What Does It Mean To Be A Southwest Airlines Snob?

News and notes from around the interweb:

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. The best reason to choose American Airlines over Southwest Airlines is that outgoing CEO Doug Parker will not be the C-suite leader who strives to make the passenger travel experience consistently crappier on every flight when flying on American Airlines.

  2. We were provided a very nice upgrade and treated very well by the Rome Cavalieri (a Waldorf) when we were there last year.

  3. I worked in a regulated industry for years. A good part of compliance came down to whether there was consistency among 1) what your marketing materials said you would do for your client, 2) what your client contract said you would do for your client, and 3) what you actually did for your client. Regarding Hilton, there’s one extra item: the contract between Hilton and the properties.

    Some readers will categorize Hilton (or any other chain) as purely a reservation system for the properties. Wrong. Loyalty terms and conditions are a form of contract that require things of each party and vest things in each party. The same goes with the contract between the chain and the property owners.

    We know that hotel loyalty programs’ marketing materials offer a very attractive suite of member benefits — pun intended. We know that what members actually receive is something different. Is that difference so significant that it represents a fraudulent and deceptive business practice? I think it does. Now, what AG is going to tackle the industry?

  4. I’ve met plenty of Southwest snobs. They are the ones that stand in the gate area during a flight delay when they are flying a different airline. They preach to anyone and everyone around them how Southwest is the best airline in the world. How much cheaper Southwest is on every route than anyone has ever flown on that route. How they will never fly any other airline after this delay because Southwest is perfect. I’m glad they promise to only fly Southwest in the future.

    My favorite Southwest snobs though are the old couples (usually but sometimes younger folks) that buy up to early bird boarding so the husband or wife get on at A16 and save a seat for the spouse that is like a C59 because they are too cheap to just upgrade both of them like they are pulling a fast one over on everyone else. Or how about the Southwest snobs that do early boarding in a wheelchair or with a cane but when you see them at the destination airport they jump up out of their seat and sprint through the airport with no issues. Fun to people watch on that airline for sure. I really like Southwest for some of my travel but their cult members are really stuck in the 1990’s it seems.

  5. Charging a published fee for checked bags doesn’t not qualify as “stealing.” Packing like a New England socialite for a weekend trip and hogging up all the bin space…does.

  6. If you like Southwest , fly Southwest,.
    If you like American, fly American.
    If you like reading this dribble, read this dribble.

  7. Southwest lost its edge some time ago. “Cattle car” is not far away. The Herb Kelleher days was the Golden era.

  8. SWA boarding process isn’t the greatest and their pricing is just so so . Though I have been able to snag a few $69 non-stops from LAX – STL which are pretty nice.

    What puts them head and shoulders above all the rest is the CP. Flying 2 for 1 for almost 2 years? Now that’s hard to beat. I’ll put up with those other annoyances if my wife (or someone else) can fly for free with me.

  9. Just saw an instance on Delta social media on how the staff at MCO honored a little girl who has a medical condition. They decorated the gatehouse area and her seat on the aircraft, designated her the Queen of Delta of Orlando. See these acts of kindness regularly on Delta.

  10. I am one of the ones that use a wheelchair when I am the airport. After 6 spinal surgeries, I can no longer walk the distances to the gates. It irritates me when there are 8 or 10 wheelchair passengers for a departing flight and only 3 or 4 needing a wheelchair at their destination. So many just do it to board first and make it difficult for those that really need the assistance. Maybe Southwest should require a handicap placard w/ paperwork from the customer. I have my placard with me when I travel as I will need it at my destination.

  11. I’m in the same boat as you
    Aunty M, I feel your pain!
    People who do what you describe are despicable, lower than low!

  12. Not finding cabin crew who sing on the planes or crack jokes during the emergency safety briefings are a few of the small reasons other customers book away from SWA. If I had a dollar for every time a business customer said this, I’d have enough to buy a latte. And the birthday card thing is not uncommon to see on other airlines. On my airline, it’s done discreetly and without fanfare…you know, like in a warm, professional way. We don’t feel the need to advertise it to the world because it’s not uncommon to us. Gary, perhaps you’re too busy writing to notice these things.

  13. I fly SWA because I’ve seen more Jetway Jesus healings from wheelchair to walking after landing at the destination. Truly remarkable to witness miracles. That, and low redemption mile to fly w companion pass. I loathe their “hubs.” I don’t exclusively fly them or any airline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.