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Why Aren't More Airlines Like Southwest?  
User currently offlinewill777 From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 174 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16695 times:

As we all know, WN is a greatly successful airline. They seem to have done everything right. Looking on the fact sheet on their website:

http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/press/factsheet.html

Quote:
Yearend results for 2009 marked Southwest’s 37th consecutive year of profitability.
Southwest operates 537 Boeing 737 aircraft between 68 cities.
More than 3,200 flights a day
Total passengers carried: 86 million
Southwest aircraft fly an average of 6.25 flights per day, or almost 11 hours and 45 minutes per day.
Southwest Airlines has consistently received the lowest ratio of complaints per passengers boarded of all Major U.S. carriers

The fact sheet also has recognitions that WN has received:

Quote:
Southwest Airlines was named Best Low Cost/No Frills Airline
Zagat named Southwest Airlines Best Value–Domestic
Southwest Airlines was recognized as Favorite Domestic Airline and ranked #1 in Best Customer Service
11th consecutive year, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards took top honors

So it seems to me that Southwest is a top notch airline. They have weathered the economic crisis and have remained profitable. They also seem to be just as large (fleet wise at least) as all the other majors. They even have about double the fleet size of US and UA. They have also consistently received top honors on their customer service and FF program.

Why aren't more airlines like this?

[Edited 2010-04-10 17:49:07 by srbmod]

116 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDualQual From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 763 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16647 times:

Because caring about your customers and employees and trying to do right by both does not result in massive bonuses for revolving door CEO's.

User currently offlinewncrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1457 posts, RR: 10
Reply 2, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16591 times:

I think also part of it is about WN's lack of complexity. We don't a lot of what makes the other airlines different either. We're simple in our structure and service and I think that helps a lot more than people realize. We are what we are, and we control most everything about us ,as opposed to various other airlines who have code-shares, interlining, and regional affiliates (whose flights they take credit for when it's good.. and separate themselves from when the $H*T hits the fan)... it all makes for a seemless, easy operation relative to our peers.


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5592 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16597 times:

Quoting will777 (Thread starter):

Why aren't more airlines like this?
WN doesn't fly internationally, doesn't interline or codeshare with more than one carrier, has one single fleet type, doesn't have an "express" divison, and:


Quoting will777 (Thread starter):
68 cities.

Has a comparatively small route network.

Many of these "perks" are wholly incompatible with the legacy carriers.



(As a side note: topics like this should be in the Travel Polls & Preferences section)

[Edited 2010-04-10 17:36:28]


"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlinewncrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1457 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16595 times:

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 3):
Quoting will777 (Thread starter):
68 cities.

Has a comparatively small route network.

...and without their contracted flying, do they legacies serve more than 68 cities with their own metal?



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinethegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16435 times:

We'll see when those hedges run up...


Our Returning Champion
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2280 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 16422 times:

Quoting wncrew (Reply 4):
...and without their contracted flying, do they legacies serve more than 68 cities with their own metal?

That's not the point is it? As far as customers are concerned, flying ASA is the same as flying Delta, just on a smaller aircraft.


User currently offlinenws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16376 times:

If all airlines were like Southwest we would have quite a difficult time getting around. They're great at what they do, but their small route network limits their usefulness for many travelers.

User currently offlinebahadir From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1775 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16353 times:

Take Southwest to London, Tokyo, or Grand Rapids, or to Sao Paolo next time you are flying to these destinations  


Earthbound misfit I
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1552 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16330 times:

Quoting wncrew (Reply 4):
...and without their contracted flying, do they legacies serve more than 68 cities with their own metal?

