Airline (TV Series 2004–2005) Poster


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Clever premise, recycled from UK show "Airport"
matlock-630 January 2004
This is very similar to the UK tv show "Airport", and is actually made by the same production company and film crews. The main difference is that Airline concentrates on a single airline (that being Southwest), while Airport was about Heathrow Airport itself.

Airline is at various times: fascinating, boring, hilarious, etc. The vast majority of the time, it is well worth watching, if only for the seeming endless ignorance of so many of today's air passengers. People claiming racism because security won't let them bring more than one person to a gate to meet a friend on arrival, people loudly protesting when desk agents want to inspect a competition firearm, people getting completely belligerent drunk and then complaining when they're thrown off the plane. You really come to sympathize with the poor airline employees who deal with a seemingly endless stream of abuse and stupidity from all kinds of people.

Plenty of nice moments as well, and a great deal of light-hearted humor.

Caution: this show is ADDICTIVE!
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Much thanks to A&E and SWA for their insight to modern aviation!
ajkonig16 February 2004
Having watched every episode of this series, I have to express my thanks to both Southwest Airlines and A&E for the courage to allow the world to see the real world as it applies to airline operations in the 21st Century.

I have enjoyed the realism of the staff and crew of SWA in the production of this show, and, as a pilot who at one time was trying to fly with a major airline (with many friends in the industry) I have enjoyed the exploits, the conflicts, and the professionalism exhibited by the Flight Crews, Attendants, and Ground Operations Crew of SWA in the unappreciated execution of their daily duties, and also the stories of those passengers who show respect for these underpaid, overworked people who are attempting to combine safety, service and duty in this difficult age.

Also, I must compliment the ability of Southwest Airlines to show criticism to not only their clientele but also to their own staff, as this is the epitome of realistic television.
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A must-see for every traveler!
kyle brotherton24 June 2005
disclaimers: 1. I've worked in "customer service" type jobs all my life.

What happens when a passenger is refused boarding because he's drunk? How do they let a passenger know that he smells bad? Why can't someone "carry-on" an ice chest full of fresh chicken. If you've ever pondered these questions.. then something might be wrong with you. But that's OK! Because most of the general public has something wrong with them. This show can prove it, because they caught it on tape.

By hanging around the Southwest Airlines terminals, the crew of "Airline" has produced hours of interesting footage. You'll be amused at the things people try to take with them when they fly. You'll be angry at how some people treat others. But you'll laugh you're hind-end off a lot of the time.

This series should be mandatory viewing for everyone who enters an airport.
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It's very interesting
M_INC_KW24 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I must admit I HATE having to travel when it comes to flying. 99% of that hatred comes from having to deal with crowds, close connections, sitting at gates, sitting on runways, losing baggage, weather delays, crying babies, etc., etc., etc...but, this new special on A&E has really opened my eyes to the kind of crap people who work at the airline have to put up with.

Now, maybe it's just Southwest Airlines, or maybe it's just the fact that they knew that they were being filmed, but, it seems that the staff really cares and goes out of their way to be accommodating.

***Possible Spoiler

Whether it be helping clean up a bathroom accident for a man with Alzheimer's, to getting clean clothes for a man who reeks, to having to deal with people who are going to sue over a lost bag that's worth tons of money, only to have it reappear as a duffle bag that you'd carry to the gym--I think I'd quit on the spot, but, somehow they carry on. My only complaint is that it isn't the normal hour long series that A&E normally runs, but two back to back half hour installments are OK.
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spencerthetracy9 August 2004
If Southwest believes for a moment that people would want to flock to their airline as a result of this show, then I believe that they're screwy!

The employees are sometimes so callous, so cold and occasionally so unprofessional that I am continuously aghast at their behaviour. They all need to take classes in empathy and human psychology.

Naturally, one does not view the non-incidents, but if I were to fly their airline, which is not likely, I would make DAMN sure that I wouldn't lose a bag, or drink a drink, or go to the bathroom.

On the other hand, I am constantly astounded at how stupid some passengers are. And how they ALWAYS blame the airline for THEIR stupidity.

