Working for Southwest is a joy and we, as employees have received countless benefits. No Layoffs, No Wage Cuts, great benefits and the like. We stand behind our company and will defend it to the end. N922WN is a beautiful aircraft compared to--- oh, let's say Maryland One. But at some point, we have to realize where our commitment lies. Is it with the Business Fare passengers?---who's select fares and boarding priority hardly ever account for all of the 15 seats reserved for them in the first boarding group, or is our allegiance with those who prefer to fly us based on our low costs and being given the "FREEDOM" to fly, especially in today's financial turmoil. The "common folk" made us who we are today, and I will proudly say that I am one of them! Personally, I don't have a problem seeing someone in a swimsuit on the side of a plane. What I do have a problem with is the publicity that we have received in the past over "Customer Attire". We now have to counter our philosophy with our advertising campaign. And that quite frankly puts frontline employees in the cross hairs! I don't know if I could ask someone to "cover up" when one of our planes doesn't. We're saying one thing in our Contract of Carriage, but with advertising, all bets are off.
Money aside, I think it was a poor taste of publicity! We have shown that we say one thing, yet display the total opposite!
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We're glad that you are now part of the Southwest family! We are a "close" group of workers compared to other airlines. We often refer to our "family" as employees, but we have a lot of people that fly us on a regualr basis and we know them by name. I was impressed just yesterday, when I was working a flight and my supervisor came up to assist me. The inbound paperwork showed an electric wheelchair that was to be brought up to the aircraft for a deplaning passenger. Once my Supervisor saw the wheelchair, she knew immediately who it was. She went onboard the aircraft, and welcomed him by name. This passenger just recently lost his mother and he was returning here to tend to her estate. Once he was in his electric wheelchair, the lead flight attendant came out and told him "I'm sorry that you recently loss your mother".
It was very heart-touching. The passenger, who I won't name, was very appreciative of everything that we did for him.
Southwest Airlines is marching into unfamiliar territory, making a stance not to "nickel and dime" our passengers. You can still check up to 2 bags for no charge--just make sure they don't weigh more than 50 lbs per bag.
I could tell you endless stories of how Southwest is different from other airlines and some of my interactions with customers, but that would be to lengthy. Give us a try, and I'll bet that I'll see you again!!
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To SWA ramp and operations employees:
When TWU sent out the questionaire regarding our contract, did you notice that every question had a space for your personal comments, that is EXCEPT for the question asking if you would participate in picketing, handing out literature or striking. I wonder why that is???? I'm sure TWU didn't like my questionaire because I made a space for my own comments.
Could it be that TWU is more concerned about money than what their members actually think? I believe TWU needs to re-examine their goals. Unions don't hold as much power as they once did. To back up this statement, just look at the other airlines that have cut jobs and pay to their employees. Face reality! Southwest carries more passengers than any other US airline, so do you really think that the government would let a strike at Southwest happen? I would venture to say ---NOT!
Southwest could have said a long time ago that they needed to layoff employees to cut costs, BUT THEY DIDN'T! Unions don't have a lot of say-so when a company lays off employees, except making sure it is done by seniority. I've spoken to quite a few employees over this issue, and the majority will do everything possible to ensure the success of SWA. Those who are thankful for what we've got will not do ANYTHING to hurt the reputation that so many thousands of employees have worked so very hard at since SWA started back in '71.
Some may accuse me of drinking the proverbal "Kool-Aid" and I can assure you I do not. I will stand up when I need to. Do I agree with everything Southwest is doing, absolutely not. But from my past 10 yrs of employment, I have realized there's a lot to be thankful and proud of.
So what if we have to work an extra flight or two! We're paid to do our job and we knew exactly what that meant before we accepted the position.
I just want to raise the question to employees: Since 9/11 have you made changes in your spending due to the economy?
Well then, I guess you're not that different from Southwest huh?
Don't be Toxic to employees who are thankful for what we've got. If you're not happy, go somewhere else!---but you probably won't because you make too much money to start over!