While I don't have insider info here, I think it's reasonable to say that, yes, the legacies would fly to way more cities. With all due respect, their model is to serve as many as possible (essentially), whereas WN cherrypicks markets. As has been rehashed ad infinitum on here, there is no way an airline like WN can do East Podunk, MT to Hole-in-the-Wall, WV. The legacies use their regional planes to fly to lots of small places that even if you can physically get a 737 into, it's not going to be economical even for a rock bottom outfit like NK (who in my book is still a few levels below WN). Plus if you're a premium flyer who likes having a wider seat, 40" of legroom, free liquor, lounges, etc., and can afford to pay for it, what use would you have for WN? LCC's fill a valuable niche in the market, but they can't approximate the route map of a full network airline.


User currently offlinenorcal From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2459 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16315 times:

Quoting DualQual (Reply 1):
Because caring about your customers and employees and trying to do right by both does not result in massive bonuses for revolving door CEO's.

  

Most other airlines are run by bean counters. Some airlines have had great leaders, but WN has had great leadership for it's entire history.

Quoting thegreatRDU (Reply 5):
We'll see when those hedges run up..

WN will adapt, they've faced much worse challenges before.


User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1713 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16294 times:

Quoting bahadir (Reply 8):

Take Southwest to London, Tokyo, or Grand Rapids, or to Sao Paolo next time you are flying to these destinations

I wish I could. Maybe some new airline will specialize in profitable overseas flights from half a dozen US bases, and coordinate with WN. Minimal service, moderate pitch, no 'gothcha' policies, a straightforward dealing with rebooking. We should be so lucky.

ps - and one that is devoted to profits and service.



Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5592 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16278 times:

Quoting wncrew (Reply 4):

...and without their contracted flying, do they legacies serve more than 68 cities with their own metal?

The answer is both yes and irrelevant. Mainline carriers (theoretically) make a profit off of express and codeshare flying.

Quoting thegreatRDU (Reply 5):
We'll see when those hedges run up...

Please tell me you're being sarcastic.... their hedges stopped giving them an advantage in 2009 when oil dropped like a rock.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineA346Dude From Canada, joined Nov 2004, 1283 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16230 times:

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 9):
While I don't have insider info here, I think it's reasonable to say that, yes, the legacies would fly to way more cities. With all due respect, their model is to serve as many as possible (essentially), whereas WN cherrypicks markets. As has been rehashed ad infinitum on here, there is no way an airline like WN can do East Podunk, MT to Hole-in-the-Wall, WV.

Think again... according to wiki, UA flies to 73, AA to 81, CO to 62 (all domestic destinations). Well within the same ballpark as WN.

No airline flies non-stop from tertiary city to tertiary city. The legacies only do it by contracting with regionals and funneling pax through one or more hubs.

[Edited 2010-04-10 18:17:12]


You know the gear is up and locked when it takes full throttle to taxi to the terminal.
User currently offlinejetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1644 posts, RR: 10
Reply 14, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 16127 times:
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Southwest, and I would also include JetBlue were founded and run today by people that believe in customer service. While both have small route structures as compared to the legacies, it is their attitudes towards their customers that make them stand out.

All the major airlines today are run by finance people, that is bean counter MBA’s who only can see the spreadsheets in front of their faces as to how much money they are going to make or lose the next quarter. They don’t consider customer service as part of their financial training, just how much money we can get out of our customers this week by nickel and dimeing them to death. Instead of encouraging customers, airlines today are doing their best to discourage travel with all their add on fees. This has forced some people to drive instead, or as we can see, show their displeasure with their feet, by taking their business to airlines like Southwest and JetBlue when they can.

I would use USAir as an example of an airline that lacks any resemblance of customer service, they are one of the leaders in adding fees, including their disastrous charges for soda and water which totally backfired in their faces. All a finance person sees is as how much money we can make off of soda and water sales, a marketing person sees this as a negative side of customer service, alienating customers by charging for something basic as water.

I have family members in the New York City area who when they fly, their fist choice is JetBlue if they fly to where they are headed, and second is AA. Why JetBlue first, they love their customer service and free amenities. What do they think of AA, they can’t stand then, they consider AA, a necessary evil when they have to fly on them.

