Index for Insanity, Inc.
SouthWest Airlines and Cattlecar Company
It amazes me that people fly Southwest Airlines. Sometimes they have cheap fares, but often you can find lower fares with other airlines, plus typically the other airlines don't have as many stops. One reason I decided that I no longer want to fly Southwest is that there are no assigned seating, which reminds me a of a commercial about having to rush to get the seat that you deserve! Another is that I was flying to Las Vegas for a conference and the plane I was to take was late. Southwest had planes every hour, but they refused to allow me to switch flights because "it was too difficult" for them to do so. They wasted my time and did nothing about it. When I was coming back from Las Vegas I got to the airport early. They wanted around $50 or more to switch flights and the ticket was around $75 round trip. Since the plane was not full, they might have made more money since it might have allowed them to get another customer on a later flight. They can change the traveler's plans for free, but if the traveler wants to change it will cost them. Since they treat the seating like a bus, why not treat the flights like a bus and just let people go when they get there.
I also saw a show on cable TV (A&E Airline) which documents people at the airport and dealing with the airlines. Several of these focused on SouthWest and to be quite honest it certainly did not show SouthWest in a positive light. I am not sure of why SouthWest would allow such access since it seems to me that after watching the program you would not want to deal with them at all.
I also recently flew Delta and was amazed at the changes they have made. On one segment I flew on a regional jet and they offered people water and a mint, the kind of mint that you get free from a restaurant. I think it would have been better to not offer the mint than to seem so cheap that they would not give the normal peanuts or pretzels. Of the four flights, none had food, even though one flight was over 4 hours. The leg room was also lacking. Then the airlines wonder why people don't really want to fly as much any more.
I think one of the major problems is that often people are not willing to pay for service, so they are willing to put up with poor customer service, cramped travelling conditions, having to rush to the gate to get a low seating number, rush to the gate when the number is called and rush into the plane to get a good seat, especially if you are travelling with others. While I want to get as low of a price as possible, I also want good service and a comfortable flight and experience and because of that I will pay more to have a more pleasant experience. With my experience with SouthWest in flying to Las Vegas, I have to say I would rather drive than to fly with them again.
Index for Insanity, Inc.
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