Fees Don’t Fly on Southwest Airlines


CEO Gary Kelly made these remarks at our annual shareholders meeting May 21, 2008 at Southwest’s headquarters in Dallas, Texas.  He explains what sets Southwest Airlines apart and what will not change about LUV airline.


  1. I no longer have a reason for Southwest to be the first place I check. No longer are your prices no longer the best, but now you no longer allow credits to be used by other family members. This was our main reason for flying Southwest and the convenience is no longer there. I was not warned about the changes and it is not clearly posted in bold anywhere. I was going to use a credit to fly my dad to his grandson’s graduation and now he has to stay. I will consider driving more often than not and other airlines with more non-stops and better or same prices. No longer an incentive to put up with more, (including airplanes opening in midair) when there are other options out there and the main incentive and convenience is gone.

  2. After missing my flight to MSY, I rebooked for an additional $240 on a flight the following day. When I called to see if I could extend my stay an additional day (to spend more time with the folks in New Orleans), I was told it would cost an additional $127. The difference the person on the phone said, was the difference between 10 day and 7 day fares. Well… pardon me for living, but that is not the impression the commercials nor these posts give. “No change fees” should really mean it, not only if you fly business select, not only if you change 10 days in advanced etc. I hate lies in advertising… and I work in advertising.


    I used to always fly Northwest if Southwest was not landing in the city where I needed to go, big mistake!

    NEVER FLY NORTHWEST AIRLINES! They have the worst customer service ever, stick with SOUTHWEST!

  4. Earlier this year I flew on Southwest Airlines for the first time in my life. I loved the whole concept. Find your own seat. Cabin crew don’t bother you. BYO snacks and drinks. Really wonderful. Reasonably priced too.

    Now let me tell you why I will never fly Southwest again.

    After flying from Houston to New Orleans in the morning and then back to Dallas in the evening I picked up my luggage to find the top half of the slide out handle had been ripped clean off, effectively making the case useless. I sought out the Southwest customer service counter and was told that Southwest takes no responsibility for damage to customers luggage only loss.

    Not good enough folks. Not only was the handle destroyed but the case was drenched. All of my clothes were soaked. It was only sheer luck that I had dragged all of the important paperwork along with me in the cabin rather than check it.

    I can relate to limited service models and think you have a great service going. But a passenger’s luggage is important too. Losing it is one thing. Damaging the case and ruining the contents with water is just not acceptable. Then flatly denying any responsibility rubs salt into the wound.

    I would like to thank all of the staff at Southwest but especially that customer service officer in Dallas. She made sure all of the good will and high opinion garnered during the flights was shattered against the hard rock of her intractable, bureaucratic, don’t care attitude.

    It is not a good bargain if the flight is cheap but I have to buy a new case and replace all of the ruined clothes. Success is the sum of many small things done correctly. Luggage is a small thing that must be done correctly.

    Mr. Kelly, you have a great formula for success and I wish you and your staff all the best. But no matter how well you do I will never fly with you again and never tire of telling this story. Because one good turn deserves another. Don’t you think?

  5. I’m a regular on Southwest, but with Suns B-ball season over earlier than usual, it has been a less frequent need to fly to Phoenix. Hearing the news on the TV about airlines putting it to the passengers with a fee for this and that, I was afraid to look at what Southwest was doing. As I clicked on to the website, I held my breath…then…in amazement, I saw the wonderful depiction in comparing SWA to the Others…no extra fees for SWA! As I talked to myself outloud, “Your simply the Best!”…”Southwest needs a Blog”. And what do you know…I found the blog! Now it’s my turn to say, thank you so much for keeping SWA on top. I have no complaints and cannot say I ever had. SWA is not only keeping it simply and inexpensive, you also have a host of attendents that have a great sense of humor. I like that. If it were possible, I would donate to the SWA cause, because I know from my own lifestyle…times are tough. Travel is a luxury right now and it’s very easy to just stay-put at home. Here’s kudos to you…Cheers!

    A faithful SWA traveller

  6. I love the folks who are complaining about Southwest after one bad experience. Wow, you must not fly much huh? Try Delta or American some time….I GUARANTEE you will RUN back to Southwest. To the person whining about a lost bag – see previous sentence. My best friend has had her luggage lost by Delta FIVE times with no recovery! Southwest has the lowest number of lost luggage in the industry, as well as the lowest number of customer complaints. I have been flying Southwest for more than 15 years, and I WILL NOT fly another airline unless I’m flying to somewhere where Southest just doesn’t go. And I’m VERY hard to please.

  7. suggestion to SW airlines.

    take out the overhead bins,,,,people don’t need to carry on that much stuff.

    quit serving all drinks and eats,,,,,would lighten the load and save lots of fuel

    enforce the carry on size

  8. i dont think that Anonymous, on the comment dated 5/29/08 , is telling the whole story.. First, why would anyone, with a confirmation number and an email confirming a reservation, not follow up and talk with another agent if the first agent is saying something that is obviously incorrect… Second, SWA did not make you eat the cheap fare you paid,, they left it available to use on future business with SWA.. I dont know if any other airline that does that..

    SWA seems to have it right.. sell a ticket at a reasonable price, give me a clean airplane, give me agents, pilots, flight attendants that seem to like their jobs, and get me to my destination on time and without a bunch of hassle…

    GO SWA,,,, Keep up the good work


    that’s what grabbed my attention to click on their ad on a web page i was visiting.
    after connecting to the southwest airlines ticket site and punching in destinations and dates, the rest of my day was spent singing : ” all you need is luv ~~~~luv is all you need ”

    the trip involved an unaccompanied minor traveling to visit grandparents this summer.
    now for you who don’t have to deal with this type of ticket–getting a ticket for these cute little kids requires a lot of patience and tons of money. you may not ticket online. there is a fee to call for a ticket. there is a $100 each way fee for the ticket of the child. there is no way the child can fly on any flight that connects.
    cha- ching cha- ching now add in the fee for the little one’s bag ( one month stay at gramma’s–it;s not really an overnight with just a few shirts ). gramma does have a washing machine, however , is it really fair that she only have a few shirts to work with that have been stuffed into a backpack ? he really is not going with any more than 1 bag ( a check in ), BUT feel the luv here at southwest as i tell you how easy it was to ticket him.

    1: go online 2: punch in travel dates and find flights that may have a stop AS long as it doesn’t change to a different plane it’s considered ok for the little one to travel 3: pay for ticket at the adult fare 4: print itinerary 5: call southwest and tell them it’s really a minor child not an adult 6: they check that you were smart enough to figure 1 stop without a new flight # meant southwest just dropped off folks and picked up folks somewhere along the way and the child just stayed on the plane the whole time til the end. almost like nonstop.

    NO EXTRA FEES !!!!! really – no extra fees. they mean it.
    i remember saying to the agent that answered my phone call WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF SOUTHWEST FIRST ???? an airline that really likes to fly people around. really. she chuckled and said thank you and everyone should feel the luv.

    the ticket on another airline ( the only one with a nonstop) would have been more than double the cost on southwest. a higher ticket price because i couldn’t book online and then the FEES.

    an add that is truthful –southwest add above — no fine print to make you feel duped at clicking the add and finding 5 pages of disclaimers that make the add shameful.

    all you need is southwest ~~ luv is all you need.

  10. A Good video from southwest on excessive fees that I think is great… On YouTube… or the link below.

    I hope that everyone enjoys it as much as I did.