A review of the operational and cultural aspects of Southwest Airlines
Aimee Henkle, Christine Lindsey, Michelle Bernson
Southwest Airlines was established in 1971 in Texas with 3 planes and routes between Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Business model was simply: “If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline.” Today Southwest Airlines is the 4th largest airline in the United States servicing 58 cities with a fleet of 366 planes and is on its 29th straight year of profitability.
Customers – who are they?
Short haul business travelers who want to get there when they want. In other words offer several flight time choices between cities in close proximity. Families who decided to take a short flight rather than driving their car the same distance.
Average one-way fare is $83 and it supplies 90% of all discount fares Concerned with keeping cost low to increase profitability rather than increase market share. Understand specific market niche.
Fly Short Distances
Southwest does not use a hub-and-spoke system, but rather flies point to point. Average flight last just over an hour.
Typical flight attendant spiel: "Please pay attention to the flight attendant at the front of the cabin. She's either going to be Miss America 2000 or a very bitter runner up."
Hire for attitude and train for skills Humor taken seriously Hired 6,406 new employees in 2001
Encourage to assume ownership Hire for life Trust there decisions
Give employees immediate access to critical information. They have the power to make adjustments to fix significant problems quickly. On-time arrivals, baggage handling, and customer complaints are communicated on a weekly basis....