Darla Willison, Account Supervisor
I love to travel, but seriously my biggest beef is the baggage fees. I love to fly Southwest because they don’t charge for your first two bags. Travelers think they’re getting a lower fare with other airlines, but once you add on the baggage fees, it’s often more than the Southwest fare. So if airlines want my loyalty: waive baggage fees, offer more direct flights and give us more “reward” options for frequent flyers. That’s just me!
Bob Harstad, EVP/Account Management
My biggest complaint is seating space. I’m 6’6” and because they try and put as many seats as possible in planes today, it’s not comfortable for even a person of average height. Maybe they could assign exit rows and bulkhead seats for passengers over a certain height? 6’3” or 6’4”? Beyond that, I would be loyal to an airline that lowered frequent flyer miles required for free travel, offer the same low price for all flights to the same city regardless of day/time/length of stay and offered free alcoholic beverages on all flights.
Mark Chesnut, SVP/Editorial Services
They always seem to be late, no matter which airline you use, and the employees don’t really seem to care that you are stuck without options. I’d like the airlines to improve the percentage of flights that are on time, treat customers like customers and not enemies, and stop charging for baggage. But from my past experience, I don’t really think any airlines are going to earn my loyalty anytime soon.
Chelsea Simmons, Account Executive
Mainly the fares on non-Southwest airlines are so expensive flying out of Oklahoma City since we have so few direct flights. As far as doing something about it: lower their fares without losing quality, and make it simple. I don’t want to jump through hoops about my baggage, check-in, seat assignment, etc.
Gail Daniels, Associate Creative Director/Special Projects
I hate the waste of time – having to get to airports so early, having connections that are too long, waiting for people to stow their bags, and the list goes on. There needs to be more direct flights for cities the size of Oklahoma City. And more (transfer) hubs for each airline, so you don’t have to travel a negative direction to connect with a flight taking you where you really want to go. Leg room has become a horrible issue. Luckily I’m not tall, but still the space they allow is just wrong. I have watched the cost of flying to NYC double in 8 years, and that’s without all the add-on costs for extra space, boarding early, etc. Yet I don’t see any enhancements of the flying experience. And personally, I also think airlines should consider setting up guidelines for bringing your own food on the plane, maybe no hot food that has a strong aroma. And telling passengers the little-known fact that the armrests belong to the person seated in the middle seat.
Bruce Parks, EVP/Creative Director & Jennifer Parks, CFO, Systems Graphics Inc.
It doesn’t take much. When my wife Jen was commuting back and forth to St. Louis, she was on the last flight out on a Friday night. There was an interminable delay, and sitting in the airport, at the gate, everybody was in a bad mood. The Southwest staff brought out mini bottles of soda and bags of pretzels, and the mood changed immediately.
However, it seems to come back to attitude: “They don’t want to be bothered with you.” Especially when it comes to communication, simply explaining things. When Jen got back from France visiting her sister a few weeks back, her suitcase had a giant dent in it. The woman at the office said, “Those suitcases are just made of cheap plastic.” And I can attest it was a painfully – $600 – expensive suitcase. It looked as though it was dropped from a very high place right on its corner. But evidently the woman working couldn’t have been more condescending.
Jill Powell, Strategist/Media Buyer
My biggest complaint might have to be checking in. It takes longer to check your bag and get your ticket than it does to go through security and get on your plane. There has to be a quicker process for this. Maybe mobile tickets, like if you were going to a sporting event or concert – they just scan your phone. And this may be random, but getting rid of complimentary peanuts would be nice. A lot of times my family and friends can’t take the same airline due to food allergies.
Nicole Salazar, Senior Producer
As a society, our need for constant connectivity allows working individuals accessibility, but what is promised isn’t always delivered. Airlines offer in-flight Wi-Fi at a high cost with no or low signal connectivity, directly impacting precious working hours. As in-flight technology evolves, I’m hopeful for an improved user experience and in-flight Wi-Fi as reliable as flights themselves.
Annie Davenport, Strategist
I’d be interested in premium entertainment (or immediate Wi-Fi). I like to use my travel time wisely, or at least be entertained. Whether it’s a long or short flight, if the experience was productive or entertaining, I’d be more likely to pay higher prices to go back.
Josh Chesnut, Proofreader
If I’m going to fly, I just try to find a balance between cost and number of stops/layover time. I will use whatever airline I feel like has the best balance for the particular trip. I don’t see myself being loyal to any part of an industry that is intentionally inefficient and dishonest in their pricing.
JJ Treadwell, Controller
Direct flights, speedy on-boarding/off-boarding and in-flight entertainment options (such as electronic devices where games could be played between passengers) would be ways for airlines to appeal to the customer outside of price wars.
Tuck Oden, Associate Creative Director
I recently flew on several Southwest flights. I ordered a beer or scotch on each, and they never even asked for a card. I wonder if it was intentional or an oversight. Either way, I like it.