Guest

How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 6:45 am

This has most definately been disscussed but its a better thread than the "Whats a Ramp" Thread.

Ok, Southwest does not operate on a HUB system. When I was in Nashville, I noticed that they had flights to tons of random cities. Routes that didn't make sense. For example flights to Nashville: Raleigh, Kansas City, Jacksonville, Austin, Las Vegas, Islip, Cleveland, Columbus, San Diego, etc. All of these flights are 2-3 times a day. My point, These flights are 2-3x a day on 150 passenger jets between NON-HUB cities! Whats the deal!? Virginia Beach has flights going to Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Las Vegas.

How can Southwest pull a profit on routes that would seen undesirable. I mean, How can southwest believe that 350 people each day are going to want to fly from Columbus to Nashville cause looking at the frequency of the flights, it looks like what they are counting on!

If they are running like a train with stops in every other airport they come along, how can the passengers from the previous airport sit around waiting for 45 minutes while passengers at the current airport board the plane?

Confused....

DeltaASA16
 
UN_B732
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 6:49 am

They have a lot of connection people............... And actually, point-to-point passengers from regions find themselves on WN.
Proud to be near (ok, well I'm not too close, but still, 2 hours away ) froman airport with 11 days a service to Baltimore. Manchester NH/Boston Area

With LUV,
-Transaero Boeing 737-200
What now?
 
ScottB
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 7:30 am

Some routes rely more on connecting/through traffic than others. A good number of those Nashville routes are pretty thin, but they do make up for it with connecting traffic. The passengers already on the planes (on one-stop itineraries) don't really end up waiting all that long, since the typical turn time is 25-35 minutes. BNA is more of a rolling hub, rather than a traditional hub.

And you'd be surprised, BNA-AUS does have enough traffic to justify a daily 737 (max 137 seats) filled to about 60%, even without connecting passengers.
 
n907cl
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 11:00 am

Southwest has passed long time American Airlines for the top carrier spot in Nashville. They must be doing something right. Virginia Beach was added only recently in Southwest history. Actually, a Virginia Beach direct flight to Nashville would be great!
Brian
 
jhooper
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 11:35 am

There must be a market, otherwise the route could not be operated profitably. Southwest makes money because they have high aircraft utilization, low cost structure (common equipment type), relatively low labor costs, loyal customer, no nonsense business operation, and good leadership (not just management).
Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
 
ual777contrail
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 12:43 pm

2 words, no frills

that is why THEY say they have turned a profit.
when you offer nothing but a seat and some carpet then you should be able to turn something.

ual 777 contrail
 
UAL-Fan
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 1:55 pm

Don't forget along with that seat and carpet you get generally friendly employees that are actually nice to passengers and on time performance to boot. People stay loyal to them for a reason. I know people that will drive 100 miles to get on a Southwest flight when they have a hub airport in their own back yard.
 
Guest

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 2:15 pm

ual777contrail-

I don't know about you, but they seem exactly the same as any other carrier to me in terms of "frills" on flights under three hours...
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 3:00 pm

Actually in most cases I've gotten better service on WN than full-fare carriers.

I mean heck...the last WN flight I was on (FLL-JAX) we got 2 packs of peanuts and soda...with the whole can! Try THAT on American Eagle or Conti Express.

I think that most of the (wise) traveling public does not differentiate WN with any of the big carriers in regards to service and comfort. Sure, there's no F class and you don't get a "meal" to speak of (those little snack packs are sufficient for most), but in a Y class comparison, it's very hard to find the difference. The seats are mighty comfortable and the seat pitch isn't worse than any of the other airlines; in fact, the newer 73G's (and any other a/c they've fitted with the new interiors) seem to have the most comfortable cabins of any US airline I've flown.

I think that the root of SWA's low fares and high profits is their effective aircraft utilization and route planning. There's not a desire to expand out of tried-and-true routes because the risks aren't justifiable. WN knows they've built themselves a great reputation and a huge entourage of WN believers, and they're content with it. Of course, this is all "now"; who knows what's to happen 30 years down the road. I just think that they've been extremely lucky with their upper management over the years. That ALSO probably has something to do with it.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
highflyer16
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 3:10 pm

Actually the question is, how do the network carriers pull a profit when they have to take the large majority of their passengers on at least two flights to get them to their destination?

