I flew Southwest, and let me tell ya

I flew Southwest, and let me tell ya

April 27th, 2011 // 10:32 am @

I flew Southwest, and let me tell ya

You betcha.  Oh, but that’s the punch line, let me tell you the story.

So, as you know – I travel.  Not like some road warrior, my schedule is very controlled, but I go back and forth between two homes in Indiana and South Carolina often, and I go to Client events, Seminars, my own stuff, and of course Glazer-Kennedy events.

Which is how this all began; On my way to Chicago for the GKIC Marketing and Money Making SuperConference, a day early for a blitz of meetings.

Finishing up non-stop private coaching phone day I was pulling into the airport, valeted the car, and walked in – I immediately checked the boards and the security lines since Charleston is too small to have the “Expert Traveler Lane” as they now call it.  Today, which is rare, I was flying United by way of US Airways, because they provide non-stop service to Chicago and I always fly US Airways, always. Because, believe it or not, I’ve learned the hard way that price shopping airlines is pointless and loyalty actually can pay off – if you know what you are doing.

Plus, US Airways is probably the most dominant, certainly the best Airlines in Indy and Charleston.

Okay – so, I look up at the board and notice “WEATHER” next to my departure time and of course, you know that’s bad, because they don’t even approximate a time.  Cleverly I looked at the arrival slots and noticed that the inbound flight had not even left from Chicago yet.

Then, I did what any impatient, OCD, and man with a plan, would do – I check all other airlines for other ways to get to Chicago – I already knew this in advance, that I could either go US Airways through Charlotte or Southwest to Midway, direct.

I saw Southwest “boarding” on the screen, so I went to the ticket counter and I dropped $300 on a one way on-site purchase ticket or whatever the heck they called it.

And I prepared for the worst…because, I’ve never flown Southwest – never.  Mainly, because I like to be in as much control as possible, including choosing and KNOWING what my seat is, since this is about the only thing you can control with this mode of transportation.

Don’t misunderstand – I love the company.  Love them.

I think they are brilliant marketers.

1 – memorable

2 – against the grain and industry norms

3 – they know what they stand for

4 – they make it fun and have relationship with customers

5 – something many people may not realize, they have stayed true to themselves, and you can only buy southwest tickets on southwest.com NOT at any discounter or price shopping website.

They are incredible.  I just couldn’t bring myself to give them money because I had nightmarish visions of being stuck in the back packed in like sardines..


I’m a believer.  SOLD – DONE – Ready to go again.
Actually, I called Maddy and said, hey, you won’t believe this, we’re taking Southwest on the way back to Chicago in July, okay?

Because it was

  • The cleanest
  • Nicest
  • Didn’t even realize there were 3 seats per side
  • Vinyl seats
  • Friendly staff
  • No nonsense
  • And, the captain talked to us more than any other plane, kept us informed and always referenced the time we were getting in versus the time we were projected

They were selling from minute 1, earning your money and loyalty.

It was a beautiful thing.

For the first time, maybe ever, I felt like they showed sincere appreciation for the passengers onboard.

I chalked today up to finally doing some live in person market research on the great airline marketers Southwest – a cheap $300

Making sure I got the hotel in time to pound out a few last minute projects that were on the schedule – a very very very cheap $300

I look to buy time where ever I can, minutes, hours, days, and I don’t want to be at anyone mercy – if at all possible.

I could have waited like everybody else on the plane did, and sometimes that’s the only choice, but when it’s not, then, to me, the answer is obvious.

And, there are a lot of things in life you can’t control, can’t do anything about, a lot of things that are going to happen regardless of what you do.

Then, there are those things that you are in complete control – if you choose to be.

Know this, if you don’t choose, someone will.

I am always at the mercy of the airlines, but I’m strategic whenever possible, because I got one life, just like you do, and I don’t want to be putting it on pause for nothing and nobody, if I don’t have to.  $300, I bill out 3+ times that for a dedicated hour of work…ensuring that my projects were done, relaxing on the plane versus stressing in the concourse – all worth the money.

The Southwest experience, a nice surprise that I didn’t expect.

Have things that are so powerful, so important, so valuable, in your life and business, that you don’t think twice about decisions – and then build a lifestyle that supports those things.

Oh, and just for fun…I checked my original flight, it’s still waiting to leave Charleston…

SCORE:  Scott 1 – Airport 0

I’m sure the message you’d have gotten if I were writing it while sitting would be quite different than this one…at least good news for Southwest, there’s a lot of people reading this right now.


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