I'm not sure how, but at some point this week I became aware of a charity auction hosted by the folks over at Southwest Airline's MIT (managers in training) group. Up for auction were airline seats, Herb Kelleher signed whisky, plane models, pieces of old Dallas Love Field and even items from other airlines. Surprised at the lack of attention the auction was getting I mentioned it on twitter, and was scooped by NYC Aviation's lightning fast blogger, Jason Rabinowitz. In hindsight, perhaps the exposure NYCA provides was what did the auction in...
As a bit of an airline memorabilia auction hound I've fallen to the dark site, and know how to win. Yes, I'm a sniper that is, someone who waits until the very last minute to place a maximum bid. It seems I'm not alone in this practice as activity on the site seemed to be pretty sparse in the past few days. Then this afternoon came along... The site indicated that all auctions would end at 3 PM central, but it turned out that some ended earlier, some later. Suddenly the site was running slow and then, at the worst possible moment, as auctions were closing, the traffic crippled their host (powweb).
The site came back off and on, and for a few minutes and was temporarily redirected to what appeared to be a random family photo blog over at www.juicebeka.com (wut?)
My first reaction is to criticize the folks running the show because to be honest, I lost out on some really great items. And they ended up raising less money for the charity than they could have, if the site was up and folks were able to get in their last minute bids.
HOWEVER, we have to step back and consider this was a charity auction, and Southwest's heart was in the right place here. Also, I'd be remiss to ignore the fact that an auction for [mostly] Southwest schwag managed to outright cripple their web host Love 'em or hate 'em, Southwest has a lot of loyal fans out there who are willing to blow an afternoon trying to win an auction for their doodads.
Hey Southwest folks, next time maybe use eBay? Please?!