Provided there is sufficient traffic to warrant the non-stop service, an airline can get you from point A to point B most economically by flying you directly there.

The goal of most competitive carriers such as Southwest is to have as many O&D passengers as possible. Sure they do connections as well, but that is not their preferred passenger, and probably one reason why I have found that their rates are not as competitive on routes where they do not provide direct, same plane service.

The modern idea of the "hub" comes from the erroneous idea believed by many airlines that what passengers really want is to have one airline that can fly them anywhere they want to go in the world, and that somehow passengers would rather be herded like cattle through the DFW airport and fly American Airlines than to take a plane directly to their destination if they are flying say, from Phoenix to Miami. That has proven to be a very unwise and unprofitbable strategy. Hubs such as Americans at DFW are very costly operations, and the odds are stacked against them running smoothly. To make all those connections, the airline must bring in between 100-200 planes in an hour from all over the country (and the globe), and send them out again. A few planes delayed anywhere by bad weather or anything other reason can bring the whole system down like a house of cards. Such a system has been proven over and over again to lose money: they barely make money even in the best of economies, and always lose money when the economy is flat at all.

My hunch is that if all the major airlines such as American, United, TWA & Eastern had pursued a route strategy more similar to Southwest, they would all still be around and profitable today, provided they had made other wise decisions along the way.
 
northwestair
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 5:52 pm

You can't really say that their labor is cheap cause from what I heard the rampers make about 24.00 per hour top out pay. That's more than what we make. And for their on-time performance they don't have ACARS so WN manually types in their OUT and OFF times plus their ON and IN times and you know how that works 20 mins late will be recorded as an ontime arrv. I been on a couple of WN flts were they said we were ontime but actually we were 30 mins late. I'm not bashing WN, but they do fly under different rules than the Major carriers. I don't think Safety First is their slogan. You better get out of their way when a WN 737 is taxing into the gate cause WN won't stop while you have a DC9 sitting in the alley on the ramp.
I don't care who you fly just as long as you fly
 
goingboeing
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 8:13 pm

I don't think Safety First is their slogan

With all due respect - bullshit. I guess over 30 years without a fatal accident means that they've got their priorities screwed up.

Here's something else - for many passengers who don't like the 5 mph crawl to the runway over the wavy taxiways...we actually LIKE the faster taxi speeds. We paid to fly in an airplane, not watch as some workman passes the aircraft while walking towards a construction area.
 
sccutler
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 9:06 pm

As for mis-reporting their on-time stats, I think you'll find similar shenanigans with "door-close-and-sit" events with other carriers; but, given WN's tight scheduling, fast turns and high utilization, their system will not tolerate much in the way of delays and, in fact, they don't have much in the way of delays.

As for safety, well, you can deride all you want, but Southwest's safety record, the best in the world (yes, including the hopping kangaroo) is no accident; it is the result of a culture built around best-in-industry practices, respect for employees and no-expense-spared maintenance. Remember, the same characteristics that make aircraft safe, make them reliable.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
SWAbubba
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Tue May 20, 2003 11:41 pm

It's funny how folks point to ACARS and say that we make up all our times. All you have to do to fake ACARS is have someone hold the switch in the doorway in; one of my friends at another major carrier was taught to do this on his first flight. That said, I think the majority of folks at all carriers call it like it is. At SWA if we're late enough to make the DOT stats then something has definitely gone wrong somewhere and should be reported.

And as mentioned above; I think our safety record speaks for itself. I wait for other aircraft in the various alleyways in our system all the time; those airports that have lots of ground congestion have that factored into their block times (SNA comes to mind).
 
OPNLguy
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 2:03 am

Northwestair/Craig,

One of the inescapable problems being one airline employee talking about somebody else's airline is that one's opinion is often based upon misinformation or misconception, or both....

>>>And for their on-time performance they don't have ACARS

Actually, we do. Not on all aircraft yet, but will be (except for the 737-200s, which are on their way out to pasture). That aside, ACARS isn't a panacea, and can be circumvented (as others have mentioned), just as "manual" times can be. Does the fact that SWA has historically eschewed delay-prone places like ORD, LGA, EWR, JFK have anything to do with our on-time performance? (Psst, it's why we dropped DEN Stapleton and SFO). How about the fact that we don't have massive hubs/banks? No, it's easier to blame something else...


