown with southwest, I have had positive experiences, but I am now experiencing a long drawn-out customer service process that is changing my opinion of your airline.
I submitted a complaint on 9/14/15 about my cell phone which has been sent to Lost & Found by Southwest Customer Service at BWI (Reference #286025638366) & haven't yet received a response.
My phone fell out of my bag at the terminal as I was waiting to board, & the flight attendant reached someone at the terminal desk who recovered my phone, assuring me that it would be waiting for me at Customer Service upon my return. Somehow, my phone, w/my name & Itinerary number, was sent into the labyrinth of Lost & Found and I have been without phone for over a week.
I'm extremely frustrated at the employee error which led to my phone getting sent to Lost and Found and w/the lack of responsiveness in helping me to retrieve it.
1. Someone sent my phone to Lost & Found, knowing how impenetrable that system is, even though my name & itinerary was attached to it. WHY?
2. Once the employee at the Customer Service desk determined that my phone was in Lost & Found, he told me that he wouldn't be able to submit a request or a claim to begin the process of recovering it. WHY? When I make a mistake at my job (or someone else does) we have to make every effort to rectify it.
3. I submitted my claim on 9/9 & followed up with a call to Customer Service on 9/11 to determine whether my claim had been received and was told by the representative that she couldn't check to see if it had been received and that she had no way of communicating w/the Lost & Found bureaucracy. I was instructed to resubmit my claim. WHY? Why create a complete barrier between customer service and one of the most demanding customer service departments? Why, once it is determined that an item is missing due to employee error, is no one capable of expediting the claim?
4. I attempted to resubmit my claim on 9/14 & received a server error message AT LEAST SIX TIMES. I called Customer Service again and after being put on hold for at least half an hour, the gentleman was able to submit a claim on my behalf. WHY COULDN'T THE PERSON I SPOKE TO ON 9/11 DO THIS FOR ME???
5. Today, I received an automated message explaining that my item hasn't been located. HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE? My phone has my name & itinerary number on it. My claim was submitted with a tracking number from the shipment of lost items.
AT ANY POINT, IS SOMEONE FROM SOUTHWEST GOING TO ATTEMPT TO BE IN CONTACT WITH ME? Not having my phone has been a massive inconvenience. I'm dealing with a family crisis and the phone situation is making matters worse. I understand that the company has to control the influx of customer service requests, but the inability to be in contact with anyone who is willing and has the tools to rectify the situation is ridiculous. Is anyone capable of expediting this? Please Help.
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Southwest Friends—it’s official! A new chapter begins today in Southwest Airlines’ history, as we begin selling international itineraries that will be flown by Southwest aircraft. Drum roll, please …. Oranjestad, Aruba (AUA); Nassau, Bahamas (NAS); and Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ) will become the very first international Southwest Airlines destinations beginning July 1. Click here to book your ticket to paradise!
And these international destinations are just the beginning. We look forward to announcing more locations over the next few months—all of which are currently served by our wholly-owned subsidiary AirTran. So, stay tuned!
The work leading up to this historic day is truly a labor of LUV, and I’d like to personally thank all the Southwest Airlines Employees for making it happen. And I invite all of you to start planning your tropical vacations today!
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This is the fourth in a series of posts about our fourth annual integrated annual report, the 2012 Southwest Airlines One Report™, where we illustrate our triple bottom line approach that takes into account our Performance and productivity, the importance of our People and the Communities we serve, and our commitment to efficiency and the Planet.
I started my career at Southwest Airlines in 1984 as a parttime Customer Service Agent in El Paso. Flash forward 30 years to the present, where I now have the privilege to serve as the Senior Vice President Customers. Throughout my time at Southwest Airlines, one thing that has remained constant is our Company focus on providing exceptional Customer Service and showing our Customers why they should keep coming back to the LUV airline time and again. Our People are dedicated to creating an enjoyable travel experience for our Customers with, of course, that good old personal touch of Southwest hospitality. Among the many milestones of 2012, here are some notables:
In 2012, Southwest once again had the lowest ratio of complaints per Customers boarded of all major U.S. carriers thanks to our Employees who deliver world-class Customer Service every day.
