A department called Customer Relations handles all general correspondence for customer complaints and compliments. When your letter arrives at CR, it is assigned to a "writer" and a case number that will accompany the correspondence as it works its way through the system. Often additional research is necessary. For instance if a passenger writes to complain about an incident that occured on a flight that I was working, Customer Relations will contact me to get my side of the story before responding to the customer. Customer Relations will also perform research with FLIFO and other pertinent departments to make sure that the customer has their facts straight. For instance if the passenger says that the flight was 3 hours late, customer relations will check with FLIFO to see if the flight in question did indeed depart 3 hours behind schedule. If the flight was only 45 minutes late, the writer responding to the inquiry now has a better idea of the honesty of the customer involved and will take that into account when forumlating the appropriate response. They are not going to write back "liar, liar pants on fire" but they can and do give compensation sometimes when passengers are genuinely inconvenienced. As GoingBoeing pointed out, the same level of attention is given to complimentary letters and they are always shared with the employees whenever possible. Whenever a good letter is written about an employee, a copy of the letter, the company's response to the letter, and a note to the employee from the company is sent to the employees home address. It is a nice touch and a great motivational tool. A far as letters written directly to Herb or Colleen...senior management have reading/writing staffs that handle their correspondence. They do enter their offices and some may even cross thier desks for signatures. However, it is their staff that handle the bulk of the correspondence. If you ever receive a letter from Herb et al, you will notice at the bottom the initials of the administrative employee who drafted the letter.
Herb was at one point, Chairman of the board, President, and CEO. Colleen Barrett is now the President. Jim Parker is now our CEO. However, Herb continues to serve as Chairman of the Board. Herb is responsible for selecting new cities. You may have noticed that he was present at the press conference when PHL
was announced last year. Not really sure how involved Herb is in the day to day ops of the company. To be perfectly frank we miss Herb around here. We have a solid management team in place but they simply don't inspire the same pride and loyalty that Herb did. In the good old days the employees of this company would have followed Herb into the gates of Hades. Jim Parker...uh not so much. As an example. For the first time in our 32 year history, SWA is facing the very real possibility of a labor strike as the flight attendant contract talks continue to breakdown. The feeling among many of the rank and file is that if Herb were at the bargaining table, this would have been settled months ago. That is just an example of the effect his absence as our leader is having on our company.