I've got to hand it to Southwest Airlines. The folks at the top are either geniuses or have the most chutzpah in the airline industry. Somehow, my bets are on the latter.
Because even after a 5-foot gaping hole opened up inside an airplane while it was IN THE AIR, even after news came out that there are cracks on five additional Boeing airplanes (all found during inspections of the fuselage on the fleet), and even though we're in a recession (HELLO!), the folks at Southwest are refusing to back down on fare hikes announced in February. Soooo, let's get this straight: they want us to pay more for the holes? And they expect us to still fly the holy skies.
The airline started the whole "let's jack the rates" trend back in February, upping everyone's ticket by $5. It set off a domino effect across the industry, forcing spring breakers America-wide to make some cuts to their travel plans to make up for the increases at a host of airlines. But they're all backing off on springtime fare hikes this week, no doubt cashing in on our anxieties about getting a little too close to the clouds for comfort on Southwest.
Except, of course, the disaster airline itself. Southwest is holding firm on rate hikes just as millions of American parents are debating how to save a little on their Easter/Passover-time school holiday excursions. They have to make up for the 650-some flights canceled in the past week, I guess, but I don't see how this will help their bottom line in the end.
I can't be the only one in America thinking we could finally get a discount out of the airline: maybe a dollar off for every piece of metal missing? Moms are broke enough they're actually tuning in to TV shows about how to coupon! We're pretty much willing to do anything to save a buck right now. But if Southwest isn't going to give us a break on the cash cost of the cracks, I'm willing to be wooed by another airline with a lower rate.
How about you? Can you believe Southwest is keeping costs high?
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