Listen, BUM, if you're out having a smoke, or drinking at the bar or taking a nap, and you miss the announcement for boarding, or you drink too much and aren't allowed to fly, don't be a moron and blame the gate agent. Remember that YOU'RE the moron. Take credit for your stupidity, and catch the next flight!

AIRLINE is like a train wreck: horrifying and impossible to look away.
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Customer Service Craziness
SHB_7330 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I found this show very entertaining because I have friends who work in customer service and they run into all kinds of people whether it be at an airport, supermarket,theater etc. The 9/11 attacks made it much harder for the people who work for the airlines and customers who want to catch a plane in terms of delays, security, and other problems. You have to have a lot of tolerance to deal with the public, with the show you see the worst side of people such as someone being to drunk to fly, complaints about ripped or lost luggage and abuse of staff. Through it all the employees remain calm cool and collected. After seeing this show I now have the utmost respect for airport employees. The show has its good moments too such as a wedding proposal and a retiring pilot. Airline is a great reality show and I hope after people see this they will behave when they have too catch a plane.
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Excellent and addicting show
submarine-219 October 2009
I fly fairly regularly for leisure but I have to thank SWA for allowing the dirty laundry of the airline business to be revealed. Now when I fly I'm much more able to relax and work with the customer service representatives and I think I'm treated more fairly as a result. I don't agree with every course of action the 'cast' took on problems and challenges, but I do have a much better understanding of the consequences. I've gained insight in what to pack (and more important, what not to), and resolved to avoid alcohol before and during any flight. Great show and I hope they produce more episodes as I would like to find out what some of my favorite 'cast members' are up to. It would also be nice to see what has transpired since Southwest revamped their "no pets" policy.
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very entertaining
disdressed1222 January 2008
Warning: Spoilers
once in a while there is a reality TV show that is real and is worth this case,it happens to be's basically a day in the life of the employees at a major airline in the states,and the things they deal with on a daily's very interesting to see the different types of people they have to put up with.these include drunk people who are not allowed on the plane until they sober up.i found it really entertaining watching these people try to say they're not drunk.they also have to deal with belligerent passengers who don't show up on time for their flight and have a fit saying they will sue.but it's not all negative.there's some fun stuff,as well ,like the staff Christmas parties,retirement parties and such.the point ids,this is a very entertaining and sometimes very funny 30 minute's also very really shows you what the employees have to deal with on a daily basis,all the while keeping their cool.the show only lasted two and a half seasons,which is a shame.i think this is one of the better shows out there.i give Airline a 9/10
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Why have they changed this show so much? It's dull now!
fishinbuddy221 February 2006
This once was a fascinating and addictive show! Now, however, its become stupid and has gotten off the topic of "Airline" It seems now instead of 30 minutes of watching Airline related happenings we are forced to watch the passengers in their personal lives.

We see 2 ballroom dancers compete at their ballroom dancing competition. We see a lady who gave her son up for adoption and now is being reunited with him at her house somewhere in the deep south. We see flight attendants who fly to Nashvile to attend their company party and drink. (How boring is it to watch people you don't know- go to their company party?) We see one lady singer who will sing at a NBA basketball game so the camera follows her around till its her day to sing. How dull is that? They have strayed way off from what this show once was about. Its gotten dull. I record it and then fast forward thru about 12-15 minutes of scenes like this that are just non airline related and dull. I wish it was the show it used to be. It was addictive and fresh.
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Now I REALLY do not want to fly Southwest
1523127 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I never liked to fly the cattle carrier that is Southwest Airlines, but after seeing this series, I want to avoid it like the plague.

I cannot fathom how SWA thought this would be something good for its image. Most of the show is made up of unhappy, frustrated, angry passengers who are given an opportunity to show the audience how they are the victims of unstated SWA's policies and just how rudely SWA employees treat them. Most of the employees come across as insincere, judgmental, condescending, uncaring, disrespectful and eager to exert whatever little power they perceive themselves as having. The results are appalling examples of how not to conduct customer service. Sometimes the detached artificiality of an employee's apology for whatever happened to the passenger is so blatant that it is a wonder the employee still had a job after the episode aired.