P.S. I loved the comments posted by "an employee of swa"!
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Colleen, You Rock!
I work in Operations, and in 2006, I was working our last flight of the night from Phoenix. To protect the family, I’ll call them the “Jones‘”. Mrs. Jones, Baby “Courtney” and Grandma were deplaning and I could see that they had their hands full. I offered to take Grandma and Courtney to baggage claim in a wheelchair so that Grandma could hold Courtney, while Mrs. Jones carried the car seat and carry-ons. Once we got to baggage claim, I asked Amy Beth if she would assist them and she gladly accepted. Once I got back to Operations, I clocked out but stopped by to talk with Amy Beth. I found her outside on the curb waiting for Mrs. Jones to come around and pick up Grandma and Courtney. I played with Courtney while we were waiting, and you couldn’t help but fall in love with her, with her big blue eyes and a grin that seemed to be endless.
Talking with Grandma, we learned that all of the family, except for Mr. Jones were moving here to be with Courtney’s twin sister, Brooke. There were complications with Brooke because she and Courtney shared the same umbilical cord during development. Brooke was being cared for at Riley’s Children’s hospital.
Once the Jone’s left the airport, Amy Beth and I were talking, and decided that w e needed to do something for this family. I did some research and called the hospital to verify that Brooke was there. They wouldn’t give me specifics, but I had what I needed to know.
We wrote a letter to Colleen, telling her of this family’s situation and that Mr. Jones stayed behind in Phoenix to work so he could provide for his family. I asked Colleen to consider giving Mr. Jones a Must-Ride ticket so he could fly here to be with his family, especially if things went from bad to worse.
Within a couple of days later, I received a phone call from Colleen’s secretary, telling me that Colleen was going to send Mr. Jones his free ticket as well as a stuffed animal for Brooke. I was astounded and decided that Southwest couldn’t stop at just that. We sent out letter’s to the employees here at the station, asking for donations for the Jones‘. I immediately called Mrs. Jones and told her. She was astounded that Southwest was doing this for her family.
After all of the donations, there was enough money to allow Mr. and Mrs. Jones a “ Date Night”, getting away from what they were having to deal with, providing them with tickets to a dinner theatre. The money that was left over was used to buy toys, books, SWA shirts and a gift for Grandma Jones.
It was an odd turn of events! When I called Mrs. Jones to tell her we were sending the Care Package, she was very appreciative of all the Southwest did for her family, but she informed me that Baby Brooke had not made it. She was in the process of packing up the family and heading back to Phoenix that very same day. I couldn’t help it, I got choked up talking with her, and quite frankly didn’t know what to say.
I just want to say to Colleen, “thank you, on behalf of the thousands of employees, for keeping us focused on what really matters--OUR CUSTOMERS!
Colleen, you definitely made a huge impact on the “Jones’,” as well as to every employee here at our station, so Thank You for realizing that every customer is important and that Southwest really does have a heart!
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If you are having trouble booking flights past October, don't use the "Book A Flight" option on the right hand side of the web page (Southwest.com) , instead, click on the tool bar on the top of the page that is labeled "Book Travel" and this will let you buy tickets up to January.
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I just want to wish the Best for Herb and Colleen. They have made Southwest into a Fantastic Company! No business is perfect and everyone has a flaw or two, but to empower your employees to go out of their way for customer service is unprecedented in the airline industry.
I remember reading a quote from Colleen that said something like " We are not an airline that specializes in Customer Service, But a Customer Service Company that just happens to be an Airline".
As a Southwest Airlines Employee, I want to say "Thank You" for never laying off employees, when every other airline has! 9/11 was difficult for everyone in the United States, but Southwest opted not to take the easy way out by cutting employees. For some reason, I can hear Herb and Colleen saying "We can't do this to our employees! They have made us into what we are today, so let's look at other ways to cut expenses!" Southwest even added employees after 9/11 to compensate for additional security. I was amazed after 9/11, when Southwest Board Members and Executive froze their pay for 3 months (if I remember correctly). Southwest opted to allow employees to donate money out of their paychecks to off set expenses, and over a MILLION dollars was given back to Southwest from employees.