>>>but they do fly under different rules than the Major carriers.

Last time I looked, SWA operates under Part 121, just as NWA does. There are some differences, i.e. "Domestic" and "Flag" (for your international ops), but here in the US, we operate under the same regs as you do. Now, if you meant "rules" in another context, like us being a different kind of airline than NWA or anybody else, sure, we're different. Cost structure, work rules, staffing, employee empowerment to do what's best for the Customer. Yep, those are different "rules", and they are some of the things that have (fortunately) kept us profitable for all these years.


>>>I don't think Safety First is their slogan.

A completely subjective assessment and opinion on your part. Safety -is- important, and thus always on the minds of folks here. While we've had a single hull loss (N668SW at BUR) in 30+ years, we've never had a passenger fataility, and I hope we never do. I wish your airline, and all airlines could have that same record.

Crews here are paid by the "trip" and not by the "hour" as they are at most places (where slow taxiing can earn you money), and absent your being out on the ramp with a traffic radar gun, your assessments of taxi speed are also subjective. Your extrapolating that out to insinuate safety isn't in our vocabulary is just flat out wrong. Sorry.

Not trying to flame you with any of this, just trying to communicate the perspective of someone who's been in the business longer than you've been alive. Once you get to a similar point in your own career, you'll find that your perspectives differ from those you had when you first started out, based upon the knowledge that you acquired over the years.

Cheers,



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
dnl65
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 2:23 am

The concept that WN doesn't hub is incorrect. The correct term is distributive hubbing, a modification of the hubbing systems used by other carriers. It is also completely incorrect to assume that the dominant hub system is based on a misconception. Airline management has a history of stupidity but not where there is a buck to be made. The economics of hubbing provide significant return to the carriers over an above what they could earn on a point to point network
 
airworthy
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 2:31 am

I agree, WN sure does hub.

I live in CLE and if I want to go to IND I have to stop over in MDW, along with thousands of over travellers. Same thing if I want to go to ISP, I will have to stop over in BWI.
 
OPNLguy
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 2:40 am

>>>The concept that WN doesn't hub is incorrect.

If that was directed at my post, I never said SWA didn't hub, I just referred to a "massive" hub, meaning the likes of AA @ DFW, Delta @ ATL, etc.

Perhaps a better choice of terms would have been a "Fortress" hub.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 3:05 am

1) They keep it simple: none of the convoluted, high cost nonsense that contributes nothing to the bottom line.

2) None of the amenities (and the costs to provide) that customers are not willing to pay for.

3) Credible leadership that employees are happy to follow.

4) Countless advantages, both tangible and intangible, resulting from the above.
 
ual777contrail
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 4:23 am

SWABUBBA,
You don't hold a switch in the door, the brakes of the airplane have to be released. It has been said for YEARS that WN has always fudged their numbers to look better. I have friends who worked at PHX for years and they were always late, but managed to have a GREAT year for ontimes? HMMM Sounds nice doesn't it.

NORTHWESTAIR,
You hit it right on the head, they do pay their rampies much better than most. But as for their pilots? They make crap, only captains get profit sharing and low pay to boot. My brother in law is a 777 F/O with UAL and his buddy from the Air Force academy started working for WN the same time he started with UAL. My B.I.L. is killing him in pay and flies a better plane to boot.

But on these topics you get a lot of the low fare lizards come out to argue why they think WN is better than the majors but they aren't in the same boat as the most, neither are those who like WN to the death. Some of you are so happy flying 737's ONLY? Sad when you cant be excited to see what plane waits for you at your gate.


ual 777 contrail
 
drdivo
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 4:36 am

Everyone overlooks one key element in the profitability of WN - they have a very low debt structure. For years, Herb wouldn't let them borrow anything to expand. A significant portion of their fleet is owned, not leased or financed, and they have a much lower "nut" to cover, since there is so very little interest to pay. At last I remember reading, WN's debt to equity ratio is something like 40%. Continental's was 90% (but has gone down because of the run up in their stock price,) and NWA and AA are above 100%, meaning that they owe more money than their market capitalization.

Another thing that WN grasped early on - frequency, not aircraft gauge, is the primary factor in dominating a market. Throughout these posts, I keep reading how larger aircraft could reduce frequency - that is exactly the wrong way to go. In this thread, the discussion about the number of flights passing through Nashville supports the notion that having a lot of flights is a marketing plus.

