This Apology Letter From Southwest Is Refreshingly Honest And Informative

A fluid leak forced Deepak’s Southwest flight from Oakland to Seattle back to the airport. Southwest shifted passengers to a waiting plane, and everyone made it to Seattle about two hours late. Within a week, Southwest sent passengers an extraordinarily honest and informative letter detailing exactly what went wrong, and by way of apology, tossed in a $175 voucher.

Deepak writes:

With all the bad press airlines have been receiving of late, here’s a positive story for you. My wife & I were on a flight back to Seattle from Oakland a few weeks ago (Aug 10th). Almost immediately after take off, the pilot came on the intercom and said that a pressure sensor had gone off, and we had to go back to Oakland. After a collective groan from everybody on board, we turned back around and landed. They kept us on the plane for a short amount of time while the mechanic examined the issue. He apparently determined it wasn’t fixable in short order, so they deplaned us, and put us on another plane. All in all, the delay was maybe 2 hours tops, and everybody at Southwest was very nice, as were all of the passengers.

So we arrive in Seattle a couple of hours later than expected, no big deal for us at all, given it was a Sunday afternoon, and we weren’t in a rush to get anyplace but home. A week or so later, we each received the following letter from Melissa Chalupa, Assistant Manager, Proactive Customer Service Communications. Sorry I don’t have a scanner, so I’m transcribing it instead. Included with this letter was a $175 voucher for Southwest!

I’m already a pretty loyal Southwest customer, but this was an unexpected (to me at least) gesture!

Southwest’s letter:

I’m sorry for the unexpected circumstances surrounding the disruption of your Aug 10 flight from Oakland. In addition to my apologies, I’d like to provide you with some information about what happened that afternoon.

Shortly after takeoff, the Pilots received a low pressure indication for one of the two independent hydraulic systems (A&B) on the aircraft. In response to this situation the Captain returned to have the aircraft inspected. In this case, the problem was with the A hydraulic System – there was a fluid leak. After speaking with our Maintenance Department, I learned that the supply line which helps operate one of the movable panels on the aircraft’s wing surface was leaking hydraulic fluid, and as such, the corresponding line was then replaced to fix the problem.

Thank you for your patience while alternate flight arrangements were made to continue your trip. With the hope that you will grant us the opportunity to prove there are better experiences to have with us, I’m sending a LUV Voucher to each person who was onboard your flight that we invite you to apply toward future Southwest reservations. We truly appreciate your valued patronage, and we look forward to welcoming you back again real soon.

Kind Regards
Melissa Chalupa

Enclose : One Southwest LUV Voucher.

Compare Southwest’s response to U.S. Airways’. The situations are obviously different, but Southwest is practically eager to throw around vouchers to keep customers happy. As we’ve seen, happy customers mean profitable companies. The difference is just one of the reasons U.S. Airways’ profit plummeted by almost 20% last quarter, while Southwest’s soared 11%.

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Comments

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  1. tedyc03 says:

    This is actually typical for Southwest. The NYT wrote about this a few months ago: [www.nytimes.com]

  2. Dyscord says:

    Out of all the airlines, I’ve heard nothing but good things about Southwest. The apology letter was good enough, but they throw in a voucher on top of it? All of the other jackasses should take note. This is how you treat your customers.

  3. blitzcat says:

    The same happened to Myself & Fiancee flying from Rhode Island to philly. We were delayed 4-6 hours, and within a week we had an apology letter and two flight vouchers good for a year. We didn’t call to complain or anything.

  4. Ajh says:

    I know who I’m booking a ticket with if at all possible when I fly again… Southwest seems to be the ONLY airline that doesn’t pull crap to try to screw their customers out of money.

  5. seawolf2000 says:

    I have had good experiences with Southwest. I use their frequent flyer program and I’ve earned a couple of r/t tickets with it pretty quickly and painlessly. They’ve dropped the ball a couple of times, like when the FCC fined them about 6 months ago. However just about every airline has had massive f*-ups. I will continue to fly with them any chance I get.

  6. Mr_Mantastic says:

    US Airlines = sucks
    Southwest = awesome

    I’ve never flown Southwest. I will now.

  7. toy_ says:

    Southwest is profitable because they only have one aircraft, the 737. This obviously keeps their overhead lower than competitors because they only have to stock parts for one aircraft, train their pilots on one type of aircraft, etc. They also have no assigned seating so it is a free-for-all at boarding time. They did have the foresight to buy some fuel futures 2 years ago, so while the other airlines were stuck paying higher prices for fuel, they were paying much lower prices. People fly them because they are usually cheaper, not for the service. People eat at McDonald’s because it is cheap, not for the service. Just watch re-runs of the show Airline that was on A&E (I think). It was nothing but complaints about Southwest.

