Ready...Set...Vacation! with Erik the Travel Guy


Travel Tip - How Southwest Became SouthWORST

Cutesy advertising is one thing. But you have to take care of your people and your infrastructure. And when you don’t, it's a disaster waiting to happen. And that’s what we got this holiday season. 

Folks, if you, or anyone you know, was affected by Southwest’s cancellations this month, please know my heart goes out to you. This should never have happened and during holiday travel, no less. Especially because the worst part is, this could have all been avoided. If you’ve flown Southwest the reasons for this massive failure are plain to see. From the rough shape their jets are in to the surly attitudes of their employees, there is just something “not right” in Denmark. Or should I say, “Dallas.”

However, if we’re going to bury these guys, let’s get into specifics. There were two major reasons why Southwest will forever be referred to as SOUTHWORST in my house after this Christmas. 

  1. THEIR POINT TO POINT SYSTEM IS POINTLESS - Southwest prides itself on using smaller airports to get passengers from one stop to another without having to use major cities. In theory this is great because who doesn’t want a direct flight to their hometown, am I right? Problem is, big cities and big airports have better support systems for their crews. Workers are more able to get to work - even in the midst of a once in a generation Winter Nightmare. Not so much for these smaller regions where the infrastructure just wasn’t there to keep the ball rolling. Hence, Southwest dropped said ball and left us all in the lurch.

  2. ERROR! ERROR! ERROR! - When the cancellations started raining down (see what I did there?) and crews, planes, and passengers got stranded, Southwest’s technology burst a gasket. They’re technology just wasn’t up to the task of keeping track of the many moving parts it takes to navigate (ahem) the flood (yep) of requests, complaints, crew, and passenger assignments. Eventually it all just went dark.

These two key factors may have put Southwest on the naughty list for many years to come but hopefully this horrid situation is the straw that breaks the camel’s back and gets them to correct course once and for all. 

Thanks for spending some time with me today. I hope this article have you an inkling of insight. For pre travel tips and behind the scenes knowledge please join me here every weekend. Until then, I’ll see you in line at security!


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