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Southwest Wants To Begin Outsourcing Employees  
User currently offlineswa4life From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 385 posts, RR: 1
Posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 23330 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, 718 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 23262 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, 1935 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 23236 times:

Oh boy...this will not end well.

User currently offlineKcrwflyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3834 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 23183 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 offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8869 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 23114 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, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 23104 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 offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17681 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 23093 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, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 22933 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, 939 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 22819 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, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 22759 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, 1024 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 22760 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 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 22646 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 4 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 22627 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, 5679 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 22591 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 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 22471 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 offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17681 posts, RR: 46
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 22450 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, 11753 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 22420 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, 3834 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 22069 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, 1973 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 21991 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 onlineincitatus From Brazil, joined Feb 2005, 4034 posts, RR: 13
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 21881 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.



Stop pop up ads
User currently offlinebobloblaw From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1725 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 21719 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 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 21603 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 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 21451 times:

Glad I'm already sitting down.

Just wow.


User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11753 posts, RR: 62
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 21411 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 offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8869 posts, RR: 24
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 21336 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
User currently onlinealggag From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 25, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 21886 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 24):
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.

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 reservation and being on your way and taking a total of 20 minutes from counter to plane. Changes like that weren't exactly ones that WN chose to make.

As for your second paragraph, I highly, highly disagree. I've flown WN fairly regularly going back to about 1990 and the days of the plastic boarding cards were horrible. I hate it when people still bring up the "cattle call" cliche but frankly, WN earned and deserved that back in the plastic boarding card days. Just about everyone who is a current WN flier feels that the current system is a *vast* improvement and that it's better than other carriers. Of course, the people who insist on assigned seating will never like any system that WN uses as long as there is open seating but otherwise you are probably the only person that thinks the plastic cards were a better system.

Your final point though regarding pricing has truth in it.

[Edited 2012-06-19 20:24:37]

[Edited 2012-06-19 20:25:11]

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17681 posts, RR: 46
Reply 26, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 21670 times:

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

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 challenge.

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
Stupid smiley face or not... what EXACTLY did Southwest start?

The low cost revolution, and ultimately the commoditization of airline travel. Of course had it not been WN it would have been someone else, but they were the first meaningful LCC that's still around.

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
Southwest made money for 35+ years doing what they do best.... They ALWAYS made money on high-frequency business routes

RIM and Nokia made buckets of money just a few years ago on products that they can't give away today. Things change, especially over 35 years, multiple fuel spikes, 9-11, several downturns, and umpteen airline bankruptcies. Just look at WN's frequency in some of those markets a decade ago versus today--that should tell you most of the story.

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
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?

It has been one of the roughest mergers I've ever witnessed, but first and foremost WN got a carrier that was underpricing them left and right out of the market.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10527 posts, RR: 14
Reply 27, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 21874 times:

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
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.

DL was doing this long before WN was a glimmer in Herb's eyes.

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
Heck, why not just take the ValuJet name? There is, unlike ValuJet, NOT A DANG THING wrong with the Southwest brand name.

Perhaps, if they had taken the FL name, they could got themselves out of the baggage fee corner that they've painted themselves into.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineF9animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5081 posts, RR: 28
Reply 28, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 21386 times:

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 lots of money away for rainy days. I honestly don't like what WN has become. WN used to be the airline getting bullied around, but the airline did what it did and continued to strive. Since Herb has left, it seems like WN has started flexing their muscles, and began their own bullying. Competition is fine, but WN has changed how they compete. Its almost like they are becoming a Braniff in a way. Maybe I am wrong in my views, but it is not the airline it once was. Its sad actually.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineQANTAS747-438 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1976 posts, RR: 2
Reply 29, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 20808 times:

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 International destinations WN will start/inherit? If WN starts LIM, MEX, etc, why would they not use contract employees? Why hire a WN employee for 1 or 2 flts a day and pay them full Southwest salary, benefits, and whatever international things are included?

Also, I highly doubt WN will layoff 20% of the current workforce only to replace them with contract employees.



My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
User currently offlinelasmike From United States of America, joined Jul 2011, 15 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 20779 times:

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 have been in the realm of the airline's future, yet they are coming. The vision of Southwest's future is exciting and I'm sure Herb still there behind the scenes. There will be growing pains, but airline has to change to survive.


a first class dude in an economy world
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 31, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 20702 times:
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Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 29):
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 International destinations WN will start/inherit?

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 though. First they keep it to international cities. Then cities with a handful of flights. Then cities with a dozen flights. Then cities under X number of flights and so on. That's the fear at least.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently onlinealggag From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 32, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 20554 times:

Quoting QANTAS747-438 (Reply 29):
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 International destinations WN will start/inherit? If WN starts LIM, MEX, etc, why would they not use contract employees? Why hire a WN employee for 1 or 2 flts a day and pay them full Southwest salary, benefits, and whatever international things are included?

Also, I highly doubt WN will layoff 20% of the current workforce only to replace them with contract employees.

Except that the current contract already allows for situations like this and I think people already understood (or probably should have) that the international stations would more than likely not be staffed by WN personnel and be the first to exercise the contract labor for less than 12 flights clause.

"Up to 20%" is such a huge amount that could never be reached solely on international stations.


User currently offlinestratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1653 posts, RR: 5
Reply 33, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 20440 times:

Quoting F9animal (Reply 28):
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 lots of money away for rainy days. I honestly don't like what WN has become. WN used to be the airline getting bullied around, but the airline did what it did and continued to strive. Since Herb has left, it seems like WN has started flexing their muscles, and began their own bullying. Competition is fine, but WN has changed how they compete. Its almost like they are becoming a Braniff in a way. Maybe I am wrong in my views, but it is not the airline it once was. Its sad actually.

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 the high wages at SWA...Yes they are paid very well and were under Herb too. It is not the wages of the employees take AA for example they have one of the highest labor costs in the industry but the employees are among the lowest paid. SW employees are VERY productive compared to other carriers not to mention the one fleet type makes things a whole lot cheaper all the way around. But the market is changing...Mergers are happening the dynamic is changing and SWA knows its original model needs to change as well. Maybe not the employee/management part but other parts. If I wasn't already working for a top employer I would strive to work for them. I almost did but the merger with AirTran had me think twice. Sometimes mergers do not go well and I can already see friction between the SW and FL people with the way this was handled with the FL people feeling screwed.



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineBCEaglesCO757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 242 posts, RR: 2
Reply 34, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 20201 times:

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
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?

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,LCH,BTR
New England and DC ? You got AA,US,UA and Delta with major hubs in the Norrtheast.

Most of those carriers can get you anywhere in the world with one stop. In the cases of their hubs located there, non-stop.

You don't think the money made on international routes would be good for WN ? But even then, it's a whole new game,because they would not only be going against their domestic peers, but the likes of international carriers.

I can say loads of people fly BOS-NYC/WAS/PHL. Alot of those business people do business all over the country, and most importantly in places like NRT,LHR,HKG,GVA,FRA,MUC,AMS,CDG,and on and on.

Same on the DAL-HOU route.

It's alot of business to leave on the table.


