The most common complaints on airline twitter seem to be about delays – flight delays, long lines, long hold times to get through especially when there’s a flight change or cancellation. The most common things we see photos of are damaged bags, dirty planes, and other passengers not wearing masks.
Positives on twitter are fewer and farther between but usually focused on the trip itself, the happy people, with the airline being how they got there.
While there are certainly complaints in the Southwest Airlines feed there’s something unique there that I don’t see very often on other airline feeds: people having fun, both passengers and crew. While the tenor of most flights reported in social media resembles something out of a black-and-white rendition of George Orwell’s 1984, Southwest seems to offer a bit more technicolor.
For tweets within 24 hours of each other highlighted this difference for me.
— DannyBlaqVideos Top13%OF L.A. Nov30-Dec4 7-8 14-15 (@DannyBlaqUSA) November 30, 2021
— samantha king (@oris1sam_king) December 1, 2021
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) November 30, 2021
— lexi⁷ is seeing bts TOMORROW!! (@btsmakesmesad) November 30, 2021
None of this means, of course, that Southwest is ‘the better airline’. They do offer a little more legroom on their planes than other airlines offer in regular coach. They don’t charge for checked bags and don’t have basic economy fares (no change fees on any fares).
But they don’t have a global route network (or global points redemptions), or first class (no upgrades), and their inflight internet lags American’s and Delta’s.
The remarkable thing though is that Southwest employees do seem to have more fun on average, and so passengers sometimes have more fun too.