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WN Becoming Unwieldy?  
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3805 posts, RR: 29
Posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2155 times:

IMO one of the main issues which stands in the way of meaningful recovery for the U.S. majors is that they have grown to a size that makes them very unwieldy (which is defined in my Random House Dictionary as "not easily handled or managed, because of size, weight or shape"). For a very short time in the late 1990s they escaped the consequences of their unwieldiness due to a convergence of anomolies not likely to be repeated.

The point at which an airline becomes unwieldy (hence finding itself in an excessive struggle to make a profit -- or even survive) is impossible to determine precisely and yet becomes apparent once the line has been crossed. The "full-service" U.S. majors crossed the line long before their current crisis surfaced in 2000 when the anomolies upon which they based their business plans began to evaporate.

My reason for the question raised by this topic is based on what I see as evidences that WN may be in jeopardy of becoming unwieldy in the immediate future -- if not already: consistently average to below average performance numbers over the past 18 months whereas previously they had been at or near the top almost without fail, and uncharacteristic unrest among the ranks of their employees.

Not that I see WN posting losses in the near future. I also see WN's business plan as altogether viable; my point is that WN seems to be nearing the point where it has become "difficult to manage because of size" (i.e. unwieldy) to the extent that the happy family of employees and level of profitability seen in the past at WN may be a thing of the past.

What do you think?


20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 1, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2140 times:
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No I think you are to quick to write them off, growing pains is all they are having right now. Economy is effecting everyone. Remember they have not laid off anyone.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineHlywdCatft From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5321 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2073 times:

They have not laid off anyone, but the employees are the lowest paid. Didnt just the other day some flight attendants protest the low pay?

User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2059 times:

Funny...in another thread it looked like Mechianics, rampers, and agents were either highest or second highest paid. FA's are in negotiations. You'll never please everybody, but I believe that most Mechanics were recently given a raise that they are happy with, and agents just got a raise that they are happy with, and both those were given after 9/11. In fact, on some other boards, I see a lot of other airline personell saying that they'd love to have LUV's wages. But go ahead and believe that their employees are the lowest paid if it makes you feel better.

User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2029 times:

My reason for the question raised by this topic is based on what I see as evidences that WN may be in jeopardy of becoming unwieldy in the immediate future -- if not already: consistently average to below average performance numbers over the past 18 months whereas previously they had been at or near the top almost without fail, and uncharacteristic unrest among the ranks of their employees.

I don't know where you're seeing the unrest, other than some demonstrations by the Flight Attendants. IMHO, that's all part of the negotiation process. If anything, I have noticed that the rampers negotiations a few years back involved only a few "infomational pickets", as the FA's are now doing. What I did notice is that all the groups did not try to threaten the customer if the company didn't quickly give in to their demands. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the IAM (who has been in their fair share of managment hating arguments) actually represented any groups within LUV. And although the mechanics voted out the Teamsters after their contract, the professionalism exhibited by the mechanics and the Teamsters officials was unbelievable. So right now, the only thing you are reading about are the FA's concerns, and from what I have read, the issues have had more to do with rest periods than pay. Again, compare this "unrest" among their employees to the CHAOS, or Sickouts, or refusals to work overtime that happend at the other airlines. It's like having a spat with your spouse...you might be upset for a while, but you still love them.

Not that I see WN posting losses in the near future. I also see WN's business plan as altogether viable; my point is that WN seems to be nearing the point where it has become "difficult to manage because of size" (i.e. unwieldy) to the extent that the happy family of employees and level of profitability seen in the past at WN may be a thing of the past.

I really have only one concern about LUV's future, and that has to do with the new mechanics union. As I am sure you are aware from reading other boards, the union that they voted in is trying to gain a foothold in AA and UAL. They've tried in the past and have failed. My concern is that when the mechanic contracts come up for renewal, the union will be more focused on making themselves look good to the OTHER airline employees, that they might not give their full attention to working with the company for the good of the OWN members. From the other boards, the AMFA supporters at AA refer to the TWU as the "company union". Given that employee/management relations are so close at SWA, would they feel that they were being the "company union" by working too closely with managment - to the ultimate detriment of their members? Hopefully, none of that will come to fruition, but that's the only concern I'd hold for the future.



