So, what are the consumer repercussions of the surprise acquisition of AirTran by fellow low-fare airline Southwest? Airfarewatchdog‘s George Hobica is worried that fewer competitors, especially at this price point, will mean that Southwest and other airlines will have less pressure to keep fares low. He also expects more mergers on the horizon. [More]
Overweight people wearing rude tshirts or skimpy clothes will soon have fewer flying options, now that Southwest Airlines is buying Air-Tran. The deal was announced this morning and comes a week after Continental and United Airlines merged. Southwest will get more access to places like New York, Boston, Baltimore, Washington, and expand into places like Atlanta for the first time. [More]
Strip clubs and cockpits don’t mix, at least not when there’s a spinning search light involved, says the FAA. The agency has asked Bombshells, a club near Love Field Airport in Dallas, TX, to keep its newly installed rooftop light turned off after the pilot for a Southwest flight reported his cockpit was flooded with light while trying to land the plane. The pilot feared that it was a laser strike, which can cause temporary blindness. [More]
American Airlines: Passengers Are Happier When We Apologize For Screw-Ups Than When Things Go As Planned
Think about the all the flights you’ve taken in your life. Which ones are most memorable — The ones where you took off on time and landed as scheduled, or the ones where you slept at the gate while waiting 10 hours before having to make an unscheduled pit stop in Ireland for refueling? And according to an executive at American Airlines, customers are happier when a bad situation ends well than they are when things go as planned. [More]
A female passenger on a Southwest Airlines flight threw her name into consideration for Most Aggressively Annoying Person On Earth over the weekend. Not only did she cause her flight to make an unscheduled landing, she later returned to the airport to wreak even more havoc. [More]
Southwest Airlines, which doesn’t look a day over 35, is celebrating its 39th birthday this week with a 3-day sale, offering fares as low as $39 each way for travel between Sept. 8 and Nov. 17. [More]
We’re pretty sure the person who wrote this rejection letter meant well, but it’s not being received with enthusiasm among rabbit-owning customers who want to be able to fly with their pets on Southwest. Southwest allows dogs and cats, so a group of bunny owners put together a petition and mailed it off to the airline. A scan of the response, which was recently posted on BunSpace.com and forwarded along to us, shows a letter full of cringe-inducing puns and a suggestion to buy their pets some “Hare Jordans” if they want them to fly. [More]
This time-lapse video of a Boeing manufacturing facility is pretty awesome, if you’re into watching “how it’s made” type stuff or if you like to see sped-up footage of people. I recommend keeping the volume down and making up your own sound effects starting at 1:03, when employees begin to test everything on the plane. [More]
For the second year in a row, Hawaiian Airlines has topped a study that ranks 18 commercial carriers according to a formula that accounts for everything from on-time arrivals/departures to baggage handling to customer complaints. On the bottom end of the rankings was American Eagle. [More]
If you’ve ever been part of the mad dash for seats on a Southwest Airlines flight, you might find this video from AirTran funny. In it, mooing passengers race down the jetway while a Southwest employee makes ridiculous jokes. Meanwhile, AirTran serves its assigned-seat passengers Kool-Aid. Wait, now I’m confused about who’s being mocked here. [More]
Filmmaker Kevin Smith was thrown off a Southwest flight for taking up too much space, according to the airline, which has admitted communication errors led to the incident. Smith says he fit in his seat easily and was unfairly singled out. After telling his side of the story via Twitter in piecemeal fashion over the past couple days, Smith finally channeled his story into a cohesive blog post. [More]
We thought this issue was taken care of the last time a Las Vegas Southwest employee randomly stopped someone from flying without checking to see if they could actually sit in a seat with the arms down (per Southwest’s policy), but apparently not. Now a Chicagoland man says he was stopped from boarding a return flight home to Chicago because he was too big (6’2″ 350lbs), but he airline wouldn’t allow him to prove that he could fit in the seat.
The WSJ’s latest “Middle Seat” column is about that holy grail for all internet-lovers — airplane Wi-Fi. It turns out that people love, love, love it… but pay for it? Nah.
Here’s an issue you probably didn’t expect to run into on your flight from Oakland to Las Vegas. According to the SF Chronicle, a man exposed himself, then punched a passenger who screamed. After that, he decided to strip naked and resist while flight attendants and other passengers subdued him. The flight was turned around and both the man and the woman he punched were taken to the hospital. They apparently don’t know each other, and the man is wanted on drug charges.
Southwest says a test of Wi-Fi on its planes was successful, so they’re going to expand the service to all of their planes next year.
An early morning Southwest flight headed to Orlando from Connecticut only got as far as Long Island this weekend, after an inexplicable burning smell at the back of the plane forced an early landing. Turns out the unexplained smell was, well, something we’re only too familiar with: airline coffee. The plane was quickly cleaned up and put back into operation. But let’s call it a brewed awakening.
Doug Herbstommer and his 10-year-old son were preparing to disembark from a Phoenix flight when a three-inch poisonous bark scorpion dropped from the overhead compartment and bit Doug on the hand. On closer inspection, five more scorpions were found nestling nearby. Passengers started to scream and jump up onto their seats. Why, is there something scary about a bunch of poisonous scorpions whose bite can cause extreme pain, frothing at the mouth, and temporary paralysis??!?