    • sarahandthecity says:

      @toy_: most people complaining on Airline were mad bc they were pulled because they were too drunk to fly. Pause and imagine what that show would have been like had it been made by any other airline.

  8. unnes says:

    It’s amusing that Southwest and JetBlue are considreed “discount” airlines, yet consistently provide the best service and reliability of all the major carriers.

    • evslin says:

      @unnes: I almost expect it now. I think for many things, the days where you got a truly superior product for a higher price are long gone… now companies sell themselves on their brand names – the company your parents did all their business through, and you should too – while the “discount” brands quietly put out comparable offerings without the fanfare or the prestige.

      I don’t fly much, but if/when I have to do it again, Southwest will be my first choice.

  9. FHJay says:

    Agreed with those here, I’ve had nothing but good experiences with Southwest. They’re laidback employees, which I think counts for a lot. Sometimes they’ll make jokes and such while we’re boarding, and it takes off a bit of the ton of stress of flying. I’ve not had any major delays or issue with Southwest (also a good sign), so I always fly them.

  10. SabreDC says:

    Because of this, I just booked my upcoming trip to Las Vegas via Southwest. Take note, airlines, this is called “customer service”. It would behoove you to practice it.

  11. ImmerTech says:

    To be 100% fair, these are entirely different situations between US Air and Southwest. Southwest delayed those passengers because they didn’t properly maintain their plane. If they had properly done their maintenance work the plane would never have been delayed. The US Air flight was delayed because weather made it unsafe to fly.

    Bottom Line: Southwest is in control of their maintenance. US Air is not in control of the weather.

    With that said I truly believe that Southwest does try way harder then any other airline to keep their customers happy. But I don’t want to knock US Air for something that was outside of their control. I can’t imagine how big a cost it would be to airlines if they had to give free flights every time the weather prevented them from flying safely.

  12. charmaniac says:

    Love Southwest. Its my favorite airline. The point of flying is to get from point A to point B. I could care less about amenities if it makes my ticket more expensive. Southwest is always on time. US Air blows. Continental is also pretty good.

  13. QrazyQat says:

    Look at what this cost them: even if it was one of their 737s at full capacity, that’s 327 passengers and about $57,000. That’s the cheapest publicity (and bad publicity prevention) around. That’s smart business, just basic not stupidness. Very nice, very smart, very profitable.

    • dopplerd says:

      @QrazyQat: A SWA Boeing 737 seats around 150 people. So it only cost $26,000 and that is if everyone uses the voucher before they expire in a year. While $175 is not an insignificant amount it would not likely cover the entire cost of a round trip ticket and could actually make money for Southwest.

    • t325 says:

      @QrazyQat: Uh, you might be thinking 747 there. A 737 doesn’t hold anywhere near 300 passengers. I think it’s around 130 passengers.

      Although I wouldn’t put it past AA, US Air, United, et al, to squeeze 300 people on a 737. 150 in the cabin, 150 in the cargo hold. And the cargo? Well, with all the checked bag fees, no one will be bringing any luggage with them.

  14. Righteous says:

    No doubt, Southwest is all that and more! I’ve always called them “America’s Favorite Airline”. My co-workers used to bellyache about SWA’s (former) boarding process where they felt like they were herded onto the plane like cattle. I never had any qualms about it.

  15. SteveBMD says:

    Melissa Chalupa?

    If Southwest ever downsizes & she loses her job, at least she can work in customer fulfillment at Taco Bell.

    (Was that too easy?)

  16. hills says:

    Nice letter, but not a fan of Southwest – Even if you check in online, you still have to wait in the same long line everybody else waits in to just check your bags – Line at the airport took an hour to get through – ugh. Their explanation was “it’s summer”….

  17. Altdotweb says:

    The publicity is only temporary.

    What happens when those 327 passengers are delayed and they don’t get a letter?

    Nice for Southwest and the good PR they get from this, but they open a can of worms when they do things like this.

    Fortunately, they can afford to do the good faith gestures. USAir, on the other hand, cannot.

