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Southwest Wants To Begin Outsourcing Employees  
User currently offlineswa4life From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 388 posts, RR: 1
Posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 23405 times:

In what seems like a completely fundamental change in attitude from an airline who has historically prided itself on being a great employer and one who has treated it's people well, Southwest is now looking for it's ground operations department (which encompasses ramp, operations, and provisioning) to accept terms on it's next contract to allow for up to 20% of staffing to be replaced by outside contracted employees.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505244_1...tsource-some-jobs/?tag=mncol;lst;9

123 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBD338 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 739 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 23337 times:

Southwest is potentially heading towards a big showdown with all its labor groups, it by far has, and almost without exception, the best paying contracts in the US market. The pilot payscales are substantially above competing carriers (especially legacies who've shed contracts in bankruptcy) and with oil increasing and customer willingness to pay more decreasing there is going to come a crunch somewhere. Southwest does get a lot of efficiencies in its contracts in return with labor groups often sharing and doing tasks other airline union groups will not allow, but I'm not sure how much more, if any, is to be gained there. They are milking every inch of cabin space by squeezing an extra row in, if they can't find other revenue services then something could well have to give on the cost side.

While they have remained consistently profitable for the past 39 years, the last couple have been a little rougher and the future doesn't look too bright for the overall economy. It will be an interesting ride over the next 2 or 3 years.


User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1979 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 23311 times:

Oh boy...this will not end well.

User currently offlineKcrwflyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3847 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 23258 times:

They better do something if they want to get those labor costs back from the outer fringes of the universe that they've risen to.

User currently onlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8964 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 23189 times:

Southwest has changed a lot since Herb Kelleher retired, and not for the better.


Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4860 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 23179 times:
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Quoting swa4life (Thread starter):
In what seems like a completely fundamental change in attitude from an airline who has historically prided itself on being a great employer and one who has treated it's people well

That fundamental shift began 5-7 years ago. The Southwest everyone knew so well over the past 41 years is GONE. Public perception is a powerful thing and WN has been able to hide behind that while slowly transforming itself to something that more resembles the troubled legacies of the past decade.

Just my opinion, of course.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17824 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 23168 times:

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 2):
Oh boy...this will not end well.

Nope, but they did start this whole thing  WN has been able to buy labor peace for years, and now it can't, and the rest of the carriers have restructured to near-WN cost levels, never mind the new startups that are cheaper with a better product. It's going to get ugly.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21583 posts, RR: 59
Reply 7, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 23008 times:

WN buying FL opened their eyes. They had to close stations because while FL could make money on them, WN's ground handling costs were so much higher that they would lose money.

20% outsourcing allows those marginal stations to exist in a new WN that has a much more "major" role than the previous incarnation.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineklkla From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 946 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 22894 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 7):
WN buying FL opened their eyes. They had to close stations because while FL could make money on them, WN's ground handling costs were so much higher that they would lose money.

It seems to me they shouldn't have bought FL in the first place. They had a winning formula/strategy before and have lost their focus. They're doing a terrible job of integrating FL and no longer are growing the SW brand organically as they were before the merger.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4860 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 22834 times:
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Quoting ikramerica (Reply 7):
WN buying FL opened their eyes. They had to close stations because while FL could make money on them, WN's ground handling costs were so much higher that they would lose money.

20% outsourcing allows those marginal stations to exist in a new WN that has a much more "major" role than the previous incarnation.

I'm not sure it opened their eyes as if they were blind. I do think they have wanted to make this kind of move for a long time and buying FL opened the doors to push for something like this.

[Edited 2012-06-19 17:08:44]


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineusflyguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1075 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 22835 times:

Quoting klkla (Reply 8):

Where we're they going to grow organically? No gates at ATL to get in there with any reasonable presence; no more slots at LGA, DCA, EWR; 0 experience with anything international; etc.

The outsourcing of ground handling is already allowed by the contracts and it will be for cities with marginal operations and too few flights to fully staff the station.

On another note, some organic growth will be happening soon. Very strong rumors of an imminent announcement regarding Hawaii.



My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
User currently offlineN202PA From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1562 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 22721 times:

It's hard to watch the slow destruction of the proud carrier WN used to be. But that's what's happening, as bit-by-bit the current management team cuts the heart out of the airline. Southwest's old style is gone, replaced by marketing buzz with little else behind it.

