One of the best articles I've read concerning the non-profit legacy airline industry. Very realistic in getting through the smoke and spin and lame excuses the legacy airlines throw at us in attempting to explain their abysmal manegerial ineptitude.
Bottom line is: you cannot go on indefinitely in any industry, including the airlines, giving customers more than they are willing to pay for. While the legacy airlines can get away with such folly during the fat times, when times are merely good to average, the consequences are devastating, or even fatal.
Southwest has proven over the long haul (30 plus years) that it is possible to earn a consistent profit and have consistently satisfied customers by offering only what customers are willing to pay for. Herb Kelleher put SWA's priorities something like: put your People (employees) first, which means they will treat Customers well, which will make the Shareholders happy. The CEOs of the legacy airlines (by the walk they walk) would maintain that Southwest has these priorities backwards -- and that is the long and short of why the legacy airline CEOs are the heads of non-profit organizations. Their steadfast refusal to see the obvious and deal with it attests to their incompetence as managers.