A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality series -- which centers on the day-to-day operations of Southwest Airlines -- highlights both positive and negative interactions with customers. Many of the featured customers are angry and/or intoxicated and, as a result, yell and/or openly swear at Southwest employees (words like "f--k" and "bulls--t" are bleeped out). Others exhibit odd or bizarre behavior (usually after drinking or taking tranquilizers to calm flying jitters). These scenes may be funny to adults, but they make the show iffy for tweens.
What's the story?
AIRLINE follows Southwest Airlines' day-to-day operations as passengers check in, board, and head off for their final destinations. Viewers watch as the airline's staff and crew deal with excited travelers, nervous fliers, and unhappily stranded customers and work to ensure the safe, timely passage of thousands of passengers. Every day, the employees meet lots of fascinating people with heartwarming (and sometimes heartbreaking) stories. But as airline regulations get tighter and the number of passengers increases, they must also contend with dissatisfied and often irate customers who believe they've been treated unfairly. Also challenging is staff's increased need to tag people who are too intoxicated to fly, many of whom are humorously dramatic and belligerent.
Is it any good?
The ups and downs faced by both Southwest customers and staff members may provide some entertaining viewing moments, but AIRLINE might also strike a sore nerve in folks who are no stranger to the inconveniences associated with air travel. It doesn't help when Southwest employees are sometimes unaccommodating or rude when enforcing their policies.
But despite some off-putting moments, the show is absorbing -- as well as a unique promotional vehicle for the airline. It also demonstrates that while working for an airline isn't always easy, it does come with its share of interesting experiences.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about TV shows that blur the lines between entertainment and advertising. What do companies like Southwest Airlines gain by having their successes and failures on television? Does it help or hurt the company's reputation? Families can also discuss how the customers react on the show. What are some more constructive ways to communicate dissatisfaction or handle stressful situations?