User currently offlinehatbutton From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1500 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 22702 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 4):
Southwest has changed a lot since Herb Kelleher retired, and not for the better.

I am not a fan of putting the blame on everyone but Herb. Herb left at the perfect time. Before all this mess came to the surface. 10 years ago, WN had some of the lowest labor costs in the industry. Over the past 7-10 years they have been at the top of every hourly pay scale of pretty much every workgroup in the industry. Think Gary Kelly gave them those deals? Nope. Herb did. What do you think Herb would have done differently right now to keep this company in the black? Herb stepped down for good right before the fuel run up of 2008 so he didn't have to deal with all that. The industry is different now than it was 5 years ago when Herb stepped aside. DL/NW and UA/CO have put pressure on WN to reduce their costs. I just don't think WN could have kept doing things business as usual or in the Herb way in the current state of the industry.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5786 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 22666 times:

Quoting N202PA (Reply 12):
Southwest's old style is gone,

Just curious but how would Southwest's "old style" have handled the current situation regarding overall cost's etc.? I guess that increased scope would be the the obvious choice but how would that work for situations that usflyguy mentions:

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 10):
The outsourcing of ground handling is already allowed by the contracts and it will be for cities with marginal operations and too few flights to fully staff the station.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinefrontierflyer From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 216 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 22546 times:

WN should have taken the Airtran name, they could be racking in luggage fees and capturing more business travel with business class.

User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17824 posts, RR: 46
Reply 15, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 22525 times:

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 7):
WN buying FL opened their eyes. They had to close stations because while FL could make money on them, WN's ground handling costs were so much higher that they would lose money.

The FL merger did nothing to harm WN, other than expose WN's long simmering flaws. WN had to buy FL because it was easier than competing with it.

Quoting klkla (Reply 8):
They had a winning formula/strategy before and have lost their focus
I don't think they lost their focus so much as control of their costs. Then again a real res system wouldn't have hurt.

Quoting N202PA (Reply 12):
It's hard to watch the slow destruction of the proud carrier WN used to be.

The seeds for the destruction were laid long ago--the carrier had creeping costs and a res/IT infrastructure that couldn't handle anything that would drive any incremental revenue.

Quoting hatbutton (Reply 13):

I am not a fan of putting the blame on everyone but Herb. Herb left at the perfect time.

   Their culture has become a double edged sword. Herb built a great carrier, but now everyone is going to resist change because it's not the way Herb would have done it or the way it used to be.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11973 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 22495 times:

Quoting swa4life (Thread starter):
In what seems like a completely fundamental change in attitude from an airline who has historically prided itself on being a great employer and one who has treated it's people well, Southwest is now looking for it's ground operations department (which encompasses ramp, operations, and provisioning) to accept terms on it's next contract to allow for up to 20% of staffing to be replaced by outside contracted employees.

There is nothing that precludes a company from simultaneously being "a great employer and one who has treated it's people well" and one that outsources certain non-core or non-cost-competitive functions. Indeed - Southwest has proven that quite conclusively over the last 40 years by being both a good employer, and a master outsourcer, sending heavy maintenance work out to third parties long before it was en vogue among legacies.

Quoting BD338 (Reply 1):
Southwest is potentially heading towards a big showdown with all its labor groups, it by far has, and almost without exception, the best paying contracts in the US market.

Yep. This is yet another reminder that somehow, some way, economic reality will always win in the long run.

Southwest's business model from 1971 up until the mid-2000s was one built on (1) low labor costs (both lower compensation and higher productivity), (2) cost avoidance (single fleet, less-congested airports) and perhaps most of all, (3) continual growth, which both benefited from and enabled (1) and (2) in an insanely profitably, continuous feedback loop. That model worked astoundingly well for thirty years - indeed, it became essentially the blueprint for every other low-fare airline around the world.

However, by the mid-2000s, that model was beginning to lose its effectiveness. In order to buy labor peace, Southwest bought the unions off with successively richer and richer pay scales at precisely the time when Southwest's largest competitors were using bankruptcy to drastically reduce their labor costs. Also challenging the status quo was a move out of Southwest's traditional "comfort zone" - into longer flights, lower frequency, and more congested airports, in search of the higher fares needed to finance the higher labor costs and rising fuel costs - this hurt productivity and undercut the traditional "pressure valve" Southwest had used to offset higher wages. Southwest did make a great bet on fuel hedges in the early 2000s that paid off big and kept the old model limping along for several years past its economic death, but fuel hedges were never going to be enough to keep a fundamentally unsustainable business operating as-is forever.