In a number of WN's markets, you can pretty much just drive to the airport, knowing that there is a flight within 90 minutes going where you're headed.

As for the flame on CoEx and their in-flight service, I have flown CoEx and WN side by side on short hauls all over the gulf coast region, and the service on each is equally good. One is no more likely to get the coveted full can of soda water (you can tell I'm from Texas now) on WN than one is on CoEx.

Some of the best service I have had in the air has been on CoEx in 45 minutes aloft between Houston and either Dallas or Corpus.

Respectfully - the Divo
 
goingboeing
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 4:41 am

SWABUBBA,
You don't hold a switch in the door, the brakes of the airplane have to be released. It has been said for YEARS that WN has always fudged their numbers to look better. I have friends who worked at PHX for years and they were always late, but managed to have a GREAT year for ontimes? HMMM Sounds nice doesn't it.


Does being number 6 overall for last year constitute a "great year", or does it mean that those lyin' theivin' bastards they have for pilots have been slipping in the "fudge" department?

NORTHWESTAIR,
You hit it right on the head, they do pay their rampies much better than most. But as for their pilots? They make crap, only captains get profit sharing and low pay to boot. My brother in law is a 777 F/O with UAL and his buddy from the Air Force academy started working for WN the same time he started with UAL. My B.I.L. is killing him in pay and flies a better plane to boot.


How much of pay cut did your BIL have to take during the bankruptcy proceedings? Has his "guaranteed" pension fund remained intact? How much closer to the bottom of the seniority scale is he after the furloughs? How much is HIS stock worth these days? In the airline industry, comparing pay for a 777 captain and a 737 captain is like comparing apples and oranges. And I've noticed on other boards that a lot of 737 pilots are inquiring if LUV is still holding new hire pilot classes. And tell the pilot who lives in my area driving his Lexus that his pay is "crap".

But on these topics you get a lot of the low fare lizards come out to argue why they think WN is better than the majors but they aren't in the same boat as the most, neither are those who like WN to the death. Some of you are so happy flying 737's ONLY? Sad when you cant be excited to see what plane waits for you at your gate.

I really don't care if it's a 737, MD-80 or 747...a plane is a plane. And most of the "non hubbers" are offered a 737, 757, or MD80 on most any other airline. Or will UAL be starting 777 MCI-ORD flights in the near future? As far as being excited about the plane at the gate - it could be Shamu, it could be Lone Star One, it could be California One, it could be New Mexico One, it could be Silver One, it could be Nevada One, it could be Arizona One, or it might have the rear facing seats. Have someone book you a flight and blindfold you as you board. Keep it on until 30 minutes after takeoff, and tell me the kind of plane you're on. Sorry...a planes a plane.
 
artsyman
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 4:50 am

My brother in law is a 777 F/O with UAL and his buddy from the Air Force academy started working for WN the same time he started with UAL. My B.I.L. is killing him in pay and flies a better plane to boot.
****************

But the one at Southwest has more job security, and Southwest have pay scales in line with what is realistic for the airline to maintain
 
OPNLguy
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 5:12 am

Northwestair said:
>>>They make crap, only captains get profit sharing and low pay to boot. My brother inlaw is a 777 F/O with UAL and his buddy from the Air Force academy started working for WN the same time he started with UAL. My B.I.L. is killing him in pay and flies a better plane to boot.

After the Chapter 11 filing and subsequent "give-backs" in pay/benefits, is your BIL 777 F/O -still- "killing him" or are they now more or less "even". With SWA making actual profits (and UAL not), is the SWA guy actually ahead? Who do you think is more likely to make it to a higher-paying left seat quicker?

