Southwest Airlines finds a crazy way to (finally) delight customers
I’m so excited about Southwest Airlines.
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It was too tempting to be an important contact about the extremely unscrupulous way it treats its customers over Christmas.
Somehow, it was Southwest who made the criticism more appealing than ever by presenting arguments that at their heart were a sad wind of self-defense.
But now, everything is changing. Can you feel it? I can feel it. A gentle breeze is blowing and it is emerging from the mind and mouth of the Southwest.
Just look at some very recent developments.
Southwest just hired a software company called SureWeather to make sure the weather never affects a Southwest flight again.
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I’m sorry. It was just my excitement. CertainlyWeather, in fact, promise: “A simple interface. An array of innovative de-icing solutions at your fingertips.”
The company boasts: “Over 70 global airlines are currently implementing timeouts and other innovative solutions on the flight deck using our platform.”
This may leave one or two Southwest customers wondering, “Why wasn’t Southwest one of these companies before?” But stop it, we’re active here. We are very excited.
So let me suggest that SureWeather must be pretty good. Why, United Airlines used it and the airline recently tried to make a Super Bowl mocked Southwest’s inability to cope with the weather in Denver.
However, this is just the beginning of the excitement. I promise.
Reuters report that Southwest is also upgrading its crew planning software. Some customers may think that the airline has very little crew planning software – or at least very little that works well enough – because it seems that Southwest has no way of knowing how many pilots and pilots there are. Where were their crews during the December incident.
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But there’s one more thing about Southwest’s latest announcements that could make some customers overjoyed.
Southwest said it will hire more people. Yes, real people. Their mission? To do something really radical: Answer the phone when a customer calls.
It’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? The mere idea that humans can solve your problems faster than machines has been revolutionary. It seems that humans still think more like humans than AI. Though of course the gap is closing.
Then, somehow, Southwest concluded that it needed more people when customers were at their last stretch of patience.
It’s easy to be amazed, isn’t it? It’s tempting to imagine that Southwest will once again (eventually?) show customers the love for which the airline has long been known.
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So I’m very pleased. I want you to be excited too.
But you guys have suffered a lot lately, so I feel obliged to whisper one little thing: Where are they going to get these new people from?
How will they train them? How much will they pay them? And, dare I mention, Southwest is currently one of the less happy airlines overall. Both the airline’s pilots and flight attendants condemned the airline for not offering them a new contract.
That’s enough. Be glad.
Southwest knows it needs more people to provide a more human service, while upgrading its technology to treat pilots and crew more like humans.
Don’t you just love it?
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