Southwest experienced some PR turbulence last weekend, but managed to fly through most of the bumps.
The company was trying to celebrate its 3 millionth fan on Facebook—a respectable endeavor, to be sure. The company offered discounts on flights as high as 50 percent. But thanks to a glitch in the Matrix, the airline’s system was unable to handle the “unusually high” number of bookings. Some customers ended up with multiple bookings and duplicate charges.
As expected, customers poured on to the airline’s Facebook page, some of whom were understandably upset. “I get to wait 10 days for you to get around to giving my money back,” said one of the commenters
. “Thanks for making the bank charge refund NOT so easy. Why dont you just ask me to submit my tax returns too.”
However, the majority of the people commenting left matter of fact statements about their experience or had positive things to say about Southwest.
“Just got an email from Southwest Airlines with a voucher to compensate for the headache,” said another commenter
. “It will come in handy as I will be sure to use [Southwest] whenever I can because of their immediate response to this situation and their great customer service!!”
According to the Chicago Tribune
, Southwest brought in additional staff over the weekend to help deal with the problem.
wasn’t so lucky. It was met with backlash over its treatment of a passenger with Parkinson’s disease. Alaska has been ranked No. 1 in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates for the past five years.