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
ual777contrail
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 3:03 pm

OPN,
my b.i.l. can hold a A320 captain which is still a better fit than a lousy 737. And to answer the other question he is still making more money than the WN captain and his job security is just fine, United will survive and he will always make more than WN. Sad to say because I am not a pro-pilot guy, DL,AA,UA, all of them will always make more than any pilots at WN. That is why they are majors and WN pilots work for a company that will always be low fare. I didn't write the rules. Another thing is very few pilots ever apply to WN first, they are ALWAYS a backup in case the majors don't hire them. WN Is never a first choice unless your family or friends already work for them. Dont kill the messanger, but not like you didnt already know this.

ual 777 contrail
 
User avatar
RayChuang
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Wed May 21, 2003 11:19 pm

I think WN pulls a profit for the following reasons:

1. Simplified training and maintainance. WN only flies 737's, which means flight crews, cabin crews, ground crews and maintainance crews only need to know more or less one type of plane. And WN probably got a major financial break from Boeing for 737-300/500/700 deliveries because WN bought so many of these planes.

2. No excessive amenities. Just skipping out on serving meals saves WN a massive amount of money right there.

3. Great employee attitude, which really attracts customers all-around. It does help that WN CEO Colleen Barrett has great interest in WN employees' well-being as noted by the many pictures of WN employees found outside her office in Dallas, TX.

3. Surprisingly roomy seating. The seating pitch average on a WN 737 is 33.6 inches (854 mm), which is very good for a low-cost carrier.  Big thumbs up
 
OPNLguy
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Thu May 22, 2003 12:03 am

>>>my b.i.l. can hold a A320 captain which is still a better fit than a lousy 737.

I'm happy for him (really), but are you trying to start a Airbus vs. Boeing thread here?  Big grin


>>>And to answer the other question he is still making more money than the WN captain and his job security is just fine, United will survive and he will always make more than WN.

There are at least some analysts out there who think UAL will eventually convert their Chapter 11 into a 7 and liquidate. Personally, I'd NOT like to see that happen, as many familes would be affected. That said, some of it is out of any of our controls (the lagging economy, renewed terrorism). One of the things you learn in this business is to not use the words "always" or "never" since history (especially in recent years) has a habit of disproving you.


>>>Sad to say because I am not a pro-pilot guy, DL,AA,UA, all of them will always make more than any pilots at WN.

Delta is now trying to wrangle 25%-30% wage cuts from its pilots, along with NWA, so, again, I have to question the "always". AA and UA have already taken cuts. If the economy stays flat (or gets worse) and the revenue side of the equation is bad/worse, wouldn't that likely mean -additional- cuts?


>>>That is why they are majors and WN pilots work for a company that will always be low fare. I didn't write the rules.

No, but it ignores the fact that the rules have fundamentally changed. I'm not at all excusing the past actions (or inactions) or outright muck-ups of UA's managements and arbitrarily blaming high labor costs for -all- of an airline's woes, but many think the previous business model of the network carriers has been permanently compromised.


>>>Another thing is very few pilots ever apply to WN first, they are ALWAYS a backup in case the majors don't hire them. WN Is never a first choice unless your family or friends already work for them.

"Always" again. I'd suggest (as I don't know for sure, since I'm not working in Personnel) that many folks apply to SWA -first- so as to avoid the instability associated with the industry at-large, and not subjecting their families to it. Having family/friends already working for SWA can help one in their own quest to get on here, but it's not an impossibility if one doesn't have them.


>>>Dont kill the messanger, but not like you didnt already know this.

Likewise, I'm sure. It's obvious we have different perspectives on all this, and you seem fairly set in yours. All I'm suggesting to you is that not everything is as clear cut, or set-in-stone as you seem to believe it is.

Best regards,


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
goingboeing
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Thu May 22, 2003 12:10 am

Ditto on your post OPNLguy - recent history has included the following lines:

The government would never let Braniff fail

Eastern is too big to ever fail

Pan Am could never be allowed to fail

A little airline with 3 planes would never pose a threat to the likes of Braniff or American.
 
SWAbubba
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Thu May 22, 2003 1:31 am

UAL 777-

You are correct about the ACARS, the brakes have to be released and the doorway switch has to be closed. Otherwise you could send your out time anytime the aircraft was chocked, but of course you can do that anyway by closing the switch.

As for the flights, we operate a couple hundred flights a day out of Phoenix. Are you suggesting that they're all late every day? I won't say that no one here ever fudges the times, but as I said above I think the vast majority of the pilots call it like they see it.

BTW, I appreciate your concern over my salary but I can assure you that I'm doing just fine.