  18. Rachacha says:

    I recently was waiting at the airport for a coleague who was coming in from another city, and decided to wait for him at one of the southwest terminals. On this particular day, there was a large weather front that was delaying almost every flight into and out of the mid-west, and it had a trickle down effect, so almost every flight on every airline was delayed. The gate that I was waiting at, had a plane that also had a mechanical issue, and caused further delay, but I was very impressed with how everything was handled:
    1) The PILOT got on the intercom for the gate and relayed what he knew about the problem, and advised pasengers that a mechanic was coming to assess the situation. He advised that he would come back in about 15 minutes and update the status.
    2) 15 minutes later the Pilot was again back, and advised that the problem was severe, but that he had already contacted corporate and they were going to “steal” a plane destined for another flight (and corporate would get a replacement aircraft in ASAP so they would have the correct plane allocations) He thanked everyone for their patience, and then tried to lift everyone’s spirits by saying that the pilot from the previous flight would be de-planing soon and he was the one that “broke” the plane, so everyone should “Boo” him when he gets off the plane. All of the passengers applauded him for his transparency in the issue, and the fact that he was taking a personal interest in the problem.
    3) A few minutes later, the pilot from the previous flight deplanes, all of the passengers “boo” and then crack a smile, and the 2 pilots exchange a few (friendly) words…”Yeah, well at least I don’t go around breaking someone else’s plane…”
    4) About 5 minutes later the pilot comes on the waiting area intercom again, and says that they have secured a new plane, and asked everyone to proceed to the new gate. Again everyone applauded and had a smile on their face, even though they were delayed by more than 2.5 hours because of weather and mechanical delays.

    Moral to the story…keep the passengers informed and they will remain happy, keep them in the dark and they will turn into an angry mob.

  19. DrJimmy says:

    Though I haven’t flown SWA in 6 years, it’s good to read its employees are still thinkin’ positive.

    This approach to Customer Service comes from the recently retired head of SWA, Herb Kelleher. The guy is insanely smart, a world-class wiseass, and one of the shrewdest businessmen to stride the planet in the 20th and 21st Centuries. He’s known for boarding SWA flights on business in silly costumes. SWA’s pilots once accepted a contract simply on the man’s word.

    He also came up with:
    Standardizing fleet aircraft (Boeing 737s)
    Flying Point A to B and back, eliminating hubs
    Spiking reserved seats
    Encouraging intelligence, fresh ideas, and a sense of humor in employees at all levels.

    Granted, SWA runs 737 cattle cars. But as long as Herb Kelleher is alive, they’ll be the most reliable cattle cars in the air. You might meet a (positive) smartass flight attendant, as well.

    Okay, I’ll stop now. Carry on.

  20. shufflemoomin says:

    A big well done to Southwest for good customer service and a big f**k you to everyone on board who ‘groaned’ that a pilot was returning to the airport for their own safety. Apparantly safety is now an inconvience to travellers.

    • tedyc03 says:

      @shufflemoomin: I doubt it was a groan of “Oh God, can’t we just fly on?” and more a groan of “Geez, we are going to ahve a hell of a time getting rebooked on already 100% full flights.” Have some faith in the passengers.

      I know when I fly if the pilot says “we’re going to head back; there’s something wrong with the plane” I want to be in the cockpit watching him and making sure we land. I’m a nervous flier and while I’d groan about the delay I’d be happy he was landing the plane.

    • Propaniac says:

      @shufflemoomin: Perhaps it would help to think of it as groaning because the problem had occurred in the first place, not because the pilot had decided to return the plane to the airport. I’m sure everyone on board would have preferred a quick and safe journey; acknowledging the inconvenience of the situation doesn’t necessarily mean placing blame on anyone.

  21. ocirats says:

    @DrJimmy:

    Speaking of (positive) smartass flight attendants, I flew SWA from Orange County to SJC last year. There’s some sort of noise abatement ordinance in the OC that requires each plane departing from that airport to cut the engines mid-air once a certain altitude is reached, so as not to disturb the residents below any more than absolutely necessary.

    The captain informed us that would be the case ahead of time so that none of the passengers freaked out if the engines shut off once we were miles above the ground. So we taxi to the runway, engines start roaring, we take off, reach a certain altitude, and the engines suddenly went silent. One of the FAs turned on the PA and said, in a loud mock-whisper, “SHHHH …. be very quiet … we’re flying over rich people.”

    The entire plane erupted in laughter.

  22. phil28 says:

    I’m a 2 million mile flier on UA and 1 million on AA and have rarely used them over the past 6 years. I use SW whenever possible. No longer is it just because of their fair pricing. They treat their customers with respect, never take advantage of us with extra fees, and never is there a charge to change your reservation. They have the best website and best customer service representatives. And they have the best frequent flier program. I’m a huge fan.