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13664 posts, RR: 62
Reply 35, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 19388 times:
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Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
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?

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 thrive. It's the only way to keep their non-fuel CASM down. Once the low-hanging fruit is gone, they have no choice but to expand or their labor costs will overwhelm them.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineCabincrewifly From Ireland, joined Jul 2011, 243 posts, RR: 0
Reply 36, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 19247 times:

Exactly what Ryanair does.......


EI FR RE EIR IWD MA FUA
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 37, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 18254 times:
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Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 4):
Southwest has changed a lot since Herb Kelleher retired, and not for the better.
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.
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!

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 anymore and the "treat your employees like customers" motto is no longer the top priority, in my opinion.

Quoting commavia (Reply 23):
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.

The problem is a huge chunk of the workforce that was hired during the expansion of the last ten years is now approaching top out pay and these employees are young and not going anywhere soon.

Quoting commavia (Reply 16):
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.

I understand that. But I find it ironic that their way of staying in the game is to become, in many ways, just like everyone else.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11753 posts, RR: 62
Reply 38, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 18035 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 37):
The problem is a huge chunk of the workforce that was hired during the expansion of the last ten years is now approaching top out pay and these employees are young and not going anywhere soon.

... 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-of-scale, lower-cost people coming in to offset the steadily rising costs of the more senior workforce. However, that no longer works in an environment where Southwest's organic growth capacity is essentially done - they've already grown into basically every place they can.

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 37):
But I find it ironic that their way of staying in the game is to become, in many ways, just like everyone else.

Well, I guess I just don't really see what alternative they have. The numbers are the numbers - there's no getting around that reality.

I know Southwest has convinced everybody for forty years that they are different and in some sense special - and at the beginning they really were - but the truth these days is that a 40-year-old company simply has a harder and harder time being difference and special when they have to contend with all the same issues as their competitors. That's not just about Southwest - every company in that position eventually has to contend with the same thing.


User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6645 posts, RR: 24
Reply 39, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 17914 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 24):
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.

Not really a meaningful comparison since WN doesn't fly the route nonstop.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 35):
Because WN's business model is predicated on constant growth, that's why.

So is every carrier. And once those carriers stopped growing, they all quickly found themselves in bankruptcy.


User currently offlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5267 posts, RR: 24
Reply 40, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 17665 times:

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

You mean airTran did, right?


User currently offlinewindy95 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 2739 posts, RR: 8
Reply 41, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 17098 times:

Quoting swa4life (Thread starter):
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.

Well a majority of their MX is already outsourced.

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

SW mechanics are the highest paid in the Passenger business. And it is not even close.



OMG-Obama Must Go
User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8869 posts, RR: 24
Reply 42, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15535 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 39):
Not really a meaningful comparison since WN doesn't fly the route nonstop.

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 several months ago. Why no direct link? The Wright Amendment is long dead.



Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10527 posts, RR: 14
Reply 43, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15387 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 42):
The Wright Amendment is long dead.

I thought it didn't die until 2014?



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineACJFLYER From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 427 posts, RR: 6
Reply 44, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14223 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 42):
The Wright Amendment is long dead.

The Wright Amendment is anything but dead. Do a bit more research before posting such a heavy claim.


User currently offlineKDAYflyer From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 14219 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.20% outsourcing allows those marginal stations to exist in a new WN that has a much more "major" role than the previous incarnation.

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 not a surprise. The union will have fits of course. But WN is going to have to do something or it will end up in the same mess AA has right now.

If the union is smart, they will understand and help, not the other way around. They need to remember the death of airlines which have had unions who were so entrenched thay couldn't give a little for the long term benefit of all. WN management had better give a little here too - multimillion $ bonuses handed out to executives during times like these are completely unwelcome.


User currently offlinejfklganyc From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 3559 posts, RR: 5
Reply 46, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 14114 times:

"Atlanta is the Hub and HQ of Airtran"

AirTrans HQ was in Orlando...just a heads' up


User currently offlineAirlineCritic From Finland, joined Mar 2009, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 47, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 14050 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 37):
"treat your employees like customers" motto is no longer the top priority, in my opinion

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  

In any case, WN has been very well managed. I'd say it still is. The world has indeed changed around them, and they will also see challenges coming up. Basically, they may need to become leaner than they have been, even with taking into account their currently high efficiency. The 20% seems like a tool designed to deal with some of this. It is probably not the only tool that they'll need.

In some other industries, moving some fraction of the workforce gradually to outsourced parties has caused major hassle; in some other cases it has not. I think though that the smart WN employees do realize that something has to be done to further transform the company. I don't think this will be the end of good relationships or the feeling of the company. But I'm just looking at this from the outside, of course.


User currently offlineusflyguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1024 posts, RR: 0
Reply 48, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 14040 times:

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 are a major component to the "morale issue" that keeps getting brought up. One of those is on this board and hasn't had a positive thing to say, that I can recall, about his employer on this board.


My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3418 posts, RR: 4
Reply 49, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 13736 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 24):
The boarding process on Southwest now is now even worse than on all other airline

This right here pretty much tells me that you are not looking at the facts and are fitting the facts to your view.


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4086 posts, RR: 2
Reply 50, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 13723 times:
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Southwest and their employees find themselves in the position that many successful companies have been in before them. They have done very well for themselves operating along the same lines for years, but the world has changed around them. Either they take notice, admit changes are necessary, adapt and survive, or they bury their head in the sand, behave as though it's just a temporary blimp and things will go back to "normal" and they'll die... Whichever way they go, they wouldn't be the first down that path.

I think management has noticed. Unions are going to scream it's unfair, but what's the alternative?

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 42):
The Wright Amendment is long dead.

Nope, not yet. Until 2014, they can offer one-stop service from DAL to destinations beyond the perimeter states, but non-stop has to wait still.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineslider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6872 posts, RR: 34
Reply 51, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 13586 times:

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 and not this kitschy upstart LCC with a simple business model. They have all the problems the majors have, except they have 2 massive glaring problems: high labor costs and a revenue shortfall.

The former will be addressed by labor contracts and outsourcing and had been held in check with good producitivity. The latter by going back into airports they used to eschew and now a foray into international flying, as evidenced by the HOU mess.


User currently offlineASFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1183 posts, RR: 3
Reply 52, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 13473 times:

Several observations after reading this thread:

People keep saying that WN has become just another "legacy carrier" when in reality the legacy carriers have had to adjust their domestic business models to more closely resemble Southwest. I don't think Southwest has changed much - everyone else has and therein lies the problems.

WWHD? Cut and run - which is what he did. Times are changing and his philosophies are no longer effective. Southwest's biggest problems right now are their high costs as decreasing RASM.


User currently offlineMLI717fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 53, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 12813 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.
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 15):

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.

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 only 2 daily flights to one destination)? GRR?


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10527 posts, RR: 14
Reply 54, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 12812 times:

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 52):
People keep saying that WN has become just another "legacy carrier" when in reality the legacy carriers have had to adjust their domestic business models to more closely resemble Southwest. I don't think Southwest has changed much - everyone else has and therein lies the problems.