Gary has a huge responsibility (and shoes to fill), but I am confident Southwest will look after their employees and customers just like you did!
Herb and Colleen,
I just want you to know that you have my greatest respect, and to say that you both made a huge difference, not only in the airline industry, but in beliefs and ethics of MANY SOUTHWEST EMPLOYEES! As an employee, when I think of Southwest Airlines, I automatically think of "Herb and Colleen"--The Fantastic Duo!!
This day marks the "End Of An Era"! , but because of YOU, Southwest Airlines will Continue to Fly Above The Rest!
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I am gratefull to see Gary"s full message to employees posted on the blog! It's great to know that people are being held accountable for their actions, or lack thereof. As an employee of Southwest, I am disgraced that we didn't live up to your expectations, and missed the inspections! Given the oversight, I'm also glad that no incidents occurred because of our lack urgency. That's not to say anything positive about the FAA agents though either! They can ground a plane instantly, and they didn't!
I am right there with the rest of you! I hope WE live up to your expectations in the future! This is an embarrassment to me personally, as well as to the 35,000 + employees and to our dedicated, returning customers. I hope you are forgiving!!! I'm sorry we have let you down, and caused you to consider other airlines. Knowing Southwest Airlines, rest assured this will never happen again! We are safe, we are friendly, and we will not compromise our jobs. I'm sorry that a few employees have strayed from their commitment to Southwest Airlines. Their motives and facts still have to be discovered, and I hope Southwest will become stronger and more diligent in providing a safe and secure travelling environment.
Please wait to see what the full investigation reveals before counting Southwest out!!
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As an employee of Southwest Airlines, I have to say that I am saddened by the news of the lack of inspections required. I don't know who's to blame, but I hate the fact that now people wonder if "IT IS SAFE TO FLY SOUTHWEST". Working for Southwest for the past 10 yrs, I do see us as the safest airline!
Knock on wood, but we have never had a fatality of a passenger due to the "Unmentionable"! (There are certain words that airline employees don't use, so interpret "unmentionable" as what a race car would do in an accident).
Although I do not agree with all the changes that Southwest is doing, I do believe that we are the safest airline!
The FAA knew about overlooked-checks, and they did nothing about it! Again, someone needs to be held responsible for this!!!! Not only SWA employee's ,who knew what needed to be done, but also the FAA for not enforcing their own policies and procedures.
We have an incredible record for safety, on-time performance and the least customer complaints among major airlines. Looking back to over a year ago, even though some checks were not performed on 46 or so of our fleet of over 400, and no incidents occurred, is another reason to believe that we either identified any problems, or that the risk factors were low. Pilots have no knowledge of when checks are to made on their aircraft "for the day", and rest assured that every pilot and flight attendant has a family that they intend to come home to at the end of their trip!
When a crew arrives first thing in the morning, or during a crew change during the day, the First Officer does a "Walk Around" and inspects the plane. If something is found that could compromise the flight, he or she tells the Captain, and depending on the findings, the flight is either delayed, cancelled, or Maintenance is called out for the aircraft.
Some other airlines (who I won't name), contract out "pre-flight checks" to non-company employees.