And so we are where we are now: Southwest's business as it existed 20-30, or even 10, years ago is now gone. They have transitioned full-force into an airline built around a totally different business model, one oriented on higher costs, higher fares and lower growth. Inevitable for a company at this stage in its life cycle, Southwest has had to change in order to compete, because once those fuel hedges evaporated, Southwest's underlying business was no longer profitable.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 4):
Southwest has changed a lot since Herb Kelleher retired, and not for the better.

Perhaps, although most of what has changed at Southwest has been as a result of things outside Southwest's own control. While there has been enormous change within Southwest in the last decade, there has - overall - been far more dramatic changes elsewhere in the industry, and of course most of the internal changes have been directly as a response to the external changes. Again - Southwest had no choice but to change. It is unfortunate that some of Southwest's legendary culture has had to change, too, and perhaps for the worse (I have heard that before from several Southwest veterans). But, again, I don't think that was avoidable to a large extent - the things that worked for a 15-year-old airline with 70 airplanes will no longer work for a 40-year-old airline with 700 airplanes.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 5):
Public perception is a powerful thing

... and nobody in the airline industry does it better than Southwest. Delta I think is a close second these days with their exceptionally good advertising (in my experience their operational execution is a different story, but that's another discussion). But when it comes to convincing the public of something - whether accurate or not - Southwest is the absolute best in the airline business.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 5):
WN has been able to hide behind that while slowly transforming itself to something that more resembles the troubled legacies of the past decade.

They really have no choice. These days, those "troubled legacies" are in several notable cases producing better returns to shareholders than Southwest. Southwest has to compete.

Ironically enough, Southwest's competitors - to a certain extent - are now basically doing to Southwest precisely what Southwest did to them 10 years ago: exploiting Southwest's structural weaknesses, at precisely the moment when Southwest is trying to manage the transition and address those weaknesses.

Quoting klkla (Reply 8):
They had a winning formula/strategy before

Perhaps, but again, that strategy was not going to last forever. It worked great in 1995. It won't work great in 2015. And besides, Southwest had effectively hit the ceiling on organic growth in an essentially no-growth U.S. economy circa-2010. This gets back to the earlier point: Southwest's business model was built on growth, but in a world where Southwest was no longer the lowest-cost competitor, and where even the lower-cost competitors themselves were slowing growth, Southwest had no other way to expand but through acquisition, however unpalatable or complicated the integration might be.


User currently offlineKcrwflyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3847 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 22144 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 5):
Public perception is a powerful thing and WN has been able to hide behind that while slowly transforming itself to something that more resembles the troubled legacies of the past decade.

Just my opinion, of course.

Fact, not opinion.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 6):
Nope, but they did start this whole thing  WN has been able to buy labor peace for years, and now it can't, and the rest of the carriers have restructured to near-WN cost levels, never mind the new startups that are cheaper with a better product. It's going to get ugly.

The legacies all have lower costs than WN. It's not a secret that WN has the highest labor costs in the industry... unless you work for them. Then it's a secret. shhhh

Quoting klkla (Reply 8):
It seems to me they shouldn't have bought FL in the first place. They had a winning formula/strategy before and have lost their focus. They're doing a terrible job of integrating FL and no longer are growing the SW brand organically as they were before the merger.

Their strategy was winning in the past but is fast approaching a dead end road. They needed FL more than FL needed them. The unfortunate thing is, it seems like they're too stuck in their ways to reap all of the benefits they could have gained from FL. It would be impossible for them to keep growing the WN brand as they have in the past. How many more cities in the US can they add with at least 8-9 flights ( with hope to grow beyond that)?


User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 2021 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 22066 times:

I hope it doesn't come down to things like this at WN. But I pin it on the price of success. All their in-house labor translates to higher costs compared to carriers that failed and outsourced labor. I don't like the road the legacies have traveled to profitability, and I respect WN for being able to resist that path to this point.

User currently offlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4068 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 21956 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 4):
Southwest has changed a lot since Herb Kelleher retired, and not for the better.

That is not it at all. The world around Southwest has changed a lot. If Southwest gets in trouble, it will be proof that it has not been changing fast enough - it needs to keep pace with change outside it.



