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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:45 am

What alot of people here are over looking is. SWA is first come, first serve. If these people had to be in SEA to start their vacation and had to be at a customer service conference. They should of showed up to the airport a little earlier. Then it would of been three other people that were DB.

I worked in LL before I transferred to the ramp. I think the WN agents in MDW dealt with the yuppies and irate really well. I think they gave in too quick though. I delt with people like that many times. You have to give those people some of their own medicine. This shuts them up pretty quick. The suitcase is there to protect the stuff inside. Airlines are not responsible for locks, straps, buckles, anything that is hanging off the bag and normal wear and tear. What do these people expect. Their bag is mixed in with hundreds of others. They ride on a conveyer belt. They are handled at least seven times on a local flight only. You can double that if you have a connection.

Those yuppies probably paid $49.00 for their tickets. If they had so much money, how come they didn't travel on UA or AA first class into ORD?
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:54 am

Looks like they can't win for Bicoastal. They are "insensitive" for charging a fat guy for two seats, but they might have been better off denying another person boarding because of what he "might" do in flight. FWIW - I have heard from talking with a ramper at MCI that Herb does indeed stop in on occassion. Without cameras.

As far as his smoking - give me a CEO who can run a company profitably and smoke versus a "clean living" CEO who oversees loss after loss, but commands a pretty healthy paycheck.

Herb's lived pretty long smoking as much as he does. More power to him. I do recall when questions were raised about his smoking and his prostate cancer he responded with "Let me make this very clear...I have never, EVER, smoked with my prostate".
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:12 am

Cameras seem to be a great motivator for most on this show. I wonder if Herb and Colleen would have appeared had A&E not been there?

Herb and Colleen dropped by the Heavy MX department here to say "hi' shortly before Christmas. The only cameras present were the ones the mechanics were using to get a picture with Herb & Colleen.
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:34 am

Herb and Colleen dropped by the Heavy MX department here to say "hi' shortly before Christmas.

I thought WN contracted out their C and D checks and other heavy maintenance?
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:15 am

No sir. Although we do contract out some Heavy MX, we have three lines of Heavy MX (1/4D & 1/2D's) and a B/C check line in DAL. We also do B/C checks in HOU and PHX.
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:31 am

Hey Doc-

Did they film anything besides PSA's and Baggage Claim...? I love to see a little Line MX...What a zoo that can be at times....
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:06 am

My favorite was the captain's retirement. I sure wish I could have been on that flight. They even decorated the cabin and sang for him.
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:16 am

WN does seem to cater to average people who feel very similarly getting on a bus as to getting on a plane.

**few paragraphs later.....**

I have never flown Southwest

Yeah that's great, making judgements about something you have never experienced.

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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 9:21 am


Unfortunately, I have no idea what all they filmed. I wouldn't mind seeing some MX on the show as well.
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:16 am


with all due respect, but that guy with the torn bag actually claimed that he had not entered into any contract with WN. My host family, who was sitting next to me when we watched that show (all laymen when it comes to legal issues) cried out loud, duh, you actually entered into a contract of carriage with WN when you bought your ticket. If a passenger does not read what it says on his ticket it is solely his fault and that guys behavior towards the LL people was simply unacceptable.

Now, the supervisor who helped the man with Altzheimers: he should be used as a positive example at customer service trainings. He did what every airline employee should do: he went out of his way to put his employer in a good light and satisfy the customer (and I honestly believe that latter one was even more important to him). And Bicoastal, there was absolutely no need to get a medical professional for that guy with Altzheimers. Are you afraid that he might infect you with some deadly disease? Well, then you should have a look at the cargo manifest the next time you fly and watch out for the code RIS.

I for one think that this show simply shows what a great airline WN is. I've only been on them twice in my life. But if I should ever have to fly a route again they serve, I'll sure take them. WN is for me the perfect example of how good a LCC can be.

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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 10:23 am

Funnnnnky Airline, Airline's got da funk!!!!

WN reminds me a bit of Joe's Apartment. Sloppy, but nice (Nice in terms of Joe's Attitude).
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:08 am

I don't know about yall, but I thoroughly enjoy looking at the show. I get the feeling that I am at work... It also shows how similar this job is no matter where you go. I am not sure how much positive PR this is for WN though.
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 11:15 am

It was said.....

The agents should take a bit more time to explain things to the customer and try to resolve the problem themselves before shrugging and saying, "Um, well, I can get a supervisor for you if you want one," before the customer has even asked for one. That essentially tells a customer you want them out of your hair ASAP, and it's not good service.

I heard somewhere that Southwest actually has a higher number of supervisors than front line employees than other airlines. Also, these people are better trained and more carefully selected than at other places. This would seem to be a good idea to me. It is the "sergeants" who hold most organizations together, at least on the operational side of things. These are the people one level above the lowest in the hierarchy. They are the ones that actually make sure the work is done well by those who actually do it. They are the coaches, trainers, mentors and solvers. They are people who have done hard work at low pay, often for a long time, in the lowest rank before being promoted. This often shows a kind of loyalty and perseverance not as often found in lower or higher ranks. Every organization I have been in has underestimated the true value and importance of these people. They have to few of them and don't do enough to make sure they have good ones. They don't even appreciate enough the good ones they do have. Collectively, "sergeants" more or less determine an organization's culture, the quality of its product, and the experience of its customers.

