Southwest Airlines Reviews | Glassdoor

Southwest Airlines Reviews

Updated August 15, 2017
1,198 reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • Get mandatory overtime from late night to mid morning (in 64 reviews)

  • This has not detracted from my work-life balance at all, as I enjoy the work (in 19 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (10)

    "Poor management, driven by results at the cost of employee dignity"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Reservations in Dallas, TX
    Former Employee - Reservations in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    They offer free flight benefits even though they don't go outside the country. I've made some friends there also, but management knows how to pressure your friends to turn on you because they need their jobs.

    Cons

    Southwest Airlines says they're all about the people and creating a fun place to work. They give you all the happy BS crap, but don't provide employees a way of letting the company know when management oversteps its bounds. Middle managers are petty, vengeful, and feel like they're above the rules. Southwest does educate managers as to how they should treat employees, but they don't provide the means to ensure employees are being well-treated. For this, Southwest FAILS miserably. Their "culture" is used against you. Reviews include when "you're not being happy enough" but fail to include that because you're treated like crap, it's hard to stay happy.

    Advice to Management

    Show some responsibility to your employees. Empower them with a way to call attention to abusive managers. By not holding managers accountable, you are a failure as a company. People are saying "our culture isn't the same as it used to be" but don't want to call anyone out on the fact that managers are mistreating their employees. Shame on you.


  2. Helpful (9)

    "Worst Job at Southwest Airlines!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Customer Service and Support Agent in Houston, TX
    Current Employee - Customer Service and Support Agent in Houston, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Flight benefits when you can use them
    Employer matching on your 401k
    Decent health benefits although quite expensive for a new hire

    Cons

    Mandatory overtime day after day
    Mandatory to work on your day off
    Abusive team leaders
    Almost exclusive hiring of minorities instead of diversity
    Monitoring guidelines are unattainable unless you are a machine
    High turnover even in this economy
    Lack of respect from management - agents viewed as completely replaceable
    Sweatshop type mentality

    Advice to Management

    Hire humane team leaders
    Treat your agent as partners not machines
    Apply the Golden Rule you tout
    Diversity means everyone
    Toss out the sweatshop mentality

  3. Helpful (4)

    "Always some drama"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Ramp Agent in Washington, DC
    Former Employee - Ramp Agent in Washington, DC
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Decent benefits, free flights if you can get on as it is space available travel. Can transfer to other locations in the country.

    Cons

    The station where I worked was always understaffed so a lot of mandatory overtime. Little work-life balance. At one point I was working 6 day weeks. Puts a lot of stress on your body lifting heavy bags which the company encourages fliers to pack (Bags fly Free campaign). Not knowing when the work day is over- If the incoming flight is late at night youre stuck.

    Advice to Management

    I know labor is a big expence for an airline but with all the bags and cargo youre moving you should examine your staffing levels.I think the Airtran acquisition is a bad move just to get to Atlanta. If you want to go there..go yourself not buy another airline


  4. Helpful (9)

    "I used to be proud to work for Southwest Airlines, but very poor management changed all that."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Ramp Agent in Nashville, TN
    Former Employee - Ramp Agent in Nashville, TN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    The best and only benefit was the free flights. This only applies if your single and you don't mind riding 3rd which I did not mind at all.If you are trying to fly with your family you better have a plan B,C,and a car rental on stand by.

    Cons

    At Nashville there was not enough open carts for the offload drivers, and where taken by others all the time.I got off my tug after my flight to get my next flight info. which took all of 4 minutes only to see my sup. given my carts away as my next flight was already on the ground. 87 transfer bags were put on a old narrow cart making it very unsafe, unstable, and had to be for the most part completely offloaded, reloaded at each transfer gate with no help at all. Management did make and waste the time in writing me up because some bags missed there connection.What a joke it was. Great job on there part for placing the blame on someone else. Don't make the same mistake I did and tell them you have medical issues and your a diabetic covered under the FMLA laws that are supposed to protect you. They will use that information to terminate you as well.

    Advice to Management

    After 8.5 years at Southwest I realize that SWA had given me a great chance,only to have POOR, Vindictive, Hateful management take it all away.I don't care what the cost is I personally will never fly, or recommend SWA to anyone at any time Ever. I ones was so proud to be a part of SWA,now I'm ashamed . There is no LUV anymore.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "It's no Disneyland....."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Airlines full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Working in an environment where there is essentially no dress code and the ability to fly for free.

    Cons

    Leadership appears to have little focus or direction beyond keeping themselves employed and as a result many 'important' projects are abandoned at the eleventh hour after hundreds of man hours have already been invested. Instead of addressing employment issues directly they pile project after project onto unwanted employees to pressure them to leave or to build a case for termination.

    Advice to Management

    Focus Focus Focus. If you have a problem with an employee address it and move on. Your passive aggressive behavior is having a huge negative impact on morale.


