Monday, February 15, 2010

The One About Southwest (and Ding!)

...with a rant at no extra charge.

Southwest is probably absolutely, positively, without question my very favorite airline. Granted, I fly pretty frequently on American because they have a very nifty direct flight from Birmingham to DFW, but on the occasion that it's less expensive (generally always) I pick a trip from Birmingham through Houston to Love Field.

....that was really weird, my Font box disappeared...

But, back to the point. Southwest is probably one of my all-time favorite things, and Ding! is their most genius idea (a list that also includes not having to pay for bags).

Ding! let's you plug in where you're interested in flying, and then it alerts you to inexpensive flights when they pop up. For instance...I've plugged in Birmingham (obviously), but am also interested in flights that involve airports in Dallas, Houston, Austin, or Las Vegas (for my girls trip in June...remember?). For a $55 flight to Las Vegas, because seriously - they can be that inexpensive, I just might drive to Nashville or Jackson to hop on it. Same goes for Houston or Austin - I wouldn't feel badly at all convincing girls to all convene in a city different from the "best college town ever." It's the perfect thing for me, who doesn't really care when I go to Dallas - just that I don't pay an arm and a leg to get there.

Seriously, these people are genius.

They ALWAYS have the cheapest flights (if you want to put forth the effort to make decisions earlier than three days before your trip), they don't make you pay to check bags which can seriously cost a fortune, and they have the best commercials! I love bags too.

Well then, after all of my discussion with you about the wonder that is Southwest Airlines, would you believe that there are people out there in the universe who are being mean to this wonderful airline?

This is a nice airline. Very unlike US Airways who tricked me into paying an ENORMOUS amount of money for a plane ticket AT THE AIRPORT because they couldn't figure out how to verify that I was indeed the Expedia ticket purchaser, with my name, going to the teeny tiny Norfolk airport, on the teeny tiny plane, that they could see in their crappy US Airways computers. Yes, red-headed horribly mean ticket agent in DFW - I'm talking to you! Let me tell you something - 5 am is not the time to be discussing the technicalities of airplane paperwork from Expedia with me...unless of course you've been assigned to confused people to the point that they believe they have done something wrong and deserve to pay crazy amounts of money to fly on your crappy airplane.

Enough of that rant.

The point being - Southwest is awesome. There are airlines that are not.

Kevin Smith, who is apparently famous but I've never heard of him (don't worry - I know that it's totally possible I'm just out of the loop) is all ticked off that they asked him to get off their plane in California. This man is large. He's so large in fact, that he bought two plane tickets - as he usually does - to fly on the airline. SO, when they seated him standby in only one seat, and he wasn't able to properly fit, they asked him to wait for a later flight.

Apparently, unfortunately for Southwest, the natural reaction for Smith was to rant and rave (in less than appropriate language) on Twitter.

Give them a break.

According to Southwest, they've given him a $100 voucher (for a flight he wasn't even meant to be on) and called him personally at home to apologize.

He's just enjoying making their lives miserable.

I understand - I would be mad as all get out if some stewardess asked me to get off the plane based on my weight...but give it a rest already. It's obnoxious. NOT TO MENTION, you had previously purchased yourself 2 tickets - clearly indicating that you do in fact need some extra room.

I'd love to hear what his next door neighbor thought...I'm sure he was pleasantly surprised that Southwest took an unpopular action in order to insure his or her comfort.

I once sat in a middle seat next to an incredibly large man wearing motorcycle boots, a cut off Harley Davidson t-shirt and a cowboy hat - I wish someone had said something to him!

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