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 other way around.........WN used to fly into secondary airports in large cities rather than the main airport.......whether you want to believe it or not, WN DOES operate hubs, no matter what they call them. Now they're looking at international flying. WWHD? I don't know but it almost seems inevitable that his business model would have to change.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 55, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 12725 times:
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Quoting commavia (Reply 38):
Well, I guess I just don't really see what alternative they have. The numbers are the numbers - there's no getting around that reality.

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 to closely resemble WN as ASFlyer pointed out.

Quoting AirlineCritic (Reply 47):
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

Herb Kelleher was a firm believer that if you treat your employees well, the employees will in turn treat the customers well.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 48):
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 are a major component to the "morale issue" that keeps getting brought up. One of those is on this board and hasn't had a positive thing to say, that I can recall, about his employer on this board.

I seriously hope you are not talking about me. I have been a long-time supporter and defender of Southwest in these forums, even grouped in with the "fanboys" in the eyes of some of the WN "haters". I'm simply pointing out the reality that things have changed at WN. Change is certainly necessary for the airline to survive, and everyone knows that. But in my opinion, the resistence to change stems from the change in culture.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1973 posts, RR: 2
Reply 56, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 5 days ago) and read 12639 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 54):
Seems like WN's business model has changed the most, rather than the other way around.........

Legacy airlines outsourcing labor is the single largest business model change. Without that the legacies would not be able to make money even today. And that outsourcing, which is primarily domestic flying, is in large part what WN competes with.

WN's model has seen small changes, like the type of airports served and a more hub-and-spoke structure. On a relative scale it's nothing in comparison to the changes legacy carriers have made.


User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4510 posts, RR: 34
Reply 57, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12412 times:

Quoting incitatus (Reply 19):
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.

This is the most important observation in this thread. Southwest has prospered for four decades not by keeping everything always the same, but adapting and changing wisely as circumstances dictated. After Deregulation WN expanded beyond Texas. When MDW and BWI airports had opportunities, WN jumped on them. When California had opportunities, WN jumped. When WN's business travelers wanted access to major northeastern airports, they entered those airports.

Circumstances today demand more changes, in this case dealing with labor costs. My money is on Southwest making the needed changes, whatever form(s) they take, and staying profitable for the long term. They'll get their costs to the lower end of the industry again, and grow RASM on market-determining lower fares.

I've been saying for awhile that Southwest needs to deal with their labor costs. WN's competitors did because of them, and now they need to themselves. They will.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineouboy79 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 4608 posts, RR: 23
Reply 58, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12119 times:

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 57):
I've been saying for awhile that Southwest needs to deal with their labor costs. WN's competitors did because of them, and now they need to themselves. They will.

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.

http://www.iamdl142.org/Southwest/IAM%202008thru2012.pdf

That is the airport and reservation contract where the outsourcing is going to come into play. The one thing to point out, 10 years is where employees top out. So those that have been with WN for that amount of time working ramp, counter, or the phones are making at least $54-55k a year excluding any additional benefits. I wouldn't expect any pay cuts and more than likely a pay raise. However, I would imagine they'll want to thin out the topped out employee heard as much as possible.


User currently offlinemacsog6 From Singapore, joined Jan 2010, 535 posts, RR: 0
Reply 59, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 12081 times:
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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, including ground staff, the flight deck and the cabin. They would offer a highly flexible staffing model with no labor contracts, the ability to rapidly adjust labor costs, and vary the workforce size easily. The aircraft would be leased and paid for by the operating hour with maintenance included in the hourly costs, thus eliminating the need for any maintenance staff. Finally, the ticketing, dispatch and such would be vested in another group of out-sourced staff who would perform these services for multiple carriers. The cost of having check-in staff stand around waiting for the next flight when they could be put to use checking in someone else's flight could be eliminated. You would reduce station costs as several virtual carriers could just share the same space.

I'm willing to bet that somewhere back in the bowels of Love Field or at some consulting company there is an MBA from Wharton or some other such school who has a full power point deck that he pushes to everyone about this virtual concept. As as pressures increase on profit margins, senior leadership in the industry is going to start listening to him.

Do I like it, no. Absolutely not. But do I think it is coming, absolutely yes. We painted the line this concept follows the day we deregulated the industry and we have been slowly moving down it ever since. It will not come soon, but it will be sooner than most of us think. This was once an industry driven by speed and safety, but it now driven solely by profits with safety being maintained at a minimum acceptable level.

And as as long as we, the pax, buy the very cheapest ticket we can find; ideas like this will continue to grow.

WN has long been an innovator and I truly believe that they have this concept planted firmly in their mind. Can I produce evidence to prove it? No, WN is smarter than to allow it out; but that doesn't mean it is not being examined.



Sixty Plus Years of Flying! "I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things." - Saint Ex
User currently offlineDCA-ROCguy From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 4510 posts, RR: 34
Reply 60, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 11989 times:

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 58):
I wouldn't expect any pay cuts and more than likely a pay raise. However, I would imagine they'll want to thin out the topped out employee heard as much as possible.

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 kind of CASM improvements WN needs. DOJ let WN buy FL on the premise that they'd allowed UA-CO and DL-NW (neither of which they should have allowed, but that's another discussion). Who else is out there that a) DOJ would let WN buy, or b) would be big enough to dilute their existing higher-end employee pool?

Pay cuts are coming. The math, particularly fuel math, doesn't suggest any other alternative. It's neither employees' fault, nor pax nor investors' fault, that oil isn't $30 a barrel any more, and isn't going back to $30 a barrel. To paraphrase Howard Jones, no one (of these groups) is to blame. But that's the way it is.

Jim



Need a new airline paint scheme? Better call Saul! (Bass that is)
User currently offlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1765 posts, RR: 3
Reply 61, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 11826 times:

Quoting macsog6 (Reply 59):
WN has long been an innovator and I truly believe that they have this concept planted firmly in their mind. Can I produce evidence to prove it? No, WN is smarter than to allow it out; but that doesn't mean it is not being examined.

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.


User currently offlineusairways787 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 290 posts, RR: 1
Reply 62, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 11650 times:

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
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.

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 nothing short of absolutely disgusting. None of them deserve it. We didn't shatter your culture, we awoke one day and found out that our company that we had spent so much time in building would soon be demolished by a "superior" company that promised us more than it has yet to fulfill. I know without a doubt, airTran had the opportunity to be so much more than what it was. So tell me. Is it culture to sit there pass petitions for your new coworkers to be fired because you don't want them there? Is it culture to ask FL employees in other stations to take volunteer furloughs with promises of being A) relocated B) recall rights? Is it WN culture to write us (FL employees) a furlough package but not give WN employees the exact same package? Is it WN culture to sit there and lie to their new employees, promise them jobs, allow them to bid for vacancies only to tell them "well we never promised you this"? Is it WN culture to take revenue from our bag fees and remodel your HQ, but then sit there and hypocritically state "bags fly free"? If that is your culture, I am extremely glad I'm no longer apart of that. I only feel for my fellow co-workers as your colt culture, and stubborn superior feeling ways demolishes those around you.

