Somebody has to defend my friend Herb. I volunteer.
Every airline experiences delays. As a frequent flyer, you learn to expect it at certain times during the week, especially Friday afternoon and evening. My advice to you: get over it. I deal with it weekly, there is very little you can do to make it better.
If it rains in PHL, the airport shuts down. The carrier has nothing to do with that. It's ATC. Heck, BOS seems to shut down when it's sunny and bright. Anyway, if a plane gets delayed in Dallas for an hour, every flight that plane runs will be late. It's just the way the industry works. Of all the carriers in the US, Southwest is one of the few who can take a delay and turn it around to recover a lot of time within just a few segments.
I like the fact that Southwest encourages their people to dress down. Do you know how many pilots from other carriers act downright snobbish toward you when you're boarding the plane? Southwest reminds you that the flight crew is human too.
Keep in mind that Southwest is still at the top of the charts when it comes to on-time arrivals, safety, and lowest number of passenger complaints.
I'm hearing that the service is bad. How do you define service? Is service how the cabin crew and gate/ticketing agents treat you, or is service a four-course meal on a 90 minute flight? To most people, it's a combination of the two. However, you knew when you bought your ticket that the "snack" would be your coke and a bag of peanuts or pretzels. So if the crew was friendly and helpful, the only way you got bad service was if your coke was warm or your peanuts weren't salted.
There is one other thing that you have to remember, when Southwest comes into a city with new service, very rarely do they do it with less than ten flights. They usually offer a lot of flights to a lot of places, usually within one or two stops and/or connections.
In a lot of markets, Southwests's Y-fare tickets are about the same price as another carrier's discounted 14-day advanced purchase ticket.
If you want to get an insight of how and why Southwest does some of the crazy things they do, you need to read Nuts! : Southwest Airlines' Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success
. I've set up the search link at Amazon, you'll find it here
If you read this book, there is a story about a passenger who was never happy with her flights. She hated the fact that there was no meal, no first class seats, no pre-assigned seating, and that the people were off the wall. After several letters going through the customer service department, her letter was passed onto Herb, asking what they should do. Herb grabbed his notepad, hand-writing a letter that went something like "Dear Mrs. Crabtree, We'll miss you. Love, Herb."
My point to this story? If you don't like my friends at Southwest, and if you're going to whine about the "crap for service," please, go spend two or three times as much for a more limited flight schedule so you can get the same delays and even worse "crap for service" from UAL.