Our Employees inspire loyal Customers, as fliers surveyed flew Southwest more frequently for domestic travel than any other airline.
In 2012, we released an all-new Customer Experience Survey and Dashboard to help us understand our Customers’ travel experience with Southwest.
We were thrilled to uphold our record of ranking on FORTUNE’S World’s Most Admired Companies list since 1994.
The photos below are highlights from the 2012 Southwest Airlines One Report™, and illustrate our dedication to serving our Customers.
Seen a tweet from @SouthwestGabe? Our Social Media Team monitors Twitter, Facebook, and more around the clock to respond to Customers.
In 2012, we continued to improve our percentage of on-time arrivals, the highest it’s been in more than 3 years.
Thanks to our Employees, we again earned the U.S. DOT’s top ranking for Customer Satisfaction in 2012.
Did you know that 43 percentof our nearly 46,000 Employees worked in-flight in 2012?
Today, more than four decades after our founding, we remain steadfast in our Purpose of connecting people to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost airline travel. We hope you’ll enjoy our upcoming blog posts each month and follow along on Instagram and Pinterest each week with photos and fun facts tagged #SWAOneReport as we share how we’re working to be the best in the business. You can check out and download the full report online at www.southwestonereport.com.
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Throughout America’s history, innumerable women have steered the course of the nation with stories of steadfast grit and determination. From first reaching for the ballot box in 1920 to breaking barriers on both athletic grounds and the battlefields, American women have stood resolute in the face of adversity and overcome obstacles to realize their full measure of success.
During the month of March, Americans have the opportunity to celebrate Women’s History Month and to acknowledge the contributions of both notable and everyday women. This month’s theme is “Women Inspiring Innovation Through Imagination.”
During my LUV journey with Southwest Airlines, I’ve had the privilege to work alongside many remarkable women starting my adventure by greeting Customers with a smile from behind the El Paso ticket counter in 1984. In my current role as Senior Vice President of Customers, I am privileged to work with so many outstanding Employees—including a wonderful group of women who continue to find ways to make Southwest the most LUVed airline in the world.
As I think about Women’s History Month, one remarkable woman who comes to mind is Anne Frank. I loved to read as a child, and the Diary of Anne Frank always resonated with me because I was the same age as Anne when I first read her story. Anne’s story was so real to me—I felt like I could actually visualize what she was living through. My father's parents lived in Germany during that timeframe, and as I was reading the book, my Grandma Berkstresser (I affectionately called her Grandma Berky) lived with us. I lost a great uncle to the gas chambers, so I understood what it was like during that time and the impact it had on families (especially the children). Anne inspired me to never give up no matter what life hands you.
I also attribute who I am to another remarkable woman in my life. My greatest hero and mentor is my Mom. She taught me to treat others as I would want to be treated. She taught me grace under pressure and forgiveness. I just lost her two months ago, but I can still hear her voice, encouraging me and supporting me. Through the lessons I learned from my mother, I’m able to pass along insight and skills I’ve gained through experience—sharing it with other women I encounter.
I have had the honor of raising two incredible women myself. I’ve been forced to make tough choices over the years, but each of my daughters know that they are loved, and as they were growing up, I was doing all I could for them and our family.
This month, take a moment to thank all of the women in your life who have impacted you and molded you into the person you are today. I’ll be saying a special thank you to all the working mothers who are the true heroes day in and day out. Honoring these women who have helped shape our country is crucial, but so is writing the next chapter of Women’s History. Through teachers like my mother, we are able to show future young women that—in my own aviation terms—there are truly no obstacles that can block their ascent.
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Kind of off topic, but I was wondering if Southwest was exploring or already committed to the Boeing Sky Interior on the new -700s being delivered from Boeing as part of the Evolve interior product? So with the new deferral schedule in place, the next -700s won't be arriving until 2014, but was still curious.
