avi8 From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 495 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11830 times:
I wanted to see what y'all thought the future of Soutwest was. Southwest does not offer personal entertainment system (AVOD) and is falling behind in cabin quality. It doesn't offer premium classes. If Southwest really wanted to put itselft back as the number one airline, I think those things should be taken into consideration. Their tickets are now more expensive than what they were before.
N202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1549 posts, RR: 4 Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 11749 times:
It's my impression that Southwest offers little more than free bags these days. They certainly are a different carrier than they used to be, and IMO that's not a good thing. Their fares are often not the lowest, even with bag fees taken into account. Rapid Rewards is now a confusing, money-based program that doesn't offer nearly as much as it used to. Clearly, they're going after business passengers these days more than leisure passengers, but I'm not sure that their product stands up to what other airlines offer to those customers.
One way that WN can keep up with the competition would be to implement fleet-wide wifi which is free to customers. Coupled with existing technology that can stream a selection of video/audio to personal devices, this would sidestep the need to install AVOD on its a/c, which would be costly and often unnecessary for the short lengths of many WN flights.
Free wifi + 2 bags free + competitive pricing/scheduling would be a solid pitch for their product, particularly toward low-end business travelers.
frmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1501 posts, RR: 1 Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 11606 times:
Wi-Fi, or what ever replaces it, will be the IFE of the future. Airlines will be as anxious to get out of the entertainment business as they have been to get out of the restaurant business (except for longish flights). And I think WN is going to charge for their wi-fi. As I understand it the company that installs it gets the fees. WN supplies the space and electricity IIRC. Fairly good to excellent wi-fi and a power source would be the dream solution for most of us in Y.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
EricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1454 posts, RR: 1 Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 11540 times:
I think WN has a solid future ahead (relative to the other major airlines). I would fully anticipate some elimination of routes to smaller markets (I believe they've already announced the discontinuation of PHF and AVL), but I think there overall network will be much more solid once the integration is completed.
Regarding WN's on board product, I think the only necessary changes would be the introduction of wifi on their entire fleet. While it is nice to have AVOD/PTVs as a passenger, the cost of installation and maintenance is an unecessary expense. Most people carry laptops / smartphones, so if they want entertainment, they can tap into the wifi. Wifi costs much less to install and has much lower maintenace costs associated with it.
Quoting avi8 (Thread starter): Southwest does not offer personal entertainment system (AVOD) and is falling behind in cabin quality. It doesn't offer premium classes. If Southwest really wanted to put itselft back as the number one airline, I think those things should be taken into consideration
Correct, but WN became the number 1 domestic carrier without these two items, so why do you believe it is so critical to add these things?
WN is what it is.....an airline that provides reasonably priced service to the average person. It has never been about frills, and that is what has made it so successful over the years. While other airlines spend time and money on inflight products and services, WN focuses more of its resources on getting a passenger from point A to point B in a timely manner. This is why WN is successful.
If the airline industry was all about PTVs, food, first class, etc. then WN would not be in business.
seabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 4277 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 11530 times:
Quoting N202PA (Reply 2): One way that WN can keep up with the competition would be to implement fleet-wide wifi which is free to customers.
With current technology there is not nearly enough bandwidth to make this work. A fee for the wi-fi is needed to keep it usable for those who really want it.
WN is doing just fine, although their gangbusters growth has slowed down (because there are no more easy markets to get into). They sell a slightly different product, with advantages (free bags, cleanliness) and disadvantages (no F, the now-slightly-refined cattle stampede), usually for around the same price, although in my experience they are less consistent with price (on both the upside and the downside) than the other carriers.
Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
aloha73g From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2304 posts, RR: 5 Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11380 times:
Hard wired/installed AVOD is going begin disappearing from most airlines. The IFE of the future is WiFi. In premium classes you will most likely see a complimentary iPad like devie either installed or handed out to stream video, music and/or web access.
In economy you will be able to rent an iPad like device to access entertainment or pay a fee to access the wi-fi on your own device. The ability to access the web AND video is a plus since it appeals to business and leisure travelers. Wi-Fi allows airlines to offer entertainment AND productivity. AVOD does not offer productivity to business travelers.
Hard wired IFE is quickly going to become a thing of the past. WiFi is cheaper to intall and maintain, will generate some revenue, allows for a wider array of content suited to the viewer's tastes, and weighs a lot less.
