Southwest CEO Gary Kelly Responds to TTAG

TTAG reader SIGCDR took Southwest’s No. 1 to task recently for his characterization of guns (well, gun taxes, to be more specific) in an article written for the airline’s back-of-the-seat time-waster. Kelly, like anyone responsible for maximizing shareholder value, opposes whatever increases his operation’s costs and thus, his product’s demand. So while pumping a national airline industrial policy (which he hopes would lead to reducing – or at least not raising – “punitive” ticket taxes and improving the air traffic control system), he lumped the excise tax charged on firearms into the same class as those levied on booze and smokes, calling them “sin taxes.” Mr. Kelly apparently felt the sting of SIGC’DRs  rapier keyboard strokes and has responded via someone in Southwest’s communication shop. We reprint his email in its entirety after the jump . . .

Mr. Farago,
I work in the Communication Department at Southwest Airlines, and our CEO Gary Kelly asked me to respond to you on his behalf regarding your recent blog post that included an excerpt from one of his recent columns featured in our onboard magazine, Spirit. The primary focus of the column was on his support for an Airline Industry Policy, as well as his new role as Chairman of the A4A Board.

Any misrepresentation contained in the column was unfortunate and certainly unintentional. I wanted to extend our apologies to anyone who may have been offended by the word choice.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly if needed.

Have a great day,