  6. "Coustomer Service"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - CSS in San Jose, CA
    Current Employee - CSS in San Jose, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Airlines full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Really friendly culture. Many employees still understand the fundamentals of costumer and employee relations.

    Cons

    Inconsistent work rules, poor use of employee resources department, too many cooks in the kitchen when it comes to corporate managment positions. Growing too fast to maintain the culture that was instilled by the great Herb Kelleher.

    Advice to Management

    Stop worrying about wall street and get back to fundamentals. This company did not make it forty years on stock quotes.


  7. Helpful (3)

    "Not the way to go southwest"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Cargo Department in Newark, NJ
    Former Employee - Cargo Department in Newark, NJ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Southwest Airlines full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    fligth perks, buddy passes. thats about all you can really hope for working here. and spouses and parents fly free.

    Cons

    manual ot, favoritism, racism in Newark Airport , Cargo Dept, and ramp agents. low wages , unrealistic work expectations, hostile enviorment (employees vs managers or make sure you cover your ass because they are trying to get you ). all for about 12 bycks an hour. not worth it.

    Advice to Management

    treat EWR like the other airports and make it a comfortable place again.

  8. Helpful (5)

    "The luv is gone."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Design Specialist in Dallas, TX
    Current Employee - Design Specialist in Dallas, TX
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Southwest Airlines full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    I cherish the wonderful friends I've made in the past. The true Southwest Airlines coworkers are the best.

    Cons

    Recently, with the AirTran merger SWA employees are being forced to follow AirTran's culture, which is based on manipulation, intimidation, and fear. AirTran employees are assigned by their boss to spy on Southwest workers as to when they arrive, leave the office, and even length of time for bathroom breaks. Scare tactics are used by the boss to make Southwest employees feel their jobs are on the line everyday. Working overtime with no compensation is not only unappreciated, but questioned by management as if the employee is to blame. In other words, management will try to fire you no matter how hard or smart you work. You can be a superstar or hero at the office, but still lose your job for taking too much EARNED vacation time. It makes no sense. As someone else has mentioned, Southwest Airlines has never had any layoffs. However, what's hidden is the many number of great workers who have been fired, forced to retire, or forced to quit.

    Advice to Management

    Shouldn't have merged with AirTran, but too late now anyways. But there is still time to remove them from managerial roles in which they are completely incompetent in.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Horrible, Hellish-Nightmare of an Experience with Southwest Airlines"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Representative in Phoenix, AZ
    Former Employee - Customer Representative in Phoenix, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I worked at Southwest Airlines full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great Health Benefits, Travel Benefits (standby only)

    Cons

    Schedule Changes monthly and is Seniority Based, Flight benefits are Standby and hard to come by. Most often you are bumped from flights if you don't travel in the AM, Management style is Micro-managing, Lots of senior employees BACK BITE, or run to management. Also, Union is of little help. Everything changes so frequently, and Company Barely train employees. When you start, you are trained over 10 percent of what you actually do, which is 90 percent of things. Management is over critical of your work. Company makes you feel they are DOING YOU A FAVOR, when they hire you because of the thousands of applicants that apply and are denied, plus the offering of possible free flights (which are STANDBY) and not guaranteed. Highly stressful environment. The ambulance always showed up weekly to wheel sick folks out of there. Company built a sick room for those sick. Most people around you were old and young sick individuals. Very mean Team leaders. Open door policy implemented, but you are MARKED if you use. Company tries too hard to PLEASE customers, which comes back to bite them. Now they change that, leading to droves of calls involving angry customers wanting free goodies, and always wanting to speak to a manager. Phone calls almost always involve a problem. When hired, company tried to ACT like everybody is so NICE and Positive. Different story when you get hired. Negative atmosphere. Horrible
    experience! Salary is very low for all the work you do. People are paid more at 7-Eleven.

    Advice to Management

    Change your attitude. Appreciate your workers. Actually work weekly in Customer Representative shoes to see what we go through. Stop backbiting. Accept employee feedback as a chance to improve. Increase your starting salary. Pay more for people with experience and education. Thoroughly train new employees on at least 80 percent of the job, instead of 10 percent. Survey your company on why so many employees are sick and the ambulance keep coming weekly to pick up sick folks. Stop acting like you are doing employees a favor by giving them jobs. Be more humble. Stop backbiting among employees. Make it a violation of policy.


  10. Helpful (6)

    "Not all it's cracked up to be"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Ramp Agent in Minneapolis, MN
    Former Employee - Ramp Agent in Minneapolis, MN
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Southwest Airlines full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Flight benefits
    Health insurance
    Being outdoors
    You can work as much as you want to(OT, shift pick-ups)
    Regular incremental hourly wages

    Cons

    Very political
    There are some very lazy workers
    Leadership seems disillusioned and aloof

    Advice to Management

    Find a different line of work? There are some hard workind, dedicated people who try to make things better for everone. With the kind of bait-n-switch politics and the other BS managerial tactics that have to be dealt with, it makes things impossible to deal with and very uninviting.


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