Those shareholders pocketed a tidy $274 million in dividends and $1.6 billion in share repurchases last quarter.
An airline that doesn't jack you around for making basic changes
The benefits of happy, empowered employees extend beyond just free drinks. Reservation agents can, as they did for Mariah Muhlbradt of Boulder, Colorado, even waive large differences in base fare if you, say, booked a ticket on the wrong date for your best friend’s wedding, and only realize it the day before, when all the available flights are $500 more expensive.
“They can bend the rules when they need to,” says Lauren Tow, a Dallas attorney who says she’s flown the airline more than 1,200 times. “You just don’t see that in other airlines -- there it’s all about policy and ‘sorry, we can’t do that.’”
At first glance, it might seem cutting customers big breaks for their own errors isn’t good for business. Instead, it breeds loyalty, which drives profits. And when we asked a handful of flight attendants what they’d do to improve the airline industry, they all agreed that giving passengers increased flexibility to change or cancel a flight -- as Southwest has done -- would go a long way in improving the flying experience as a whole for customers and FAs alike.