If you’ve never flown on Southwest let me tell you a little about the experience. You are not assigned a specific seat unless you pay for it and seats are generally first-come and first-served, depending on your assigned order in line. Therefore, if you’re in a later boarding group, you’ll probably get stuck sitting in the middle seat.
Speaking of the seats, they’re pretty small and close together. Did I mention that the seats were pretty close together? Since I was stuck in the middle seat, I had no use of any armrests and my little bit of legroom was taken up by my carry-on bag.
For me, it was as if Southwest put wings on a nice air conditioned school bus! On a later leg of my travels I flew on another airline (admittedly on an over the ocean flight) and everything was much more comfortable and appealing to me as a traveler.
So why is Southwest succeeding where others are struggling? Why do so many people swear by the cattle truck that is a Southwest Boeing 737?
Here are my thoughts:
- They deliver on what they promise. You book on Southwest knowing that you are getting “no frills” travel. In return Southwest offers very competitive airfares around the nation. The planes are clean, the people friendly and you know what you’re getting.
- They deliver more than others do and give what their customers want. This may be a weird thing to say about a “no-frills” airline, but Southwest offers customers things they want like free check in bags, curbside and online check in. Sure they don’t give you the whole can of soda, but you can get a pretty good deal.
- They are generally likeable. While I didn’t have any flight attendants singing “Call Me Maybe” while giving us drinks on our flight, Southwest employees has developed a reputation for a friendly attitude. Don’t get me wrong, my flight crew was all business, and they corralled all of us onto those planes in a hurry! Yet, the feeling was better than I had experienced on a few other airlines.
Now it’s your turn! How do you deliver on what you’ve promised?