  23. seismic007 says:

    The most profound part of this story is the fact that Southwest Airlines has a Proactive Customer Service Communications department. What an incredibly obvious innovation. I have yet to read any Consumerist post where correspondence has been received from a “proactive” anything! This is something all companies should be benchmarking. From personal experience, anything proactive in customer service usually results in a win-win situation. Southwest has clearly taken this to the next level.

  24. humphrmi says:

    I really wish Southwest flew to places I need to go. But adding overseas routes of their own would just kill them, and you won’t get the same treatment from a codesharing partner. Sigh.

  25. Dansc29625 says:

    I am now a Southwest Customer.

  26. usmcmoran says:

    my wife and i were stuck on a jet blue plane on the runway for 5 hours at jfk due to thunderstorms, they gave us 1200 in vouchers and were apologetic the whole time, the captain offered the use of his cell phone to call family members that were waiting in san diego to tell them we would be late. they even kept the ac on the whole time. wish the consumerist would tell this story…

    • Etoiles says:

      @usmcmoran: They can only run the stories of which someone makes them aware. ;)

      I’ve had great service from JetBlue, too. There was a complete travel meltdown getting back from Thanksgiving last year (stupidly short flight, too, IAD to JFK) and even though it ended up taking me two days to make a 45 minute flight, they were informative, transparent, calm, polite, and professional. And I got vouchers that totaled to more than the cost of my flight.

  27. t325 says:

    I flew Southwest for the first time a couple months ago and everything went off without a hitch. We had a flight out of Fort Lauderdale that was late taking off, which worried us since we had about a 30 minute connection in Orlando to change planes to head home to St. Louis (yeah, stupid on our part, but our options were 30 minutes or several hours, so we took the risk). I guess we weren’t the only ones on the FLL-MCO leg who had short layovers, because they said they’ll try to make up time in the air, and if they couldn’t, they’d hold connecting flights in MCO which reassured us. And sure enough, we landed at MCO right on time with just enough time to make a bathroom stop and get to the gate to the next flight. And the flight crew couldn’t be friendlier. I got the feeling that they actually enjoy the job, and when your employees don’t mind being at work, it’s better for everyone else. I just wished Southwest flew internationally, then I’d have no reason to use the other airlines.

  28. Overheal says:

    Its nice that they admit to a mechanical error but do you really expect them to do this same song and dance when they overbook you, for instance? Or something else that they know is equally stupid? I think not.

    After all what business would want to call extra attention to an embarrassing foul-up like a double booking or a Crew Roster/Management failure? They wouldn’t. They’d keep their damn mouths shut and hope nobody involved is angry enough or savvy enough to make it a public issue.

    • triggerh says:

      @Overheal: Overbooked passengers happen on ALL AIRLINES. This is a fact of nature in the airline industry; statistically, a certain percentage of passengers will miss their flight. That’s why the FAA has rules governing how to handle overbooked passengers. When this happens on Southwest, the agents are honest about the full flight and will always provide service and care BEYOND those governing rules. On your other note, crew roster problems rarely happen at Southwest due to their excellent relationship with management.

  29. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    This is definitely pro-active (as others have said) and is the way to go.
    Had this been one of the other guys (USAir,AA,Delta), you’d have been lucky to get an informed response from anyone, and you’d have had to all but make a scene to get that. Mostly because their attitude is ‘We already have your money. You don’t need to know. Shut up.’

  30. s35flyer says:

    I always fly southwest when I can. unfortunately they don’t come to the upper Midwest, but when I’m in the south its always southwest.

  31. lingum says:

    Man, I’m starving. Earl, we got any chalupas back there?

  32. BK88 says:

    Southwest Seating Capacity:

    B737-300 – 137 passengers
    B737-500 – 122 passengers
    B737-700 – 137 passengers

    Via http://www.seatguru.com

  33. Sarcasmo48 says:

    Love Southwest. Used to fly them all the time when we lived in Dallas. Southwest is the same management that bought a fuel insurance plan a few years ago when the prices were merely creeping up slightly. Now every other airline’s loss is their gain.

    (BTW, I have images of some bitter middle-aged man screaming at a Starbucks barista or a rental car clerk: “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?! I AM THE ASSISTANT MANAGER OF PROACTIVE CUSTOMER COMMUNICATIONS FOR A MAJOR REGIONAL AIRLINE! I DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE THIS!”)

  34. katbron says:

    I love Southwest. If I can get to my destination via Southwest – that is how I will go – always!