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User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 21794 times:

The harmony at WN wont be able to survive the higher relative cost structure WN has. FL has reveled that while the emperor may still have clothes, everyone can now see through them.

User currently offlineskycub From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 21678 times:

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 2):
Oh boy...this will not end well.

No. It won't.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 4):
Southwest has changed a lot since Herb Kelleher retired, and not for the better.

Are you a Southwest employee? Because you sure do share the same sentiments that most Southwest employees do! "WWHD" (What would Herb do) has become a battle cry!

Quoting ikramerica (Reply 7):
WN buying FL opened their eyes.

By "their," I hope you mean management... because the eyes of the front-line employees have been open since the day this acquisition was announced. After Morris, Herb said Southwest would NEVER acquire another airline... his eyes were open in the mid-80s.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 5):
WN has been able to hide behind that while slowly transforming itself to something that more resembles the troubled legacies of the past decade.

No arguments there. Herb, where are you?

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 5):
Just my opinion, of course.

One felt by MANY. Silver1SWA, I know many many many who share the same sentiments.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 6):

Nope, but they did start this whole thing

Stupid smiley face or not... what EXACTLY did Southwest start? The trend of paying it's employees very well? The trend of having only company-employed people on the front lines and servicing the aircraft? The trend of treating its employees like they were a valuable commodity and not a liability? If those are the trends Southwest started, they certainly have NOT caught on over the past decade and they are certainly not the norm these days.

Love or hate Southwest... there is something to be said for paying employees well, encouraging loyalty to a company and treating your employees well.

I am sure that employees who are employed directly by and receive the benefits provided by an airline take their job and their commitment to customers to a level higher than the employees of a contract company who have no loyalty and no benefits to the airline and are just working for a paycheck for the contract company who bid the lowest price.

So what, exactly, did Southwest start? Treating it's employees TOO well?

Quoting klkla (Reply 8):

It seems to me they shouldn't have bought FL in the first place. They had a winning formula/strategy before and have lost their focus.

Ya think? I wish there was a "SUPER-RESPECTED" list I could add you to.

Quoting klkla (Reply 8):
They had a winning formula/strategy before and have lost their focus.

Yeah... suddenly no one needs to fly from Dallas to Houston or Oakland to Los Angeles or Tampa to Fort Lauderdale.... suddenly the formula that worked for 35 years.... flying to underserved airports and offering high frequency travel in business markets..... all of the things that make Southwest profitable for 35+ years went out the window. Again.... WWHD...

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 10):

Where we're they going to grow organically? No gates at ATL to get in there with any reasonable presence; no more slots at LGA, DCA, EWR; 0 experience with anything international; etc.

This argument always gets me. WHERE WERE THEY GOING TO GROW?

WHY is such growth necessary? Southwest made money for 35+ years doing what they do best.... They ALWAYS made money on high-frequency business routes. Tell me, all of a sudden, are people NOT needing to fly from Dallas to Houston? Or from Southern California to the Bay Area? Or from New England to the DC Area? Or between the major business markets of Florida? Or Texas? Southwest made GOOD money for 35+ years flying these kinds of routes. Why is it suddenly necessary for Southwest to offer service to international markets? I don't get it.... the routes flown by Southwest since DAY ONE ALWAYS made money..... people are STILL flying those same routes.... why the need for such expansion?

So Southwest may have run out of cities to fly to.... but they ALWAYS made money flying to those cities! People are NOT suddenly abandoning those types of routes!

Quoting N202PA (Reply 11):
It's hard to watch the slow destruction of the proud carrier WN used to be. But that's what's happening, as bit-by-bit the current management team cuts the heart out of the airline. Southwest's old style is gone, replaced by marketing buzz with little else behind it.

Is that you, Herb?

Quoting hatbutton (Reply 12):
What do you think Herb would have done differently right now to keep this company in the black?

I think he would have looked at cities like Allentown, Fresno, Harrisburg, Colorado Springs, Milwaukee... I think he would have followed the same cookie-cutter formula that had been followed since the early days. I think he would have lived by his statement that Southwest would NEVER buy another airline because of the culture clashes.... I think he would have let AirTran and all of the issues they have brought be and never considered acquiring them.

Quoting frontierflyer (Reply 14):
WN should have taken the Airtran name, they could be racking in luggage fees and capturing more business travel with business class.

Heck, why not just take the ValuJet name? There is, unlike ValuJet, NOT A DANG THING wrong with the Southwest brand name.

