Monday, April 4, 2011

Holey Crap!

Maybe it's just me, and I think I've gone off on this tangent before, but I would always rather be safe and delayed four days than the alternative. If you haven't been following the recent Southwest debacle - aka "hole ripping open on top of plane and allowing passengers a view of the sky" - then you might also not be following along their great string of Twitter updates on the progress of the inspections - of the 737s that have been grounded - and flight status updates. I love the transparent nature of this whole operation as it makes me feel like they care, although I do understand that the problem is being blamed on the inspection schedules and "the stresses involved with their frequency of short-haul flights".

I think we can all agree that the problem of aging/overusing planes is not limited to any one carrier. Haven't you gotten on a plane before and wondered what decade you were entering? The estimated loss for Southwest, due to the cancellations, is being estimated in the millions. But think about what this is doing, or should be doing for their PR department. Their voluntary inspection process shows me that they care enough about their company, customers, staff, etc. to not fly planes that may scare the crap out of their passengers and potentially put them at a lot more risk than that. They are also taking the opportunity to be open and honest about what is really going on which I think is admirable.

I realize that given the circumstances they didn't really have much of a choice in owning up to what happened but I'd like to think that businesses sometimes have our best interests in mind because those are the qualities that build customer loyalty, support and goodwill.

In the meantime during the SW news frenzy, I am reading people's complaints about the inconvenience, their annoyance and the downright anger towards Southwest for taking the planes temporarily out of service. I realize how frustrating it can be to get stuck but really people? I would always rather be safe than dead. Thanks for stopping by.

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