User currently offlineLgbguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2004 times:

HlywdCatft,

Yep, as soon as I get off tonight I'm heading over to pick-up my food stamps, it's tuff being a low paid WN OPS agent.

Please make sure you have all the facts, before posting messages here, thanks.

lgbguy


User currently offlineElwood64151 From United States of America, joined Feb 2002, 2477 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 1988 times:

Okay, maybe you didn't see any demonstrations against LUV, but at MCI, the ramp agents were chanting and picketing so close to the doors that the airport police had to move them back a few times. And us Vanguard guys would have loved to get their pay.

I've been thinking about this myself. A lot of airlines are simply too big for their britches. I thought that AA taking over TWA might create a Jauggernaut, but it turned out that they simply let go of a lot of people and aircraft, even before 9/11. I figured that a US/UA merger would creat a behemoth that no one could beat. We'll never know, but I'm beginning to think I may have been wrong.

Has WN met that point? I don't think so, but I think they've reached something of a limit to their growth. Sure, they can add routes, but they'll have difficulty adding cities from here on out. Only large cities like MEM, MKE, BOS, and ATL could potentially add WN, and most of those are hub cities with few available gates. Their only real option is to go international, and that could also be difficult.

Now, while McDonalds expanded into basically every city larger than 50,000 people in every country in the world save Iran, Iraq and North Korea, they made money. Now that there's no where else to go, they've posted their first loss in something like forty years (I don't know the exact amount of time, but it's been literally decades). Southwest could be headed in that same direction, but as much as I am biased against WN, I hope they stick around.



Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
User currently offlineBlatantEcho From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1913 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1965 times:

I think we are seeing, and I agree with the original poster in some context, the hardships of maintaining company culture.

It's easy when you KNOW the CEO, when you see him all the time as he makes his rounds. He may still make his rounds, but as the company grows, your chances of seeing him diminish.

Is there less drive, professionalism or efficency? Nothing I've seen comes close to that. However, if with growth, people loose the ability to go straight to their boss with questions/concerns, simply becuase the boss has so many people now underhim, then you begin to tread on a slippery slope.

Maintaining the culture that has brought them success will be a challenge as they grow. Are these little things growing pains, or a fundamental breakdown of this family culture?

Time will tell, but I've got my money on the former.

George



They're not handing trophies out today
User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 1954 times:
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Also WN FA's are using informative picketing and not resulting to CHOAS that other airlines have had to face. They might be pay issues tho they still LUV the company and there jobs, can other airlines say this?


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4506 posts, RR: 33
Reply 9, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 1890 times:

I remain bullish on Southwest, but have a couple of concerns that may be a problem.

The weaker numbers of the past 18 months, I think, have largely to do with the fact that Southwest didn't lay off *anyone* after 9/11 and parked either no planes or a handful. Unlike JetBlue, which as a smaller carrier jumps into niches with a couple of daily flights and grows from there, Southwest hasn't been conquering new terrain since 9/11. They only added ORF in 10/01 because they had already made the commitment there.

Southwest's excellent personnel policies--actions that are consistent with good words about a "family"--have cost them some money since 9/11. It's money well spent that strengthens that culture for the future.

Hence the problem I see. Southwest requires 10 dailies from new markets on day one. That means that adding new markets is very expensive from a marketing and logistics standpoint. Southwest says that's why they haven't added markets since 9/11.

JetBlue will enter a new market with one or two daily flights: AirTran will enter with three to five. These two carriers can thus enter new markets with much less expense. They have thus chosen to grow aggressively in the past 1.5 years, which has been the biggest economic window of opportunity for low-fare carriers in history.