P.S.

Herb has retired, get over it. Like all other carriers change is inevitable. We've been forced to adapt to harsh surroundings. The sooner you face, and accept that the much easier it is to understand.

US787



"Pre departure walk around complete, all doors closed, ready for pushback"
User currently offlineslider From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6872 posts, RR: 34
Reply 63, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 11132 times:

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 52):
People keep saying that WN has become just another "legacy carrier" when in reality the legacy carriers have had to adjust their domestic business models to more closely resemble Southwest. I don't think Southwest has changed much - everyone else has and therein lies the problems
Quoting mayor (Reply 54):
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 other way around.........WN used to fly into secondary airports in large cities rather than the main airport.......whether you want to believe it or not, WN DOES operate hubs, no matter what they call them. Now they're looking at international flying. WWHD? I don't know but it almost seems inevitable that his business model would have to change.

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 mirror WN. other legacies offer FAR more robust regional operations, where WN wouldbe toast to tread into. Other legacies have global alliance groupings that help connect those customers from small towns to far flung places--WN isn't even in this game.

I'd say ASFlyer's comment is completely out of phase: it's WN that needs to change. Now that fuel hedging is no longer a de facto guarantee of profit, and that fuel is a monster along with its twin, labor, Southwest is squarely in the park with other legacies except they have strategic shortfalls: no intl, non IATA, no codesharing, etc.


User currently offlineBCEaglesCO757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 242 posts, RR: 2
Reply 64, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 10920 times:

Quoting ouboy79 (Reply 58):
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.

http://www.iamdl142.org/Southwest/IAM%202008thru2012.pdf

That is the airport and reservation contract where the outsourcing is going to come into play. The one thing to point out, 10 years is where employees top out. So those that have been with WN for that amount of time working ramp, counter, or the phones are making at least $54-55k a year excluding any additional benefits. I wouldn't expect any pay cuts and more than likely a pay raise. However, I would imagine they'll want to thin out the topped out employee heard as much as possible.

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 on the CO side at UA, it's $21.75.

Good for the WN employees. I don't bemoan anyone able to negotiate a wage they are happy with.

Had no idea they were up that high, wow.

[Edited 2012-06-20 13:43:38]

User currently offlineusflyguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1024 posts, RR: 0
Reply 65, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9846 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 55):

Nope, not you.



My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
User currently offlineASFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1183 posts, RR: 3
Reply 66, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9799 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 54):
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 other way around.........WN used to fly into secondary airports in large cities rather than the main airport.......whether you want to believe it or not, WN DOES operate hubs, no matter what they call them. Now they're looking at international flying. WWHD? I don't know but it almost seems inevitable that his business model would have to change.

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 moving drastically towards one end of the spectrum or another. I didn't say WN didn't operate hubs. On that though, Southwest has certainly moved towards establishing large focus cities, though I would stop just short of calling them "hubs" as hubs have coordinated banks of flights in most cases (ATL for DL is a bit of an exception though). WN has also started moving into airports in major cities rather than just the outlying airports. The legacies have trimmed domestic service to a bare bones product, ala WN. In fact, maybe they've even trimmed it beyond what WN offers. In any case, frills of the past have disappeared. Flying on a major feels more like what we once thought flying on an LCC was like. Flying on WN still feels the same as it did 25 years ago - a seat on a plane, nothing more, nothing less. You can get on a plane in JAX and end up in SAN on that same plane - with 4 or 5 stops along the way.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 67, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 9719 times:
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Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 66):
I didn't say WN didn't operate hubs. On that though, Southwest has certainly moved towards establishing large focus cities, though I would stop just short of calling them "hubs" as hubs have coordinated banks

With each new flight schedule WN gets closer to operating tradition hubs with coordinated banks of flights. This current schedule especially at SAN we have periods where flights file in and out within minutes of each other and then we have periods of lulls. We have 10 gates, but in the 10 o'clock hour we have 13 flights. In the 12 o'clock hour, we have 3 flights. We even have a scheduled 3-hour turn with an aircraft arriving from HOU at 10:50 and departing to HOU at 13:40 and it fills almost entirely with connecting passengers. Very unusual activity for WN.

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 65):
Nope, not you.

Gotcha. Thanks.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinediverdave From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 336 posts, RR: 0
Reply 68, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 9471 times:

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 66):
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 moving drastically towards one end of the spectrum or another.

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 Virgin America, JetBlue, and Frontier are nibbling at Southwest routes and profits from below. There is some short term relief from taking out a lower cost competitor (AirTran).

It would make sense to outsource smaller stations that would otherwise be closed. Whether the union employees will allow that, of course will be determined by collective bargaining.

David


User currently offlinelucky777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 69, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 9394 times:

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 66):
The legacies have trimmed domestic service to a bare bones product, ala WN. In fact, maybe they've even trimmed it beyond what WN offers.

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't think of any legacy carrier that offers such limited amenities as does Southwest.


User currently offlineKcrwflyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3834 posts, RR: 7
Reply 70, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 9226 times:

[

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 66):
The legacies have trimmed domestic service to a bare bones product, ala WN. In fact, maybe they've even trimmed it beyond what WN offers.

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 business fare, priority boarding, and even wifi are examples of them adapting to sectors of the market the legacies have helped mold.. not the other way around.

Quoting diverdave (Reply 68):
It would make sense to outsource smaller stations that would otherwise be closed. Whether the union employees will allow that, of course will be determined by collective bargaining.

They can either do it peacefully or have it done to them by BK court. I hope they understand that... not that there's any evidence in the fossil record of a union ever understanding the operating costs and metrics of an airline.


User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3400 posts, RR: 6
Reply 71, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 9076 times:

Quoting macsog6 (Reply 59):
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, including ground staff, the flight deck and the cabin. They would offer a highly flexible staffing model with no labor contracts, the ability to rapidly adjust labor costs, and vary the workforce size easily. The aircraft would be leased and paid for by the operating hour with maintenance included in the hourly costs, thus eliminating the need for any maintenance staff. Finally, the ticketing, dispatch and such would be vested in another group of out-sourced staff who would perform these services for multiple carriers. The cost of having check-in staff stand around waiting for the next flight when they could be put to use checking in someone else's flight could be eliminated. You would reduce station costs as several virtual carriers could just share the same space.

Because this strategy worked so successfully for Direct Air. I think you're reading too much into this.


User currently offlineASFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1183 posts, RR: 3
Reply 72, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8756 times:

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 70):
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 business fare, priority boarding, and even wifi are examples of them adapting to sectors of the market the legacies have helped mold.. not the other way around.

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 the emergence of other LCC carriers that were emulating WN, that caused the majors to have to unbundle at all. As far as what WN will or won't have, I think that's, at least subliminally, part of what this thread is about. Nobody knows what WN will or won't offer down the road. What we all do know is that WN has to change what they're offering right now or they aren't going to survive. They're not leading the pack like they once were. Other airlines aren't looking to WN to see how run an airline anymore.

Quoting lucky777 (Reply 69):
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't think of any legacy carrier that offers such limited amenities as does Southwest.

