What you can learn from Southwest’s comms meltdown

Behind the airline failure was a comms breakdown.

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Southwest Airlines has a comms challenge

It was an unquestionably terrible holiday season and start to the new year for Southwest.

A pre-Christmas winter storm was an annoying blip to its competitors but an existential meltdown to Southwest, leaving some travelers stranded for nearly a week and missing out on meaningful time with family and friends.

During and after the crisis, the Southwest comms team has held the unenviable task of explaining what happened, why and what happens next.



However, as Otter Public Relations Publicist Thomas Mustać explained, much of their response was too little, too late.

The errors started early in the crisis, when the airline’s customer service was overwhelmed both in airports and on the phone. No one could get through, and the corporation offered little guidance about what travelers should do.

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