You wrote a good piece on Southwest [“Luv and War at 30,000 Feet,” March 2012]. However, you missed the point that the only reason Southwest was able to operate out of Love Field was because all the other airlines had committed to DFW and were not allowed to operate from both places. Southwest started after the majors were already signatories to DFW operating agreements. Had that not been the case, they would not have had the gate space to expand their small operation. This is at least partially what caused the animosity toward them by the legacy carriers. They cheated.
North Richland Hills
Last year, while waiting for my flight at Love Field, I found myself standing in line with Southwest’s CEO, Gary Kelly. We talked for a few minutes, shook hands, and then our flight was called. As we were part of the “A” boarding group, we had the choice of any seats on the plane. I took my usual window seat in the front and went about my business. Gary, on the other hand, plopped himself in a middle seat in the center of the plane. As soon as I saw him do that, I thought, “What a company. What a leader.” Clearly, he wanted to be among his customers. Even though I fly Southwest countless times every year, that made a massive impression on me. It reinforced to me that there is no airline that can compare with Southwest. I am privileged to be their customer.
I just read your article on Southwest, and it is one of the most comprehensive profiles I’ve ever read on ANY airline. I have just an ever-so-slight quibble on your lead, “Since the late eighties, every major airline in the country has gone bankrupt—except one.” JetBlue is actually a major airline by all measures (more than $1 billion in annual revenue; 160 aircraft; 14,000 crew members; largest domestic airline in New York, Boston, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic), and we have never sought bankruptcy protection.
Jet Blue, VP Corporate Communications
You’ve nailed it about getting hired at Southwest. It’s all about attitude. If you don’t love people, it shows, and you won’t get in the door as an employee. I’ve been a flight attendant, flying out of Chicago, since 2005. Best job ever!
I recently read the article “Where Is My Home?” [March 2012] and was deeply moved. As a half-Czech twentysomething who grew up eating kolaches at my granny’s house in Hallettsville, it was nice to read about another person longing to reconnect with his roots. I’ve long had a strong desire to go to the Czech Republic and see the area where my ancestors lived. Stephen Harrigan did an incredible job describing his experience there, and he has further strengthened my resolve to travel there soon with my father. Thank you for publishing this amazing piece.
I commend Paul Burka for bravely identifying who is ultimately responsible for the sorry state of Texas public school financing: the Texas electorate [Behind the Lines, March 2012]. It would have been easy for Mr. Burka to have blamed the governor and the state legislature and left it at that. It took courage to place the real blame with the folks who, time and time again, go out and vote for the same old politicians despite their miserable records of failure. This is why I continue to be a TEXAS MONTHLY reader.
John F. Stagg
Amen to Mr. Burka’s article illustrating the dire straits of our education system. I am a retired educator, and I still substitute teach at a few campuses. Recently, I was subbing at a charter school and noticed a couple of students I knew who had been at Wimberley High School the previous semester. I asked one of them, “Why the change?” She responded that class sizes of 35 to 40 students just weren’t her idea of a quality situation. Here we have a great example of how the $5.4 billion in cuts is playing out! With larger class sizes and fewer course choices, teacher morale will be at an all-time low. Yet, as Mr. Burka points out, the legislators, in their infinite wisdom, expect more from less! I’ve always found it absurd that people who haven’t set foot in a classroom since they were students make these decisions. C’mon people, vote the bums out, including Governor Perry, whom they seem to follow in lockstep!
Wrong May It Wave
Thanks to the Manual [“Handling the Texas Flag,” March 2012], I am now hanging my Texas flag in the proper way. As a Texan living in Philadelphia, I proudly display the flag in front of my home and can now rest assured that it is hanging the right way. May God forgive my transgression of improper display, and may God also grant that I shall someday return to the greatest state in the nation. Until then, I will adorn my walls with all things Texan so that others may know the magnificence that is Texas.
Amanda C. Daniels
I was deeply disappointed to find out that I, a proud Texan, am unequivocally incorrect. For years, I have been told that the Texas state flag could, in fact, fly higher than the U.S. flag. I was so outraged that this was not printed in the article that I immediately put my tor tilla down and ripped the page out of the issue! However, in trying to prove my point to my skeptical wife, I have come to find out that we are not better than everyone else in the United States, at least not on a flagpole.