I also don't understand the anti-Southwest sentiment that seems to invade this board from time to time. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that the anti-WN sentiments is largely based in the North and East, where WN
is still a relatively new player (especially when compared to the network carriers).
I live in Texas, and I've grown up flying AA
most of my life (with several CO
flights thrown in). I have never, ever found WN
personnel to be any less professional than those from a network carrier. The joke safety briefings and songs can get a bit irritating, but it makes me happy to see people who take so much pride in their jobs. To me, most WN
employees seem very satisfied with what they're doing. Many AA
, and US employees act as if they could give a rat's ass. Not trying to stereotype, but that's an attitude that, in my experience, is much more prevalent at the network carriers than at WN
As far as WN
's product is concerned, the level of snobbishness that I sometimes see here at A.net is disheartening. I can only attribute that to some regional differences in WN
's passengers. Here in Texas, most WN
passengers are business travelers who are taking short hops, like DAL
, etc. They like WN
because they fly to centrally-located airports, are usually on-time, have a simple fare structure and frequent-flyer program, and treat you with respect. Sure, there are your "trailer-trash" people that fly WN
, but in my experience, these people don't make up the typical WN
pax load (regardless of what you see on "Airline").
's business model, I doubt anyone could point to a more successful paradigm. In the days of regulation and the CAB, consumers wasted millions upon millions of dollars on "frills" when flying. Do you really need a meal on that DFW
flight? I doubt it, but due to a lack of fare competition, that's what airlines (and their passengers) were spending money on. WN
has proven -- beyond any shadow of a doubt -- that you can make money while offering a good yet basic product. I have no problem with that. I'd much rather pay $200 for a round-trip fare, then buy a Subway sandwich to take along, rather than pay $400 for the same trip and get served a plastic pasta dish on a network carrier. This issue is a non-starter, to me. People complained about meal service when it was common because the food was so shitty, now they complain that there's no meal at all.
Bottom line is this: if you don't like WN
, don't fly them. But if enough Americans like WN
, the laws of business and economics will dictate that other airlines will have to change. This is the way the free market works, and I'm damn proud to live in a country that still honors this system. If you're producing a product that enough people don't want, you're not going to make it. As far as USAirways is concerned, their management, unions, and other leaders need to understand this.