I think Southwest is well positioned to take advantage of this. As the US economy recovers, their strong financial position should allow them to take advantage of opportunities for growth, especially in smaller markets with the 717s and Hawaii with their 738s.
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
seabosdca From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 4277 posts, RR: 4 Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11330 times:
Quoting aloha73g (Reply 9): Hard wired/installed AVOD is going begin disappearing from most airlines. The IFE of the future is WiFi. In premium classes you will most likely see a complimentary iPad like devie either installed or handed out to stream video, music and/or web access.
How will you achieve 150-500 (depending on aircraft) simultaneous video streams of reasonable quality in the same airplane? That could require over 1 Gbit/s of bandwidth.
That goes double if the video is being streamed from the internet.
There needs to be another generation or two of both wireless and satellite internet technology before replacing IFE altogether with Wi-Fi will be practical.
Most gorgeous aircraft: Tu-204-300, 757-200, A330-200, 777-200LR, 787-8
Geezer From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 1423 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 11041 times:
Quoting EricR (Reply 5): If the airline industry was all about PTVs, food, first class, etc. then WN would not be in business.
I totally agree, Eric !
Quoting jonathanxxxx (Reply 8): Right? WN has a niche operation and a very loyal following. They don't need to mess that up with fancy IFE, business class or assigned seating. It's comparable to NK (even though NK is worse) they may not be the best but are making extreme amounts of money. WN is a very good airline regardless of IFE etc. Their service is great and get you there feeling good.
A very astute observation, Jonathan;
The problem with all the WN "doubters" is, they tend to "measure" everyone's "taste" by their own; the fact is, many people ( such as me ) aren't worried about watching movies, listening to "canned" entertainment for the 2 r 3 hrs of the majority of WN flights. ( plus many have "had it up to here" with all of the extra bag fees, etc. of all the other carriers )
Let's face it folks..........while the rest of the industry scrambles to think up new "gimmicks", ( with little if any improvement in profitability ), WN continues to do it "their way", ( and continues to make money )
( IMHO )
Stupidity: Doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting a different result; Albert Einstein
isitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 26 Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10924 times:
Quoting EricR (Reply 5): I think WN has a solid future ahead (relative to the other major airlines).
You know, guy.....In the mid 60's after high school, while loading a unloading Electras and one-11's for Braniff, I thought the same thing about TWA, Pan Am and Eastern.
Braniff is also history............now who'd a thunk that!
If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
RWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2162 posts, RR: 4 Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10892 times:
With a fairly big share of WN's flights under 4 hours does entertainment systems really make the flying experience? Those systems cost money, add weight and really don't fit WN's low cost model. Take a walkman or I-pod. I'd rather have my luggage taken for free than worry how I'm going to survive a few hours w/o TV or music. Toughen up, I can remember flying overseas as a kid on 707's & DC-8's in the 70's with one movie to pass ten hours.
Next Flights: AS PDX-SEA-KOA on DH4/738 in F, HA KOA-OGG on 717 in Y, AS OGG-PDX on 738 in F
aloha73g From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2304 posts, RR: 5 Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10798 times:
Quoting seabosdca (Reply 11): How will you achieve 150-500 (depending on aircraft) simultaneous video streams of reasonable quality in the same airplane? That could require over 1 Gbit/s of bandwidth.
For one thing, I doubt everyone would be streaming video. Many would choose to sleep, read, or watch/listen to content they already downloaded (to avoid paying for access). Also, business travelers would mainly be using email.
I certainly don't think the current technology would support everyone streaming HD video, but wifi will be the trend and I think the technology will absolutely support it within 5-10 years....everything seems to be moving to cloud computing, so why wouldn't IFE? If the demand is there, and I think it will be, the tech companies will make it happen.
Either way, I think Southwest has the right idea in terms of IFE. WiFi is a much better investment for the long run than installed AVOD.
Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
EricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1454 posts, RR: 1 Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10782 times:
Quoting isitsafenow (Reply 16): You know, guy.....In the mid 60's after high school, while loading a unloading Electras and one-11's for Braniff, I thought the same thing about TWA, Pan Am and Eastern.
Braniff is also history............now who'd a thunk that!
But there is a big difference when you compare WN to competitors in today's environment versus comparing BN, EA, PA to their competitors 20 years ago.