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 15):

The FL merger did nothing to harm WN

Other than hammer in the final nail in the coffin of Southwest culture. It's been two years since the acquisition was announced.... other than a few 737-700s that have been reconfigured and repainted and access to a gate or two in Atlanta...at THIS POINT.... what has the acquisition given Southwest other than a bunch of routes it cannot code-share on and a bunch of former WN employees who are bitter?

Yeah... the culture has been shattered.... if you don't consider that to be harm, then I don't know what to say.


User currently offlineBCEaglesCO757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 242 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 21526 times:

Glad I'm already sitting down.

Just wow.


User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11973 posts, RR: 62
Reply 23, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 21486 times:

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
The trend of paying it's employees very well?

Southwest's problem isn't pay employees well. Southwest's problem is labor costs that are now at the top of the industry, while the revenue-generating potential of Southwest's network most certainly is not at the top of the industry. Southwest's storied, successful past has really been about a masterful balance of those two - making sure that Southwest's rising costs didn't get too far out in front of the increasing revenue generation of Southwest's growing network.

The challenge in the last decade is that Southwest let those two get further out of balance than at any other time in the company's history, but also did so at precisely the time that Southwest's competitors were bringing those two into closer balance than at any other time in those companies' histories.

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
The trend of having only company-employed people on the front lines and servicing the aircraft?

Hardly. Again - Southwest was outsourcing before outsourcing was cool. Southwest has, to my knowledge, never performed overhauls on its aircraft on a regular basis, with its own employees, whereas the network carriers pretty much all did up until the late 1990s/early 2000s.

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
Yeah... suddenly no one needs to fly from Dallas to Houston or Oakland to Los Angeles or Tampa to Fort Lauderdale.... suddenly the formula that worked for 35 years.... flying to underserved airports and offering high frequency travel in business markets..... all of the things that make Southwest profitable for 35+ years went out the window. Again.... WWHD...

First off, the change hasn't been sudden - it's happened over the span of years. But to your point - no, there simply aren't as many people flying on those short hops that Southwest made famous as their once were. The rise in fuel has led to a rise in fares, and that has particularly eroded demand from the more price-sensitive travelers that Southwest traditionally catered to. Beyond that, it has become increasingly clear that simply flying short hops within Texas, California and Florida simply no longer cut it in 2012. It might have worked when Southwest's costs were 20% less than their competitors, and thus they could afford to charge far lower fares. But now that Southwest's costs are nearly at the same level as their competitors - and, in fact, substantially higher than some of them - Southwest needs to generate higher revenue to cover those rising costs. And 20 milk runs a day from Love to Hobby no longer cuts it in the revenue-generation department.

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
WHY is such growth necessary? Southwest made money for 35+ years doing what they do best

... which was to grow. That is the key. What Southwest did best for 35 years was grow. Growth was the linchpin that sustained their business model for so long. Continual expansion meant new planes at low cost, new employees at low cost, and a positive halo effect that continually bolstered the network. But that growth was predicated on costs below market that allowed Southwest to "buy market share" - below-market at first due to cheap labor, high productivity, and a simplified operation, and below-market in the last decade primarily from fuel hedges.

But now with both of those cost controllers gone, Southwest's growth model no longer works. Like a shark must keep moving to stay alive, Southwest - as a publicly traded company in an industry as hyper-competitive as the airline industry - has to keep growing in order to remain competitive. But with the organic growth phase now largely over for Southwest (they already fly virtually everywhere that can support their type of service), the only opportunity to grow was to buy. Thus AirTran.


User currently onlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8964 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (2 years 6 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 21411 times:

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
Are you a Southwest employee? Because you sure do share the same sentiments that most Southwest employees do! "WWHD" (What would Herb do) has become a battle cry!

No, but I am old enough to remember walking up to the counter at Houston Hobby with no reservation, paying $30 for a plastic reusable boarding pass, walking up to a nicely appointed 737-200 and being in the air within 20 minutes from walking up to the counter, and basically enjoying what was essentially an airborne bus service. Cheap, quick, safe.