This window is not closing but its narrowing. The Cartel did not fight back for awhile. Now Song is up and running; AA is taking out MRTC in some flights; UA is planning a low-fare division (which I think will tank like Shuttle did, but that's another story); and US Airways has emerged from bankruptcy much leaner and meaner (though still not out of the woods). Life won't be as easy as it was for LCC's the past 18 months. LCC's will still grow to a much bigger share of USA air traffic than the 20 percent they have now, but they'll have to fight harder for a lot of it.

Southwest has mostly sat the past 18 months out by connecting dots. Now they have two well-established, growing competitors who are much more flexible, are not overextended, and still make money. AirTran, for instance, has seen its load factors go up a couple of percentage points over huge capacity growth since 2001--they're growing *below* demand. AirTran's experiment with JetConnect is succeeding so far, which means that the Atlanta hub is becoming even better utilized.

But, you say, FL's CASM is 10 percent higher than WN's. No problem. Here's where WN's 10-dailies requirement comes in. As long as WN ignores the Rochesters of the world and cherry-picks the Buffalo's, FL can come into the Rochesters and charge a 10 percent premium for pax who are sick of driving down the Thruway. AirTran is raking in the $$ in Rochester as a result. (Raking it in in Buffalo too, I might add). Once AirTran adds transcons on its own (Ryan of course is a stopgap measure), their average stage length will increase, which will help reduce seat-mile cost.

But, you also say, the 10-dailies requirement is a key to WN's 7.5 cent CASM. I say, this industry is about flexibility and creativity. WN will need to figure out a way to drop to a requirement of 4-5 new dailies, without losing much cost advantage, if they want to stay far out front and grow well.

Finally, Southwest needs to figure out what the hell they want to do about New York City. Their biggest, maybe only, mistake of the last decade was not getting into JFK while the getting was good. (That would have required serving BUF/ROC/SYR, as our Congresscritters rightly demanded in exchange for JFK slots, and WN wouldn't have entered all those markets w/ 10 dailies at once). ISP handles Long Island, but it's too far to be a high-volume NYC airport. NYC is a big gap in the map of the nation's largest LCC; they'll be at a disadvantage in the East as JetBlue and AirTran grow there. I don't know the answer, we've discussed to death the fact that the alternatives all stink (ABE, SWF) or are NIMBY-restricted (HPN, TTN).

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter, for what they're worth.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1805 times:

Okay, maybe you didn't see any demonstrations against LUV, but at MCI, the ramp agents were chanting and picketing so close to the doors that the airport police had to move them back a few times. And us Vanguard guys would have loved to get their pay.

MCI is my home airport. Unless you are blocking traffic, you are close to the doors. In any labor negotiations, there will be some pickets. But how many of them would you say hated their company? And I wonder if the rampers would have been nearly so vocal if their negotiations happened after 9/11.



User currently offlineNorthwestair From Poland, joined Jul 2001, 648 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1781 times:

You can't say that all LCC pay their employees less. NWA gave us a chart that shows how much each employee group makes at other Airlines. Tell me what you think?

Customer Service Agents Average $19.62
NW $21.34
DL $22.00
UA $21.66
CO $21.16
US $20.56
AA $17.65 ( not a LCC)
WN $20.66 ( a LCC strange not the lowest on the pay scale lets go on)
B5 $19.45 ( JetBlue wasn't sure what the code was, but still not the lowest)
AS $19.36
HP $12.39

Equip. Service Average $20.31
NW $20.91
DL $22.23
CO $21.16
UA $20.97
AA $20.31
US $19.85
WN $21.98
AS $21.31
B5 $19.45
HP $14.95


Mech. Average $30.47

NW $34.34
DL $34.95
CO $33.54
UA $30.87
AA $30.31
US $28.81
WN $35.61
AS $26.64
HP $25.67
B5 $24.00


Resevation agents Average $19.04

NW $20.75
DL $21.00
UA $20.93
US $20.56
CO $18.52
AA $17.65
WN $20.37
B5 $19.45
AS $18.80
HP $12.39


Flight Attendents Average $41.49 Per flight Hr
NW $46.51
DL $48.76
CO $46.87
AA $43.38
UA $41.35
US $40.24
WN $47.43
AS $42.09
HP $37.59
B5 $20.67
This assumes working 75 hrs per month ( flt Hrs)


Now for the Pilots there are tooooooooooooooooooooooo many different A/C types to get a salary comp.

