Flying Lessons


Friends and family who fly Southwest swear by them.  The other customers in the boarding area said it couldn’t be beat.  I have written about Southwest Airlines as an outsider previously on how they lead in customer service as well as making a profit every year.  Now I was about to find out why…

The airplanes are clean.  They don’t look like they survived a garage sale.  The seats are comfortable, with lumbar support.  The flight attendants are friendly, entertaining and act like they really enjoy their jobs. The WIFI internet connection is less expensive.

Although there is general seating, it is expected so passengers don’t wind up crawling over someone who boarded ahead or won’t allow anyone by.  The instructions are given as if you are familiar with them in a friendly, fun tone.  The flight attendants share your gates for connecting flights.  The luggage is free and so are flight changes (no penalties).   Did I mention that the planes are clean?

I remembered the flight safety videos I have watched on other major carriers. They usually begin with the CEO or some other employee bragging about their service and how great they are.  It occurred to me…

                                Southwest brags about their customers, not their service.

This should become their slogan! 

Some refreshment bag comments are, “We thought you deserved a treat.” And “Just because we like you.”  Even their logo is a Heart. You get the idea that Southwest loves you for being their customer.  I left the plane feeling appreciated, rather than feeling lucky they were accepting my business.  The next two flights were the same.

I recall times the instructions and reminders were scolded at me.  I am an elite member of another airline and the treatment varies depending on whether I make the first class upgrade or not.  I can be off the list by one person and feel like the service is grudgingly bestowed on me.  It leaves other passengers with a “punished” feeling.

                    What is the point if your perks don’t outweigh the punishments?

Why do people pay more for a service only to be treated like an annoyance to their hosts?  I wondered this as I flew comfortably on Southwest.  I felt like a fellow traveler with other happy people enjoying the trip.  I never felt punished, even though I was a novice at this so-called “discount airline.” 

Is your service all about you, or your great customers?

Trimming the Roast
Who Are You Serving?

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