  35. shadowkahn says:

    One of the most annoying things about where I live now is that Southwest doesn’t fly anywhere near me, so I have to settle for the crappy airlines. SW has been excellent for decades, and should be an example to the rest of the airlines that you don’t have to bilk and be rude to your passengers in order to make a buck.

  36. snowburnt says:

    her name was chalupa…just thought I’d mention it…

  37. psm321 says:

    I’ll have to try Southwest again after all the great stories about them. So far I’ve been avoiding them because the one time I flew Southwest it was a worse experience than I’ve had on other airlines. First, there’s the ridiculous seating policy (not that bad, but it is annoying). Second, it was a pain to try and get any water during the flight. (I dehydrate easily on planes. I know I should bring my own water but I hadn’t figured out the “bring an empty bottle past security” trick yet). The flight attendant kept saying the drink cart was coming soon and I should wait (yet it never did… they finally did end up getting me some water after a long time). And third, most disappointing of all, they wouldn’t let passengers with tight connections deplane before everyone else when the flight was running late. Every other late flight I’ve been on has not only allowed that, but proactively offered it.

  38. ironchef says:

    I hope southwest takes over the USAir gates.

  39. karmaghost says:

    Ok, this is going to make me sound like a jackass, but my recent Southwest flight was not only almost 2 hours late, but they lost my wife and I’s luggage, along with a few other couples on the flight. We got nothing for our troubles.

    I think these people in the article are entitled to an apology and compensation, but so were we. I think because lost luggage is so common, it’s considered par for the course, but mechanical problems and plane swaps aren’t, so these passengers got compensated.

    • tedyc03 says:

      @karmaghost: While I’m sure that errors happen and occasionally Southwest makes mistakes, it has been my experience that they go above and beyond.

      I was on a flight from Las Vegas, and even though I had a two hour layover, my bagaage didn’t make my flight. The woman in the luggage office figured out where my luggage was (it was on the next flight), and offered to have it delivered. When I volunteered to stay, she gave me a $25 voucher for my time and trouble. I was delayed 30 minutes, for $25, and after a long day (and what I’m sure was a long day for this woman) she treated me like a person. That was good service.

      I’m not afraid to complain to Southwest because I know they’ll take care of me if I do. And I know that from held flights to quick reroutings, Southwest has always taken good care of me as a passenger. That’s why I fly their airline so consistently.

  40. HClay says:

    Note to self: Fly Southwest, if visiting within the USA. Which I may do soon, as I have relatives down that way.

  41. Hands says:

    Ok, this is going to make me sound like a jackass, but my recent Southwest flight was not only almost 2 hours late, but they lost my wife and I’s luggage…

    Doesn’t make you sound like a jackass, just vaguely illiterate.

    • triggerh says:

      @Hands: HA! But seriously, if you feel strongly about it, write them a letter to the contact address on the website. You will get a response and perhaps a small voucher, discount code, or a book of drink coupons.

    • karmaghost says:

      @Hands: Thanks, I can always count on the internet to correct my grammar… except you didn’t correct me, just criticized.

      @tedyc03: Your situation sounds almost exactly like my wife and mine (how’s that, Hands?). The mix-up occurred between our transfer from Vegas to Pittsburgh. I explained to the lady at the Southwest booth at the airport that we needed our luggage because we needed to attend a funeral that day (our plane came in on 1:05am the day of) and our clothes were in the checked bags. She was never rude, but there “wasn’t anything else [she] could do.” I would be more likely, however, to fly again with Southwest since they do seem to be the Wegmans of airlines and, after all, everybody makes mistakes sometimes, right Hands?

  42. QrazyQat says:

    Duh. I looked at the Wiki page for Southwest and used the number of aircraft as the passenger capacity. But then that just makes their behavior even smarter, since it’s cheaper. It’s amazing so many companies don’t understand the value of things like this, especially in the age of widespread internet use.

  43. BytheSea says:

    It sounds like they’ll issue and apology when it’s a small problem that’s easily dealt with. But when major disasters happen, it sounds like their lawyers tell them not to apologize or make restitution b/c that’s admitting blame and opening them up to being sued.

  44. QrazyQat says:

    Have you an example of that from Southwest, BytheSea? It seems they’ve had few major problems.

  45. Donathius says:

    I’m a huge fan of SWA. I’ve hod nothing but good experiences with them. The only time I got treated better was when my wife and I managed to get first class seats on AA for our honeymoon.

