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Southwest CEO Begins Apology Tour on NBC News

Southwest Airlines currently owns the largest fleet of Boeing 737 MAX airframes among U.S. based carriers. During their second-quarter earnings announcement, airline CEO Gary Kelly said they were optimistic to start flying the 737 MAX by the end of 2020.

Southwest Airlines chief executive Bob Jordan begins his apologies to the flying public on NBC Nightly News, vowing to do “everything” to improve the passenger experience.
After creating apology videos for Southwest Airlines’ website, chief executive Bob Jordan is now taking his apology tour on the road.


In comments to NBC Nightly News, the embattled leader of the Dallas-based airline told anchor Lester Holt: “We really messed up,” and his company will pull out all the stops to ensure it doesn’t happen again.


“We’ll Do Everything Short Term, Now, Immediate, Long Term to Make Sure This Does Not Happen Again”

His comments started by acknowledging that the airline seriously dropped the ball during Winter Storm Elliott. As a result of the heavy snowstorms affecting the East Coast, the airline was forced to cancel over 2,000 flights and delay tens of thousands of flyers from going to their final destination.


Calling the storm an “extraordinary event,” Jordan admitted that the storm “overwhelmed our systems and our processes,” leading to the major network meltdown. Looking towards the future, the CEO says they are working to make the event right for their flyers – both those affected by the storm, and those who will soon travel on the flight.


“We’ll do everything short term, now, immediate, long term to make sure that this does not happen again,” Jordan said on NBC Nightly News. “We’ve already put things in place, like an extraordinary level of monitoring in our network operational center, we’ve spun up a group of about 100 extra crew schedulers that we can use on demand.”


Although Southwest’s newest leader is on the apology tour, his troubles may only be beginning. Shortly after the network meltdown, both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Department of Transportation announced they would be looking into the meltdown. Jordan said they would “cooperate and collaborate” with the investigation.


Storm Fallout Isn’t the Only Battle for Southwest CEO

Although the storm is still creating headaches for Southwest, the leadership potentially faces a fight on another front. The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association announced a strike vote for the summer of 2023, which could lead to a walkout and more grounded flights across the country.

st8dm February 22, 2023

one thing he & the whole board should do: fly more often in Eco with SW. Anonymously, of course.

jayer February 15, 2023

So have they signed up for new crew scheduling software?  Apparently every one else already has it so if should be semi-off the shelf and not be coding from scratch.