The chief enemy of creativity... is "good" sense. ~Pablo Picasso

LUV Southwest

Customer Service has slowly become important again.
 It's largely in part thanks to companies that took it upon themselves to take pride in their customer service again...even though the world had become accustomed to dealing with an obstinate and thoughtless person on the other line... that's, if you could got past the thoughtless and "hard of hearing" robot recording... is one of the most amazingly accommodating companies on the planet...
 but they could be in a close race with Southwest airlines...

Not only are they simple, they are... simple. Boarding is simple, booking is simple, changing your plans and your flights is simple. It's almost so easy... it's scary. And yet they're one of the few airlines MAKING money. 

I was delayed slightly in Chicago last night and they were in an "oversell" situation. I'd never heard of this from Southwest...

All too often I've been in a situation where this happens, but always with other airlines, and naively, I've eagerly jumped on the chance for a "voucher"... Sounds great right? A free trip for taking a later flight! WRONG. 

USAirways proved to be the most formidable when trying to cash in that voucher. It actually ended up being impossible to use... without making my life MORE complicated, or my flight MORE expensive. No joke. I could only use it during times I didn't need it... or I could put the dollar amount towards when I DID want to use it, but the trip cost would still far exceed an amount I was willing to spend. 

So I carefully listened as the Southwest employee explained what they would offer. A $300 voucher PLUS the cost of the one way fare that got you there. No blackout dates and as good as cash - meaning you could put $98 towards a flight to one destination, and $120 towards a different flight, etc. I was impressed. I already know that working with Southwest to cancel and change flights is as easy... No change fees, no nothing, but wow... 
(I was also enjoying a Diet IBC Root Beer in a bottle, a cup of Broccoli Cheddar soup from PotBelly's and the Colts vs. Saints game... which didn't hurt, but I'll still give 80% of my happiness to Southwests SIMPLE voucher system :)

As I boarded my Southwest flight I sat next to a gentleman who had been with me Saturday morning running our Rock n' Roll 10K race in NYC, and then boarded a flight Saturday afternoon to run our Rock n' Roll St. Louis Marathon the following morning (Sunday), and was now headed home just a few hours later, like me...
 I thought he deserved a cocktail (he did too), so I handed the flight attendant one of my free drink tickets (also a courtesy of southwest airlines, just for flying with them) to get that guy a celebratory beverage. Well aware that positive comments are far fewer in this world than negative ones, I also let that flight attendant know that I feel in love with Lorna Doones 100 calorie snack packs thanks to them. 
(So much in fact that one of my friends bought me a box for my birthday)

Lorna Doone's aren't available on all flights, including that one, but I just threw it out there anyway. They were being so LUVing with their vouchers, and drink tickets, and fun announcements over the PA... I wanted to show them some love too. 

 A few minutes later he arrives with our drinks and some peanuts... and the very last bag of Lorna Doone's leftover from the previous flight... Did I mention how much I LUV Southwest? 

I wish I was sponsored by Southwest airlines, because then the whole world would be privy to the honest-to-God hailing reviews I give them. But they're that good... I'll do it for nothing...

By the way... I mentioned how they have "fun" announcements... here's a perfect example. This is COMMON... And in case you were wondering LUV is their Ticker symbol and their home airport is Love Field in Dallas. How appropriate.

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