Southwest Airlines :: I Love You But Bring Back The Snack Box

by derek on June 10, 2008 · 29 comments

Southwest Airlines

On my recent trip to Las Vegas, I flew on Southwest Airlines. As a matter of fact, Southwest is usually my preferred choice due to the airport that I typically fly out of and my overall positive experiences.
Until recently, one of my largest gripes with Southwest was their open seating arrangement where they did not have advance seat assignments. This normally resulted in me being stuck in the “C” group and being sandwiched between two people for my flight. However, with their advance online check-in procedure, I can now usually get in the “A” group so this gripe has more or less been resolved.
With many airlines beginning to pile on the charges and fees, I have to say that Southwest has been consumer friendly by avoiding the small fees that quickly add up to a considerable amount. The following remarks from CEO Gary Kelly sum it up nicely:

To survive, the industry is charging, for everything…and anything. Pillows, blankets, bags, paper, and even conversation with a human being… We still have affordable fares and we don’t nickel and dime our customers. You get free snacks, you get free soft drinks, you get free pillows, you get free blankets, you get two free checked bags, there are no change fees, no fuel surcharges, and there’s no charge to talk to our wonderful reservation agents.

That is all great to hear as a customer and I love everything…except that part about the free snacks.
Back in the day, Southwest gave out this outstanding – well, for airline food – snack box. Inside there were a few snacks, such as a bag of wheat thins, package of Ritz cheese crackers, and a beef stick. All things considered, this was quite the snack.
On my most recent flight, we were given the choice between a bag of wheat thins, bag of peanuts, or a small package of Oreos. Don’t get me wrong, these aren’t bad snacks. But where is the snack box. With the snack box, I could ration out my snacks to last throughout the flight. Have you ever tried to ration an open package of Oreos? It doesn’t work!
Maybe I am a unique airline customer but I would never use one of the pillows or the blankets. Go ahead and charge for those items and give me back the snack box. Sure that might upset some people, but at least they will have full stomachs while they are complaining.
At the end of the day, I am still a happy Southwest Airlines passenger and don’t foresee any changes in my airline preference. But please Southwest, at least consider the return of the coveted snack box!
Photo by: Cubbie n Vegas

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Mr Business Golf June 10, 2008 at 9:46 pm

I want the leather seats back, more leg room,to make everyone who things a body bag will fit in the overhead above me to be strapped to the wing for the flight and give me a discount for checking my body bag so I am not the person who is trying to stuff it in the overhead above your seat…I will bring my own snacks.
Mr Business Golfs last blog post..Lots of Noise about Nothing!

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derek June 11, 2008 at 12:36 pm

I am right there with you on the carry-on bags, which is only going to get worse with many airlines now charging for checked luggage. When I travel, I take a small laptop bag and a book on the plane and check my bag.
As for the leather seats, I have to disagree as I found that they don’t breath and my back and legs get all hot. Yuck!

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Kelvin Kao@Puppet Kaos June 10, 2008 at 10:21 pm

I recently flew US Airways from Pittsburgh and they have snack bags… for like 5 or 7 bucks. I didn’t bother. I did bring my own snack though.
Kelvin Kaos last blog post..Cool Links to Check Out

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derek June 11, 2008 at 12:39 pm

That is ridiculous. Maybe it was due to my destination being Vegas, but I was surprised by how many people were buying alcohol on the way out there. It’s almost as bad as going to the movies and buying snacks, lol.

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Resume June 10, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Its a great offer for customers. They provide everything required for free. Great news dude.

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Nick@romandock dot com June 11, 2008 at 12:55 am

I generally don’t care too much about the snacks I get although they can be a good hold-over if you haven’t eaten much that day, but I also have never used the pillows or blankets during a flight. Then again, I have never flown at night and maybe I would during a night flight. Generally, I bring a book along to read during the flight and before I know it, the plane is landing. Like I mentioned in a recent post, however, I don’t fly very often.
Nicks last blog post..Finding A Location For Your Home Office

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derek June 11, 2008 at 12:40 pm

I don’t fly too often either. My normal practice is my laptop, ipod, and a book – and then find a window seat where I won’t be interrupted 37 times by the person with a small bladder.

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Nick@romandock dot com June 18, 2008 at 9:16 am

Another plus of the window seat is the view that you can get upon take-off and landing…also, depending on the weather/day you can get a pretty good view along the way. I generally have a laptop along in a carry-on, but don’t think I’ve ever used it while actually on a plane.
Nicks last blog post..What would you like to see here?

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Ling@Uptake June 11, 2008 at 1:10 am

You have a pretty good deal when you compare it to other airlines. But you’re not the only one to complain. I read a couple of weeks back that Southwest, it seems, has been kicking out women who they deem to be ‘inappropriately dressed’ for a flight. I don’t remember the link, but there was a video and all.