I previously flew AA, and now fly Delta, I have also flown JetBlue, and I agree with my relatives, JetBlue wins hands down in customer service. I am a million miler with lifetime elite status on AA and Gold Medallion on Delta, so I think I have enough airline experience to say that both AA and Delta need to look at Southwest and JetBlue and see how they treat their customers, and try to win some of them back by dropping their screw the customers every chance they get policies.

I love how the bean counter CEOs of the airlines call these charges, unbundling, what a crock of $hit, their marketing people must cringe every time they hear the word unbundling.

JetStar


User currently offlinewncrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1457 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 15987 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 6):
That's not the point is it? As far as customers are concerned, flying ASA is the same as flying Delta, just on a smaller aircraft.
Quoting LHCVG (Reply 9):
The legacies use their regional planes to fly to lots of small places that even if you can physically get a 737 into
Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 12):
The answer is both yes and irrelevant. Mainline carriers (theoretically) make a profit off of express and codeshare flying.

I don't think it's irrelevant at all, I just think we have to remember these contracted carriers are NOT THE SAME COMPANY as their mainline counterparts (save for a few wholly-owned, but even then it's different company).

When an airline says "we serve 73 destinations in the US, Europe and Canada..." remember, they're not serving it themselves, they're paying someone else altogether to do it...

WN serves 68 destinations on their own, with their own aircraft, their own employees and consistent, high-ranking customer service. There is a difference, and it is not irrelevant.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1552 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 15915 times:

Quoting A346Dude (Reply 13):
Think again... according to wiki, UA flies to 73, AA to 81, CO to 62 (all domestic destinations). Well within the same ballpark as WN.

No airline flies non-stop from tertiary city to tertiary city. The legacies only do it by contracting with regionals and funneling pax through one or more hubs.

I wasn't referring to nonstop. What I meant was that WN chooses not to fly to those small places, even if you do connect. Sure, they'll connect you from CMH-BWI-BOS (or whatever), but they don't fly to all the backwoods places regional carriers do. Like I said, WN won't touch rural MT to rural WV through any of their hubs, but the legacies will get you between the two cities. Heck, they don't even SERVE either state (among others) at all.


User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 17, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 15914 times:

Quoting will777 (Thread starter):
Why aren't more airlines like this?

Most airlines *can't* be like that and perform their current missions. If you want to be Southwest, you need to draw a very specific, very rigid, boundary around the things you will do and exclude everything outside that boundary. They do very well at what they do, but there are a lot of services that airlines in general offer that Southwest doesn't provide. You can't run the whole industry the way Southwest is run.

Tom.


User currently offlineflyguy89 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1906 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 15866 times:

I think other airlines should be more like WN in the sense that they should be doing more point-to-point flying with scaled back hubs instead of a few mega-fortress hub cities that everyone must connect through.

User currently offlinevctony From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 15846 times:

Quoting DualQual (Reply 1):
Because caring about your customers and employees and trying to do right by both does not result in massive bonuses for revolving door CEO's.

I agree with this. My biggest complaint about WN is what they did to F9 in Denver. They are my preferred airline of choice if I am flying anywhere except DEN. If I fly to or through DEN though, I'll fly F9 or UA (out of principle).


User currently offlinenws2002 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 891 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 15641 times:

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 18):
I think other airlines should be more like WN in the sense that they should be doing more point-to-point flying with scaled back hubs instead of a few mega-fortress hub cities that everyone must connect through.

Point-to-point is not always the best way to make money, and even WN has focus cities where they connect passengers, even if they don't want to admit it. It is much more cost effective to funnel passengers through hubs, and by using regional carriers the legacy carriers can have a higher utilization rate with their own aircraft. Without hubs the smaller cities would lose service entirely, and the mid-size cities would see reduced frequencies. The large number of flights at hubs can actually be beneficial to travelers in irregular ops, it is much easier to reroute around the system.


User currently offlinebigsky09 From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 15581 times:

I love Southwest as an airline and overall they are a great company to work for. But at FLL its a circus, and a joke. I have worked on the industry for 8 years and have never been so frustrated to go to work evrtyday. At FLL you are treated as a slave on the ramp. It's unfortunate. A company like WN has a station so poorly run.

