Best Airline Ad Ever!

southwest flights

This ran as part of a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Pure brilliance.

Underneath what’s pictured above were these sentences:

No 1st or 2nd Checked Bag Fees

No Change Fees

No Fuel Surcharges

No Snack Fees

No Aisle or Window Seat Fees

No Curbside Checkin Fees

No Phone Reservation Fees

Yes, there are plenty of good reasons why Southwest trounces the competition in customer satisfaction surveys, but this ad sums the main one up nicely. I know what I pay for a ticket is the final price and, to borrow their language, they won’t #$*!% me over.

Now if only they would start flying to Latin America…

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  1. jessie voigts

    tim – i can’t stop laughing! thanks!

  2. Paul Decker

    Congratulations to SW and its agency
    for consistently good work. This ad
    is terrific. Once again I feel
    good moving about the country on SW.

  3. Yannis

    Aggressive and risky, but nice. Good job S.W.

  4. Abby

    Fabulous! I think charging people for checking bags is ridiculous. SW was smart enough to plan ahead for the rise in gas prices, and because they truly value customer service, I feel good about flying with them.

  5. Ray

    Quite unprofessional and very rude. I would rather fly a decent airline.

  6. Steve

    Hmmm…i’ve got no gripe with the ad campaign, but i flew southwest from providence to phoenix 3 times in ’03-’04, for 196 roundtrip….now it’s nearly double that price, even with the “wanna-get-away special”…4-5 years ago, they had ‘internet specials’ instead, which were MUCH better deals. I was thinking about making a trip out to el paso this month (from providence), and southwest’s absolute cheapest roundtrip fare was $475 bucks – and they service both providence and el paso!

    what do you think, tim?

  7. tim

    Thanks for the comments everyone. Steve, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the price of fuel has more than tripled since you flew four or five years ago. Fares are rising around the world accordingly. No way around it unless we all stop consuming so much energy and demand falls. But at least SW is up front about it and the price is the price. No surprises.

  8. rp

    great add, brave and exciting, good work who ever the writer/exec & clients fun and ballsy.

  9. Mike

    I’d rather fly an unprofessional airline that swears in its ads than try to deal with “professional” corporate con artists.

  10. DML

    Mike, I completely agree!!!

  11. Dave

    Very nice ad, goes straight to the point. I wonder which agency they use.

  12. Barnegat Blummis

    I love love love Southwest. Funniest, fastest, politest, cheapest, least lost baggage, least late planes. So you board in weird groups, who cares?

  13. Jordan

    I like that there are *five* symbols in the expletive-deleted, there.

    So, if anyone were to complain, Southwest could argue they had censored the word ‘screw’ and not ‘fuck’.

    That is some serious cleverness.

  14. matt

    this is absolutely hillarious! and strangely true.

  15. tim

    Jordan–I noticed that too, but only the 4th or 5th time I saw it. I think you’re right…

  16. John

    SW has raised fares, but within limits of what can be accounted for in their costs. As for some comments about cheap fares disappearing… well, YEAH. After 911 there were lots of special fares… no one was flying! Now, the planes are full because everyone flies again. Full planes, no special fares, empty planes, they run specials and fill them up. After all, cheap seats still build revenue whereas empty seats are a loss opportunity.

  17. John

    The best thing about SWA is that I am NOT trapped into sitting next to someone by random selection. In other words, the absolute best perk they have is that I get to be on the plane, look at people and the density of the flight, and then select a seat of my own choosing. People that want assigned seating are idiots… and I hope they get trapped next to the crying baby often.

  18. Jeff

    Being a large man, I have been concerned about airlines charging, “by the pound” which is on its face rediculous. The difference in weight between a dwarf and a Samoan wrestler is insignificant to modern commercial airlines. They haul tons of cargo and other materials besides the passengers in their holds. If they want to raise thier prices because fuel costs are high spread the price across the entire group.

  19. nascar

    hahaha, this is such a great ad.

  20. craptastic

    “Awesome”- I “LOL’d”!!! This is the greatest thing I’ve seen on the web! I give it 4 stars! “Oops, I just got a boner when I realized that I’m going to see my name published on the “web”!”

  21. November

    Love, love, love it.

    I’ve used many different airlines- I’ve been flying trans-pacifically since I was, well, one, and have crossed the US, the pacific and the atlantic many times. SW is the only one I’ve never had a complaint with, for short or longer hauls. Their staff has always been excellent, that perfect blend of courtesy and friendly.

    If you work for SW and you see this, thanks for making flying tolerable!

  22. Grigori

    fantastic… translate to reality, and is really funny!!!
    now, how about flying to south america???

  23. SW passenger

    SW is the shit, its the ONE airline terrorists will NEVER hijack, cause the passengers will kill them and they know it!!
    I love SW, the stewards and stewardesses are HILARIOUS (an asian Elvis giving safety briefing!!) the pilots are NEVER stuffy and give the funniest flight info ever.
    This airline rocks.
    I also agree with SW’s seating, first come first serve, it rocks.
    As for the ad, it is SW at its best, keep up the GREAT WORK

  24. Ion Home Inspection

    Living here in Texas I almost exclusively use SW especially traveling for my home inspection association meetings. No muss no fuss as they say. This ad speaks right to that point.

    Houston, Katy, Sugar Land

  25. Vicky

    Love it. My son is in the Army and flies often.

  26. Levitra

    southwest really is the best airline. very unconventional and fun, but still reliable.

  27. Cassyt

    FYI- My husband, son & about 20 parents & children got stuck in Baltimore, Detroit and Chicago for 30 hours due to a minor error by SW and some weather. Without anyone writing or emailing the airline-SW sent each person in the group a $250 voucher and 2 very nice, sincere letters written and mailed the day after the flights finally ended.

    Now, if they’d just fly to Minneapolis!

  28. Travel Guide

    Nice. The ads nowadays are innovative or rather has to be competitive to beat the neck to neck tie for market leadership.

  29. Eric

    The stuff Airlines are getting away with now is a little on the insane side – Air Canada does this thing called guaranteed seating where you’ve got to pay an extra fee to guarantee your flight – if you don’t pay for it and the flight is fully booked, someone else can come along, pay the fee, and bump you off. Lovely. Really glad to hear SW has chosen a different approach!

  30. The Fitness Diva

    That is just freaking hilarious! :D

  31. Arnie | Link Building Tips

    Not a big fan of Southwest as an airline – I just hate not having a reserved seat – but I have to admit their ad campaigns are some of the best going. And I might just switch to them based on all these fees!

  32. Ray Creations

    A bold campaign to run for an airline.

  33. Sam Melbourne

    I love it. 5 stars to the agency whoever invented this concept. Normally airlines and many other industries are so dull and dry. This gets my vote for sure.

  34. Patrick

    Haha that is quite a bold move! I don’t think they would get away with an advert like this in England though. However, they have similar public fights in adverts between budget airlines here – Ryan Air and EsayJet for example. Ryan Air pulled up to the EasyJet headquarters in a tank for example!

  35. Wamy

    Aggressive and risky, but nice. Good job S.W. and now they are going to acquire airtran … veryy nice

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