I am very excited about Southwest Airlines.
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It has been far too tempting to be a bit critical of the extremely unreasonable way he has treated his customers over the Christmas period.
Somehow, Southwest himself made the criticism all the more tempting by presenting arguments that were, at bottom, sad and self-defensive wind.
But now everything changes. Can you feel it? I can feel it. A gentle breeze blows in and out of the minds and mouths of Southwest.
Take a look at some of the most recent developments.
Southwest just hired a software company called SureWeather to make sure the weather never affects a single Southwest flight again.
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I apologize. It was just my excitement. SureWeather, in effect, promises: “A simple interface. A wide range of innovative deicing solutions at your fingertips.”
The company boasts, “More than 70 global airlines are currently implementing holdover times and other creative cockpit solutions using our platform.”
This may make one or two Southwest customers wonder, “Why wasn’t Southwest one of these companies before?” But stop, we are positive here. We are positively excited.
So please let me suggest that SureWeather must be good enough. Why, United Airlines already employs him, and the airline recently went out of its way to create a Super Bowl mocking Southwest’s inability to cope with the weather in Denver.
This, however, is just the start of the excitement. I promise.
Reuters reports that Southwest is also upgrading its crew scheduling software. Some customers may have thought the airline had very little crew-scheduling software — or, at least, very little that worked well enough — because it seemed like Southwest had no way of knowing where many were. of its pilots and crew during the December breakup.
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But there was one more thing about Southwest’s latest announcements that might bring some customers to paroxysms of joy.
Southwest says he’s going to hire more people. Yes, real humans. Their task? To do something really radical: answer the phone when customers call.
It’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? The mere idea that a human can solve your problem faster than a machine is, well, revolutionary. It seems humans think even more like humans than AI does. Of course, the gap is narrowing.
Somehow, then, Southwest has concluded that it needs more humans on hand when customers are down to their last kilojoule of patience.
It’s easy to be appalled, isn’t it? It’s tempting to imagine that Southwest will once again (finally?) show customers the love the airline has long been known for.
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So I’m very excited. I want you to be very excited too.
But you’ve been through a lot lately, so I feel compelled to whisper a little thing to you: where are they bringing these new people from?
How are they going to train them? How much are they going to pay them? And, dare I also mention, Southwest is currently one of the least happy airlines in general. Its pilots and flight attendants blame the airline for not offering them a new contract.
Enough of that. Let’s rejoice.
Southwest knows it needs more humans to deliver more humane service, while improving its technology to treat its pilots and cabin crew more like, well, humans.
Don’t you just love?
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