Southwest offers wifi and priority boarding, both for a price. They definitely don't offer AVOD or First Class at this point.


User currently offlinewnflyguy From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2011, 572 posts, RR: 0
Reply 73, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8041 times:

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 sesonal cities like ANC and Hawaii cites may be.
Reason given sesonal cities like ANC and Hawaii during peak season can have 10 flights a day and off season could go down to 3 or zero and to have full time staffing would make the city a money loser.
Valid point..
Wnfg 



my post are my opinion only and not those of southwest airlines and or airtran airlines.
User currently offlineASFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1183 posts, RR: 3
Reply 74, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7984 times:

Quoting wnflyguy (Reply 73):
No current WN cities will be contracted out but some future sesonal cities like ANC and Hawaii cites may be.

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 well saturated (between HA, AS and nearly every other major, not to mention Allegiant from the secondary markets) and there is little they could do to lower fares and stimulate demand that isn't already there. WN really needs to do something different but I don't think HNL is going to be a gold mine for them. ANC, on the other hand, is ripe for the picking if the go in with reasonable fares and a broad network of service.


User currently onlinealggag From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 98 posts, RR: 0
Reply 75, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7932 times:

Quoting wnflyguy (Reply 73):
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 sesonal cities like ANC and Hawaii cites may be.
Reason given sesonal cities like ANC and Hawaii during peak season can have 10 flights a day and off season could go down to 3 or zero and to have full time staffing would make the city a money loser.
Valid point..
Wnfg

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 said, re: my earlier post, if they can already do that with the contract they have now why do they have to come up with a new one that make contract labor so much more prevalent?

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 74):
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 well saturated (between HA, AS and nearly every other major, not to mention Allegiant from the secondary markets) and there is little they could do to lower fares and stimulate demand that isn't already there. WN really needs to do something different but I don't think HNL is going to be a gold mine for them. ANC, on the other hand, is ripe for the picking if the go in with reasonable fares and a broad network of service.

I agree and have felt like that for a while. WN is basically last to the party on Hawaii and I don't see what they plan to do that hasn't already been done.


User currently offlineT5towbar From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 568 posts, RR: 1
Reply 76, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7881 times:

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 64):

They still get double time. And at $26.61 if you're topped out ?.

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.....)

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 64):
I don't know what it is at the other majors, but on the CO side at UA, it's $21.75

$22.29 effective 7/1/12 (on the CO side)



A comment from an Ex CON: Work Hard.....Fly Standby!
User currently offlinecrj900lr From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 77, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7910 times:

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.

And continue to outsource stations to.


User currently offlineskycub From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 78, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7748 times:

Quoting T5towbar (Reply 76):
Nice if you can get it.

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 to work mandatory overtime on their day off. So, its actually quite common at Southwest.


User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13664 posts, RR: 62
Reply 79, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7675 times:
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Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 74):
ANC, on the other hand, is ripe for the picking if the go in with reasonable fares and a broad network of service.

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. Wouldn't it have already happened?

WN has already had:

- a CASM ex-fuel advantage
- a larger fleet of 73Gs (the 'long-thin market' aircraft, which ANC would be to them)
- a supposedly "disgruntled, hostage market, ready for competition" looking for alternatives purportedly just waiting for them

yet no ANC service has materialized. In the meanwhile, AS has been steadily improving their CASM ex-fuel annually, improving their hard and soft products, rolling out incentives to the local market like Club 49, etc - not to mention the fact that most of the state is enrolled in Mileage Plan and has a vested interest in staying loyal to Alaska Airlines! All in the name of telling Gary Kelly, "Don't even think about it."

So, how is ANC "ripe for the picking" for WN? I see nothing but a bloodbath for them if they enter that market.

[Edited 2012-06-21 21:12:04]


"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineASFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1183 posts, RR: 3
Reply 80, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7650 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 79):
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. Wouldn't it have already happened?

WN has already had:

- a CASM ex-fuel advantage
- a larger fleet of 73Gs (the 'long-thin market' aircraft, which ANC would be to them)
- a supposedly "disgruntled, hostage market, ready for competition" looking for alternatives

Just waiting for them, yet no ANC service has materialized. In the meanwhile, AS has been steadily improving their CASM ex-fuel annually, improving their hard and soft products, rolling out incentives to the local market like Club 49, etc - not to mention the fact that most of the state is enrolled in Mileage Plan and has a vested interest in staying loyal to Alaska Airlines! All in the name of telling Gary Kelly, "Don't even think about it."

So, how is ANC "ripe for the picking" for WN? I see nothing but a bloodbath for them if they enter that market.

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 easily fill planes at pretty high fares (for them) to SJC, OAK, LAS, and possibly even MDW and PHX. Beyond those places there are a myriad of options as far as connections go. With the increasing number of tourists headed north from late spring through early fall, there are more than enough to go around. It's not like WN is some fly by night operation. They needn't spend time establishing themselves in the market. For all their recent failings, they are a well known name in the U.S and people are happy with their product. I'm not suggesting they would overtake AS in the state of Alaska, I just believe that there are plenty of of customers to go around during the prime summer months. I'm also not talking about serving smaller communities such as FAI, JNU, KTN, BET - I'm talking about service to ANC. It's not a tiny market in the summer time.

Just edited to add - I believe that WN hasn't entered the ANC market previously because their previous business model has been to start service to new cities with 8+ flights a day to several different markets. They've got to do something new, and I think they realize that. Starting a small hand full of ANC flights to a just a few cities - marketing connections beyond - would be something they've been hesitant to do in the past. If they are able to convince their union to allow outsourcing in places such as this, it opens a whole new world of possibilities to them.

[Edited 2012-06-21 20:25:13]

User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17681 posts, RR: 46
Reply 81, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7548 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 79):

So, how is ANC "ripe for the picking" for WN? I see nothing but a bloodbath for them if they enter that market.

   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.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11753 posts, RR: 62
Reply 82, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 7496 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 55):
Herb Kelleher was a firm believer that if you treat your employees well, the employees will in turn treat the customers well.

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 treat employees well, who in turn treat customers well, but who do it at a lower cost. This is the quandary that Southwest now finds itself in (i.e., the exact same quandary the legacy airlines found themselves in 10 years ago): can you continue to justify a certain level of compensation for employees in the name of good customer service, when competitors manage to find employees that offer as good or better service, but are willing to work for less?

Quoting DCA-ROCguy (Reply 57):
Circumstances today demand more changes, in this case dealing with labor costs. My money is on Southwest making the needed changes, whatever form(s) they take, and staying profitable for the long term.

  

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 74):
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 well saturated (between HA, AS and nearly every other major, not to mention Allegiant from the secondary markets) and there is little they could do to lower fares and stimulate demand that isn't already there. WN really needs to do something different but I don't think HNL is going to be a gold mine for them.

... and, again, you have just summed up basically Southwest's strategic challenge in general. Replace "Hawaii" with virtually any other U.S. market, and you get the same result: Southwest has basically run out of places to grow organically. All the low-hanging fruit is now gone, as is the vaunted "Southwest effect" that used to be capable of using low costs to drive low fares that stimulated demand. Today, with competitors lower-cost than Southwest, Southwest can only have a limited stimulative effect and still be profitable, and that limits the places they can go. Anywhere Southwest goes they are met with competition that is now far more nimble and competitive than what Southwest faced in 1995 (Alaska Airlines is actually a perfect example - talk about an impressive competitor).