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derek June 11, 2008 at 12:41 pm

Why am I never on flights like that? 😉

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Andrea June 11, 2008 at 7:45 am

Saturday when I went to take J&C to the airport to go see their dad in CA, the kids were BEGGING for me to give them money. I asked why? Celina promptly told me that they charge for snacks, as she remembered from the last time they flew. I didnt realize that Delta charged for snacks! I asked the counter (no, not the actual counter but the friendly lady behind it) how much the snack boxes were. She wasnt too sure, she said either 5 or 10 bucks.
I was totally floored!
So i gave each kid 20 bucks, just in case it was 10 bucks so they can snack twice. Luckily drinks are still free.
And i told them if it was only 5 bucks then buy, with the remainder of the money, some high sugary candy and make sure to eat it late at their dad’s place.

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derek June 11, 2008 at 12:43 pm

You’re wicked! 😉
It would be nice if the airline took care of the kids that are flying alone and gave them a snack free of charge.

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Airsoft Guns June 11, 2008 at 7:45 am

Fuel charges are incredibly high these days, airlines need to find a way to cut costs. I was reading a Forbes article, however, that said the major problem with airline costs wasn’t fuel, but the way they rationed their time. Quite interesting.

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Nicole Price June 11, 2008 at 12:32 pm

All airlines are going through bad times. Under the circumstances, what Southwest is doing is commendable. I have been a long loyal customer of theirs. I could not however agree more, the snack box could be restored!
Nicole Prices last blog post..Watches: Discounts and Novelties

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derek June 11, 2008 at 12:43 pm

You and me both, considering the things taking place at many other airlines I have to say that Southwest is taking care of their customers.

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Nicole Price June 12, 2008 at 10:29 am

You can say that again. The whole industry is going through some nasty times and cost cutting is the order of the day. Southwest will last the long haul.

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Jenna June 11, 2008 at 1:05 pm

Interesting read. I’ve never flown on an airplane before — well not yet at least! Hopefully I will someday though!
Jennas last blog post..Women Homebuyers Look at More than the Kitchen Sink!

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SWA Flight Attendant June 11, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Hi Derek,
I just wanted to let you know, with our new snack service for long hauls, you can take as many snacks as you like.
I am sorry if the crew member’s on your flight that day where not clear about that, but you may take as many as you like to get you through the flight. I do hope we will see you again soon to enjoy more snacks and a little bit of LUV!
Thanks for your business!

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derek June 11, 2008 at 4:28 pm

Now you tell me! 😉
Thank you for providing a high level of customer service and an enjoyable experience. We’re trying to get our kids over their fear of flying for our trip to Disney later this year, so we may be looking to Southwest soon for some of that LUV.

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Nicole Price June 12, 2008 at 10:31 am

Hey, this is news. Has this just come up suddenly or have so many people got the same experiences?

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PilotWannaBe July 13, 2008 at 8:50 pm

I “LUV” SWA

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Tool Belts June 11, 2008 at 5:22 pm

I would love to have back snackboxes, however as long as they dont fold and leave me with worthless ata travel vouchers I will be happy.

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Futon-Matt June 13, 2008 at 8:37 am

With the price of jet fuel you’re lucky you got anything. I wonder if Grey Hound has been busier with the current fuel situation.

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Dawn@thediffusery.com June 19, 2008 at 8:53 am

I have never flown Southwest. Remember that Airline show they had on TV that was all about Southwest Airlines ? I was really turned off by some of the stuff that happened on that show. When they overbooked and people got bumped, they were not very sympathetic at all. The employees deal with that stuff everyday, but most passengers do not. They are in a hurry to start a vacation, visit a loved one, etc. and news of getting bumped doesn’t sit well. I suppose this is not exclusive to Southwest, but it was the only one they had on TV. 🙂

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derek June 19, 2008 at 9:13 am

I’ve seen that show a few times. The airport that I normally fly out of was actually featured a handful of times as it is a big Southwest hub.
The only thing to keep in mind when watching a show like that is to think of how many people the agents deal with where there are no problems or the agent is friendly and helpful. With editing on tv, you get the impression they are always short and unsympathetic with passengers but that doesn’t necessarily reflect reality.

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Steve@Free iPods June 23, 2008 at 3:00 pm

Do you have many low cast airlines in the US? We have a couple over here offering flights for 1p (plus taxes) within Europe and Ireland. Bargain!

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Pilotwannabe July 13, 2008 at 8:47 pm

I think southwest is great. They dont charge for the 1st 2 bags, they give decent snacks, the seats are comfortable, the planes are clean, the flight attendants are nice, you can choose a seat, windows close if you wish, free non-alcoholic drinks) and on newer planes (737-700) snack trays move out,and goood air.
Bad: New boarding procedure
I fly quite often and i travel light. I take the clothes needed. mY 3 oz or smaller personal items, my laptop, and my iPod

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master@Herbal Vaporizers March 5, 2009 at 10:32 pm

We can all blame the surge in fuel prices for not having snacks during our flight.

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