The boarding process on Southwest now is now even worse than on all other airlines. And the price of a ticket between Atlanta and Dallas (both now are Southwest hubs) is significantly more expensive than I can get on Delta or American Airlines.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
25 alggag : Okay, I pretty much have to totally disagree with your post. First off, like it or not Sept. 11 pretty much killed the old way of showing up with no
26 MaverickM11 : WN can get their costs under control--this WWHD battle cry however, I'm not sure they'll be able to fix, and it could very well be the biggest challe
27 mayor : DL was doing this long before WN was a glimmer in Herb's eyes. Perhaps, if they had taken the FL name, they could got themselves out of the baggage f
28 F9animal : I have said it before... WN has indeed changed, and it is not a good change IMO. WN will face dark days, just like every legacy has. But, WN has put l
29 QANTAS747-438 : Before people start endless threads about how today's WN isn't the old WN, has anyone stopped to consider that maybe this is language for the Internat
30 lasmike : Southwest has and will continue to change. Just look at or fly on their 737-800! Who ever thought that, Hawaii, or anything international would ever h
31 Silver1SWA : Yes, it has already been mentioned above. And like I said, buying FL created the opportunity for WN to make a move like this. It's a slippery slope t
32 alggag : Except that the current contract already allows for situations like this and I think people already understood (or probably should have) that the int
33 stratosphere : Yeah things are changing since Herb left but the industry is changing too. Hence the reason the went after AirTran. But to the people talking about t
34 BCEaglesCO757 : Yes people are still flying those routes. But still have AA and UA to compete with. Many markets you don't serve. VCT,MOB,LCH,BPT,TYR,GRK,AEX,MFE,LRD
35 EA CO AS : Because WN's business model is predicated on constant growth, that's why. It relies on a constant "feed" of traffic and new markets to survive and th
36 Cabincrewifly : Exactly what Ryanair does.......
37 Silver1SWA : For many, the defining moment when the "old style" Southwest vanished was the day Herb and Colleen retired. It certainly doesn't feel like a family a
38 commavia : ... like I said: Southwest's model for the first thirty years was built on continuous expansion, so that there was always a steady stream of bottom-o
39 FlyPNS1 : Not really a meaningful comparison since WN doesn't fly the route nonstop. So is every carrier. And once those carriers stopped growing, they all qui
40 wjcandee : You mean airTran did, right?
41 windy95 : Well a majority of their MX is already outsourced. SW mechanics are the highest paid in the Passenger business. And it is not even close.
42 Dreadnought : Which in itself is a mystery. Dallas is the Hub and HQ. Atlanta is the Hub and HQ of Airtran, which they just bought, and SW started flying there sev
43 mayor : I thought it didn't die until 2014?
44 ACJFLYER : The Wright Amendment is anything but dead. Do a bit more research before posting such a heavy claim.
45 KDAYflyer : It's certainly no secret that WN has some of the highest labor cost in the industry, and since labor is about the only cost they can control, this is
46 jfklganyc : "Atlanta is the Hub and HQ of Airtran" AirTrans HQ was in Orlando...just a heads' up
47 Post contains images AirlineCritic : Well, I certainly wouldn't like to be treated like how some other airlines are treating their customers, whether or not I'm the customer or employee
48 usflyguy : Hopefully all of this change will get some of those long-time employees that are so resistant to change to finally retire, ask honestly believe they a
49 XT6Wagon : This right here pretty much tells me that you are not looking at the facts and are fitting the facts to your view.
50 blueflyer : Southwest and their employees find themselves in the position that many successful companies have been in before them. They have done very well for th
51 slider : Welcome to the party WN.....reality, 2012 style. It's time people--especially the media--start realizing the WN is very much a mature legacy carrier a
52 ASFlyer : Several observations after reading this thread: People keep saying that WN has become just another "legacy carrier" when in reality the legacy carrier
53 MLI717fan : If they don't get these concessions, can we expect the last few smaller FL stations to bite the dust? DSM (I know it's converting to WN, but with onl
54 mayor : And how have the legacys become more like WN than WN has become more like them? Seems like WN's business model has changed the most, rather than the
55 Silver1SWA : I don't think we are in disagreement. I'm just pointing out the irony, especially since in many ways the legacies have adjusted their business models
56 MSPNWA : Legacy airlines outsourcing labor is the single largest business model change. Without that the legacies would not be able to make money even today.