But on the other side, they are also currently limited in the amount of traffic and revenue their network can generate because they don't have small jets that can service markets too small for 737s, they can't interline or codeshare to add marginal traffic, they can't fly international, etc. All of this has to be addressed at some point.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 83, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7473 times:
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Quoting commavia (Reply 82):
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 treat employees well, who in turn treat customers well, but who do it at a lower cost. This is the quandary that Southwest now finds itself in (i.e., the exact same quandary the legacy airlines found themselves in 10 years ago): can you continue to justify a certain level of compensation for employees in the name of good customer service, when competitors manage to find employees that offer as good or better service, but are willing to work for less?

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 Southwest culture and the morale issues it has nothing to do with pay. The attitude towards the employees is not what it used to be and life at work is not the same. Morale is low for a lot of reasons but I won't go into them publicly.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13664 posts, RR: 62
Reply 84, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7373 times:
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Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 74):
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 well saturated (between HA, AS and nearly every other major, not to mention Allegiant from the secondary markets) and there is little they could do to lower fares and stimulate demand that isn't already there.

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 the legendary "Southwest Effect" in the following markets:

LAX-HNL
LAX-OGG
ONT-HNL
ONT-OGG



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlineluvfa From United States of America, joined May 2005, 447 posts, RR: 4
Reply 85, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7085 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 82):
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 treat employees well, who in turn treat customers well, but who do it at a lower cos

I've talked to quite a few Jetblue employees who would certainly debate that!


User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1474 posts, RR: 17
Reply 86, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 7055 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 84):
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 the legendary "Southwest Effect" in the following markets:

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 follow on drop of air fares from other carriers in the same markets. WN can not afford to conduct business like that. They don't have the fuel hedges to pay significantly less than the competition, nor do they have the employee cost advantage they once held with a younger workforce. In effect it will be the next generation of LCC that puts pressure on WN. I think B6 has done an admirable job making it difficult for WN on the east coast. B6 feels like a much more upscale product. Even Virgin America is producing a better product than WN , however they are the most likely to implode if the economy continues to decline.

I make no bones about being a NON-fan of WN. WN has failed to adapt quick enough to a changing industry. My personal opinion is they felt all the legacy carriers were going to die trying to emulate WN. When consolidation started and they airlines captured market share and alliances the shine started wearing off the WN apple very quickly. They are now strapped with extremely high cost. Outsourcing will be one of many unwelcome changes coming for the LUV'rs


User currently offlinediverdave From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 336 posts, RR: 0
Reply 87, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6982 times:

Quoting Kcrwflyer (Reply 70):
They can either do it peacefully or have it done to them by BK court. I hope they understand that... not that there's any evidence in the fossil record of a union ever understanding the operating costs and metrics of an airline.

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


User currently offlinegizmonc From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 88, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6990 times:

Quoting skycub (Reply 78):
Quoting skycub (Reply 78):
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 to work mandatory overtime on their day off. So, its actually quite common at Southwest.

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 DOUBLE TIME. Not on both days off. Anytime you are scheduled to work past your regular scheduled shift you get double time.


User currently offlinegizmonc From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 89, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6962 times:

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 and a half. If you go into double time it is over $52.00 per hour. That is why on the paid holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas it is usually the senior agents who work some of them do double shifts. I was forced to work Christmas last year and I and got triple time since it was my day off and I got assigned a shift mandatory. that does not happen very often.

User currently offlineJONC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 90, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6804 times:

Quoting mcdu (Reply 86):
Quoting mcdu (Reply 86):
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 follow on drop of air fares from other carriers in the same markets. WN can not afford to conduct business like that. They don't have the fuel hedges to pay significantly less than the competition, nor do they have the employee cost advantage they once held with a younger workforce. In effect it will be the next generation of LCC that puts pressure on WN. I think B6 has done an admirable job making it difficult for WN on the east coast. B6 feels like a much more upscale product. Even Virgin America is producing a better product than WN , however they are the most likely to implode if the economy continues to decline.

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 aug 12 the fare drops to $187 round trip. How can you with a straight face say that the WN effect no longer exists?


User currently offlineusflyguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1024 posts, RR: 0
Reply 91, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6681 times:

Quoting alggag (Reply 75):
Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 81):
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

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/or HNL. Who's to say that some of those people on AS wouldn't rather fly WN? Quite a few people connect in SMF, SJC and OAK on WN to get from SoCal to SEA/PDX.



My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
User currently offlineEA CO AS From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 13664 posts, RR: 62
Reply 92, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6542 times:
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Quoting mcdu (Reply 86):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 84):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 the legendary "Southwest Effect" in the following markets:
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 follow on drop of air fares from other carriers in the same markets.

Actually, the "Southwest Effect" is when they stimulate additional demand that hadn't previously existed by creating additional traffic via their newly-created lower price points. And there's arguably some opportunity available for them to create that in the LAX-HNL market using a few well-timed 738s.



"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan
User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1474 posts, RR: 17
Reply 93, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6490 times:

Quoting JONC777 (Reply 90):
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 aug 12 the fare drops to $187 round trip. How can you with a straight face say that the WN effect no longer exists?

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. Just looked at WN lowest fare between LAX and SDF on 8/20 returning 8/24 409.20. Delta on the same route and days is 404.70. Delta on 8/6 returning 8/10 is $436. Hardly a WN effect on pricing in where the connecting traffic prices. Again the fallacy of WN is that they are a low fare leader. They are a low fare, low reward carrier that touts is has not bag fees, yet it operates a separate airline that charges for bags.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23151 posts, RR: 20
Reply 94, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6463 times:

Quoting mcdu (Reply 93):
Hardly a WN effect on pricing in where the connecting traffic prices.

I'm not sure the WN effect has ever existed on connecting itineraries. Has it?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1474 posts, RR: 17
Reply 95, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6445 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 94):
I'm not sure the WN effect has ever existed on connecting itineraries. Has it?

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 the ability to undercut WN and hopefully bleed them out of the market.


User currently offlinerwy04lga From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 3176 posts, RR: 8
Reply 96, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6421 times:

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
Why is it suddenly necessary for Southwest to offer service to international markets?

Follow the money.

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
Is that you, Herb?

I wonder if they really are monitoring these forums

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 80):
It's not a tiny market in the summer time.

Had trouble getting outta there at 1am!



Just accept that some days, you're the pigeon, and other days the statue
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23151 posts, RR: 20
Reply 97, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6388 times:

Quoting mcdu (Reply 95):
However, now that they are that is more reasonable comparison versus between two city pairs.

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 compare nonstops 10 years ago to nonstops now to see whether the WN effect still exists.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1765 posts, RR: 3
Reply 98, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6376 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 97):
If they were not a "hub carrier," then the WN effect must never have existed on connecting itineraries, right?

