Saturday, September 15, 2007

Nice Save, Southwest!

Leave it to Southwest Airlines to take a public relations nightmare and turn it into a marketing opportunity:

DALLAS – Southwest Airlines, after getting grief for telling a young woman her outfit was too revealing to fly, is now using the brouhaha as a marketing ploy – announcing a fare sale to honor miniskirts.

The airline on Friday offered 23-year-old Kyla Ebbert two free round-trip tickets and issued a double-entendre-laced news release announcing “skimpy” sale fares of $49 to $109 each way, available for 10 days.

Ebbert took her case to “The Dr. Phil Show” on Friday. Host Phil McGraw read an apology from Southwest Chief Executive Gary Kelly during the show, which is scheduled to air Tuesday.

Credit Southwest Airlines execs for having a sense of humor:

"From a Company who really loves PR, touche to you Kyla! Some have said we've gone from wearing our famous hot pants to having hot flashes at Southwest, but nothing could be further from the truth. As we both know, this story has great legs, but the true issue here is that you are a valued Customer, and you did not get an adequate apology. Kyla, we could have handled this better, and on behalf of Southwest Airlines, I am truly sorry. We hope you continue to fly Southwest Airlines. Our Company is based on freedom even if our actions may have not appeared that way. It was never our intention to treat you unfairly and again, we apologize."

More at Southwest Airlines' blog here.

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