57 DCA-ROCguy : This is the most important observation in this thread. Southwest has prospered for four decades not by keeping everything always the same, but adapti
58 Post contains links ouboy79 : Since more contracts are up for renewal this year, I wouldn't be shocked to see another round of buyouts to help trim out the topped out employees. h
59 macsog6 : I actually think that WN is moving to the concept of a virtual airline. This would employ the concept that all employees would be out-sourced, includi
60 DCA-ROCguy : If Southwest needs pay cuts--and they do--they'll get them, one way or another. Neither big growth nor hedging seems to be available to produce the k
61 RDH3E : Lol. The other legacies have about 25 years headstart on this "idea". What do you think UAX is? WN is not headed in that direction any time soon.
62 usairways787 : You think WN employees are the only ones who are bitter? I can tell you for a fact, the way FL employees are being treated by their peers at WN, is n
63 slider : I agree with Mayor's response to ASFlyer here, but would add that the legacy carrier have NOT terribly adjusted their domestic business models to mir
64 BCEaglesCO757 : Can't say I'm mad at WN employees. They still get double time. And at $26.61 if you're topped out ?. I don't know what it is at the other majors, but
65 usflyguy : Nope, not you.
66 ASFlyer : I should elaborate I guess, and in retrospect I can see instances where each (legacy and Southwest) have moved more towards the middle than either mo
67 Silver1SWA : With each new flight schedule WN gets closer to operating tradition hubs with coordinated banks of flights. This current schedule especially at SAN w
68 diverdave : I would agree with that. Delta, United, and US Air have cut costs and are squeezing Southwest from above. Soon to be joined by American. Meanwhile Vi
69 lucky777 : Not sure i would agree with that statement. Most U.S. legacies offer some form of either wifi, AVOD, priority boarding and first class cabins. I can'
70 Kcrwflyer : [ They have un-bundled so to speak. You can still purchase, or earn, various services and amenities that WN doesn't and won't have. WN adding a busine
71 OB1504 : Because this strategy worked so successfully for Direct Air. I think you're reading too much into this.
72 ASFlyer : True, but the "unbundling" came about as a response to Southwest's success in offering low fares without frills. It was largely because of this, and
73 Post contains images wnflyguy : I guess in MDW today GK made a station vist and talked about third party ground ops. No current WN cities will be contracted out but some future seson
74 ASFlyer : I realize this is off topic but I think it would be foolish, at this point, for WN to enter the Hawaii market. Any market they may enter is pretty we
75 alggag : If that really is the intention then I really don't have a problem with it and actually think it's a good and neccessary move at this point. That sai
76 Post contains images T5towbar : Nice if you can get it. (I know we won't get that with our upcoming contract talks, but I hope the package will be decent.... yeah, right.....) $22.2
77 crj900lr : And continue to outsource stations to.
78 skycub : Do you work for Southwest? Because, from what I hear... the Southwest contract requires double time pay for all ground ops employees who are required
79 EA CO AS : Help me understand this argument, because I keep hearing it from folks who are panicked about a pending WN invasion of ANC but I keep not seeing it.
80 ASFlyer : Because WN has a much larger footprint in the U.S. - if they were to offer seasonal service to ANC (primarily summer), I would imagine they could eas
81 Post contains images MaverickM11 : AS has kept them at bay in pretty much any market in the Northwest--WN can't even make SEA Socal work--no reason why Alaska would be any different.
82 Post contains images commavia : And that is no doubt a true and lasting philosophy. The challenge, though, comes when you have airlines like JetBlue, Virgin, etc. that manage to tre
83 Silver1SWA : I get that. The problem with these discussions here is that the default assumption is that all comments are about pay. When I speak of changes to the
84 EA CO AS : Actually, I'd disagree slightly here. I think there's an opportunity for WN to steal a bit of market share and even generate some in the process via
85 luvfa : I've talked to quite a few Jetblue employees who would certainly debate that!
86 mcdu : The "southwest effect" no longer exist. The entire premise of that phrase was the drop in fares when WN entered a market with the $49 fares and the f
87 diverdave : With all due respect, I don't see Southwest being anywhere close to the point where they see the inside of a bankruptcy courtroom. David
88 gizmonc : TWU contract basically says this: If you work a min of 4 hours on your FIRST DAY OFF and you sign up for OVERTIME on your second day OFF, you get DOU
89 gizmonc : I forgot to mention that your first day off is time and a half. So if you are topped out at SWA @ 26.00 per hr you get 39.00 and some change for time