User currently offlinevctony From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 15565 times:

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 20):
Point-to-point is not always the best way to make money, and even WN has focus cities where they connect passengers, even if they don't want to admit it.

They've more than admitted it. My last PHX-SFO flight was delayed waiting for passengers and baggage from a late arriving connecting flight.


User currently offlineMaverick623 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 5592 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 15455 times:

Quoting wncrew (Reply 15):
I just think we have to remember these contracted carriers are NOT THE SAME COMPANY

Again, it's irrelevant who flies what for whom.

Quoting wncrew (Reply 15):
When an airline says "we serve 73 destinations in the US, Europe and Canada..." remember, they're not serving it themselves, they're paying someone else altogether to do it...

But they still set the schedules and the prices, and strive to make a profit from it. They can either pay themselves and their employees to do it, or farm it out to another company for less. The planes still fly and still bring money in.

Quoting wncrew (Reply 15):
There is a difference, and it is not irrelevant.

The difference the OP asked about (and what the customers ultimately notices) is customer service (which in turn stems from employee relations). Jetstar hit the nail on the head with that. You can have the most efficient system ever created, but if you treat your customers like a dollar bill instead of people, they're gonna go somewhere else.



"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
User currently offlineMrSkyGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (4 years 4 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 15446 times:

Quoting nws2002 (Reply 20):
Point-to-point is not always the best way to make money, and even WN has focus cities where they connect passengers, even if they don't want to admit it.

SWA isn't "immune" to those problems [which are so much more prevalent on competing airlines], they're are just less likely to be affected due to the relatively simple nature of their model.

SWA is hitting a critical point in its growth where the system (much like AA's in the 1970s) begins to feed off of other sectors, and problems felt in, say LGA, might be seen to a limited degree in Los Angeles. Again, it's not nearly as tight as an airline like AAL's network is, but it's definitely moving in that direction.

I travel quite frequently for business, and I choose SWA on just about every leg. Why? It's simple, and efficient. I pay them to get me somewhere, and they perform. Other airlines perform too, but I have yet to experience such a seamless operation on competing carriers.. and for a while I was all-AAL. When an WN bird "goes tech", it's not uncommon to see a replacement 737 on approach inside of an hour or two from the beginning of the event. When bags are lost, more frequently, bags are found. When weather/kids/business screw with an otherwise air-tight itinerary, WN accommodates. And lastly, their loyalty program is as simple and noteworthy.

I'd much rather fly WN from LAX to LGA with a stop in Chicago vs. Continental nonstop (despite COA being the closest thing to a well-run airline outside of WN) because of the reasons I've listed above. So I get there 1.5 hours later, but I get there and I get home.. and I get options if I can't.

To the OP's question, my answer is simple "because WN got there first and figured it out before anyone else--by accident or strategically, it's irrelevant. WN beat the older kids to the new playground."



