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Fred Jacobs is President of Jacobs Media, a media research and consulting firm. Jacobs Media clients have included CBS Radio, Premiere Radio Networks, Citadel, Greater Media, MTV Networks, Playboy, Amazon, Electronic Arts, NPR, Sylvan Learning Centers, and Taubman Malls. Learn more about the company here.

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August 2011

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Comments

Keith Cunningham

If their flights are late, they usually give passengers free drinks. Additionally, they don't automatically charge a change of ticket fee like the other brands. While I have to fly all the airlines, SW is my favorite. Wanna get away?

Ralph Cipolla

Heard this one on a SW flight last year - flight attendant doing his pre-flight monologue:

"Folks, while the FAA does not allow smoking on any flight of any duration originating in the United States, we do have reserved seating for you smokers on this flight, conveniently located (straight-faced, pointing left & right) on the wings of this aircraft."

(Customers - Shocked expressions, then universal laughter).

Rick Scott

Great insight Fred - thanks!

BobK

When I was living in LA and working in Silicon Valley I used to fly SWA twice a week. They were always great. A couple of anecdotes:

* Favorite line from flight attendant -- after a particularly rough landing she announced, "Please remain seated while Captain Kangaroo taxis us to the gate."
* After a delay at the gate the agent announced: "Our wheels up time is in 15 minutes, if it takes longer than 10 minutes to load and push back, we'll be here at least another hour." You never saw 132 people move so fast or cooperate more fully." So even the customers pick up on the "culture" of SWA.
* On the last flight of my regular commute I had several books full of free drink coupons. I handed them to the flight attendant and "bought a round" for the plane. She made an announcement and I was never more popular in my life.

That is a company that truly "gets it" with regards to the customer relationship.

Fred

Bob and Rick, thanks for the comments. And I loved those one-liners. The fact that you can take away experiences from a task that has become mundane and dreaded speaks volumes about how Southwest has elevated their game over the years.

Our brands need to do the same thing. Language is a powerful tool and when we communicate in a fun, attitudinal way, we're not broadcasting - we're connecting.

Thanks again.

UNLISTED

You failed to mention that Southwest is one of the few (if not the only) airline that makes a PROFIT!

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"Folks, while the FAA does not allow smoking on any flight of any duration originating in the United States, we do have reserved seating for you smokers on this flight, conveniently located (straight-faced, pointing left & right) on the wings of this aircraft."

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"Folks, while the FAA does not allow smoking on any flight of any duration originating in the United States, we do have reserved seating for you smokers on this flight, conveniently located (straight-faced, pointing left & right) on the wings of this aircraft."

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