Why I Respect Southwest Airlines

I have always respected Southwest Airlines. That company does a lot of things right.

I flew back from San Jose to San Diego on Tuesday night on flight 255. I sat in the back of the plane, so I was one of the last few people to get off after we landed. As customary with Southwest, the flight attendants clean the airplane between flights. As the passengers deplane from the front, the flight attendants work their way back through the rows on both sides, rubber gloves on, with trash bags in hand. They pick up litter from the seats, floors and seat back pockets, and they fold the seatbelts so they look clean for the next group of passengers.

By doing this, I am sure, Southwest not only keeps the cost down by not needing separate cleaning crews, but they also have unparalleled turn-around time at airports. I have seen them land, deplane, board and leave in 30 minutes.

On flight 255 the other night, I noticed something new: The captain was cleaning the plane. He was working his way through the plane with rubber gloves on, chatting it up with the crew and greeting the passengers, as he cleaned the seats.

That’s why I respect Southwest Airlines.