Genuine and personal service is in our DNA at Southwest. We were founded on a simple notion: if you make air travel affordable and enjoyable, take care of our Employees, and allow them to serve your Customers with Heart, people will fly your airline. More than 47 years later, it’s still a winning formula.
Delivering our Legendary Customer Service and Southwest Hospitality takes a lot of effort—and we work hard at it! Meeting Customers’ individual needs with genuine and personal service requires that we constantly listen to the People we serve and then put what we learn into action. Our Hospitality and innovation efforts offer insight into how we make this happen across the Company.
We've hung our hat on Customer satisfaction for almost 48 years, and we're famous for the Hospitality we offer our Customers every year. Being recognized by TripAdvisor as sixth in the Top 10 Airline—World category further validates why Southwest stands above the competition. Thank you to our Employees who make Southwest a champion for our Customers every day.
Our commitment to Hospitality starts at the very top of our Company—with our strategic priorities. Alongside Safety, Reliability, and Low Costs, we focus on delivering outstanding Customer Service and Hospitality. Southwest defines Hospitality as making our Employees and Customers feel welcomed, cared for, and appreciated. Hospitality elevates our already Legendary Customer Service by striving to develop a personal connection with each Employee and Customer.
Hospitality Summits are hosted for Frontline Employees as a resource of information from our Leaders, loyal Customers, and our business partners. In 2018, we were ranked sixth by TripAdvisor in the Top 10 Airline–World category and honored for Best Airline in North America; Best Economy Class in North America; and Best Airline in the United States.
While being innovative is nothing new to Southwest, we have a dedicated Innovation Team that focuses on discovering new, transformative ways People can have a good experience with our Company. This Team leads the effort to take a strategic approach to the way we adapt and remain relevant to the ever-changing needs of our Employees and Customers. At our Innovation Center and Lab, they continually seek to bring innovative ideas to life.
For example, we installed a prototype at Dallas Love Field for digital wayfinding using electronic signage that allowed Customers to more effectively self-serve and provided more freedom to enjoy what the airport has to offer. The system used clever signage that helped Customers find their own answers to common questions. The prototype freed Employees from answering many common questions, allowing them to focus on high-touch Customer Service and operational performance instead.
Each digital wayfinding sign was designed to answer a fundamental question, “What do I need to know right now?” When the Customer first walked into the airport, our signs provided a broad level of information and became more granular as Passengers walked closer to their gates and the jet bridge. In true Southwest Spirit, many signs featured a touch of humor to make Customers’ experience with them fun and pleasant. For example, in addition to telling Passengers their flight was about to board, the sign read, “Run! We’re cheering for you!”
At Southwest, we’ve been working methodically and systematically to try and address the issues that our individual Customers care about most. Last year, we conducted several levels of testing in various parts of our system—including Employee roundtables, digital surveys, prompted feedback, before-and-after data comparisons, and Customer travel-alongs. In the travel-alongs, we met Customers at security and walked through the terminal with them, asking them for in-the-moment impressions of the signs: “How does this make you feel?” “Do you feel like you have the right information?” “Do you feel less stressed? Or more stressed?” This kind of testing has yielded great insights that will help us continue to improve the way we serve our Customers.
Our Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
Southwest and Chase Bank USA, N.A. added a third personal credit card option in 2018. Cardmembers told us they wanted faster boarding and inflight benefits, so we added these features to our brand-new Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, making our Cardmembers a priority both in the air and on the ground. The Priority card has all of the benefits of the award-winning Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card—plus more anniversary points and new features that provide inflight savings and elevated travel experience.
All Cardmembers can take advantage of the existing benefits of flying Southwest: no blackout dates or seat restrictions when you redeem with points, bags fly free,2929) First and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply. and no change fees.3030) Fare differences might apply. Our Customers are a priority, and we made it even easier for them to travel and be rewarded.
The success of these Hospitality programs has given us traction and momentum to keep updating and elevating the Customer Experience in ways that only Southwest can. By looking for new ways to provide Hospitality and better serve our Customers and Employees, we’re opening up new, genuine ways to connect People.