Check out your seatmate the next time you fly Southwest Airlines — it could be presidential candidate Ralph Nader. He has dubbed the carrier his own “unofficial” airline for his independent presidential campaign.
“While George W. Bush has Air Force One and John Kerry has his own Boeing 757, I have my unofficial campaign airline, called Southwest,” Nader said to The New York Times. “I don’t have just one plane; I have the whole airline at my disposal. If you arrive late or have a special need, they give you a wink and say, ‘I’ll take care of that.’ And they give you peanuts. And they are roasted. Do you realize how important a factor that is for a hungry campaigner?”
A spokesman for Nader said the candidate has been traveling the country on the famously low-cost carrier, known more for its cattle-call boarding process than its political dignitaries.
Southwest officials were not aware of the “unofficial” endorsement, but didn’t miss a beat when asked about it. Southwest spokesman Ed Stewart told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the carrier provides the same level of service for all of its customers, “… whether you’re running for president or not.”