Been traveling more than usual of late and have been flying Southwest for most of it. I’ve been a Southwest fan for a long time and every trip reminds me why that is.
It’s mostly simple things:
- Their prices are usually good.
These days they’re not always the cheapest, but their prices are always towards the bottom end of the range.
- They don’t charge if you check a bag
Every other airline I’ve flown lately charges $20-$30 per checked bag. If you travel with a lot of gear, or family, that adds up.
- They actually have some idea of customer service and generally operate from the view of keeping customers happy, rather than the “customers are a nuisance” approach of American, United and others.
The best example of #3 was my experience earlier today. What was a 3 leg trip (from A to B to C to A) got revised to a standard round trip. With other airlines, there would be cancellation fees (up to $150 last time I went through this) and a complicated process to get whatever credit remained. That credit can also only be used when buying a ticket by phone, not through the website, which means it can only be used to purchase more expensive tickets than are advertised on the airline’s site. A nice end to end scam that ensures you get almost no refund from a canceled/changed trip.
With Southwest, I simply called, gave them my confirmation number and they canceled the legs I no longer needed. The full price paid for each leg was instantly available as a credit against future travel (and good for 1 year). What’s more, when I booked the new leg through the website, there was a link (as the agent told me) to “apply travel funds”. I clicked it, typed in the confirmation number for the original (now canceled) leg and the credit was applied. What’s more, I was able to apply credits from multiple canceled flights to a single new purchase. And it all took less than 10 mins.
It’s always refreshing to see a company in a competitive business that builds customer service into its roots to such a degree that it permeates every aspect of their thinking… And that’s why they’ll keep getting my business.