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??!?
Southwest Airlines flight 2298 made an emergency landing in West Virginia yesterday after a hole appeared on the top of the plane while in flight. “Passengers reported that they could see the sky through the rupture,” writes the Washington Post. It left Nashville around 4:05pm, but landed only 50 minutes later. According to this WPRI video clip, Southwest spent the night inspecting 181 of its Boeing 737-300 jets, and they say there should be no delays today.
Starting tomorrow, Southwest will fly out of New York‘s LaGuardia airport, which hopefully means that flying between New York, Boston, Chicago, and Washington is about to get a whole lot cheaper.
Southwest Airlines has apologized to Chip, the frequent business traveler who was denied boarding because he was too big to fly. If you recall, Chip, a self-described “big guy,” does not use a seat belt extender and says he has no trouble fitting into a standard airline seat.
This is reader Chip. He’s 6’1″ and says he flies twice a week for business, without incident, on Southwest Airlines. He is a self-described “big guy” but says he doesn’t have any problem sitting in an airplane seat — and doesn’t need a seat belt extender to do so. So, why did he suddenly get stopped at the gate and told he needed to buy a second ticket?
Reader Mike cc’d us on a complimentary email to Southwest Airlines, which is something that usually doesn’t happen when the words “lost and found” are involved. Long story short— he lost his camera and the airline lost his bags — but he managed to get everything back with a minimum of effort. Lucky guy!
Are you more likely to fly Southwest Airlines because they don’t have fees? Southwest thinks so… but US Airways, arguably the most fee-crazy of the airlines, says it doesn’t matter because they’re making so much money.
The AP is reporting that 10 people have been indicted in a conspiracy to sell 5,600 fraudulently obtained Southwest Airlines tickets. The tickets were supposed to be for passengers who helped flight crews with seriously injured or ill passengers.
Do you remember Kyla Ebbert? She was kicked off of a Southwest Airlines flight for wearing clothes deemed ‘too sexy‘ back in 2007. Nearly two years later, Southwest has come full circle: They’ve painted a swimsuit model on the side of one of their jumbo jets as part of a partnership with Sports Illustrated.
Here’s an internal pep video for Southwest Airlines from the 80′s. It’s got representatives from each part of the company rapping about their roles (do this do that we never get hairy we do it for you because we’re your secretary), with an interstitial chorus singing “Shuffle fun shuffle shuffle fun shuffle fun fun shuffle fun fun shuffle just plane fun” on my elementary schools’ auditorium stage while employees run around in plush airplane costumes. After about 9 minutes of that, it finally culminates in some sort of motivational orgy with singing and jiving and the CEO strutting around and the strobe lights flash and quick edits and a cascade of balloons drops from the ceilings and I can’t take it anymore. I think if I step on a Southwest Airlines plane again I’ll fall to the floor in like a PTSD-induced epileptic seizure… of excellent customer service! Video, inside, if you dare…
Scott McCartney, who writes the WSJ’s Middle Seat column, says that airlines are starting to use these newfangled things called “computers” to work out all their scheduling demons — and while it’s good for business, travelers should expect fewer “off peak” cheap seats.
Here’s the real reason for an airline to switch to credit-card-only sales on board its flights: people spend more. Southwest Airlines’ customer service veep, Daryl Krause, told the Dallas Morning News that “since Southwest began accept credit cards (and no longer taking cash) on Sept. 9, its drink sales are up about 8 percent.” Since in general “the goal was one more drink sale per flight,” we wonder whether that wasn’t the real reason for going cashless all along.
…I flew from Sacramento to the connection hub in San Diego, where I had a 25 minute layover. While I would not have chosen a 25-minute layover,
Southwest doesn’t give you your flight times until you’ve booked….the two gates were in separate parts of the building, separated by security…
In our post earlier today about the 65-year-old doctor who tried to use the bathroom on a recent Southwest flight and was subsequently arrested, we noted that the airline sent him an apology letter and a $100 voucher. That seemed kind of inappropriate for the situation, right? It turns out the letter was never meant for Dr. Madduri and was sent to him by mistake. According to our reader RedwoodFlyer (Sockatume also picked up on it), the letter was actually about him and was sent to all the other passengers on the flight; he was never meant to see it.
A 65-year-old urologist, born in India but living in the United States for 38 years now, was flying from his home in Missouri to a medical convention in Las Vegas on June 26th, 2008. Did you notice that “born in India” detail? Apparently his attempts to go to the bathroom angered and frightened a flight attendant, who wouldn’t tell Dr. Sivaprasad Madduri why he couldn’t use the lavatory (the pilot was using it) and who wouldn’t listen to Dr. Madduri’s explanation that he was taking a medicine that acts as a diuretic. When the plane landed he was arrested, spent the night in jail, and was told the next day to plead guilty and pay $2500 if he wanted a quick resolution.
Southwest Airlines will no longer be accepting cash for drinks on board their flights. The airline will “accept credit and debit cards and Rapid Rewards drink coupons for items that carry a fee, which also includes cocktails and energy drinks.” [CNNMoney]