The hits keep coming for Southwest Airlines. Just when the airline might have thought the worst was over, Saturday Night Live included a sketch parodying the airline in its most recent episode ensuring its recent missteps stay top of mind.
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The New Southwest Experience
Southwest Airlines’ meltdown affected around two million travelers and cost the airline as much as $825 million. To add insult to injury, the airline was then subjected to the Saturday Night Live treatment with an “announcement” promoting the new Southwest Airlines.
The airline is “dedicated to a new, more modern Southwest Experience,” including updates to their communications systems and a “no more missing baggage” guarantee. Luggage will now be sorted by color, so travelers are reminded to bring red bags if they’re going to Dallas, as the blue ones will be headed to Charlotte.
As part of preparing for the new experience, the first order of business was upgrading Southwest’s IT systems to 2008 Dell computers. The 2008 Dells will replace 2002 ThinkPad laptops “with the little red nipple in the middle.” All luggage will be sorted by color to prevent missing bags, and travelers are reminded that it’s their responsibility if their bags go missing, not the airlines.
“You bought a Southwest ticket. You obviously don’t respect yourself. So why should we?” quipped the SNL cast.
Former Waffle House employees are also being hired as in-flight staff. As the “Southwest employees” explain, “these big bitches don’t play.”
You can watch the whole sketch below.
The SNL sketch is obviously comedy, but it ensures that Southwest’s meltdown continues to be in the news and travelers don’t forget. At least nobody is threatened with arrest when their flight is canceled? While Southwest is not everybody’s cup of tea, it is one of the largest airlines in the U.S. and generally performs okay in terms of on-time performance. Executives are promising major investment to ensure that they never experience a similar meltdown again. Of course, that comes too late for the millions who were affected over the holidays and Southwest’s pilots who are preparing a strike.