WN's business model is very different than other carriers in today's marketplace. WN has succeeded by sticking to its strategy of no frills, basic service to get passengers from point A to point B in a reasonable amount of time for a reasonable price. It clearly differentiates itself from the competition.
However, BN, PA, EA, TW were replicas of all carriers at that time. Furthermore, BN, PA, EA were, in my opinion, casualties of deregulation. Increased competition was bound to kill carriers who did not have a favorable cost structure, favorable route structure, and favorable labor relations among other things.
Sure, anything could happen to WN in the future - nothing is certain. But based on what we all know today, WN is certainly in a better position than most other large commercial airlines.
redflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4181 posts, RR: 30 Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 10770 times:
Quoting RWA380 (Reply 18): With a fairly big share of WN's flights under 4 hours does entertainment systems really make the flying experience? Those systems cost money, add weight and really don't fit WN's low cost model. Take a walkman or I-pod. I'd rather have my luggage taken for free than worry how I'm going to survive a few hours w/o TV or music. Toughen up, I can remember flying overseas as a kid on 707's & DC-8's in the 70's with one movie to pass ten hours.
I'm always amazed at how many people are fixated on AVOD. Personally, even with the newest systems in Business on long Transpac flights I still bring along DVDs to watch on my laptop or a good book. Needless to say, I don't give a rat's a** about AVOD on a domestic flight. I DO care about wi-fi (which WN is bringing to more of their ships), and that is the one service I will always pay for if it's available when I fly (but as an A-List Preferred I don't). If they service a domestic destination that I'm going to, I will fly them even though they may not always offer the lowest fares.
Their business model has served them well for the past 40 years and they have had the foresight to change it as the times have changed. That is not to say they will always succeed or even that they will be around in another 40 years. But compared to the current landscape, they are doing quite well. And one key to success in business is ensuring complacency is checked at the front door. So far they seem to have kept it restrained.
Agreed. I think the 4 hr duration and the adoption of ipod's and iPads will make AVOD less a differentiator provided they keep prices low.
I do think the $5 in flight wi-fi service is great but I wonder if the drag induced by the big bubble on the 737-7 is worth it. I think if they offer in flight wi-fi most people will just use their mobile device for entertainment.
RedTailDTW From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 730 posts, RR: 3 Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 10601 times:
As much as I rag on Southwest, I don't feel like they need to change who they are. Clearly they have been doing something right for 40 years, otherwise they wouldn't be here today.
As stated above, Southwest will do what Southwest has done since it started, and I think that people admire them for that. They provide something different and its a nice break sometimes from the typical legacy service.
slcdeltarumd11 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2456 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 10669 times:
Quoting RedTailDTW (Reply 24): As much as I rag on Southwest, I don't feel like they need to change who they are. Clearly they have been doing something right for 40 years, otherwise they wouldn't be here today.
Exactly. WN does something right they have consistent profits. You have to respect an airline that was run so well that they were able to make money when everyone else was loosing tons. With the airtran merger they are really going to become more of a nationwide carrier and serve alot more routes and people. Their threat level against the legacies is getting larger not smaller.
commavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 10193 posts, RR: 62 Reply 19, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10494 times:
Southwest's future is, in a word, bright.
Southwest is an exceptionally well-managed company with a strong balance sheet, a strong market position, a compelling product and service offering, and a good national network.
The key with Southwest is that the business model that worked for the first 30 years (1971-2001) no longer works. The first 30 years were defined by continual growth, relentless cost control, relatively low labor cost, and high resource (aircraft, labor, facilities, etc.) productivity.
That model is now gone. After 9/11, Southwest's network, optimized for the old model, was unprofitable. Southwest only stayed in the black because of their extremely positive bet on fuel hedges. However, Southwest - as well-run as it is and was - rapidly changed and evolved its business model to be successful even without fuel hedges. That has meant some dramatic changes to Southwest's business model.
They have placated labor unions in the last 20 years by agreement to progressively higher labor costs - to the point that today, on a unit basis, they are among the highest in the U.S.
They have gone into and built up large, in some cases hub, operations into hyper-competitive, congested and/or weather/ATC-plagued airports like LGA, BOS, DEN and PHL in search of higher unit revenues that it cannot achieve in its more traditional secondary airports like ISP, MHT, etc.