"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
25 skyguyB727 : Based on my own experiences as a passenger on WN, I think the reason they score high in customer satisfaction is because their customers have very low
26 flyguy89 : notice I didn't say they should do away with hubs completely, I recognize the potential efficiencies of hubs and realize that WN actually has them, I
27 Maverick623 : That mantra hardly holds true anymore. People want low fares and little to no extra fees, and good customer service. Southwest is consistent in deliv
28 lufthansi : Their secret possibly is not to achieve only one certain aim but exactly that one that attracts the biggest amount of people. What I mean is: Most air
29 surfandsnow : Southwest is very good at what it does - short-haul, no frills, domestic p2p flying. They have mastered it. They have not been nearly as successful w
30 SPREE34 : Welcome to South Florida. Think you've got it bad at SWA? Leave, and see the attitude you find everywhere else down there. Glad I'm not there (So Fla
31 peteschiller : Why is this a pro? I thought international ops were a cash cow? Anyway, I have heard that -- in addition to everything mentioned above -- WN's type c
32 hamster : I have never flown Southwest but I hear that it is a good experience. How are pax treated from the ticket counter agents to the fa's?
33 surfandsnow : They are, if you have internationally trained crews, route authorities, etc. It can be very costly for an airline like WN to begin flying internation
34 pink77W : I think n time more airlines will b like WN. Or they will cease to exist. The fact that WN has 536 737s is pure genuis. They r copied much Around the
35 SolarFlyer22 : I think they are definitely one of the better airlines out there but I think there are two things worth mentioning that no one has brought up thus far
36 maxpower1954 : Another myth about Southwest is they are sucessfull because they are non-union. The reality is they are 87% unionized - a higher percentage than say,
37 Tomassjc : Consistency. Consistency. Consistency. I've pretty much had the same experience on WN regardless of where I've gone. From the my first WN flight in th
38 skyguyB727 : I would definitely give you an argument on that point. From my experiences, their crews seem to be very inattentive to detail. I don't know if it's p
39 TUNisia : It would be nice to see WN start service (at least seasonally) from perhaps PVD, BWI, BOS or PHL to Europe (Ireland, UK, France, Denmark, etc...). Ev
40 tdscanuck : It adds a huge amount of complexity to the operation. A lot of Southwest's efficiency comes from simplicity and consistency...you just can't have tha
41 Revelation : I agree 100%. And it's funny to see the MBAs blame the ecomomy, blame the price of fuel, blame Chapter 11, blame low-cost competition on and on when
42 NIKV69 : They fly one aircract. Have fuel contracts Fly into small out of the way airports Have little or no service (flying buses) Turn their planes around fa
43 LHCVG : As the next post after yours notes, it really would just make things vastly more complicated for them and hurt their ability to offer the low fares a
44 Post contains images AirlineCritic : Southwest is an extremely-well managed, large-scale industrial operation whose value can be clearly understood by the customers. Someone already compa
45 AirframeAS : Why would you want to be? Airlines have tried and tried to be like WN, and failed miserably at it. Look at F9. F9 isn't trying to be even be like WN.
46 frmrCapCadet : The first time I flew WN many years ago what impressed me was how competently they offered their services. I commented to others that the legacies in
47 Post contains images KingFriday013 : F9 was bought out by a regional airline. I don't exactly call that successful... -J.
48 Post contains images Viscount724 : They have changed their flight attendant uniforms since their early days in the 1970s.
49 mayor : Exactly, and this is why this thread and others like it is always an apples and oranges kind of comparison. WN may have almost as many cities as the
50 ebj1248650 : What's also important to remember is that Southwest found a niche and they stayed in it. They haven't tried to branch out to international flights; h
51 Post contains images AirframeAS : So? Do a search. Find out why F9 had to file for Ch 11.
52 cessna2 : I wouldn't count WN out yet on using regional aircraft...I remember a few years back i met some WN execs. that were presenting a plan to the board abo
53 FlyDeltaJets87 : Yes. DL serves well over 40 cities EAST of the Mississippi River on their own metal at least once daily. Throw in the Western half of the US, Canada,
54 AirCalSNA : I am always impressed by Southwest's marketing as well as their service. For example, instead of announcing they are charging $15 for an aisle seat, f