No employee of Southwest is going to risk their own life, or the life of others, just for keeping the flight "on-time"! We have your best interest, and ourÃ
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I work in Operations in Indianapolis. I was working today, Christmas Day, and the first flight I worked was flight 475 from Baltimore to Indianapolis. As I pulled the jetway up to the aircraft and opened the door, the flight attendant told me that Santa and Mrs. Claus were on the flight. I looked at her and said "What?" She again told me, and I said "OK" sarcastically, thinking she had drank to much eggnog. She said "No, really! Their sitting in the front row". So I looked in, and sure enough there they were. I asked the flight attendant if this was some PR stunt, and she said "No, they're fans of Southwest". She told me that during the flight that they passed out toys to the children and other passengers that they had brought on. Watching the whole scenario play out during deplaning, they didn't leave the front of the aircraft until all the passengers were off, wishing everyone as they left, A MERRY CHRISTMAS! After everyone else had gotten off the aircraft, Santa and Mrs. Claus stayed and took pictures with the crew. Mrs. Claus even gave the Captain and First Officer a kiss. I decided that I couldn't let them get away without some appreciation. So, before they walked off the airplane, I made an announcement in the gate area that Santa and Mrs. Claus had flown in from Baltimore and would be leaving the jetway shortly and I encouraged the waiting passengers to wish them a Merry Christmas. They had no idea I had done this, but they came out of the jetway ringing bells and bellowing "Merry Christmas" to everyone. The Children in the gate area were jumping and yelling, while everyone else was clapping. The Captain of the flight told me that we needed to get their names and send them a letter, but they would have none of that! I shook Santas hand as he left the jetway and said "Thank You, Merry Christmas!" He took a moment and shifted his luggage to the other hand and then shook my hand.
It was one of those moments that I will never forget! Selfless people doing random acts of kindness! It was awesome!
Before boarding, we had to do a crew change. The new flight attendants came on after Mr. and Mrs. Claus had left. I told them that the Claus' were on the flight and she said, "On my way down the concourse, I saw Santa go into the bathroom! That must have been him!" But there are somethings about Santa that should still be kept a secret, right?
It was just what I needed to get me into the Holiday Spirit at the last minute.
Santa, if you are reading this, please know that you and your wife touched many hearts today! I guess Rudolph was a little too tired to get ya back to the North Pole after last night, so you chose the Best Airline in the World to get you half way there! I have to admit that SOUTHWEST AIRLINES HAS THE BEST PASSENGERS! Working in the airline industry for the past 9 years, I have never heard of another passenger or couple doing something like this for an entire plane load of passengers on a flight!
Ya, I wasn't able to be with my family on Christmas Day, but this flight made it worth while. I can't tell you how many people thanked me for working today, as they either exited or entered the aircraft. One lady was getting off, and she handed me a small mitten with a card inside. The card simply said "Merry Christmas" with a $5 Starbucks gift card inside. Another lady was boarding a flight and she left a candy cane on my gate reader. People like to know that they are appreciated, and I certainly felt this today.
I just want to say "THANK YOU" TO EVERYONE WHO HAS EVER FLOWN SOUTHWEST AIRLINES! You have given 33,000 employees job stability and profit sharing, and the satisfaction of knowing that people DO MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!
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Being a Southwest Operations Agent, Please Hear Me Out! Change is inevitable, but listen to this reasoning first-then fly us once before making a judgement!
We fly only Boeing 737 aircraft. We seat 137 passengers, with 6 seats across ( 3 on each side) and approximately 22-24 rows. For the comparison, I will use the least amount available to make this point.
With 22 rows per aircraft, that means that 44 aisle seats and 44 window seats ( two of each in each row) are available on each flight. That's a minimum of 88 "treasured" seats. This leaves approximately 49 middle seats per aircraft. This doesn't sound good to you if you are at the end of the B line or in the C boarding group. I counter complaints by telling passengers that "at least now you get to choose who you sit by and by not who sits next to you".-Other airlines don't give you this option!
As far as family boarding goes, please don't sell SWA short! Families already in possession of an A Boarding pass may board with the first group, ensuring seats together. Once the A group has boarded-possibly 60 people but most likely a lot less, we call for family boarding-parents traveling with children 4 yrs. or younger to board who are in the B and C boarding group which ensures seats together. Does this mean that if your child is 6 years old that you should be worried about them sitting next to a total and complete stranger? NO WAY!!!!! We will do everything to ensure you get to sit next to your small child. It may not be we can accomodate both parents in the same row, but there's too much liability to force a family with a small child who may need extra attention during the flight to split apart from both parents! Nobody wants to babysit anothers' child during a flight, so we will make sure that doesn't happen! Just try asking for someone onboard to give up their seat to accomodate a mother and small child and see if offers are taken. If that doesn't happen, then I just simply make an announcement that "we are now looking for a babysitter for the flight", and hands start to shoot up to volunteer!
