Southwest: Breakdown Leads to Fare Sale Extension

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend of pidgey-grinding. Back to the show:

southwest airlines

Oops, they did it again

Last week, Southwest Airlines suffered a massive technical breakdown, delaying passengers, causing cancelled flights and a meltdown of their website. It was bad for the passengers, made even more so by the fact that Southwest planes normally spend very little time on the ground. The airline has a “connect the dots” type route network, where passengers use them to fly from their origin to their destination non-stop. Not a lot of passengers on Southwest actually change planes, as you would at the hub of a network carrier. Thus, that plane needed to be somewhere and it was more difficult to reroute those who were stuck. Southwest has already announced a technology overhaul for this year, but much of that was related to revenue management.

Airlines don’t have a warm and fuzzy reputation, but Southwest is one of the good guys. The people who work there, from the CEO to the gate agent, have bought into the culture and genuinely care, so I’m sorry to see this happen to them. Still, it’s a wake-up call around operations.

It’s not much comfort to most, but they have extended the sale that was going on last week, given the amount of downtime on their websites. The usual restrictions apply around destinations and days of the week, but it sounds like airfares will start rising again in 2017, so take advantage of cheap travel while you can.

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