Battle of the Brands: Fight-or-Flight Feud

This week’s battle was specially requested by our CEO and favorite travel guru, Marché Warfield. Marché is always on the go and her summer travels inspired a battle between popular airlines, Southwest and United Airlines. Let’s see which company will take-off in this week’s battle: the Fight-or-Flight Feud.

Coming in at this terminal, Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines is a consistent fan favorite over time, but they don’t offer the same bells and whistles as their competitors. There are no divisions on the plane between first class and coach. Instead, every row (except for exit rows) has the same size seats and the same amount of legroom. In Southwest’s case, all seats are created equally. Southwest’s boarding process is a little different too. For ana higher fare (Business Select), you can be one of the first 15 passengers to board the plane and get a free drink! Aside from Business Select, the boarding order is on a first-come, first-serve basis, based on check-in time. Southwest opens up their flight check-in 24 hours prior to the flight, and whoever checks in first, boards first and picks their seat first (after A1-15). Everyone has a fair chance, just be sure to set a reminder for check-in or you might be the very last seat on a probably very full flight.

What makes Southwest stand out more than the rest, is their incredible dedication to their customers and employees. Southwest consistently scores higher than the rest when it comes to customer satisfaction. How do they do it? Simple. Treat your employees well, and they will treat their customers well. Southwest employees go out of their way to make flying Southwest an experience. Whether it is live-tweeting basketball game updates for a passenger having wi-fi issues onboard (yes this really happened), replacing bags damaged on the flight, or hilarious flight attendant safety presentations (we added a link and you should definitely check it out) Southwest wants to make your time with them as enjoyable and memorable as possible.

 Coming in at this terminal, United Airlines

United Airlines presents itself as a more upscale, traditional airline company. They have first-class seating, as well as pre-determined boarding orders and seat numbers. If you pay more, you can add a few luxuries. United even has a United Club Membership. How do you become apart of the club? Fly frequently with them or spend a lot of your money. The United Club Membership includes an exclusive club lounge in some airport locations, where you can relax while waiting for your flight. The seats are comfier, charging outlets are everywhere, and probably less crowds.

United Airlines biggest downfall is their customer service. Their lack of empathy for passengers continues to end in tragic scandals. After overbooking their flight, security drug a 69-year-old passenger off the aircraft to make room for another passenger, he later ended up in the hospital for the severity of his injuries (we’ve added that link too). Yikes…to make matters worse, just a year later, a dog died during a flight after an attendant insisted the bag housing the dog be placed in the overhead bin. In terms of customer service, Southwest: 10,000 United: 0.

Who do you have winning this battle and who do you have staying grounded? Southwest or United?

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