I, personally don't agree with the Business Select seats, but I will try to explain it the best I can. I agree with trying to increase our revenue to off-set fuel prices, but I hate the fact that other people are now viewed as "more" important than others. With this said:
There are 15 seats (Boarding passes A1-A15) reserved for each flight for passengers wanting to board first, notice I say First, not Business. These fares are available to everyone, just with a $10-$30 tacked on due to fuel soaring fuel costs. In the first 2 1/2 weeks of our new boarding, I have had some flights with No Business Select passengers, and have just had my first flight today with my personal all-time high record of 4 Business Select passengers. Going with my "minimum" standard that I stated earlier, this means that with no Business Select passengers checked in the for the flight, that the person holding Boarding Pass A16 will be the first to board after our Pre-board passengers. To explain it in more detail for our passenger who is holding a B-1 Boarding pass: if only 3 people preboard and there are no Business Select passengers checked in, then they would be the 49th person to board the aircraft---leaving A LOT OF CHOICES ON SEATS. Yet, in the worst case scenario, let's say there are 10 preboarding passengers and 15 Business Select Passengers checked in, as well as the other 45 people who would be in the A group (60 total): There would be 70 seats already occupied, but still leaving 18 window or aisle seats and 49 middle seats (on a full flight) to choose from.
It's not as bad of an experience from the customer comments that I have received, but most people conjure up an opinion before trying it!
Ya, most companies have a "BAD APPLE" among them that can cost them a customer, but I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE THE BEST EMPLOYEES OF ANY AIRLINE WHO ARE WILLING TO GO ABOVE THE "LEGACY STANDARD" to show how much we really do love Southwest Airlines!--Even in the amidst of change.
Has Southwest ever laid off an employee since 9/11 or filed or bankruptcy---NO!
And although no company is perfect, "most" of us will pass along our gratitude to YOU!
I bet I can make you smile!
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Please don't judge us before you have tried us! As far as family boarding goes, I want parents with children to know that we will do whatever it takes to get you seated next to your children. Having a child under 4 yrs old allows you to board in family boarding just after the A group, gaurenteeing you seats together. Yet those families who have a 5-8? old should equally comfortable, knowing we will do anything to get you seats together, atleast for 1 adult and 1 child. Seating a child next to an unknown adult would leave us liable in certain situations, so rest assured we will do anything to get families with small children seated next to on another!!!!
As for the "Business Select" and "A-List" passengers, I will say that I don't like the picture it paints, leaving ordinary people from getting to board first according to how they checked in, but with fuel prices being where they are, we had to come up with ways to increase revenue. The 1st 15 boarding passes are reserved for Business Select passengers. But there may be only 2 or 3 passengers that have bought the fare. If you're an A-list member, don't be angry because you got a A-16 boarding pass.
I recently had a frequent flier complain because when he checked, he got A-16 boarding position. There was only 1 Business Select Customer which meant that after preboarding, 1 passenger boarded before he did, since no one else had purchased the Select fare. I would hope that he changed his opinion of us once on-board, getting the seat of his choice: and if he didn't--then I have nothing else to say except "if you think you're better than everyone else, you should (and I prefer you to) to fly another airline!
What travelers don't understand is that Southwest only flies 737 aircraft. All but a few have 137 seats on them (Our 500 -series aircrafts seats 122). On the majority of our our aircraftts there are 3 seats on each side and 22-24 rows which means that atleast the minimum of 88 people will have the choice to sit in an aisle or window seat. Yeah, it may not be towards the front of the plane, but you will be comfortably accommodated!
