Reality Show 'Airline' Spurs Job-Seekers
June 18, 2004
Perhaps it is the mysteries of lost luggage and the lore of passengers too drunk to fly that is causing a surge in job applicants at Southwest Airlines in the days following broadcasts of a reality TV show featuring the low-fare carrier.
Southwest officials said that the number of job applicants sending resumes to their offices triples on days after cable TV network A&E's broadcast of "Airline."
The Dallas, Texas-based carrier typically receives about 180 job applications a day, but that number regularly nears 600 on Tuesdays after the show airs Monday nights.
"Airline" debuted earlier this year and is seen by an audience of about 1 million people, Southwest spokeswoman Linda Rutherford said. The show has not resulted in any more people flying on the carrier, airline officials said.
The show follows Southwest staff in Chicago and Los Angeles and reveals details of how singing flight attendants and perky gate agents deal with the likes of a man in a kilt who wants to board a plane minus underwear and passengers asked to pay for two seats because they are too large to fit between the armrests of one seat.
"Working for an airline is an adventure that is one part glamour and two parts sweat," Rutherford said.
The show will start a second season on July 5 and focus on the travelers using Southwest in Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles. A&E plans to carry 26 episodes of the 30 minute reality show, which is based on a similar show about easyJet broadcast in Britain.
One of the Southwest employees featured on the show, Val Brown, who works in Chicago, said she finds it is puzzling that people would choose to send in job applications after watching "Airline".
"I guess for some people, the idea of working in chaos and conflict appeals to them," she said.