As a result of the above, Southwest has loosened up on its famous fleet productivity that used to focus on extremely fast turn-arounds and high utilization throughout the day. While Southwest still has relatively high utilization compared with some airlines, reality is that you're not going to be doing 20-minute turn-arounds at LGA in February.
And they have completely altered their approach to "non-traditional" markets (for them) that give them access to lots of new revenue streams and traffic flows that were inaccessible to their previous business model. They have tip-toed slowly into international markets (via acquisition or interline), and built a stronger presence in corporate booking channels.
Bottom line: Southwest has evolved its model dramatically in recent years to adapt to the changing environment - to enormous success - and they will no doubt continue to do so in the future.
CairnterriAIR From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 338 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 10346 times:
I have yet to see a dirty Southwest plane, nor encounter any rude staff or crews. What makes them do so well is simplicity. No bag fees, easy to navigate website with which booking a flight is a simple process, a great schedule, and desirable routes. Most of their flights are under two and a half hours, so for entertainment, I read a book, look out the window, or fall asleep.
goblin211 From United States of America, joined Jun 2010, 1209 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 10307 times:
WN will be around for a long time but only once they give into what the legacies have made a requirement for flying i.e. ife, F class, etc. they've survived simply because of the cheaper fares but now the legacies have caught up with them. I see WN doing well now, just surviving if this keeps up especially once entry into ATL, and a dismal finish once more and more absurd accidents with their a/c occur(i.e. non inspected a/c and a hole in the ceiling, two things that never happened on another airline).
WNCrew From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 1317 posts, RR: 9 Reply 23, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 10417 times:
Quoting goblin211 (Reply 29): once more and more absurd accidents with their a/c occur(i.e. non inspected a/c and a hole in the ceiling, two things that never happened on another airline).
WN has a STELLAR safety record when held up against ANY other airline. That's a fact, please don't perpetuate anything other than the truth unless you plan to back it up. I'm sure we could all dig up dismal, embarrassing accidents from DL, UA, AA, etc that included loss of pax life; something WN hasn't ever had.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
RamblinMan From United States of America, joined Oct 2010, 1081 posts, RR: 1 Reply 24, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 10366 times:
Quoting frmrCapCadet (Reply 27): Didn't WN in the 80s and 90s advertise to families on vacation to use them rather than the family car? And weren't fares low enough to make it practical?
I'm sure they did exactly that back then. Now NK goes after the lowest-yielding traffic, and WN gets a lot of higher-yielding pax.
Quoting avi8 (Thread starter): Their tickets are now more expensive than what they were before.
So? People still buy them.
Quoting avi8 (Thread starter): If Southwest really wanted to put itselft back as the number one airline
What do you mean back as number one? Here's the thing about Southwest as a corporation: They don't give a rat's ass if they are "biggest" or if they are "number one" by any metric. They fly to make money. They'll expand into markets where money can be made, and they'll stay away from markets where they would lose.
They don't charge me to change my ticket (on any fare level) or to haul my bag, and they've never screwed me over even when my flight diverts or cancels. So I'll keep booking with them. Lack of AVOD? Who cares? I ain't flying 14 hours to Japan, I'm taking a 90-minute hop down south. F-class? Again, who cares? Free upgrades are awesome but it ain't like I've ever BOUGHT a first-class ticket, and domestically I never would even if I won the lottery.
25 AWACSooner: You forgot the fact that the legacies were mismanaged into chapter 11, which allowed them to eliminate their debts and effectively evened the playing
26 EASTERN747: I have traveled SW twice in the last month, one short haul and one long haul (MDW-ONT). The service was fine, the crews were great, ground staff were
27 MoltenRock: Good point to remember. The next question is, when do those labor costs by the legacies which were slashed in bankruptcy "snapback" up to the old rat
28 GuitrThree: Yea..for example, the DL MD88 that had engine fan blades seperate in flight, come through the cabin, killing two and injuring two more pax. Makes the
29 mayor: You misunderstand what I said......I'm thinking that the WN supporters are becoming complacent when it comes to the legacies and the way they're oper
30 yeelep: It happens often enough at all airlines, just not to the extent that was found Southwest. Safety record yes. Recent compliance record no. No airline
31 Alasizon: The simple fact is: WN is one of the two most commonly known airline carriers in the US. I would hazard a guess that if you asked a random person on t
32 slcdeltarumd11: Its not like southwest has alot of problems: incidents per flight: AirTran, Incidents per flight: 0.0000196 Southwest, Incidents per flight: 0.000020
33 rampart: WN has found need to "absorb" four competing airlines. Maybe not survival, but they are as interested as anyone in "streamlining" the competition. I
34 stratosphere: Well I will speak from my experience I have flown SW twice they have a nice product but I do not like the cattle car seating although if you use your
35 mayor: I'm sure the folks at Muse Air/Transtar Airlines.........Morris Air............ATA........and FL would be interested to realize that they weren't par
36 slcdeltarumd11: Southwest never merged with ATA? They just acquired some assets, didn't they? Wasn't it for slots? "while some preferential hiring was indicated at t
37 mayor: Well, I guess it depends on the definition......they did acquire the operating certificate and LGA slots.