With the exception of Business Select and A-list members, you are checked in and reserved a boarind position once the boarding pass is printed.
WE LOVE OUR AIRLINE, and we hope you do too! Give us a try, we won't disappoint you!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Wow, we have certainly stirred up the hornet's nest.
I would just ask for families not to pass judgement before you fly with us. I have worked for SWA for 9 yrs as a flight attendant and as operations agent. When there was a need to find seats together for parents travelling with small children, there has always been someone willing to move to a different seat. There was one flight where we had no takers, but I made the comment over the PA that we were now looking for a babysitter. Needless to say, we were able to get the parents seated next to the kids.
Since we started the family boarding after the A group, I have only had 2 complaints. The anger and frustration comes because parents feel that now they wouldn't be able to sit with their children. That simply is not true! In family boarding now, there will be 60 boarding passes in the A group, besides those people who need to preboard. This leaves approximately 70 seats open in the aircraft. On flights where passengers remain onboard, employees have been trained to scan the gate area to see if seats need to blocked for families, and then pass the information along to the flight attendants who will block seats so we can accomodate our families. The seats may be in the back of the aircraft, but we will do everything to ensure families with small children are seated next to each other.
Family boarding has been succesful in my opinion and has not played a role in delayed flights. By staggering families who board that are already in the A group, followed by the regular Family Boarding after it, seems to cut down on the cluster of strollers and car seats all at one time.
Family boarding appears to be a win-win situation, except for the people in the A group who try to distance themselves from a loud child. Maybe we should allow families to preboard again, just tell them that rows ---- to --- is where they may sit, keeping the forward cabin for regular boarding groups.
I would emphasize to families with children under 4 to do everything in their power to get to the gate early! This will eliminate the need to try to find seats together after everyone else has boarded.
I love Southwest, but I will say that I am heart-broken over the new "business select" priority. There are other means to make a few extra dollars although I will not say my ideas. It seems obvious to me, but the backlash I would get is not worth the effort. I feel sorry that we have evolved into a "Legacy Carrier", distancing those who truly drive our business-the middle and lower classes of society, of which I see myself. People are people regardless of income! And now we have just made less-fortunate people feel second class.------------That's not what has made us into who we are today, and hopefully it won't determine who we are tomorrow!
Herb and Colleen: "HELP!"
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I hate that it comes down to this! Now southwest doesn't give the freedom to fly to everyone. If you have more money, you will be treated differently, and southwest bought into that. It's a sad day to see such a company change its policies. No more treating everybody as equal!
Where's Herb and Colleen? We need you back!!!!!!!!!!!
Although we might not might not make as much profit as we like by doing things as in the past, we need to hold strong to our core values. I believe that is what people like most about us, that we're different and don't care about a persons status or salary.
Greed has a way of working itself into our core-being.
I am a Southwest employee and hate to see the direction our company is headed. The "little people" are just that, second string-when it comes down to Southwest Airlines. When will corporate Southwest realize that the majority of our travelers are "common folk", who do not make a 6 digit income.
Remember 9/11? When employees donated over a million dollars back to company to help with costs. When the Board of Directors, including Herb and Colleen froze their pay to lower costs. There is ( or was) a culture in Southwest Airlines, where we all looked out for each other, including our customers. But money talks, and we took the bait!
From a competitor standpoint, I realize we have few options to increase revenue, but I despise the image that we now have to deal with. The Statue of Liberty should simply read "give me your wealthy, and I will take care of them!"
I'm sure this will never be allowed on our blog-website, but I felt that it needed to be said.
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Gary, as an Operations agent in Indianapolis, I would just like to say that I am for open seating. I am not caught up on the progress and test results that are taking place in San Diego, but I have so many people tell me when I work a flight, how much they love Southwest. It can be inconvenient from time to time if there is a family with a small child boarding late and to ask for volunteers to move to another seat to accomodate the family, but I have never had to split a parent and a small child up because somewhere in the plane, someone is willing to move, even if I have to pleed over the P.A., "If this was your child, wouldn't you want someone to do it for you?" This announcement has worked 100% of the time when I had to take this drastic measure.