This also goes to show you that yes even though you might be a LCC you don't acutally pay your employees less money. I ready for the worst let me have it.
Oh yea these are the TOP OUT RATES. This is the chart that I posted in another thread. Now these are the Top out rates. So not every employee makes these kind of wages some make a little less.



I don't care who you fly just as long as you fly
User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 1785 times:

Tango Bravo said,

For a very short time in the late 1990s they (the majors) escaped the consequences of their unwieldiness due to a convergence of anomolies not likely to be repeated.
-----

What anomolies do you mean? The 90's boom? Or is there something else you have in mind as well ?

As to unwieldiness, WN's simplicity of operations have actually helped it to scale better than other airlines have. Many of the operational problems of the cartel are not due to their size, but to their complexity. WN doesnt try to have a network that covers everything from 19 seat contracted-out regional operations to trans-Pacific 777's. Neither do they introduce many things into their system likely to result in operational complications - codeshares, more than 1 aircraft type, more than 1 class of service, etc. etc. When they do introduce something new that might add complexity - like their relatively new "connect-the-dots" longhaul strategy - they do it slowly and cautiously.

IMHO it is not size that matters, but specialization. There are large airlines in trouble and there are small airlines in trouble. There are small airlines that are doing well now and some that are no longer with us. But all of the larger airlines that have nearly died have tried to be all things to all people. USair and United are cases in point. I can't think of a single exception. Perhaps America West....but even they run a regional network, have international service, and style themselves a "full service airline".

On the other hand, look at who is doing relatively well. Most US "Regional" airlines have done good considering the circumstances. So are the larger Lo-Co's - Airtran , Southwest and JetBlue. Looking overseas - Ryanair anb Virgin are doing OK. There is one thing that these differing airlines have in common - they all specialize in one kind of flying and do it very well. "Network" Carriers complete with regional partners and International routes arn't doing as well. Air France and Lufthansa are doing OK, I think, but I can't think of any other exceptions. Most are doing very poorly compared to more specialized lines.

There are pitfalls in filling a specialized market - like how do you expand after that market runs out? Someone mentioned Mcdonalds as an example. Yet this is an extreme example. You have to get VERY, VERY big before this becomes a factor. Even Walmart is still growing faster than one might think considering its present size.

I simply do not think that Southwest has gotten anywhere near that point yet. By some measures they are still less then half the size of United or American. They say (and I think they are right) that there are many expansion opportunities left. Their are many subburban airports in the East (ABE for example) they could use to serve the New York area. They could enter COS or Fresno. They could enter many other cities that they have avoided in the past because the majors were a bigger threat then - MSP comes to mind. They have even entered places with very little trafic before and they have CREATED traffic for themselves with good market research, advertizing, and low fares. They encourage more people to fly rather than drive or take the bus and train. There are also many long-haul markets they can tap simply by connecting the dots - this is a low cost strategy that has served them pretty well in the past few years.

When they do run out of domestic expansion opportunities, my guess is they will not expand WN outward, get a new aircraft type, or go with fewer than 10 flights a city. What I suspect they will do is start a new airline that is more or less seperate from the current system, and that interlinks with the current system only at a few, well chosen points. The new airline would have a new fleet, new labor policies, - new everything. Except in maybe a few key areas where commonality could save money. The new airline would be designed to serve the new market they choose to enter. This is a way to manage the resulting complexity. Instead of having one big airline, have several airlines that each serve a particular niche well. Virgin has done this a little (perhaps they have been forced by foreign ownership rules in Australia and other places... but they have done it). It has worked out well for them.