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More than 40 years ago, a young lawyer named Herb Kelleher sat at the bar of the St. Anthony’s hotel in San Antonio and took on the crazy idea of creating an airline. San Antonio is the birthplace of Southwest Airlines, both in concept and as one of the original cities in our Texas Triangle—it's clear that our roots are deep in the heart of this Texas Town. Then, in 1981, more than ten years after the birth of Southwest, Southwest opened our second Reservations call center to provide even more Positively Outrageous Customer Service to the thousands of Customers who wanted to fly our airline. Now fast forward to the year 2012. I'm excited to share with you today that those deep roots have generated new growth here in San Antonio, and our local CS&S Employees have moved into our new San Antonio Center (SC). While we know it can be hard to leave a home after more than 30 years, the new SC is a bright, updated facility with 60,000 square feet of open space for more than 800 Employees. To celebrate this new Center, Gary and I visited the location, spent time with our Employees and city officials, and participated in a press conference and a traditional ribbon-cutting a la Southwest. We even recreated a special moment from the dedication of the original Center—take a look at the then and now photos to see if you can identify anyone ... April 14, 1981: SRC Reservations Agent Lisa King, Original SRC Center Leader Carl Warrell, San Antonio Mayor Lila Cockrel, Herbie, Judge Albert Bustamante, Southwest President Howard Putnam, Southwest Vice President Bill Franklin. June 11, 2012: SC Facilitator Rosemary Kitten, SC Center Leader Christal Campbell, San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, Gary, Judge Nelson Wolff, Senior Vice President Customer Services Teresa Laraba, and Director Culture Activities Cheryl Hughey. As you can see from the "then and now," there are many things that have changed in the 30 years since we opened the San Antonio Reservations Center. But Southwest Airlines’ commitment to the City of San Antonio has not changed, and grows stronger every day. With more service, more jobs, and more LUV, it's exciting to see the bright future for our CS&S Employees in San Antonio! Welcome to your new home! From Dawn: I have been working around the San Antonio Customer Support and Service Center for weeks and stressing over details with many others on my Team. We want to make sure we all know what we need to do in order to have everything ready for our big move to our new center. I woke up this morning and looked at bruises on my legs from packing, listened to bones pop back in place and began to get dressed for yet another day of packing and looking through each nock and cranny making sure we didn't miss anything, and finding little treasures of our SC history along the way. Memorial plaques, mannequin head (no center should be without one), old photos and so much more ... After coming back to the Old Center and everyone began going home I found myself alone for the first time today and all was quiet. As I sat in a very sparse office, It finally hit me, this is really happening. More than 23 years of driving the same route was soon coming to an end. I remember the first day I walked through the doors for my interview with Carolyn Bates. Judy England was the Center Admin and at the end of my interview told me I now needed to take a typing test to be considered for the job. I said, "No problem, please give me just a moment to prepare." I began tearing off my Lee Press on Nails! Yep, I knew I couldn't type fast in them and I wanted to work for Southwest, so I ripped them off! I'm really not sure if I passed the typing test or not that day, and have since depended totally on acrylic nails! Carolyn told Judy, "she’s hired!" I can honestly say I have never regretted one day since I walked through those beautiful copper doors to my Southwest Family. My family has been there through Marriage, Baby Girl, divorce, illness, you name it they have been there, I truly am blessed ... so here I set reminiscing and realizing that I actually feel a tear running down my cheek as faces of those that have passed, retired, promoted to another city, etc flood my memory. Leaving this building is sad because our structure is unique, however, change is good and I am looking forward to making new memories with my family in our new home. So I raise my glass to you my friends and say, "God bless you for we have only just begun."
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I want to apply for the new positions openings at the new call center in San Antonio. I would love to be a part of the team. I have to say ever since I was 18 just out of High School . I have always wanted to work for Southwest. But life got in the way with marriage and children. Now I'm 53 ready to pursue my career with Southwest. I have a client that works as a flight attendant. She is my age and just loves working for Southwest. I went to the Southwest Career site to apply for the new positions but it isn't posted. Could you please advise me how I need to go about applying for the job. It's my life long dream and I don't want to miss this opportunity.