Good luck to you,

SWAbubba
 
ual777contrail
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Thu May 22, 2003 3:33 pm

OPNLguy,
sorry the word always bothers you, I am not set in my ways for I like WN and some of the low fare carriers, they have a niche in our society like the majors do as well. However I think of WN as a second rate carrier, they to me don't have the excitement that a major has. Like I said about the different airplanes and the meals which are starting to make a comeback. You see WN as a company who makes a profit in a crazy time, yes they do make a profit and good for them but they are still a carrier who ONLY operates on fleet type and dressed down flight attendants and the life is peachy attitude of the employees(slam me for that one).

to say that WN hasn't or doesn't ever fudge times would make one very naive, I know PHX skyharbor has many flights a day and to look at WN's whole system and say they don't fudge numbers for good publicity is insane.

as far as pay goes, be honest and tell me that DL,UA,AA pilots will ever make less than a WN pilot? Once again I will use the word "never".

as far as an airbus vs Boeing thread? I am pro Boeing, but I don't like the 737 as much as I do the A320 or A319. So if you think that this is a Boeing vs airbus thread shoot away, I like em' both.

DL is trying to wrangle 25-30% from it;s pilots? They were making more than the UAL pilots who just took like what a 30-34% paycut? And they still make more than WN pilots so doing the math would mean that DL pilots will still make more than WN pilots.

I am not trying to make this a were better than you post but low fare carrier fans will always tangle with major carrier fans like two rival sport teams.

last, if a pilot applies with WN first then there is something wrong with them. When asking my brother in law and some friends who fly for UAL they had the same answer to the same question when asked, what made you want to fly for a major? The MONEY!!! Not for the love of flying, most said if you paid them a couple million they would walk right now. Maybe the travel is in the blood but not the love of flying a huge passenger jet from hub to hub. They don't like that. Well thanks for the time to respond.
this economy would be crap if it wasn't for WN or ATA and the other low fare airlines, like I said before they are a part of our society and fill a niche.
ual 777 contrail
 
Guest

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Thu May 22, 2003 4:06 pm

"but Southwest's safety record, the best in the world"

proof please. Where are your stats to back this up? or is this just your opinion.
 
goingboeing
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RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Thu May 22, 2003 8:18 pm

"but Southwest's safety record, the best in the world"

proof please. Where are your stats to back this up? or is this just your opinion.


Over 30 years without a fatality and only one hull loss. Name another airline that can lay claim to a better record.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Thu May 22, 2003 9:49 pm

>>>However I think of WN as a second rate carrier, they to me don't have the excitement that a major has.

If you're basing all your opinions about SWA et. al. using the criteria of "excitement" level, I'd suggest to you that this is quite subjective and in reality a pretty meaningless way of assessing an airline, any airline. That said, you obviously are entitled to your own opinion, and I'll not suggest any other possibilities to you.

BTW, Southwest has been a "major" carrier for some time now, using the government's non-excitement level-based criteria....

Cheers...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 1:01 am

OPNLguy,
excitement is one way of looking at it, but throughout the years WN has always offered the same product. When major carrier offered all the amenities and travel was at it's best. Remember if you will the days of old when airlines threw money down the drain on products or items that supposable made our traveling experience better. Flying internationally and on widebodies, this is just my opinion on WN. They are a great airline but they just are a blah airline always supplying the same product year in year out, I know maybe that's why they have always made a profit. But this is also a reason why some think they are a second rate carrier, just a seat and some carpetand a couple flight attendants in polo shirts and shorts.


ual 777 contrail
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 1:15 am

I get the same "excitement" of flying whether it's in a Cessna or a 737. I cannot get excited over reheated chicken or beef for "dinner", I can't get excited over a 17.5" coach class seat, be it in a 737 or a 747. I can't get excited over a heavily edited movie shown in flight. I do get excited watching the ground fall away as the plane lifts off, I get excited watching the clouds below me, and I get excited hearing the engines spool up on final approach. And I get that same excitement, whether I paid $39 or $3,000 for the ticket.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 1:46 am

The point, among others that he's missing, is that airlines are businesses, and their business models are not driven by subjective and emotional factors like flying neat-o airplanes to exotic locales.

That, and the business models that previously supported $3,000 last-minute walk-up fares on the "exciting" airlines has since crashed and burned, big-time.

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
brons2
Posts: 2462
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 1:02 pm

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 8:37 am

excitement is one way of looking at it, but throughout the years WN has always offered the same product.

