You really have to hand it to Herb Kelleher. