LoneStarMike
Topic Author
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2000 1:02 pm

Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 8:52 am

This is an pretty good article about Southwest humor from the Wall Street Journal that has been reprinted in the Austin American Statesman and can be read for free. I think the URL will change after today, though.

At Southwest, jokes fly free as carrier regains sense of humor
01/14/2003

http://www.austin360.com/statesman/editions/today/business_5.html

The article mentions that the flight attendance should know their audience and I've found this to be true. I remember when I was flying a lot between AUS and DAL in the late 1980's. The Monday morning 6:30 a.m. AUS-DAL flight was very quiet and subdued, while the Friday afternoon 6:00 p.m. DAL-AUS flight was like a flying happy hour with jokes and songs.

Recently, on a PHX-OAK flight, one of the very nice F/A's let me have one of the F/A activity booklets. It was an older one from 2000.

TJ LUV presents

a Guide to Inflight & Gate Games.

It's really pretty interesting and has separate sections for In flight and Gate Games, Trivia, Songs, and Fun Ideas and PA Announcements. I have lots of fun Southwest flights in the past, but I've never had a flight where they did something fun at the gate.

LoneStarMike

 
sccutler
Posts: 5554
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 9:03 am

I have often enjoyed Southwest's particular brand of hospitality on frquent shuttles back and forth between Dallas and Houston. These flights, full of business travelers (not "backpackers," as the I-am-16-years-old-and-only-fly-first-class-with-PTVs set claims...) can be a real treat. On the Friday evenings (as you've noted), the cabin crew can take a plane full of worn-out, road-weary business travelers and make 'em have fun whether they want to or not!

One recent flight on which my wife traveled from HOU to DAL, as teh 737NG climbed out at a very steep angle, the FA at the front hollered on the PA, "here come your peanuts," and dumped a box full of peanut packages down the steeply-sloped aisleway! What a hoot. The cabin erupted in laughter, good fun and games. They are a special breed, and you can't stay around there for long with a bad attitude.

But of course, they don't have sleeper seats or PTVs. Dang.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 9:17 am

(pre-departure) "No tampering with the smoke detectors. If you do, we will be happy to seat you on the wing, where you may enjoy our double feature, "Bye, Bye Birdie" and "Gone With the Wind"

"There may be 50 ways to leave your love, but there are only 6 ways out of this old bird"

(after a hard landing) "Did we land.....or were we shot down"

(taxiing in) "Please remain seated until our pilot brings the plane to a screeching halt at the gate"

Love the service and comedy on WN. Thanks for posting the link, Mike.

Tom in NO (at MSY)


"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
desert_dweller
Posts: 89
Joined: Fri Apr 05, 2002 1:11 pm

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 9:23 am

The humor is somewhat funny, but i think using humor on a flight is irrelavent. In my opinion all of the cabin crew should act serious. Can u imagine ur captain saying something silly right before takeoff or landing? Some people dont take flying too easily and they need to see that the crew is professional and can take action in case of an incident... But this is just my opinion, I could be wrong... What do u guys think?

-ramz- Big thumbs up
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 9:42 am

On the other hand desert dweller, a sense of humor can help relieve some "fearful flyer" tensions. The cockpit announcements aren't usually "silly", the FA announcements can be. I was on an OAK-MCI flight when we were about to cross over the Rocky mountains. The pilot came on to explain why he turned on the "fasten seat belt" sign and said "We're expecting a few bumps up ahead because....well, because it's ALWAYS a little bumpy right about here". Shortly after we hit a small bit of turbulence (quite minor) he came back on and said "Told you". Now, imagine yourself a nervous flyer and the seat belt sign comes on and the pilot professionally announces that they are expecting some turbulence ahead. The signs on - are we facing a bone jarring series of turbulences? He didn't say. So they grab the armrest. At least on Southwest he communicated a sense that what we might experience isn't anything to be afraid about.

I've seen the "peanut races". THey've also had toilet paper races on takeoff (flights were in and out of MCO and the kids thought it was great).
 
2912n
Posts: 1978
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2001 2:12 pm

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 9:53 am

In my experience with Southwest they have lots of fun, but they are also very professional, taking an interest in passengers and their comfort. You can have a good time and be professional.

Last year we took a short trip that turned into a pain in the behind. The airplane developed a problem just after leaving SAN. Because SAN did not have the needed maintenance facilities we diverted into LAX on out way to Sacramento. The flight crew tried their best to make everyone comfortable, even those who were not happy flying and got a bit stressed over a mechanical problem.

To make a long story short...after departing LAX the airplane broke again and we had to return to LA....An hour flight up the coast turned into an 8 hour excursion. But Southwest did all they could to make things decent. The cabin crew had been going for a very long day, having started at Islip in New York, but they kept their sense of humour, which helped the passengers. Two weeks after the flight Southwest mailed out passes, good for a year and for anywhere they fly.

Southwest is a winner!
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 9:59 am

>>>In my opinion all of the cabin crew should act serious. Can u imagine ur captain saying something silly right. before takeoff or landing?

No, I can't imagine that, because the FLIGHT crew doesn't use humor anywhere near the degree that the CABIN crew (flight attendants) do. The FAs are face-to-face with the passengers, and humor is more useful for them.

That's not to say that SWA pilots are humorless, it's just that don't have as much occasion to use it as the FAs do.

