Southwest Airlines has made an admission that may make consumers cry

I assume you haven’t spent the previous several weeks on an aircraft.

More Wrong Technically

It isn’t that I don’t want you to have a wonderful time, see relatives, or watch your terrible NFL team waste its opportunities and crush your dreams. Many airlines have run their companies about as effectively as I can play the ukulele.

Hundreds of thousands of flights have been cancelled. Hundreds of reasons have been advanced.

Okay, I overstated that last figure. If it’s not the weather, it’s Covid. And if it isn’t Covid, it’s an out-of-place aircraft. If it isn’t a jet out of position, it’s a passenger having a meltdown.

“What might technology have done to change all of this?” I can hear you muttering.

Let me introduce you to Robert Jordan, the new CEO of Southwest Airlines.

Stability, modernity, and technology.

Southwest has been in the forefront of the airline backsliding trend. It cancelled 1,200 flights in two days only a few weeks ago.

But, in an interview with the Associated Press last week, Jordan seemed unusually apologetic – for an airline CEO, you realise.

“The firm isn’t broken,” he said. I’m afraid people could interpret it as a pilot in an aircraft without an engine declaring, “The joystick is not broken.”

Jordan attempted to take his time. He admitted to the necessity to “modernise.”

No, he did not admit that Southwest lags behind its rivals in terms of technology. Jordan, instead, said, “I believe we need to improve our operating tools, for example. I’m not sure whether (workers) have all the tools they need to operate the sophisticated firm that we are.”

Tools aren’t sentient beings. Not yet, at any rate. So he is referring to more modern technology that can monitor the operation second by second and anticipate difficulties.

Jordan went on to say: “When you’re in irregular operations (such as weather-related cancellations and delays), I’ve got aircraft out of place and customers out of place, and this aircraft has to end up at that maintenance facility. There are undoubtedly methods we might use to detect issues and deliver answers more rapidly.”

Probably

For all the love – sorry, “LUV” – that Southwest peddles and creates, you’d think it would have invested in technical foundations to make LUV genuinely function.

After all, most of us nowadays discover love via technology.

Jordan, on the other hand, seems to assume that the airline has ignored its technical standards. Take, for example, the onboard Wi-Fi.

“Is our Wi-Fi as dependable as it should be? I’m not sure whether it is “He acknowledged it.

You don’t have the authority. Perhaps you should.

There might be many more important technical life-basics that have gone unnoticed.

“Do we need to consider things like if electricity (passenger outlets) aboard the aeroplane are important?” he said. “Can you accomplish all you need to do as a customer on your phone to self-serve?”

Oh, no.

You mean you’re going to drain my battery so you don’t have to give an outlet?

If you’ve ever flown Southwest, you’re aware that the airline doesn’t offer any power outlets on its Boeing 737s. This is unusual for an airline that presently travels to Hawaii.

Is it possible that Southwest wants everyone to self-serve so that the airline doesn’t have to give, well, service? I’m not sure today’s gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gimme-gim

When it comes to technology, some airlines have gone to extremes. American Airlines, for example, argues that seatback displays are unnecessary and that travellers should bring their own gadgets to amuse themselves.

Naturally, this is ideal for a family of six.

As business travel slowly returns – because it may, you know, eventually – technology may become one of the primary differentiators in a field with few.

Southwest used to be recognised primarily for its inexpensive fares and laid-back, compassionate demeanour. It’s no longer the cheapest option, and love can only carry you so far.

We live in a world that is constantly on. Airlines must plan for this.

Southwest is still a wonderful airline in so many ways. It has created a brand for which consumers have a great deal of love. It has made various customer-friendly moves, such as not charging luggage fees.

Those with a dry sense of humour may comment, however, that it must be difficult to make large investments in technology when you always know there will be public money to bail you out if you experience turbulence.