Southwest Airlines made a big decision that’ll annoy customers who need a rest

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Ready for a shorter trip?

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Looking towards summer, you know where things stand.

Well, you think so.

You think there won’t be another (big) COVID surge. Even if there is, you’ll finally believe in what used to be called a normal summer, one that involves travel, family, love, sunshine and even, maybe, fun.

I don’t want to hold back your dreams and desires. However, I would like to warn you about a little something that Southwest Airlines has just revealed.

On his latest earnings call, new CEO Bob Jordan offered a slightly different perspective than you might expect.

Airlines, after all, had long claimed that they were now turning their eyes and schedules to leisure travelers.

People are tired of being stuck at home, airlines have said. They’re desperate to be stuck in the sky, two inches away from maybe not the nicest, not the most polite, not the healthiest, just to go relax somewhere on a beach.

And anyway, the business travel thing won’t come back for years. Supposedly.

It’s strange to think that the airlines’ chews on people’s psyches and predictions about the future could have been wrong.

At Southwest, for example, CEO Jordan said the airline has noticed a markedly greater enthusiasm for, oh, business travel.

In the company’s words: “March 2022 managed business revenue decreased 36% compared to March 2019.” Given previous statements from many airlines – especially Southwest’s – you would have thought that business travel would have fallen by, say, 70% two years ago.

It was in January. And Southwest had estimated it would be down 40% in March. But the road warriors were suddenly looking for a seat.

Everything is fine, you might think. For airline revenue, but not so good for your fun and sun.

Currently, you see, airlines only have a certain number of cabin crew and pilots. So, given the new eagerness for business travel, Southwest is changing things up. Or, maybe, down. More flights between business cities, fewer flights to Hawaii.

It could be your dreams of charging – or even of being a digital nomad.

Southwest admitted the airline was getting a little desperate when it came to hiring more staff. He is trying to find more employees through social media. It even offers “instant deals” at the end of interviews. But then these new employees need to be trained. And Southwest has already admitted that it doesn’t have enough pilot trainers, for example, to do the job.

A little perspective on the enormity of the task at hand: the airline is trying to hire 10,000 people this year, including 1,200 pilots.

Moreover, in any job, newly trained employees will not be instantly wonderful. Still, Southwest promises to have enough staff to handle the flights it currently has scheduled.

But as the weather kicks in — something Southwest is particularly vulnerable to because it doesn’t have hubs like United, American and Delta — the slightest hiccup in one part of America can affect so many flights in other parts of America. other parts.

When I talk about other parts of America, I may be referring to Florida, where there is often the prospect of unruly weather. And where there’s a bit of trouble right now with air traffic control.

Maybe, then, if you really want to get away from it all, you might want to plan some short-term business trips and a longer vacation-type adventure, well, in the future. Or mix the two.

Please consider Jordan’s own perspective: “As we focus on the essentials, our priorities for 2022 are clear: properly staffed and return to historic operational reliability; restore our customer service edge Expand our fleet with the most modern fuel-efficient Boeing 737s Add flights and restore our network, especially on shorter commercial routes Invest in enabling technologies for increased efficiency Produce quarterly profits constants.”

Do you see the emphasis on business travel again?

When it comes to travel, this may not be the summer of love as you know it. Or, as Southwest prefers, LUV.

This may be the summer of business love.

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