IN SHORT, what makes an airline unwieldy is not as much large size as complexity of operations. Southwest is careful not to let things grow to complex (either for the customer or themselves). This advantage remains and even grows as their size goes up. In general, the airlines that are doing well are specialists, not generalists.

The labor situation does worry me, however. Corporate culture IS a lot harder to scale than an airline itself is.......


User currently offlineUal777contrail From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1744 times:

northwestair,
did you pull these figures out of a hat?
you were close on a few UAL wages, close but not close enough.


ual 777 contrail


User currently offlineGoingboeing From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 4875 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1729 times:

I'm a bit curious as well. Some of the "unrest" that TB is speaking of comes from posts that LUV's FA's are the lowest paid in the industry, yet according to that chart, they are the second highest paid.

User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 15, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1671 times:
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With the FA's pay issues I have read it also has to do with hours worked per day, rest issues and meals.


You can cut the irony with a knife
User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3805 posts, RR: 29
Reply 16, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1609 times:

Cloudy asks: "What anomolies do you mean?" (that allowed the cartel airlines a brief escape in the late 1990s from the consequences of their unwieldiness)

Three anomolies stand out: 1) An economy made to appear much stronger than it actually was by Enron-style accounting that overstated U.S. corporate profits by 30%, along with the dot com bubble based on unrealistically optimistic speculation for which no precedent existed. 2) Fuel prices far below 10-year averages. 3) Labor concessions carried over from the previously unprecedented airline crisis of the early-mid 1990s. (Management's predictable "forgetfulness" about the "snapback" provisions to which they had agreed while paying themselves obsene bonuses predictably resulted in the revenge exacted by the various labor groups (CHAOS, "Summer from Hell," etc.) and the unsustainable payscales which ensued.)

BTW, I totally agree that the point at which WN becomes unwieldy is much larger than it is for the cartel airlines who have allowed themselves to become hopelessly convoluted in every resepect, from their day-to-day flight operations, to codeshares where they take on the problems of other airlines (as though there aren't enough to deal with in one's own airline), to their arcane fare structures, to their byzantine frequent flyer programs, to maintaining their costly caste systems (elite ff programs), to dealing with ticketing issues for passengers booked by third parties who leave their customers hanging once their fees are collected, to supposing they can succeed at being all things to all people, and more.

Plus, the cartel airlines make themselves unwieldy at a much smaller size than WN because they treat their employees like commodities and overhead (though they may talk the talk of valuing them) meaning that employees, for the most part (like their managers), have only their self-interest in mind when on the job; do just enough to stay out of trouble and to keep the company who provides a paycheck in business, and nothing more. To the credit of cartel airline staff, I see many who take pride in serving their customers well; it's only the airline for whom they work toward whom they are indifferent when it comes down to walking the walk. And why would anyone expect otherwise? Attitudes tend to flow from the top down in any organization, including airlines.

And that is why WN can be much larger than the cartel airlines before they become unwieldy -- they keep it simple and straightforward and truly value their Employees who in turn truly respect their Leaders and value the company for whom they work.


User currently offlineNorthwestair From Poland, joined Jul 2001, 648 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1501 times:

northwestair,
did you pull these figures out of a hat?
you were close on a few UAL wages, close but not close enough.


ual 777 contrail

I got this Info from our Company Newspaper. HDQ put a special section that should the industry pay scale. Don't know where HDQ got the Info from.



