Why Southwest is Different
Normally when a business makes it a point to tell you that they have the lowest prices, that often equates to a lower quality product. We all know that it’s common to “get what you pay for”, and with many of these companies you often get less than you pay for.
Southwest Airlines prides themselves on their low fares. But unlike other companies who are racing to the bottom of the price line, they also pride themselves in delivering a high-quality experience for their customers. In my experience, they are the best by far. Here are 5 reasons why I prefer Southwest over the competition…
- They don’t nickel-and-dime you to death.
When you’re flying with a family of eight, it’s not uncommon to get up to $250 or more in various additional charges for a one-way trip somewhere. Not so with Southwest. Their pricing tends to be more straight-forward than the others. Even the “little things” like snacks during the flight are more pleasant. Although the flights I’ve been on didn’t offer meals in-flight, I got to choose from peanuts or pretzels – and if you don’t fly much, you don’t realize how nice having a choice actually is.
- They remember the “customers” in customer service.
When boarding a plane, I often see the stewardesses engaged in conversation with each other, occasionally throwing out a greeting to a guest as they squeeze by on the way to their seat. The Southwest crew seems to be focused on their guests from the moment they arrive. They make eye-contact, greet us individually, and occasionally make fun comments to my kids. Overall, a much more welcoming experience.
- Their crew also uses humor to get important messages across.
Since Southwest has an open seating policy, it’s important for them to help us fill all the seats from the back to the front. One steward made us laugh when he told us that we needed to move to the back if we wanted better service. “The back is the best, the middle is sketchy, and my section – here in the front – is hands-down the worst for service. So sit in the back if you want the best!” Clearly he was kidding and he had a big smile on his face, but it put us all at ease and made the overall atmosphere more enjoyable.
- The distribution of drinks and snacks is often another task that other airline crews seem to endure more than enjoy.
They usually talk to each other as the roll the metal cart down the aisle, giving plastic smiles when required, and looking like they can’t wait to get done. Again, not so with Southwest. They go down the aisle taking orders and then return with a tray full of items for their guests and are quite personable throughout the flight.
- When something goes wrong, they make it right.
The other day my flight got delayed for an hour. Then we were informed that the delay would be an additional two hours. Then it was moved to a different gate. At that point I decided to check in to see if there’s anything I was going to need to get on the plane. Since I had eight in my family, any additional things often take forever and I didn’t want any more delays or to miss the flight altogether. When I got to the front of the line, instead of being dismissed or treated like an annoyance, I got a really nice apology for the delay and eight $100 vouchers for the inconvenience.
For whatever reason, very few airlines understand the importance of taking care of the customer. But Southwest gets it. They are my airline of choice whenever I have options. Apparently others agree. Check their stock. Their commitment to excellence shows – and they have fun doing it!
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