Fight or Flight: Southwest Airlines’ Satire on Added Fees

Flying ManAh, summer is here and the armchair traveler’s thoughts turn to fantasies of “anywhere but here.” Alas, the timing of summer just happens to coincide perfectly with the advent of the second mortgage tank of gas, the added charges for that second piece of checked baggage (you really didn’t want to go anywhere where the weather is variable, anyway), and the resultant birth of the “staycation” (I did not make that up, folks).

Which is why I was so tickled to see the latest Southwest Airlines commercial on tv. My better half and I had been joking about the baggage surcharge, wondering what could be next. He came up with the “oxygen surcharge” that would be collected once you were on the plane, as well as the fee imposed to get off the plane once you’ve reached your destination. He’s a funny guy when he’s disgusted, what can I say? When this commercial came on the air, it actually penetrated my husband’s “cone of silence” filter that allows him to ignore all advertising. So you know the ad had an impact.

See it for yourself:

The reason this ad works so well is that it takes a business decision that I would venture to guess most people feel is an egregious abuse of the airlines’ system of charging, and applies one of the primary principles of comedy to it – exaggeration.

As I have only flown Southwest once, many years ago, I can’t speak as to the airline itself. It may be a life-affirming experience. It may make you wish you were dead. I just don’t know. But the ad is terrific, and is perfectly in keeping with Southwest’s “average Joe” stylistic tone it uses on its website. My guess is Southwest will be gaining some travelers this summer.

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2 Responses to “Fight or Flight: Southwest Airlines’ Satire on Added Fees”

  1. Jill Says:

    Love it. Thanks, Toddie. 🙂

  2. toddiedowns Says:

    I do what I can:). Thanks for checking in!

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