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You are promoting rapid rewards, but the restrictions associated with using them appear to be very stringent!! Much more so than in the past. Today, I attempted to book flights for our family ( 4 people) initially over the Martin Luther King Holiday weekend leaving on a Thursday from Philly to Orlando and coming back Monday. Planned on purchasing 2 tickets and using rewards for 2 of the round trip tickets. Only 1 reward was available for the trip from Philly at 630pm. No awards were available on Monday at all except for 700 am in the Morning. President's Day weekend was even worse. The website has flights for the 630 pm flight listed as low as 111 dollars. The flights from Orlando have flights listed from 137 leaving in the afternoon. Mind you I attempted to book these flights 4 months ahead of time.
Who are you kidding with that kind of service.
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"A friendly and knowledgeable staff." If this doesn’t sound like our Southwest Warriors, I don’t know what does. Whether our Employees are helping our Customers find the lowest Southwest fares or lending a shoulder to cry on for a Customer traveling under difficult circumstances, I couldn’t be more proud to have an extended Family of more than 35,000 Employees systemwide. I’m not the only one who recognizes what Colleen has always said—we are in the Customer Service industry yet we just happen to fly airplanes. The Customer Service that has made Southwest legendary has been acknowledged once again. MSN Money worked with Zogby International to conduct an online survey where randomly chosen correspondents rated the Customer Service at 150 companies from 15 industries. Because of our Employees’ above and beyond mentality, Southwest ranked number six on MSN Money’s Customer Service Hall of Fame List. You can read who else made the list here. I already know how hard each of my co-hearts work, and I’m honored to play a small part in the impact our Employees make on Customers every day. And, we certainly have the smiles to prove it. Thank you for continuously doing more than what Customers expect from us—the personal touch you deliver makes our Customers feel like Family!
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I'm sorry you are disappointed in our 4-hour notification rule and that you think it is unreasonable. This provision allows us to ensure that any bag damage happened while the bag is in our possession. We are more than happy to consider damage bag claims as long as the damage is reported in a timely manner. Admittedly 4 hours is an arbitrary limit, but it does allow folks time to inspect their luggage and report damage, especially when the exterior of the bag is damaged. The question is where to draw the line. Overnight, two days, a week? I don't know, but there has to be a point at which we aren't responsible, especially when the bag is out of our control.
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I LUV Southwest! It's the best airline! 🙂 I flew you this past summer (2010) again to St. Louis & got to help serve snacks again. I have some more pictures of me with the crew!
Fact for the day: Giraffes sleep only 5-30 minutes a day! Zzzzzz
SWA LUV & mine!
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A great way to raise your numbers would be to increase the unaccompanied minor fee. Wait...you just did!!! Great job guys!!! $50 each way?! Seriously?! I'm going back to driving. Just when I thought Southwest was above the rest....
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Throughout our 39 years of operation, Southwest Airlines has been involved with many famous fare wars, but some of those conflicts have been more local in nature. This week, our guest author, Teresa Laraba our Senior Vice President Customer Service, takes us back to a fare war "on the border." Most recently, a Fare Sale has meant a rush to the Internet by our Customers so that they can snap up the sale fares on southwest.com. But back in late 1984 and early 1985, we still had cash registers (also known as NCR machines) to dispense tickets at our ticket counters, and the Internet did not exist. I was a Customer Service Supervisor in El Paso and America West had just come to town. With Phoenix as their home base, a no-prisoners taken fare war began for the competeingservice between El Paso and Phoenix. I recall a few days in a row during this period when the fare dropped numerous times in a single day as it volleyed back and forth between us and them. We even had Customers walking back and forth, just waiting for the fares to drop to trade in their tickets for lower priced ones which resulted in downgrades as low as one or two dollars each. We would have to refund the "high-priced" ticket, and ring up a new one for each downgrade. Our Employees were so excited to fight for the “cause,” and even though it was a lot of work, each Customer captured from America West meant a longtime Southwest Customer. No question about it, our Warrior Spirit was shining through. And, I guess we know who won that fare war? Although the visuals below aren't from the exact time of which Teresa writes, we wanted to share them because they are from our opening service in El Paso in 1977, and the bottom clipping tells of an earlier fare war.
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