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6295The Price of Freedom in A Twitter World? $50 according to Southwest Airlines

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  • Ned Barnett
    Jul 23, 2014
      Southwest Airlines just shot itself in the foot with regards to its
      reputation for customer service. This is bound to have big PR issues, and
      I'll be interested to see how they are going to handle it (I'd also be
      interested in how you'd handle it).

      I blogged about this incident at Bad Business Alert - please share with any
      you think might value free speech more than cheap airline tickets:

      Here's the deal.

      Southwest Airlines is apparently now violating the first amendment rights of
      passengers in an effort to deter Twitter critiques of their staff and

      Some A-list guy on Southwest got himself and his kids got removed from a
      flight because he tweeted his dissatisfaction about the way a gate agent
      treated him. As I said, he was an A-lister, but his 6 and 12 year old kids
      weren't, and the gate agent wouldn't let the kids board with him and the A
      group. he said he'd tweet about this, and he did. Then the airline came and
      grabbed him and his kids off the plane (imagine the kid's feeling).

      They wouldn't let him back on unless he deleted the tweet (which he refused
      to do). I'm going to remember this the next time (and every time) that I
      think about flying. I usually do fly Southwest because of cost and
      convenience, but I'm not one to trade my freedom for a pocket full of
      marbles (as Paul Simon sang). Here's the story:

      What say you? PR problem in the world of Social Media? Reasonable business
      practice? Or looming black hole?

      Actually, my bet is that Southwest will get a black eye, but in this
      economy, people will sell their freedom of speech for $50 and convenience.

      All My Best


      Ned Barnett, APR

      Marketing & PR Fellow, American Hospital Association

      Barnett Marketing Communications

      420 N. Nellis Blvd., A3-276 - Las Vegas NV 89110

      702-561-1167 - cell/text

      <http://www.barnettmarcom.com/> www.barnettmarcom.com - twitter @nedbarnett


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