55 bond007 : Well, not true. WN has more 'thrills' than most legacies nowadays. You don't have to stand in line anywhere until just before boarding. When was the
56 nws2002 : As a CO employee I will say we have our fair share of mistrust regarding management. There was a big coming together during the Bethune days, but tha
57 osubuckeyes : WN's boarding is probably the most organized of any airline. Every time I fly DL or UA everyone starts massing around the gate right when zone 1 is c
58 txagkuwait : I have been around WN...as the kid of an employee, as an employee, as someone who owned a few shares of stock, and as a fare-paying passenger....sinc
59 pink77W : I take my bike on WN a lot. I walk up to the Counter, give the lady my ID and CC. She charges $50 for the bike, hands me my boarding pass, the whole T
60 burnsie28 : Easily It didn't say it was specific to domestic markets. Point is, they fly to a lot more cities with their own metal.. Delta from what I could coun
61 dynamo12 : This is an easy one! I recently flew British Airways. I had to change my ticket because of a strike. I was flying World Traveler Plus. Despite SHOWING
62 wncrew : Well of course! That's DL and NW system combined, that's probably why they're now the largest airline in the world.
63 FlyDeltaJets87 : Um, I think I could 68 DL mainline stations BEFORE the merger, even just domestically. Even before the DL/NW merger, Delta probably had 50 mainline s
64 Tomassjc : That's because they all need to rush onboard to find a space for their oversize carry ons. The legacy charges for checked bags, so they have avoided
65 mayor : That's not a function of the airline's policies, but the pax not wanting to wait their turn. Since you put that in the past tense, I believe DL has h
66 flightopsguy : Oh, please. ALL airlines in the future will be like SWA? Fact is, once you go international, have more than one class of service, or serve HUNDREDS of
67 bond007 : Sure it's the airlines policies, otherwise WN wouldn't be any different. The passengers on WN don't want to wait their turn either, but it's WN's pol
68 DfwRevolution : Why aren't more of us like Payton Manning? Exceptional talent is finite in any aspect of life. WN has retained exceptional leadership, which has help
69 txagkuwait : Okay. Find me 37 consecutive years where Delta Airlines has shown a profit. [quote] once you go international, have more than one class of service, o
70 dynamo12 : WN flies business. One factor is the ease of changing flights without heavy penalties (or the need to go for super priced tickets). I would love an Y+
71 mayor : Ok....my mistake.......it was only 34 years.....from 1948 thru 1981. 1982 was the first year since 1947 that DL did not turn a profit.
72 osubuckeyes : Im not sure about more than say 40 years ago, but i know for certain that they have not in the past 37 years haha.
73 Post contains images mayor : They returned to profit again after 1982, up thru the late 80's. My math says that's more recent than 37 years. If you do the math, 37 years would ta
74 mayor : I don't know, but I'd be willing to bet that there's folks in WN's marketing department that wish they hadn't painted themselves into a corner regard
75 osubuckeyes : Im sorry I did not see your post saying when the streak was, no need to get so snarky.[Edited 2010-04-11 23:07:25]
76 Maverick623 : And they were regulated until 1978. So that's 31 years of guaranteed, government sponsored profit. Do they have history at yours?
77 Post contains images MrSkyGuy : You're a good guy, Major, really. I like you a lot.. but I'm going to call bunk on that one. There's no way in blazes SWA regrets it now.. anything t
78 DocLightning : I do have a legitimate question, though: Why aren't more airlines' corporate cultures like WN's? WN has never had an acrimonious slogging-through-the-
79 SATexan : If more airlines in USA were like Southwest then the aviation world would be topsy turvy. I have no grudge against SWA. They have a business model tha
80 Post contains images Revelation : It's hard to change a lot of those things. Maybe that's one bad thing about CH11 bankruptcy, it doesn't really let you get rid of bad decisions you'v
81 mayor : If it was guaranteed profit, why were some of the other legacies still losing money, even during regulation? Yup, I went to the college of having exp
82 Post contains images mayor : I've been promoted. I didn't say everyone or even in upper management. I'm just willing there may be a difference of opinion between some of the peop
83 hohd : The biggest reason Southwest is successful because they have no change fees, no baggage fees, all aircraft are 737 and the frequent flyer program is t