I have read the blogs that criticize open seating, and I often am approached by discourage passengers who are in the C boarding group. Sometimes they are angry, other times just frustrated, but all it takes it for me to point out is that on other airlines, they don't have a choice of where they are sitting or who they are sitting next to. I just plainly tell them that being in the C boarding group, gives them the opportunity to choose who they sit next to, and not who sits next to them. If someone in the C group boards and sees a family or larger person, all they have to do is pass up the open seat and find a different one.
If by chance WE do go assigned seating I just ask one request, and that is not to offer Platinum, Elite, Gold, Diamond and Preferred status to our passengers. By doing this, the other airlines give the impression "Oh, you are not good enough or rich enough to have a good seat or to get to board early" to their passengers. Middle to Low income singles and families make up a lot of our revenue and profit, and we wouldn't be where we are today without them. Some people have labeled us "The Wal-Mart" of the airline industry, but is that such a bad title? We let everyday people have fun, see loved ones, and give them an experience they would not be able to have or afford on the Legacy Carriers. I enjoy the business travelers as well, but it is often the ordinary people that have so much to offer and have touched my life in ways I couldn't even begin to tell. Their stories and life experiences make me realize that there are worse things in life than ending up in a middle seat on an airplane.
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Wow! Reading everyone's responses to our boarding process is very enlightening. I'm astounded by the overwhelming support not to conform. As an Operations agent, I get to see and interact with all the passenger's on the flight. When Southwest was going to install the GATE READER's, most employees only saw drawbacks. I heard time and again that having them will only slow down the boarding process and hurt our ontime performance. Boy, were we wrong. I don't know of any operations employee that hates the gate readers. We would be lost without them! The reader's (gate scanners) tell us who is missing, where the passengers checked in, and also provide us with the ability to pull up flight information and print out connections, weather, flight releases and such. We can literally do everything ,except talk with the pilots via the company radio all from the gate area.
With this said, I am TRYING to keep an open mind over assigned seating. We have been wrong before. I will hold my overall judgement until the results of the testing in San Diego are complete, but from what I have heard and read, the people who are loyal to Southwest Airlines are not easily enticed. They love us for who we are, and fly US if the opportunity exists. We give everyday people a chance to fly and to sit in the front of the aircraft. After all, being a non-rev on other airlines, don't we feel special when when we get a seat in the coveted business or first-class.
If I do get a complaint from someone who is in the "C" boarding group, time permitting, I explain that they can check in 24 hours in advance, but the best response that people have a hard time counteracting, is that now "YOU GET TO CHOOSE WHO YOU SIT BY, AND NOT WHO SITS BY YOU!"
With all of this said and the only thing I can say that I fear as an operations agent, is that with assigned seating that probably will mean we board from the back of the aircraft forward. I fear that when we do have to check bags in the jetway because the overhead bins are full, that it will be with those people who are sitting in the front of the aircraft, and I don't look forward to that battle.
We have a great customer base, and as employees, I believe we all have to agree that they keep us entertained as well. They have been loyal to us, have provide US continual growth and profits, and allowed Southwest Airlines to become the largest Domestic carrier in the United States. They have offered us job security when all the other airlines laid off employees, they have, year after year, provided all of us with profit sharing. IT JUST DOESN'T GET ANY BETTER THAN THIS!
I guess in the end, I may be a little biased, but Southwest has taken care of me so far, and from what I have seen in the past, Headquarters has made wise decisions so I won't second guess them now. To our customers, Southwest is listening to your concerns, insights and ideas, so please keep them coming. And to our passenger's I have to say "PLEASE WATCH THE SIZE AND NUMBER OF YOUR CARRY-ONS!"
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