Southwest Airlines

  www.southwest.com
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Southwest Airlines Reviews

Updated Jun 18, 2014
All Employees Current Employees Only

4.2 423 reviews

91% Approve of the CEO

Southwest Airlines Chairman, President & CEO Gary C. Kelly

Gary C. Kelly

(363 ratings)

87% of employees recommend this company to a friend

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Good health benefits, great 401k matching, good flight benefits if you can use them(in 42 reviews)

  • Great benefits - health care, flight benefits, 401K matching, etc(in 41 reviews)


Cons
  • The station where I worked was always understaffed so a lot of mandatory overtime(in 22 reviews)

  • The benefits include free (space available travel) and relatively low pay(in 11 reviews)

24 Employee Reviews Back to all reviews
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    • Culture & Values
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    1 person found this helpful  

    Not a great experience in Technology...

    Anonymous Employee (Former Employee)

    ProsMost departments have very nice people, willing to work with you and help you be successful in your role.

    ConsContractors are treated as 2d class citizens, there is a lack of leadership in the mid-level ranks due to a mass exodus under the previous CIO, new managers are inexperienced and get away with poor decisions that impact the organization. Technology is seen as the "weakest link" in the Southwest chain--many production issues caused by a total lack of quality from requirements definition through to delivery.

    Advice to Senior ManagementStart listening to your credible leaders. If a manager is known to abuse their position, show them the door. Start understanding that in the current jobs market, Southwest has to compete for great talent so culture and environment are important to people who often spend more time at work than in their homes. Lucky for Technology, the rest of the company is amazing and for a while at least, will make up for their failings.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    1 person found this helpful  

    Crazy and unstructured

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

    ProsThe work in the technology area is very interesting with complex problems and projects. The infrastructure is being upgraded but over the tools are poor.

    ConsWhile they say this is a consensus based organization I think that leads to bullying in the meeting room when trying to make a decisions.

    Advice to Senior ManagementEnforce guidelines and make a decision once in a while

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • No Opinion of CEO

    4 people found this helpful  

    Don't believe the hype

    Senior Software Engineer (Current Employee) Dallas, TX

    ProsGood health benefits, great 401k matching, good flight benefits if you can use them. Salary is OK but below average.

    ConsSouthwest Airlines is becoming Outsource Airlines, at least for the Technology area at headquarters. Leadership is poor and they are putting the final nails in the coffin of the SWA culture. They only pay lip service to supporting their employees. Perks have disappeared rapidly over the late couple years. They ask for feedback and when it is all negative, they inform you that they are telling you to do it and not asking (so why ask for feedback in the first place). They say they are moving to industry standards but only cherry pick the part of "standards" they want to enforce and ignore the other factors that go along with it that makes it work for other companies. SWA is fast becoming an industry follower and not a leader. The principals in the book about SWA, "Nuts!", is being thrown out the window and it's not for the better.

    Advice to Senior ManagementTry actually listening to your employees and stop letting the bean counters run the company.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    • Culture & Values
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    • Disapproves of CEO

    1 person found this helpful  

    Great benefits, poor support.

    Ground Operations Supervisor (Former Employee) Baltimore, MD

    ProsTop pay in the industry, liberal vacation, free flights nationwide, vast income potential in large stations.

    ConsAbsolutely no support for employees who attempt to make something of themselves and step out of the union into management positions. Asinine and silly responsibilities, as well as continual degradation from management staff.
    Supervisor briefings daily, that resulted in threats from management on a near daily basis at my station. Watched a large number of colleagues get terminated to make room for the Airtran merger. When Southwest says they never lay off, they're being honest. They fully take advantage of non-Union employees however.

    Advice to Senior ManagementBring back the Southwest culture I've heard so much about. Support your leaders, and give feedback.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Losing the luv

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) Dallas, TX

    ProsGreat benefits. Good people to be around and work with.

    ConsHas become too focused on bottom line and losing sight of taking care of customers and employees. Culture is rapidly changing to be like every other corporation.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRemember what the company was founded upon and made it successful - don't try to fix what's not broke.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    • Disapproves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    long term employees - know the real deal-

    Captain (Current Employee) Chicago, IL

    Prosright now- due to good labor contracts -which were fought for- money/benefits are good.