90 JONC777 : I disagree fares from ATL to WN markes are way lower than they were before wn. For example atl-sdf is $615 round trip on DL before aug 12 and after a
91 usflyguy : Which flights did WN run from SoCal to SEA and when? I'm sure a few of the 110,000,000+ people that flew WN/FL last year would like to go to ANC and/
92 EA CO AS : Actually, the "Southwest Effect" is when they stimulate additional demand that hadn't previously existed by creating additional traffic via their new
93 mcdu : Why? Because you are talking fares in that single market. You are a only looking O&D traffic. WN needs to utilize feed to make the airline work.
94 Cubsrule : I'm not sure the WN effect has ever existed on connecting itineraries. Has it?
95 mcdu : They were never a hub carrier. However, now that they are that is more reasonable comparison versus between two city pairs. The good thing is DL has
96 rwy04lga : Follow the money. I wonder if they really are monitoring these forums Had trouble getting outta there at 1am!
97 Cubsrule : I guess I don't follow. If they were not a "hub carrier," then the WN effect must never have existed on connecting itineraries, right? So we ought to
98 RDH3E : Depends, it would've affected the connecting itineraries of their competitors. So if AA had MSY-DFW-HOU but no HOU-MSY, and WN had HOU-MSY then that
99 Cubsrule : I'm lost - seems like he's saying there's no "WN effect" because WN's connections aren't any cheaper than the other guy's. But the WN effect has neve
100 mcdu : WN will need to continue to outcharge the competition to cover their costs. Outsourcing, paycuts and I suspect a few more significant changes to take
101 Silver1SWA : You sure make a lot of assumptions and jump to a lot of conclusions. -The reason for wanting to outsource SOME of the operation has been noted above
102 Post contains images mayor : I would imagine that there was no indication of outsourcing until now, either.........
103 Silver1SWA : Publicly maybe, but it's not a surprise announcement to us really.[Edited 2012-06-22 16:43:40]
104 Post contains images ER757 : I think those smaller cities are precisely why WN could never make a go of it to/from ANC. Even in high season, ANC is not a large enough market to s
105 ASFlyer : I honestly don't think either You must be kidding me about the high season in Alaska. AS runs about 20+ daily flights SEA-ANC during the high season.
106 JONC777 : The effect is not so obvious on markets that Southwest already serves, but becomes painfully obvious when Southwest leaves a market or in the example
107 737tanker : Actually the outsourcing that they are talking about was agreed to in the LAST contracts that were signed with all the rampers, OpsAgents, and Custom
108 mayor : Then why worded this way?? "Southwest is now looking for it's ground operations department (which encompasses ramp, operations, and provisioning) to
109 Silver1SWA : Maybe because the next contract is currently being negotiated?
110 mayor : I understand that, but I'm being told that this was already negotiated in the LAST contract (see reply #107).
111 kpitrrat : Maybe they are looking to increase the percentage of outsourced personnel? Could there have been a lower percentage of outsourced work provided in th
112 Silver1SWA : I saw the reply. You asked why the article worded it the way they did. We all know too well how the media doesn't always have the full story. Bottom
113 737tanker : mayor You said in Reply 102 that there was no indication of outsourcing until now. So I said in Reply 107 that outsourcing had been agreed to under th
114 mayor : Copy
115 JONC777 : Unless they really want too youd be hard pressed to get someone making $26.00 an hour to quit. Even in the VERY unliklyhood of layoffs they would be
116 JONC777 : I work for WN in ATL and Id like to know where your getting your info? Of course in any merger people on both sides are going to get annoyed but to s
117 gizmonc : Ok to set the record straight....SWA can only outsource in stations with less than 12 flghts currently. That is in the current contact, which negoatio
118 deltaflyertoo : Growth is necessary because they are a publicly traded company and owe it to the stock owners. Every detail of a company and its profits vs. revenues
119 AADC10 : This is all part of WN becoming a mature airline. Labor costs have risen as the number of high seniority employees have increased. Growth has slowed,
120 mayor : Are they, anymore?
121 strfyr51 : . If you ask their Koolaid vendor?? Yes. Ask Wall Street?? Maybe not. Southwest is HEADING for the SAME Market "correction" that American is facing,,
122 copter808 : Doesn't sound good at all. I just saw a perfect example of outsourcing a few hours ago. I arrived from FRA and watched as the handling company employe
123 Post contains images usflyguy : UA smells blood in the water, that's why they were fighting like hell to keep WN from flying internationally out of HOU.
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