There are three reasons I believe Southwest employees are quick to refer someone to a supervisor....

1. There are more of them available, and so it is less of a problem to do so.

2. My experience is that the above poster is more of a special case. People actually feel more important when their case is refered to a supervisor, provided the worker is not grossly incompetent.

3. The workers need to be able to keep the lines flowing. The airline business is very time-sensitive. You can often process a dozen "normal" cases in the time it takes to do one problem case. When the supervisor handles the problem case (which he can do faster and easier because of his greater experience and expertise) the worker can continue normal operations. I have often wished that other businesses would do this. Don't make me wait while some jerk tries to con and bully first-week clerk into accept his check. Let the clerk's supervisor deal with him, and let that first week clerk take care of me and the dozen other people in line. Things go much faster that way.

The way things are often done is the clerk argues with the guy forever, and then he calls in a supervisor who then argues with the same guy. Meanwhile, the clerk basically stops working and listens to the supervisor because he wants to learn how to handle it himself next time (the supervisor may even yell at him for not handling it himself!). And the line of customers grows as the unhappy trio of clerk, supervisor and irate customer try to figure out what's going on. If anything is poor customer service, thats it.
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 5:19 pm

Another thing to consider is that this show is edited, so who is to say that there wasn't a five minute long conversation of:

"You damaged my bag"
"Read your ticket and you'll see the contract of...."
"You damaged my bag"
"We aren't responsible for...."
"You damaged my bag"

before getting to the Supervisor part. Same thing goes with the "You're not from the streets man" drunk. A lot of irate drunks tend to repeat things word for word, hence the possible different camera angle and cut.

Yes, the "You people" line seemed to have racist overtones or at least biggoted ones. But the one incident that really had me rolling my eyes was the family of many who all wanted to go to the terminal to witness their family member fly in and let off a big "racial profiling" stink to the Supervisor at the ticket counter when they didn't get to do so. Its not about being black or white, its about the little letters written in black and white that say what can and can't be done. Last time I checked, non-passengers at a gate is a big no-no, especially more then one awaiting one party. I am glad the supervisor essentially made it clear that the buck stopped there rather then calling a TSA or Airport police guard over to pass the buck.
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A Different Point Of View...

Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:07 pm

As someone who works in television and has directed or produced programs that involve a "reality" aspect I can tell you that it doesn't take time for people to forget about the camera. I'm sure there were a lot of scenes that were taped but never made it to the final edited version.

I was finally able to watch this program two nights ago and was quite impressed by the structure the producers, directors, photographers and writers have formulated the show. Regardless of the fact that there's a camera in the area, the employees and the travelling public have issues and concerns that need to be dealt with in a short period of time. I remember one scene where the gentleman was making a huge deal out of a small tear in his luggage. He came across as being a complete idiot (in my mind, anyway). I'm sure he's this way when dealing with people all the time regardless of a camera. Why would someone want to be such a jerk in front of a camera if they're not that way "in real life"

As for the term "reality based" there is HUGE difference between this series and those such as "Survivor" or "bachelor". I've tried to watch those programs but give up after about 3 minutes. There are many differences between those shows and "airline". The main difference is "Survivor" et al have "contestants" willing to be put in different situations with the end result being the lust for money. In "airline", these people are showing up (generally in a rush and sometimes stressed) and need to complete their journey. They've already paid for their ticket and there is NO money for them should their story be used in the series.

As for the employees, I know from experience that after a day or two of jitters being around the camera all the time, the television crew actually just become part of the routine of their jobs.

After seeing just one episode of that series, I've been telling my students to take some time to try and watch it. There are a lot of teaching points to be disucssed from this show. Well worth the time!

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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 6:13 pm

Any airline employee (present or past) can REALLY relate to the WN agents in this show. I applaud WN and A&E for an awesome job. Only a reality show could demonstrate the REALNESS of our work. This would be exactly the same if at AA, CO, NW, UA, US, DL, and so on. Trust me.
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Jan 21, 2004 8:39 pm

While I didn't care for the folks in the baggage claim, I didn't catch any "racist" overtones with the useage of "you people". I interpreted 'you people' to mean "Southwest Airlines" and not "black".
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:28 pm

Well, some people are more sensitive to "you people" than others. Regardless, even if he means "you southwest people" that's a put down. SWA is one of those company with a long history of "Southwest Culture" so am sure the people working there have pride on their company, coworkers, and what they stand for (whether you believe it or not), so I would take offense too if someone told me "you (insert of company's name here) people."

Perhaps the agent did summon the surpervisor too quickly, but when someone is not listening, as the passenger sounded like, it's best to bring a heavier gun (some people just don't respect you unless they know you got some authority and not just a front line person).