38 yeelep: To clarify, it wasn't all older 737's, the FAA doesn't perform the inspections and they weren't reinspects they were initial inspections. That said,
39 B727LVR: True they are, but IIRC wasnt WN around for a good portion of all those airlines years of operation? And yet they still have managed to survive some
40 UALWN: They haven't. A 6 year old boy was killed when WN1248 went through the fence at MDW in 2005. You may argue that the boy was not a WN passenger (he wa
41 slcdeltarumd11: This is where i got that from but didn't they end up lowering the number of cycles to make the older ones get inspected? www.consumerwarningnetwork.c
42 cjpark: Keep flying WN and you will. Infact the more you fly WN the more rude staff you will see. Once you loose that Canyon Blue cool aid high you realize t
43 leothedog: I like Southwest. They get me everywhere I need to go, except Hawaii, and for that I use Alaska. The fares are very reasonable. *Just compare their fa
44 seabosdca: I'm not a hater at all and I've taken several WN trips this year, but there are answers to the question... - You either have to check in EXACTLY 24 ho
45 JHCRJ700: If Southwest is using their WIFI as IFE then why are they removing it from the AirTran planes when they acquire them?
46 bjorn14: I seem to remember a "liar, liar pants on fire" advert about NW.
47 aloha73g: But what if there are no "good" seats available for assignment at booking? Atleast Southwest gives everyone a fair chance day of departure. PLUS, you
48 rampart: Do any other airlines charge for check-in priveleges? (Frontier?) I know it's a choice on WN, I don't have to use it, but if I want better seating, I
49 B727LVR: This is a great option! I have used it as well. True you get what you pay for seat wise on other airlines, but what is the cost of the Economy Plus s
50 ScottB: You don't pay for the first checked bag for yourself and one companion, if you purchase the ticket with the card. And you pay $85/year for the privil
51 F9Animal: I have always respected and admired Southwest. However, my views are starting to change. As how Southwest is changing. First, I want to rewind the cl
52 rampart: Each member of the family has one free bag, that saves $80 one way. I only pay $60/yr, and I come out ahead on just one leg of a family trip, not to
53 yeelep: Southwest uses Row44 as their wifi provider, while Airtran uses GOGO. Row44 is satellite based while GOGO is a land based system. The two are incompa
54 ScottB: The terms changed recently; after Jan. 1, 2012, it will be limited to the cardholder and one companion. The current annual fee is $95; if you are for
55 PIEAvantiP180: I know that WN knows whats its doing as a company but does anybody thinks they are starting to overstretch themselves. They are making small profits f
56 txagkuwait: First of all, I can see from an emotional point of view why you feel that way. However, as we all know, emotions can sometimes get in the way of fact
57 GuitrThree: I'll just assume you missed the point that I made about mergers and surviving. The NW/DL merger was to save both airlines. The Continental/UA merger
58 mayor: What "gate" slots were they trying to acquire from Morris Air in SLC? IIRC, Morris only had one or two gates, tops, so WN could have had other gates
59 SZDC10: Job security at Southwest is arguably among the most secure, if not, the most secure in the US airline industry. Things can indeed go south in this b
60 EA CO AS: Assuming WN's contract with Row44 is similar to what was proposed with AS, it's the air carrier that actually determined pricing, controlled access (
61 rampart: This is mainly about consolidation and the elimination of competition. CO, DL, and NW were not "saving" themselves, and UA was on the rise. Recall th
62 AWACSooner: *YAWN* So I've flown them about 250 times in the past decade...and I've only had a negative experience on them ONCE. They are NOT the same as any oth