One time several years ago, we were on short final, just seconds from landing, and we went around. Weather and/or turbulence wasn't a factor, so I figured we went around for traffic. Everybody in the cabin was looking around at each other, and about a minute later, the captain came over the PA and said "Ladies and gentlemen, AS YOU PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE NOTICED, we didn't land at Houston, and went on to explain that landing traffic ahead of us hadn't cleared the active runway fast enough, and we went missed approach. The fact that he prefaced his remarks with a wee bit of humor, admittedly dry humor, took the edge right off for some folks...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 10:12 am

OPNLguy - I was listening to flights at OMA a few years ago and a Delta jet was holding short of the runway for final clearances. A Southwest jet was taxiing up and a Bonanza was on a long final. The tower asked if Southwest could be ready to go at the end and the pilot replied (as he taxied past the parked Delta jet "Sir, Southwest Airlines is ALWAYS ready to go at the end". Struck me as rather funny.

BTW - I think you dispatched my flight into MCO (an aquaintence at HQ told me who you are) since I saw the name he gave me on the forms at the door. Smooth flight on a rather nasty day....got us around all the weather that was between here and there. Job well done!
 
BlatantEcho
Posts: 1815
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:11 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 10:17 am

one more reason to keep making WN the only airline I'll logically fly for domestic US travel.

plane and simple (jokes jokes  Smile/happy/getting dizzy )

George
They're not handing trophies out today
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 10:21 am

Goingboeing,

Look me up sometime and I'll show you around...

Enroute WX can be fun... Ran some MSY-HOU and MSY-DAL flight via LIT a few weeks ago--only way they could get around the thunderstorms a couple of days before Christmas...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Dazed767
Posts: 4967
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 11:55 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 10:39 am

Just flew WN for the first time this past weekend, and you know....I'd fly them again. We were taxiing out at FLL and the sound of a chicken was heard over the P.A. (even something stupid like that put a smile on my face).
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:30 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 10:52 am

I love WN’s humor! I have been on many WN flights and the jokes keep rollin'

At my airline, I once joked over the PA

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now ready to board flight 'Double snowman' with service to Tucson" (or wherever)...this was during the boarding process for out flight #88.

The supervisor came over and bitched me out for being goofy. I had passengers rolling around on the floor laughing. At SWA, you get rewarded for this type of humor. I got reprimanded. Needless to say, I don’t work for that Useless Airline (wink wink) anymore.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
Posts: 13382
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 10:58 am

Personally, I find the cabin crew's jokes and singing to be unprofessional...but hey, to each their own, right?

All I can say is that it'll all come to a screeching halt if there's ever an incident aboard a WN plane that ends with a person being injured and claiming they didn't fully understand the safety briefing because the cabin crew turned it into a song and dance act.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
fspilot747
Posts: 3455
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 1999 2:58 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 11:05 am

Makes me wanna fly Southwest again. I haven't flown them in years.

This one has to be one of the funniest things I've read in a long time:

"They told everyone on the plane's left side, toward the terminal, to put their faces in the window and smile `so our competitors can see what a full flight looks like.' "

FSP
 
BlatantEcho
Posts: 1815
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2000 10:11 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 11:29 am

EA CO AS -

I feel much safer on a comfortable airplane where the crew is relaxed and attentive than on some stodgy airline where the crew makes sure not to step on each other's toes or break the mold.

That is why there is CRM, if I'm not mistaken, people get hurt when they stick to their formed roles when a sitution demands otherwise.

Give me professional and lighthearted Southwest crew anyday over any other equally qualified crew of any other traditional airline.

George
They're not handing trophies out today
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Wed Jan 15, 2003 12:19 pm

You know, I doubt that in the event of an emergency, the FA's would sing the Barney song. If anything, the humor in the safety speech encourages people to listen to it rather than the video presentation I have seen on some airlines.

Coming back from St. Louis a few years ago, when we landed the FA said, we really hope you enjoyed flying with us. If you did, this is Southwest Airlines flight 123. If not, then this is TWA flight 456.

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, a coworker was returning from Chicago. UAL and AA cancelled their flights, but SWA made it in albeit late (about 1 in the morning). When they got in the terminal and headed for the baggage claim, the PA was saying "The 8 p.m. American Airlines flight is now scheduled to arrive at noon".
 
LoneStarMike
Topic Author
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2000 1:02 pm

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Thu Jan 16, 2003 5:37 am

If you didn't get a chance to read the article earlier, the URL has now changed to:

http://www.austin360.com/auto_docs/epaper/editions/tuesday/business_5.html

I think the above link is good for one week.

LoneStarMike

 
USAFHummer
Posts: 10261
Joined: Thu May 18, 2000 12:22 pm

RE: Good Article About WN Humor

Thu Jan 16, 2003 11:04 am

Southwest is my favorite airline out of the ones that I have flown...no one else even compares...once a flight was delayed at FLL so the gate agents started playing trivia games with the waiting pax for free drink coupons, on my flights, the flight crew cracks their jokes "This is Southwest XXX going to uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....uhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....Jacksonville today" and the f/a's are friendly and funny...theyve even performed songs over the p/a...very amusing...plus their casual dress appeals to me...If the opportunity ever presented itself more often I would take WN in a heartbeat...

Greg
Chief A.net college football stadium self-pic guru

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