At the same time, agents are very busy, and many times, it just doesn't make sense to spend a lot of time dealing with one passenger, when there are other passengers (you can be one of them outside the camera's shot) waiting for service.
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:45 pm

"almost 2 year olds". I'm a little torn about this one. I imagine lots of people try to take advantage of the situation, but the WN agents were a bit extreme. If I'm not mistaken, both occurrences of this happened on return flights, where there could have been data from the first.

If that's the case, the airline made the mistake of letting them on to begin with, to deny them NOW going back home, like you said, maybe not every effective. Having said that, how stupid can adults be? you want your baby to fly free and you don't ask before hand what the rules are? you gotta be kidding me. These, to me are obviously thoese type of people who love to beat the system and throw a hissy fist when they are called.

"Some of you may jump all over this, but I believe there's GOT to be a better way of handling stupid pax who bring their kids and forget proof of age."

I thought the ending way of handling it "pay now and we will refund you later when you bring proof." was excellent. The agent uphold the company's rules, and the passenger, even if she's lying, is not losing face there and then. The agent gotta use that earlier in the game though, maybe she was too startled by the unruly,and unbelievable behaviour... next time.
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Sun Jan 25, 2004 2:57 pm

"They never explained that the man "approved" the contract of carriage when he purchased his ticket."

This is the classical excuse "but you didn't tell me!"

I dunno, but I get startled when adults say such things, 'cuz from now on, every single time, when you buy something, be sure you read the back of the receipt OK? and allow yourself 2 extra hours to get to the airport, 'cuz the airline has the obligation to show you the contract when you ask to see it. Please do, really.

Very funny about Herb smoking. Gosh he's been s'moking and d'king for years and will probably live longer than most of us! Hey, vintage Herb, you gotta love the man, better than one of them stuffy guy at the majors!
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Sun Jan 25, 2004 9:59 pm

Babies flying free. Does anyone want to bet money that both parents most likely chose an SUV to transport junior to and from the day care center, because they were concerned about the "safety" their child? Any secondary bets that they purchased only the highest rated car seat to protect junior in the event they are in an accident on the 35 mph road to the day care center? But when it comes to hurtling thru the air a several hundred miles per hour, where turbulence can be encountered, their hands are adequate protection. Fully refundable round trip infant fares on SWA are $260 for their longest hauls (BWI-LAX in this example). But that is too much to pay.
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Tue Feb 03, 2004 6:27 pm


I totally agree with you that those ladies (if you'd call them that) were skanks! Although, I think that the Sahara Hotel would be too good for them. My guess is that they are one to stay at Circus Circus or somewhere sleazy downtown. Binion's Gold Strike, comes to mind.

As for the Chicago based FA's being put up by Southwest at Terrible's, I'm not so sure that was the case. They may have been staying anywhere in Las Vegas (including the skank's choice of hotel) but most establishments wouldn't allow film crews to film in their casinos, so Terrible's may have been the only establishment that allowed it! Am I wrong, but isn't Terrible's a chain of gas stations and mini-marts there in Nevada?

I wonder if Southwest Airlines would ever consider offering 'Alcohics Anonymous' discounted travel? They could offer breathalizer tests at check-in for anyone who was part of AA (not the other aviation AA) to confirm that these members didn't drink before their flights? Maybe even at the gate because our Phoenix-bound 'Sheila', 'Ace' (or whatever their names were and 'the Las Vegas skanks' may have snuck a few drinks at the bar before boarding! In that case, they could be denied boarding! Maybe passengers would take advantage of this and not drink before flights!

I'm glad they didn't let that older man in LAX travel because of his intoxicated state and foul language to Yolanda! 'Kiss my ass Southwest', he says. Oh sir, you're just a beligerent drunken bum who had been reduced to a 'leftover turd in the shower' on national TV! Go and fly America West or USAirways and see how far you get!

I love me some Yolanda, so don't mess with her or I'll open up a can of whoopin' ass!

Oye, these Airline episodes! I wouldn't miss them for anything and they are much better than "Smear Factor" or "Who Wants to Bludgeon a Millionaire!"

- Ron
Western DC-10-10
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:58 am

Being a 'New' bloke at A.Net I hope you will forgive me having my say. Having watched the UK version of airport I feel a certain 'criteria' springs to mind. If you point a camera at someone in (any) situation they will over re-act. Instead of Mr/Mrs X reacting to the check in person or whoever is there at the time, they 'perform' for the camera. If I worked at LHR I think I would last about 10 minutes in the job. Ignorance is bliss they say. There must be a lot of happy people travelling IMHO. As an ex bus driver I came across a lot of 'blissfully unaware' people. I have only admiration for those in the airline industry.

There was a holiday programme on a few years back where, they sent the family on a camping break to France. The wife complained that the French couldn't speak English (and you're in THEIR country?) Also she couldn't get fish and chips.... It made me cringe to be British.

The trouble is, we have become a race of people who expect/demand a perfect world. I don't think we have quite reached those dizzy heights just yet. Maybe in the year 2/3/4000 odd
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RE: A&E "Airline"

Wed Feb 04, 2004 11:57 pm

Since this show is apparantly based on another show of the same name in the UK (except following Easyjet instead of Southwest) we should all request A&E to air those as well. If you agree, you can go to this link and give them programming feedback:

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