Wrong again.

WN started in the early 70s with "executive class" service to DAL, HOU and SAT.

Really UAL777Contrail, must you always crap on everybody else's threads?
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
 
JayDavis
Posts: 1870
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 1:09 pm

Hey UAL777Contrail.........

Fri May 23, 2003 8:44 am

I'd much rather be a stockholder of a blah airline that has been in business for over 30 years now that has turned a profit for most of those 30 years, than a stockholder of a bankrupt airline based in Chicago that has NO clue of what they are doing..............

Get over it, you more or less hate WN and are probably jealous of them and their success.

I'm a Texan through and through, don't mess with my hometown airline
and "Don't mess with Texas" !!

Plus, Southwest flight attendants are by FAR nicer and friendlier as a whole than any group on UA..........You've got 100 year old flight attendants working for UA on the Pacific and Atlantic runs..........they were with UA when they had the DC-3's !!


Jay
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 9:13 am

You've got 100 year old flight attendants working for UA on the Pacific and Atlantic runs..........they were with UA when they had the DC-3's !!

Hey, my mother in law used to be an FA on DC-3's and she's only 81.
 
txagkuwait
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 9:19 am

Now, now, now, let's not denigrate the flight attendants for UA who were flying DC-3s. We are stillt alking about some of their junior employees....many of whom may be furloughed or laid off.

The REALLY old flight attendants are the ones who practiced their scowling on Boeing 247s and Ford Trimotors.

Speaking of UA, I rode them from MCI-DEN-COS not too long ago, and I would SWEAR that one of the FAs was Herve Villechaize (sp?) the actor who used to play Tattoo on the "fantasy island" tv show.

I will get to the point: How does Southwest take in a profit? It's easy! They take in more money than they spend.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 9:53 am

Tx,

Speaking of Boeing 247's, give me an email when you can...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
737doctor
Posts: 1291
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 4:52 pm

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 10:52 am

Man, this board makes me chuckle, watching people without a clue prattle on endlessly.

Speaking as a mechanic for Southwest (which I believe gives me more credibility than the average WN basher on the outside looking in), safety is our number one priority, every day and on every plane. Anyone that disagrees is just stating a baseless opinion.

And UAL777, one of these days you will realize that the average consumer couldn't care less about "bells and whistles". Most want to get from point A to point B as efficiently and inexpensively as possible. Period.

Patrick Bateman is my hero.
 
sccutler
Posts: 5603
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 11:50 am

I get "excited" by an airline that consistently, and reasonably, gets me where I'm going, on time.

I get "excited" by an airline that is so desirable among pilots that they can require a type rating in the seven-three pre-hire.

I get "excited" by an airline that, when they pull engines for periodic inspection and rework, only wants "as-new," not IRAN.

I get "excited" by an airline at which the respect afforded the rank and file employees is passed on down in the form of respect for passengers.

I get "excited" by an airline whose domestic service has, in my considerable travels, consistently bettered that of "mainline" carriers.

One can delude oneself with the naive belief that WN's success is the result of cutting corners, but it is the antithesis of that; WN is best-in-breed, an dtheir success is the inevitable result of their excellent business practices. It is for this reason that the market has decided Southwest is more valuable than all the other domestic airlines, combined.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
MCOtoATL
Posts: 448
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 1999 12:01 pm

Check Out This Book...

Fri May 23, 2003 11:51 am

There is a recently published book that examines the SW philosophy. It also sheds some light on some factors that we often overlook. For example, with relatively short flights, costs actually are more expensive than they are for carriers that have longer flights. And yet SW still turns a profit. The book is called "The Southwest Airlines Way : Using the Power of Relationships to Achieve High Performance" -- by Jody Hoffer Gittell. It is a sometimes dry book, as she uses strange charts and graphs to discuss performance factors to which my feeble mind cannot relate. But she is, I think, from MIT.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 11:57 am

Southwest's secret of success is something that MBA's seem to overlook, as it isn't some "ten point plan". Here's the secret:

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 1:04 pm

Man I get more excited when a forum full of low fare lizards slam me.
I know what I say is what MOST feel and want out of an airline. Just because you get a handful of people who only care about 737's then you chose the right airline. I crap on all WN post? No just when someone brings up the point they always make a profit, well there is a reason for that. When you provide a 737 and a seat with some carpet below yer legs then you have WN. All you people on this thread keep flying WN, everything runs in cycles and soon the majors will be back and running smoooooooth.