    Constoo many managers -vice presidents- directors. lots of labor contracts expiring over the next 2 years and the current negotiations with the ground workers are dragging out for almost 2 years which is never a good sign. stop telling us the job is "fun"....guess what it's not any longer-especially out on the line- the days are long and hectic. Don't ask workers-who work very long days often to be given -forced overtime- to do volunteer work on their day off so the company image can benefit. it's a good time to be senior at this company.

    Advice to Senior Managementfrom the long term workers: years prior to the current CEO and all his buddies: workers were trusted to make decisions and were backed up- that's gone. Never ever have an independent thought-even if it's a good idea- someone up top might feel threatened. the current king of spreadsheets-CEO -has surrounded himself with "yes" men who all tell him how great his ideas are. there's a real feeling among workers that upper management is completely clueless.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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    2 people found this helpful  

    Culture has changed

    Technology (Former Employee) Dallas, TX

    ProsGreat technologies to work with. Good people on the team.

    ConsManagement is taking the soul out of Southwest. They care only about the bottom line, and things like employee happiness and compensation are at an all time low. Contractors are treated like 2nd class citizens.

    Advice to Senior ManagementRemember your culture. A deck party doesn't make a great job, but showing that you care about your employees every single day will bring the culture back. Do not alienate your workforce.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    • Approves of CEO

    2 people found this helpful  

    Was there a long time and became more of a tool day by day, month by month.

    Corporate Recruiter/Trainer/Customer Service Superisor (Former Employee) Chicago, IL

    Prostravel benefits
    culture that was people friendly

    Consbecoming large like any big company began to loose treating people with individuality and became more and more focused on the bottom line. Not a bad thing but when you do it in lue of employees your ruin the focus and dis avow history.

    Advice to Senior Managementstop hiring management that has not experience with the airline business and the culture of the company. Yes I know I am old school. And, change management is a process not a punch down take it or leave it approach. Most all airlines have died that way by the way.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

    • Culture & Values
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    3 people found this helpful  

    Ramp Agent

    Ramp Agent (Former Employee) Newark, NJ

    ProsYou get to travel in your training and meet people from other places... The best tasting "Kool-Aid" in the airline industry if u know what I mean. Working outdoors without someone always up your ass. You can swap shifts or hustle more shifts..The ramp agents are unionized and the airport union is A STRONG ONE!

    ConsWorking like a mule for garbage pay while they hold that carrot (top pay AFTER TEN years) in front of your nose and make you work BACK BREAKING Laborious grunt work in the bellies of the planes in stifling heat and frigid cold. This is a young man's job. NOT a job to do if you are middle aged and NOT in perfect physical health. This was my first exposure to the airline industry and ...WOW...talk about being surrounded by back biters and gossip mongers....Everyone is hoping their counterpart will quit or get fired - I KID U NOT- in hopes of their "seniority" being bumped up. Also, the pain in the hump of having to bid for your new schedule on a month to month basis. Your co-workers are not really your "friends"...MAKE NO MISTAKE bout that!! The starting pay is ridiculously low to live on.....10.28 an hr. step increases until you make that much ballyhooed 25.00 hr but its ten long years in the salt mines for that.

    Advice to Senior ManagementLive up to your companys much ballyhooed "We LOVE our employees".....STOP seeking to fire indiscriminately and thats why the union has such a positive strong record of gettin unfairly terminated employees their jobs back because you guys always trump up bogus charges.

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    Do well, and we'll give you more responsibilities and no additional pay!

    Customer Representative (Former Employee) San Antonio, TX

    ProsDecent and inexpensive benefits (medical, health and free flights -- standby!), good camaraderie. Different events to show the company's "appreciation" of you,

    ConsVery low starting wage. Be careful of the union not protecting you for the first 7 or so months of your job. In the reservation center, if you do well, expect that you'll be asked for more responsibility but without any sort of pay increase despite dealing with pissed off customers and co-workers asking ridiculous questions despite having over 5-10+ years more tenure than yourself.

    Advice to Senior ManagementModernize your systems, especially the webste so that your site doesn't go down during EVERY sale. It's time to clean house of some of your more tenured employees who know less than the newbies on the floor.

    No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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