I don't care who you fly just as long as you fly
User currently offlineCloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1486 times:

Three anomolies stand out: 1) An economy made to appear much stronger than it actually was by Enron-style accounting that overstated U.S. corporate profits by 30%, along with the dot com bubble based on unrealistically optimistic speculation for which no precedent existed. 2) Fuel prices far below 10-year averages. 3) Labor concessions carried over from the previously unprecedented airline crisis of the early-mid 1990s. (Management's predictable "forgetfulness" about the "snapback" provisions to which they had agreed while paying themselves obsene bonuses predictably resulted in the revenge exacted by the various labor groups (CHAOS, "Summer from Hell," etc.) and the unsustainable payscales which ensued.)
------

I agree with just about all of your points in that post. And I'll concede that greater size does equal greater complexity - all things being equal. As you mentioned, with Southwest, there are a great many things that are not equal.

From what I've seen - most of the current concessionaire contracts that have been or are being negotiated between the majors and their Unions also have "snapback" provisions. Just goes to show how shortsited both labor and management can be sometimes. When times get good again, and they will, history could repeat itself.

The true test of management is not in bad times. Anybody can do the right thing when the alternative is liquidation. The test of good management is good times, and I had not considered until now just how much time and treasure the majors squandered in the late 90's.

As for labor, it may seem hard to believe that any industry's top management would rather waste billions of dollars than deign to treat labor and consumers with respect, but it definitely seems like the network carriers have done that.

Complexity may act as sort of an addictive drug to the network carriers. They take a little to help their aches and pains, than they suppose that taking on more will cause them to feel even better. It does for a while, then they start taking more and more of the drug to get the same effects. They eventually grow dependent on it even though it is destroying their lives.

Yield Management, frequent flier programs, and the like are like addictive drugs. Southwest uses both but uses them in moderation and for the purpose of solving specific problems or addressing specific issues. This is analogous to using novacain to reduce the pain during dental surgery, or using stimulants to treat certain mental illnesses.

The "Cartel" (if they can still be called that) are hopelessly addicted. They have turned frequent flier programs into caste systems. They have made yield management into an excuse to turn their fare system into a hopeless mess. Every time they have problems or opportunities the answer is always more extreme yield management or even more unhealthy focus on the "elite" members of their caste system.

The answer to everything is more complexity, just like the addict's answer to everything is more dope. Every once in awhile someone in the Cartel leadership realizes this and an airline tries to go "cold turkey" and simplify everything. Crandall's ill fated attempt to simplify the fare structure was one example of this, as are numerous attempts to start internal "low-cost" airlines. They have all failed, for the same reason addicts most often fail to quit. The temptation of the drug(complexity) is to great. The influence of peers (unions and competitors) also draws one back to the old ways.

But even so, there have been some partial success stories....so there is hope. One thing that could help would be if the government would stop being an "enabler" and just let some of the "addicts" go ahead and "hit bottom". Sometimes this tough love is the best thing that one can do for a person. Or an airline.


User currently offlineSWAbubba From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1420 times:

Cloudy,

Great post. I love the "addict" analogy; unfortunately I think you've hit the nail on the head.

As for the original question, I don't think the FA negotiations qualify as "labor unrest"; all labor negotiations involve both sides trying to sway public opinion their way. I wouldn't read too much into the informational picketing. Most everyone I deal with on a daily basis is pretty happy to be employed at a carrier that's still making money and growing.

As for the operational statistics, we have made a decision to fly the aircraft in a way to save as much fuel as possible. This has hurt our on-time performance but has helped our profitability. I suppose it's a question of priorities, just how many $ is it worth to make up that five minutes? Just something to think about...

Southwest's model has scaled very well to this point and I believe it will continue to do so as we resume our more normal rate of growth in the future.


User currently offlineLuv2fly From United States of America, joined May 2003, 12110 posts, RR: 48
Reply 20, posted (11 years 3 months 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 1414 times:
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SWAbubba

Thanks for your post and information. As a loyal WN flyer and also a stock holder I always appreciate information from an insider. And I agree about the FA and the informal picketing they are doing. If they were really upset then I think we would see the much more destructive CHOAS that other airlines had happen to them.



You can cut the irony with a knife
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