    There was one time I was flying on Southwest from San Jose to Salt Lake City with a layover in Las Vegas – it was one of those layovers where you don’t get off the plane. I was chatting with a couple of flight attendants and somehow we got talking about restaurants in the Las Vegas airport – I mentioned that I was flying on to SLC, and the flight attendants actually offered to buy me dinner so I wouldn’t go hungry. If that’s not awesome service I don’t know what is.

  46. pbwingman says:

    I love hearing stories where people are treated like actual humans, with respect and sincerity. Who would think that people would frequent businesses who make negative situations tolerable or even downright pleasant?

  47. Hobbyns says:

    I have to chime in as well and say Southwest was the only airline who, when my plane was canceled, rerouted me to another flight firstclass, and then gave me a meal voucher because my plane wasn’t leaving for a few more hours and it was lunchtime.

    Seriously, other airlines and other businesses in general need to study Southwest’s business model, because I have to say, it’s rockin’.

  48. Southwest rocks and this is why they’ll survive while huge airlines, who feel customers have no choice but to fly with them, will epic fail.

  49. BiZarRroBALlmeR says:

    I can’t even get a letter from my own HR dept. informing me whether or not I got the job I applied for, sheesh.

  50. wasiechu says:

    This is standard for Southwest. Flying out of Memphis, going to my father’s funeral, one of the generators went out. The pilot came one, explained what had happened then said we had to go back and get a new airplane. As we approached Memphis the captain came back on and explained our new plane was two gates to the right as we exited. “Folks we can get going in 20 minutes if you help. Move to the new plane, sit in the same seats and hang on.” We moved out, got seated, and almost at once the plane started moving.We got to Tampa about 45 minutes late. Southwest made us feel part of the solution and not some packaged meat.

  51. jamar0303 says:

    If most of my travel wasn’t trans-Pacific I’d be flying with them. I probably will anyway- fly an Asian carrier to a big airport then Southwest the rest of the way (but I don’t know where they are at the big international airports- lugging my stuff half a mile from international arrivals isn’t my idea of a fun layover)

  52. buckfutt says:

    Wow. I’m comparing this to the experience I had on Atlantic Southeast a couple of weeks ago, you talk about night and day. ASA’s motto is “we’re the only airline flying to this podunk airport, so screw you.”

    Then again, that’s why Southwest is the best (and most profitable) airline out there… and why ASA is the worst.

  53. econobiker says:

    Southwest treats people like human beings, not just a credit card number to charge. I have had Southwest be completely transparent about even a 2 hour delayed flight.

    I have had another airline (either American or Northwest) fully cancel a flight and not say sh*t even to the point of the flight info just disappearing from the arrival/departure screen and the passengers having to inquire at the gate desk to an surly attendant who then told us to go to the special desk for a rescheduled flight- 8 hours later with a couple more hours sitting in the plane before we took off.

  54. vladthepaler says:

    Once again, yay Southwest. While every other airline is constantly finding new ways to screw their customers, Southwest treats its customers like people.

  55. BrianDaBrain says:

    Well, I can say that the next time I fly, I know which airline I’m using (and it’s not going to be U.S.). It is always super-cool to see stories like this.

  56. TWSS says:

    Southwest flights generally cost 60-80% more than equivalent flights on carriers like Delta and Continental, I guess because of where I live. I’m not looking forward to finding out how bad it has to get on those other carriers before I’m willing to pay Southwest $500 for a ticket on the same route I can get for less than $300 from the big boys.

  57. algormortis says:

    Southwest quote of the year regarding a badly delayed flight out of Spokane:

    “It’s going to be two to two and a half hours. We have meal vouchers at the counter. Please note they can be used for beer.”

    I went to Chili’s and paid $20 for fajitas and a huge honkin margarita; i look at it as free fajitas. We took off a little over two hours late and they sent us all crow-eating letters detailing the screw-up and how very sorry they were, along with a $175 LUV Voucher.

    Today seems to be Good Customer Service Story Day. Post about USAir or American Airlines some more so i can snark on them…i feel like i’m losing my edge with all these nice comments.

  58. Hands says:

    everybody makes mistakes sometimes, right Hands?

    I’ve heard that but I couldn’t testify to it from my own experience.

  59. sdjordan says:

    I received one of these emails from Southwest following a three-hour tarmac delay in Denver earlier this month. The email said a LUV Voucher would be sent to the same email address within 7 days but it never arrived. Emails back to Southwest have gone unanswered. Was a nice (and unexpected) gesture by Southwest to send the original email, however, was tainted by them not following through.