The Southwest Debacle: SNL Takes Flight with Laughter

Southwest Airlines was spoofed by SNL in a two-minute clip, following the carrier’s meltdown that stranded over a million travelers and resulted in an $800 million loss.

Two Southwest employees played by Heidi Gardner and Devon Walker introduced a “new, upgraded airline experience” that includes an upgraded communications system, baggage sorting by color, a Premiere Lounge inside Starbucks, a modernized air traffic control network, and Waffle House-trained inflight staff.

The segment ended with a message suggesting some fault lies with customers who “obviously don’t respect themselves.”

View from the Wing considers the SNL segment “really funny,” while the writer leans towards “a little bit funny.” Humor is subjective, but the writer finds the skit’s humor directed towards the lowest common denominator.

The writer finds the reference to outdated technology in the airline industry to be the funniest aspect. However, the writer wasn’t as entertained by the comments about the red and blue bags or the suggestion that people don’t respect themselves for flying Southwest.

In reality, Southwest is considered the most full-service airline in the US, with several perks such as two free checked bags, no charges for carry-ons, no basic economy, and free changes on all tickets with vouchers that don’t expire.

It amuses me how Southwest is often grouped with airlines such as Allegiant and Spirit in terms of the services they provide, despite Southwest offering more. Despite the value these carriers bring to the market, they should come with a caution to be cautious of their services.

Bottom line:

SNL recently spoofed Southwest Airlines in a comedic skit that depicted an “upgraded” experience. The skit received mixed reviews, with some finding it funny while others preferred previous SNL airline skits.


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