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 would certainly have an effect on AA's traffic. I'm not sure what you guys are arguing about kind of p!ssing in the wind if you ask me.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23151 posts, RR: 20
Reply 99, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6331 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 98):
I'm not sure what you guys are arguing about kind of p!ssing in the wind if you ask me.

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 never been about whether others match. It's about whether WN's fares are lower than comparable markets without WN. It's about the fact that I pay $1,000 for a refundable ticket BNA-ATL and $300 for a refundable ticket CLT-ATL.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlinemcdu From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 1474 posts, RR: 17
Reply 100, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 6318 times:

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 place. Further proof off their not being any magic associated with WN. Only good timing and good fortune placed them where they are today. Their inability to adapt to a maturing airline will be their demise. They have too many people that think they are a unique airline to understand the reality of what is about to occurr.

The sooner the better as far as I am concerned. Let's see if WN can compete on a level playing field.


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 101, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6218 times:
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Quoting mcdu (Reply 100):
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 place. Further proof off their not being any magic associated with WN. Only good timing and good fortune placed them where they are today. Their inability to adapt to a maturing airline will be their demise. They have too many people that think they are a unique airline to understand the reality of what is about to occurr.

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 more than once.
-There is no indication of anyone taking pay cuts at this time.
-Yes, changes will take place in an effort to adapt to today's environment.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10527 posts, RR: 14
Reply 102, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 6140 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 101):
-There is no indication of anyone taking pay cuts at this time.

I would imagine that there was no indication of outsourcing until now, either.........  



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 103, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6075 times:
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Quoting mayor (Reply 102):
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 101):
-There is no indication of anyone taking pay cuts at this time.

I would imagine that there was no indication of outsourcing until now, either.........  


Publicly maybe, but it's not a surprise announcement to us really.

[Edited 2012-06-22 16:43:40]


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineER757 From Cayman Islands, joined May 2005, 2560 posts, RR: 7
Reply 104, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6077 times:

Quoting ASFlyer (Reply 80):
I'm not suggesting they would overtake AS in the state of Alaska, I just believe that there are plenty of of customers to go around during the prime summer months. I'm also not talking about serving smaller communities such as FAI, JNU, KTN, BET - I'm talking about service to ANC. It's not a tiny market in the summer time.

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 support another carrier in addition to the ones that already serve it. UA and DL have feed from their spokes into their hub/ANC flights, AS gets the feed from those other Alaska cities into their ANC hub and can route them via SEA to their ever-expanding lower 48 route network. WN would be doing essentially point to point to ANC only, offering no connections to/from anywhere else. It's not a model that could work IMO, especially considering the loyalty AS has from their frequent fliers. Just my   


User currently offlineASFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2005, 1183 posts, RR: 3
Reply 105, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6029 times:

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 84):
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 the legendary "Southwest Effect" in the following markets:

LAX-HNL
LAX-OGG
ONT-HNL
ONT-OGG

I honestly don't think either

Quoting ER757 (Reply 104):
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 support another carrier in addition to the ones that already serve it. UA and DL have feed from their spokes into their hub/ANC flights, AS gets the feed from those other Alaska cities into their ANC hub and can route them via SEA to their ever-expanding lower 48 route network. WN would be doing essentially point to point to ANC only, offering no connections to/from anywhere else. It's not a model that could work IMO, especially considering the loyalty AS has from their frequent fliers. Just my

You must be kidding me about the high season in Alaska. AS runs about 20+ daily flights SEA-ANC during the high season. WN could easily siphon some of those people away from AS. Why would WN not offer connections beyond, say, MDW, OAK, PHX or DEN? There are certainly plenty of options to connect to in those markets alone. As far as AS filling up the planes to the lower 48 with people from the smaller AS cities it's just not so. There is a huge amount of intra-state travel in Alaska. I would say the majority of people traveling from places like BET, ADQ, AKN, OME and the like to ANC are getting off in ANC and staying there. AS' flights from ANC generally thrive on connections on the other end, which is exactly what WN could do. WN has their own loyalists - don't forget. Especially in places like MDW, OAK and PHX where they have a huge footprint. Don't get me wrong, I love Alaska Airlines - they put food on my table, but I think it's insanely arrogant of AS to assume that WN couldn't make a successful go of it in ANC. Fortunately, I think AS management also realizes this.


User currently offlineJONC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 106, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6033 times:

Quoting mcdu (Reply 93):

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 I quated enteres a new market. Of course the other carriers will adjust fares to be even. Even a slightly lower fare on another carrier would be higher by the time you pay to check bags or pay for that aisle or window seat. What happend in the PIT-PHL market when WN left? US took full advantage. Im not fauliting them, eveyone takes on there own business plan and in the end its the consumers choice to pay more for service if thats what they want to do. As for operating an airline that charges for bags as a subsidy. . .I get the comparison, however that will go away. I have to ask you though . .. if you were spending millions on IT upgrades would your first priority be to merge the two systems, or figure out how to not make $300mln annualy by changing a system youve already decided your not going to use?


User currently offline737tanker From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 272 posts, RR: 0
Reply 107, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 5966 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 102):
would imagine that there was no indication of outsourcing until now, either.........


Actually the outsourcing that they are talking about was agreed to in the LAST contracts that were signed with all the rampers, OpsAgents, and Customer Service Agents.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10527 posts, RR: 14
Reply 108, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5860 times:

Quoting 737tanker (Reply 107):

Actually the outsourcing that they are talking about was agreed to in the LAST contracts that were signed with all the rampers, Ops Agents, and Customer Service Agents.

Then why worded this way??


"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.''


Emphasis mine



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 109, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5821 times:
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Quoting mayor (Reply 108):
"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.''

Maybe because the next contract is currently being negotiated?



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10527 posts, RR: 14
Reply 110, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5805 times:

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 109):
Maybe because the next contract is currently being negotiated?

I understand that, but I'm being told that this was already negotiated in the LAST contract (see reply #107).



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinekpitrrat From United States of America, joined Oct 2011, 188 posts, RR: 0
Reply 111, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5800 times:

Quoting mayor (Reply 108):
"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.''

Maybe they are looking to increase the percentage of outsourced personnel? Could there have been a lower percentage of outsourced work provided in the previous contract? Just a thought...


User currently offlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4838 posts, RR: 26
Reply 112, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 5767 times:
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Quoting mayor (Reply 110):
Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 109):
Maybe because the next contract is currently being negotiated?

I understand that, but I'm being told that this was already negotiated in the LAST contract (see reply #107).

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 line is, as with any contract negotiation, it's about specifics within the language.



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offline737tanker From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 272 posts, RR: 0
Reply 113, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5594 times:

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 the previously negotiated contract. Under the current contract there was a limit on flights (I believe 8) that a station could do with non-WN employees. That limit did not apply to WN stations at the time the contract was signed, only new ones. What is happening now is a new contract is being negotiated and WN wants to change the limits on the outsourcing that is currently allowed.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10527 posts, RR: 14
Reply 114, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 5493 times:

Quoting 737tanker (Reply 113):

Copy



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlineJONC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 115, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 5504 times:

Quoting usflyguy (Reply 48):
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 are a major component to the "morale issue" that keeps getting brought up. One of those is on this board and hasn't had a positive thing to say, that I can recall, about his employer on this board.