Scattered between these atrocious scenes are uninteresting "human interest" pieces showing SWA employees bowling or going on cruises, passengers competing in beauty or dance contests, and other assorted items having nothing to do with an airport or airline. Also scattered here and there are examples of SWA employees going above and beyond their jobs to help a passenger, but those are the rare spots on the show and they hardly balance or neutralize the nastiness displayed by these same employees in other episodes. (Actually, some employees NEVER are seen being nice.) Watching this show is like watching a plane crash. It is horrible to look at, but somehow you cannot turn away.
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A nice attempt, but "Ariline" is a woefully unpleasant trip to the skies
liquidcelluloid-129 June 2004
Network: A&E; Genre: Reality/Documentary; Content Rating: TV-PG; Classification: Contemporary (Star range: 1 - 4)

Seasons Reviewed: Series (1+ seasons)

On paper 'Airline' might have seemed like a funny and interesting idea for a reality series. The boardroom at A&E probably brook out into applause when somebody proposed it. It's also a reasonable excuse to get a lot of mileage out of corny airplane puns for the show's promotion. We've all been there. Passengers on airplanes having to deal with crowds, delays, racing from one ridiculously far apart terminal to the next and, of course, a favorite living joke, snotty flight attendants. On the show cameras document the other side, going behind the scenes with the customer service, boarding and flight attendants of Houston based Southwest Airlines. Because the show's a documentary, on A&E and not another dating contest we're all supposed to look at it with a belief that it is automatically good. It's a nice attempt, but the show doesn't work in nearly every aspect.

The people in the show are often running frantically through the airport and the show (mistakenly, I think) wants to give that discombobulating sense to the viewers, bouncing frantically from each story. There is enough high-tension stress here to make NBC's occupational documentary 'The Restaurant' look like a stay at the Betty Ford Clinic. The problems the poor Southwest employees encounter range from so mundane to so realistically annoying we'd hate to deal with in real life so much it's hard to fathom watching it as entertainment for 30 minutes on TV. We see people missing their connections, people marooned in the terminal with lost tickets or heavy plane delays, passengers complaining so rudely over this stuff it is hard to imagine these people function in their everyday life, and a cavalcade of crazy people – walking around in short kilts, diapers and massive BO. The show opened its first scene in the first episode with the most entertaining bit in which a women blames her ticket trouble on all the white people behind the counter and in management who are trying to oppress her.

None of it is particularly funny and the show is slingshoting between the vignettes so quickly we aren't given a chance to be wrapped up in any of the personal drama. More concern is put into the show's presentation than allowing us to languish in a sense of actually being there. An ideal quality in a reality show. The regulars being documented might be interesting personally, but outside of following home a gay flight attendant who doesn't care what anyone thinks, the show is edited so heavily we never get to know them personally. Most curious, and distracting, is the inclusion of an omnipresent narrator telling us what we are seeing or about to see on the screen. If you really dig the flight service profession or your TV with a little trauma, than this is the place to be.

* ½
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Strange and Strange
dpimi14 May 2008
First off, this is a train wreck in the world of Customer Service. The show is yet another BBC show that has made it across the pond. I have watched enough of it to know, that I will never fly Southwestern. During my younger years as a Customer Service jockey, I would have been fired or placed on suspension if I acted the way most of the Supervisors/Managers do on the show.

All in all the show points out just how stupid things are at the airport. What cracks me up the most is the fact that they actually have bars on the concourse, which gives the opportunity for an idiot to get drunk. The logic is like a gift shop that sells guns at the local prison. Sadly, there is always an idiot that will buy one.

So in a nutshell, drunks and rude CSRs make for funny show. If you enjoy bad service, and weird people in their 5 seconds of fame, then I would say watch it.

However, if you like the idea of the show. I would suggest watch the BBC version, which offers more of a story of the people who work there, and what actually happens there.
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