84 MrSkyGuy : I don't think so.. perhaps some ambivalence and the early stages of the program, but I think it's pretty clear that there are worse places to be than
85 Cubsrule : Regulation was NOT guaranteed profit; indeed, the profitability of airlines did not change markedly as a result of deregulation - there are a number
86 Post contains images AirframeAS : Ted has tried to be like WN, for example. Where is Ted today? Dead. There are a number of airlines who tried to be exactly like WN and failed miserab
87 SATexan : The title of the thread states "Why Aren't More Airlines Like Southwest?". I only made a case as to what happens if more airlines were like Southwest
88 AirlineCritic : You are assuming that "like Southwest" means you have to copy the exact same set of destinations. I do not think that's right. The idea is to have co
89 Revelation : No, you made the case of what happens if EVERY airline was like Southwest, which no one here is suggesting. I think AirlineCritic has covered them pr
90 osubuckeyes : Because a creditor threatened to withhold ticket earnings, now why would a ceditor do this? Correct me if I'm wrong please, but F9 owed the credit or
91 Cubsrule : But it's not that serving the LEX and FWA's of the world is impossible for anyone to do profitably. It's that UA (for instance) can't serve LEX and F
92 Post contains images AirframeAS : First Data wanted more money, no more, no less. They feared that F9 would not last. And now look where First Data is now. Incorrect. F9 did not owe F
93 SATexan : The set of destinations that can be served profitably with a 737 is extremely limited. So while it may not be an exact copy of the destinations serve
94 Cubsrule : Secondary airports like BOS, LGA, and SFO? There may have been a time where that was true, but if so, it's not any longer.
95 frmrCapCadet : Truly an astoundingly wrong statement. 737/320 and smaller planes handle the vast majority of all flights. Not only for the flights within their rang
96 SATexan : You misunderstood the statement entirely. I am not saying that 737s dont handle the vast majority of flights. I am only saying that it is not possibl
97 AirlineCritic : Yes. Capitalism.
98 AirlineCritic : Ok, but there is no airline that serves all airports today. Naturally, every rational business entity picks the services (such as airports) that on t
99 Cubsrule : But you're ignoring my point. In arguing that all airlines should be like WN (whatever that means - but I realize you don't envision exact copies), y
100 Post contains images MrSkyGuy : That was a classic call-and-response.
101 AirframeAS : That did not stop them from returning to DEN.
102 SATexan : May be because there are no secondary airports in the Denver area. LGA is a secondary airport. BOS does not have any secondary airports..
103 AirframeAS : COS. That is not too far from DEN, at all. It is about an hour and 20 minutes of a drive.
104 dlphoenix : Yes, but providing such a service does not require AA and AY to charge change fees, maintain a fare policy that is customer unfriendly or charge for
105 Cubsrule : What is NYC's primary airport? According to WN, PVD and MHT are "Boston area" airports.
106 SATexan : It is not LGA. It is smaller than EWR or JFK and serves fewer people than the other two. In that sense it is secondary much like how DAL or HOU will
107 Cubsrule : If they are different, WN goes to the most convenient airport in each case. It has nothing to do with "secondary" nature.
108 osubuckeyes : Whats the difference between people in Denver driving to COS for a cheaper fair and someone near MDW driving to ORD...?? I dont really think it matte
109 aa757first : Some of it is that, due to both luck and skill, WN has never been in trouble. Airlines in trouble are going to be the ones that have to cut wages and
110 Cubsrule : Have they ever said that's the reason? Certainly, there are other factors - like the lack of routes that need the capacity - at work.
111 AirframeAS : Do they have to be? My guess is no.
112 Post contains images bond007 : 37 years of profitability isn't luck! Well, I'm not sure why this is a factor in answering the OPs question, and keeps being mentioned. So what? No b
113 AirlineCritic : Yes. But I can imagine an international-only airline that runs solely on 787-8s, for instance.
114 txagkuwait : Someone up the thread made a comment about WN "cherrypicking". I have to take exception to that. It is true that WN has entered, over the years, a lot
115 vatveng : Honestly, I see more flip-flops on Delta than I do on Southwest or AirTran. You have pretty much just described AirTran. Except for the meals part. B
116 Cubsrule : When was the last time that WN (without subsidy) opened an airport serving a metropolitan area of less than 1 million? I believe the only one in the
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