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 the last to be let go so what is there incentive to quit? Every company has people in it that are both good and bad and both senior and not. . . .I respect the experience of senior agents and have found MOST to be very helpful. One of the things I LOVE about my job is the ability to walk away from a co worker I dont want to listen too and go to my own thing. . .


User currently offlineJONC777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2012, 126 posts, RR: 0
Reply 116, posted (2 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5311 times:

Quoting usairways787 (Reply 62):
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 nothing short of absolutely disgusting. None of them deserve it. We didn't shatter your culture, we awoke one day and found out that our company that we had spent so much time in building would soon be demolished by a "superior" company that promised us more than it has yet to fulfill. I know without a doubt, airTran had the opportunity to be so much more than what it was. So tell me. Is it culture to sit there pass petitions for your new coworkers to be fired because you don't want them there? Is it culture to ask FL employees in other stations to take volunteer furloughs with promises of being A) relocated B) recall rights? Is it WN culture to write us (FL employees) a furlough package but not give WN employees the exact same package? Is it WN culture to sit there and lie to their new employees, promise them jobs, allow them to bid for vacancies only to tell them "well we never promised you this"? Is it WN culture to take revenue from our bag fees and remodel your HQ, but then sit there and hypocritically state "bags fly free"? If that is your culture, I am extremely glad I'm no longer apart of that. I only feel for my fellow co-workers as your colt culture, and stubborn superior feeling ways demolishes those around you.

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 say FL employees are being treated by WN employees badly as a general statement is flat out WRONG. I can tell you that the most of WN employees that I know at ATL feel shafted by the union and the company and that there is not enough communication between the two groups for anyone to personally annoyed by each other unless the mear persance of a person does it. It is what it is. . .I didnt transfer here not expecthing that something wierd would happen. If an FL employee talks to me I engage and am polite. Most are nice. Some walk past me as if I dont exist or dont even respond to a hello. I'd simply say the sooner we all just get over the fact that this is going to happen and were all going to get messed over a little bit the better off we all will be.


User currently offlinegizmonc From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 309 posts, RR: 0
Reply 117, posted (2 years 4 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 4412 times:

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 negoations began LAST JULY. The current mention of outsourcing was just brought to light in the past few weeks, in MDW to be exact. Please read this to fully understand what was proposed:

The memo went on to say that the company needed increased flexibility in smaller stations outside the company's "typical" business model and gave an example of where we operate one, two, or three flights per day/shift. The company already has the contractual right to use contract workers in new stations where flight activity does not exceed 12 departures per day; so, it is false to say there is an additional need for contract workers in new stations that just have a few flights. The memo is also misleading because it did not mention the company's proposal to remove the "grandfather" clause protecting stations in operation prior to March 27, 2009, which dangerously exposes all stations, especially small ones, when the Wright Amendment relaxes in 2014. What the memo also omitted was the company proposal to use temporary contract workers for 120 day intervals; furthermore, temporary contract workers could total up to twenty percent of the permanent employees of the station bid location, and these contract workers could be used in any station, regardless of size or flights.

I heard yesterday that RIC was outsourced on the FL side.


User currently offlinedeltaflyertoo From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1656 posts, RR: 1
Reply 118, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 4173 times:

Quoting skycub (Reply 21):
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?

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 vs growth gets tied to a number called an EPS. The company promises a certain EPS for a quarter, stockholders by the stock based on this and if they don't meet it everyone flips out and sales. If SW stops growing, they can't raise that EPS and then their stock doesn't have value (and has lost 50% of its value in just 18 months already).

Yes you are right about making money for 35 years. But again, they paid labor a lot less. And for all those 35 years the legacies they were up against were stubborn and refused bankruptcy and bowed down to union demands. That said they couldn't lower their fares and compete, WN made money off that and chased a lot out. NOW all the majors can compete and have lower labor costs than WN. I remember when WN started PHL. WN made it known PHL was going to be huge like PHX or MDW. The fact US held strong and has kept WN at bay has been very interesting. WN has been locked in at PHX as well. Rumor has it DL has frequencies over even FL at ATL and when WN converts ATL to more O&D flows against DL's lower costs and frequencies-should be interesting.

I'm waiting for the day a new upstart starts in CA with ridiculous low labor costs, picks up some empty gates at LAX, OAK, SMF and SFO and starts head to head with WN with like $29 introductory fares and $99 walk up like WN charged in it's hey day against UA, US and AA on those same routes. Will be very interesting.


User currently offlineAADC10 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2099 posts, RR: 0
Reply 119, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 4123 times:

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, limiting the ability to water down the more senior employees. They have not been able to dump their pensions on the Government like the other airlines.

Herb stepped in to negotiate the last round of contracts but his ability to do that is steadily decreasing as he gets further into retirement. Stating that LUV will look to outsource is primarily a negotiating technique. It is much harder to ask for cutbacks when LUV is one of the most profitable airlines in the USA.

Eventually, we may start to see front line employees as grumpy as the other airlines.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 10527 posts, RR: 14
Reply 120, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 4051 times:

Quoting AADC10 (Reply 119):
It is much harder to ask for cutbacks when LUV is one of the most profitable airlines in the USA.

Are they, anymore?



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently offlinestrfyr51 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 1310 posts, RR: 1
Reply 121, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 3988 times:
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.

Quoting mayor (Reply 120):

If you ask their Koolaid vendor?? Yes. Ask Wall Street?? Maybe not. Southwest is HEADING for the SAME Market "correction" that American is facing,, the SAME correction that NWA,CAL, UAL, DAL,and USAIR took !
It's a matter of Time. They could get away with it when they were a Mom and Pop outfit. That is NOT going to Fly NOW!
I give them 36 Months before we hear them start Singin' the "Bankruptcy Blues". and the "Woe is ME Requiem"
Their management is already "gripping" about Labor Costs. BUT!! This was bound TO happen after they "Greased" Their pockets as well... they can't BLAME the guys on the Ground. They wanted in at the ATL. and Now I hope they like what they've got because Delta is ONE BLOODTHIRSTY Adversary And THAT is one airport that Nobody is giving an INCH for WN.
How long until the other majors smell blood in the water?? I don't know But I'll be looking for the first bite from the killer whales


User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1112 posts, RR: 1
Reply 122, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 3902 times:

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 employees worked the carousel. A TOTAL disaster!!!!

It's not difficult to keep the carousel from jamming up with bags, but TWO guys could not keep it from jamming where the belt meets the carousel. It jammed and stoped at LEAST 6 or 7 times.

In several years working the flights as well as several more flying as a passenger, I have NEVER seen a worse performance--NEVER!!!!


User currently offlineusflyguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1024 posts, RR: 0
Reply 123, posted (2 years 4 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3876 times:

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 121):

UA smells blood in the water, that's why they were fighting like hell to keep WN from flying internationally out of HOU.   



My post is my ideas and my opinions only, I do not represent the ideas or opinions of anyone else or company.
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