A New Cranky Talk is Live – Southwest Goes to Washington

Podcast, Southwest

Listen on Apple, Spotify, direct, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Southwest COO Andrew Watterson went to Washington to get grilled by senators over the airline’s holiday failures. I’d definitely put that at the top of my list of “things I hope to never have to do in my life… ever.” But the head of Southwest’s pilots also testified and that created an opportunity for me and Dave to talk about it more.

I think we broadly know what happened, but can we ever trust Southwest again? What will it take to make people feel comfortable? Should the government step in? We tackle all these meaty topics and more on this week’s episode.

Email Dave here to tell him whether he should forgive Southwest or not

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7 comments on “A New Cranky Talk is Live – Southwest Goes to Washington

  1. Are the lack of comments on Cranky Talk “posts” indicative of limited interest? I would argue so. I’m personally much more interested in the blog posts (seeing that this is a blog) rather than the podcasts.

    On an unrelated note (although somewhat related to Washington, D.C.), I highly recommend the Netflix documentary “Downfall” about the Boeing 737 MAX crashes, development and response. It’s highly critical of Boeing, but also very informative about the lax safety measures and laser focus on stock price at Boeing. Perhaps Cranky ought to do a post about the documentary, but not a post of the documentary!

    1. I, for one, really enjoy the podcasts. Since they are longer, I sometimes listen to them a day or two after they’re posted. While they are informative, I also love the Brett/Dave dynamic.

    2. Downfall was a propaganda piece. It didn’t even touch on the lack of airmanship of the pilots. Or, the poor maintenance of Lion Air.

      1. Was the “Downfall” documentary biased? Sure. Did it shed light on some really bad practices at Boeing? Definitely.

        And the documentary did touch on both the pilots and the Lion Air maintenance record, but I would agree that it glossed over whether the pilots could have reacted differently. That said, the Boeing internal documents warned of catastrophic failure if appropriate corrective action wasn’t taken within 10 seconds, which isn’t very much time considering the lack of MCAS training.

      2. Stating that this is a lack of airmanship feels racist, when it would be clear if this was an AA flight that wouldn’t be the case.

        As I recall in the simulator well experienced pilots were unable or barely able to save the plane.

        Boeing screwed up and put a slice of cheese with lots of holes out, it isn’t a lack of airmanship if the pilots weren’t able to cover that number of holes.

    3. For me I listen to the podcast in a different app while I’m doing something else. My urge to comment has to be reeeaaallly strong to come here and post something

  2. About the delays – airlines will “hide” behind non-controllable delays when there are secondary controllable delays – I’ve experienced this twice in the past few months. We were 90 minutes late departing city XXX, landed at hub YYY, sat in FRONT of our gate for 10 minutes due to no staffing, while I had a 35 minute connection to get home to ZZZ. We were blocking traffic, so we had to move. Took us 40 minutes to pull into a gate (plenty open). Airline refused to do anything for me, even with a manager, who claimed it was all weather & ATC. Except they had a staffing shortage that kept us from pulling in, and allowing me to make my new connection.

    So I believe this is where the DOT is going to stop telling airlines they can’t hide items like this anymore, and the airlines shouldn’t. Delays can cascade, it shouldn’t give them carte blanche to screw the customer.

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