“That’s what the internet is for! Slandering others anonymously. Stopping the flick isn’t gonna stop that.”
- Banky (From the movie Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back)
The above is one of my favorite quotes regarding the internet. It’s in reference to two guys who want to fly around the country and beat the shit out of anyone and everyone who has bashed them online. The point being that it can’t be done; that the internet was pretty much made for people who want to bitch, complain, and confront others from the safety of their own home.
Call it Virtual Napoleon Complex.I know I’ve done it: on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Facebook, Four Square, Twitter, etc. I’m guessing you have too. And as someone who has spent most of his career working on websites in a marketing and communications capacity, I’ve seen a whole lot more people take the time to complain than to compliment.
Lately though, I’ve made the concerted effort to praise as much as bellyache. Case in point: Southwest Airlines.
On a recent trip on Southwest Airlines, I was scheduled to leave Chicago at 9:00 am and arrive in Phoenix at 1:50 pm. As it turns out, the connecting flight was delayed and the new arrival time in Phoenix was 2:55 pm. For reasons I won’t get into here, this was very bad for me.
I explained my situation to the Southwest representative at the gate who told me that I might have a shot at a non-stop flight leaving in 10 minutes at an adjoining gate. After pleading my case with another representative, I was put on immediate stand-by and given what turned out to be the second-to-last seat on the flight.
My 2:55 pm arrival time in Phoenix was now going to be 12:20 – a two and a half hour difference.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Southwest Airlines!
Interestingly enough, on my way home from Phoenix the recent winter storms that swept the nation were beginning to rear their ugly heads. Again, my flight was delayed and this time by a couple of hours – putting me back into Chicago at midnight (or later). After talking with a Southwest rep over the phone (in the parking lot of an Arbys no less), I hustled my ass back to the airport and was put on an earlier flight with about the same 10 minutes to spare. I landed in Chicago around 8 pm.
Thank you again Southwest Airlines!
I’ve heard a lot of people complain about Southwest – usually that their service and on-time schedule reflect their prices (which are usually cheaper than most other airlines). I can’t do that. For the price, the usual on-time service, the friendly staff, and how accommodating they were to me personally – I have no right to criticize.
Now with Budget, let’s just say there is PLENTY of room to disapprove! Bottom line: I got screwed. I was charged a fee for turning DOWN their insurance. That’s right. If I accepted their insurance, I would’ve been charged a fee (fair enough). Yet somehow I was charged for waiving their insurance. Go figure. And despite turning the car in a full two-hours early and with a full-tank of gas, I was charged a fee for that (which I’m currently disputing).
Booking a trip through Southwest Airlines that includes airfare, car rental, and hotel is truly a good deal. I don’t know the total savings due to combining all three services, but it’s certainly worth it. Apparently, though, Budget Rent-A-Car finds ways to get their money one way or another. And I certainly didn’t have any issues with National Car Rental the last time I booked the same trip.Needless to say: I don’t recommend Budget. Hell. I’d call for a mass boycott if I had that sort of influence but I’m content in letting others know they should be aware of Budget’s practices or, at the very least, warn them to bring some jelly along.
I strongly encourage people to use their voice; to tell of their experiences and be a part of the collective voice that the internet provides. Keep in mind, though, we have just as many good experiences – at restaurants, hotels, stores, etc. – as we do bad. As a matter of fact, I’d venture to guess that the good far outweighs the bad. Why not let everyone know?
Maybe add it to your New Year’s Resolutions…