Hopefully Southwest Didn’t Actually PAY for Their New Paint Job’s Design

Here’s the new Southwest livery.

    southwest livery

I’m not sure what was wrong with the old one. I don’t know anyone that buys airline tickets based on the paint job of the planes. I get that you need to paint planes when airlines merge, to put the right company name on them. And the composite materials of the Boeing 787 didn’t work with American’s old unpainted metal finish so they needed at least those planes which they hadn’t gotten yet to get a new paint job. Still, I’m a bit of a skeptic.

That said, Mark F emails this photo, which looks to me like a British commuter rail train.

    southwest livery

Southwest is supposed to be more like a(n admittedly ‘fun’) bus in the sky, rather than a train. So I think they got the new Southwest livery wrong.

    Southwest Airlines: We’ve re-branded to be more like British commuter rail.

Do you like it?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I think that pic is the old livery. (all caps “SOUTHWEST” on the tail). The new livery is the same colors but large mixed-case “Southwest” on the fuselage and a brighter swath of yellow in the tail. I think it’s an upgrade – the old livery was butt ugly. Maybe unrelated: taking my first Southwest flight in a decade next month. Maybe I was subtly moved by the design revision?

  2. When I first saw WN’s new livery, I assumed it was the same creative firm that did AA’s. I see a lot of similarities in the design.

    I also wonder why they did this? Is it because they’ll complete the integration of FL and they wanted a new identity? But does anyone actually think about WN+FL as a new airline? To me its just WN+

  3. The thing that isn’t mentioned here is that the train company over here in the UK is called South West Trains. I’ve always found it strange that there are two transport companies with such similar names and liveries, albeit operating in completely different areas.

  4. The planes look bad, either way does not matter. What matters is the change to the web site, which I do not like at all.

  5. I think it looks silly. But, i also don’t care. I still hate the new AA paint job and eyesore of a tail, but I happily flew them yesterday so clearly paint doesn’t matter.

    I do think Southwest and AA are way behind other US-based airlines in terms of looking good. Delta, United, Alaska, Hawaiian, etc. bkow them away. Until they all screw it up by trying something new

  6. It fits perfect for southwest., Silly and childish, all perfectly describe the entire airline and now the planes too. Exactly why I won’t fly on Southwest.

  7. You won’t fly Southwest because of their paint scheme?

    As for silly and childish, I’d call $150 change fees pretty damn childish, so please continue to fly United.

  8. As takke and Jackson already pointed out, the train company already had the same name- and now has the same livery! It’s unbelievable!

  9. Southwest hasn’t been a low cost carrier for 6+ years, but they provide a low cost carrier soft product. Bags don’t fly free. Southwest still captures that revenue in the form of increased fares across the board. Not checking any bags? Sorry, you’ll pay the same fare as the person checking 2 bags.

    Perhaps the new paint job is designed to make Southwest look like a legacy carrier, but they aren’t. Cory nailed it, the new paint job is silly.

    Commercials like “We’re Southwest, but see that right there? That says Southwest.com. That means you save money dealing directly with us”

    Thank you for talking down to your customers like we are 4 year olds and insulting our intelligence with the notion that we are saving money with your airline. We’re not.

    Your commercial is bogus. People do not look up from their laptops with shit-eating grins after reading the restrictive fare rules for your “sale fares”.

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