like I have said in MANY other post of WN and the low fare lizards, you fly WN and most of us will stick to the majors. We are on a forum of aviation buffs and people who love air travel and you people on this forum speak of the great tan 737 and ..................... Well that's it?

and 737 doctor,
WN isn't always the cheapest, so keep believing that, ok buddy.

ual 777 contrail
 
737doctor
Posts: 1291
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 4:52 pm

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 1:44 pm

I never said that we are always the cheapest. I just simply stated what the average consumer wants...and Southwest's success is an indication of that.

As for the rest of your post, I couldn't find a coherent thought anywhere in it, so I'll just leave it alone.
Patrick Bateman is my hero.
 
cloudy
Posts: 1613
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2002 3:23 pm

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 5:23 pm

They are a great airline but they just are a blah airline always supplying the same product year in year out,

----

That may not be what aviation enthusiasts want, but it is what the vast majority of travelers want. People like consistency. They may whine about it, but they want it. People like to lament the demise of independent restaurants, grocery stores, etc. But they still prefer to buy at franchise chains because of the consistency.

Go to the majors, and the level of service you get depends on a lot of things. Among them: Whether there is a labor dispute or not. How bad any labor dispute has gotten. What plane you are on. Whether you are flying regional or mainline. Whether there has been an equipment change or not. How you fit into their cast system (are you a double platinum elite frequent flier? or are you just vacationing trash?), What kind of ticket you bought. etc, etc. etc.

With Southwest, it is much simpler. You know exactly what to expect. Even the fare classes are much easier to understand than those of other airlines.

Much has been made of how Southwest's Keep it Simple, Stupid (KISS) philosophy lowers COSTS. But keep in mind that it also improves the REVENUE situation. This is because customers like simplicity and predictability. It is as simple as that  Smile

IMHO the two main elements in Southwest's success can be summed up in two words: KISS and LUV. KISS means "Keep it Simple Stupid". The letters LUV are a symbol of the upbeat, productive and caring corporate culture WN strives to maintain (They also represent the stock ticker and love field, but these are less important).

Just about every other aspect of Southwest's operation has been imitated by other domestic airlines. Others have tried to go without hubs. Others have tried quick turns. Others have tried going without seat assignments or meals. It made no difference, because they did not have KISS and LUV.

JetBlue is different from Southwest in many ways. They have fewer Unions. They have IFE. They fly Airbusses. They fly to different areas. They fly much more longhaul. They go to more established markets rather than make new ones like Southwest does. Yet JetBlue does appear to have KISS and LUV, and if that doesn't change, they could be a long term success as well.
 
SJCguy
Posts: 569
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2001 4:39 pm

Come Now...

Fri May 23, 2003 6:02 pm

ual 777 contrail- You seem to bash SW quite a bit, or at least get wriled-up when anybody brings something up about SW. Unfortunately, United isn't doing well. Fortunately, Southwest is. A 737 and some carpet? Is that all you've gotten out of flying with us? With all due respect, the only additional thing I've received while flying United is a bad attitude and ridiculously high fares. You sound incredibly...young...I'm sorry you look down on us, but we are not an airline. An airline is a service that wastes money on needless frills, opens needless markets, operates hodge-podge fleets (who drives a Chevy and a Peugeot?) and who overpays execs, etc. We are a family who lovingly helps other people and families get to places that are too far to drive, who offers an unparalleled safety record, and who LUV our customers, not bad mouth them. We have a strong following, are making millions, and have probably the most tip-top fleet of flying-footballs in the industry. I'll tell ya...when I'm a passenger on another airline, and I see one of our bright jets hurtle past us, I get goosebumps. You really don't know what you're mission' bro.

SJCguy - An EXTREMELY PROUD WN employee.  Big thumbs up
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: How Does Southwest Pull A Profit?

Fri May 23, 2003 8:02 pm

I know what I say is what MOST feel and want out of an airline. Just because you get a handful of people who only care about 737's then you chose the right airline

Southwest carried 72,541,238 people last year. United carried 68,639,794. Source http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/reports/2003/0302atcr.pdf. Are you sure that you know how MOST feel and want out of an airline?

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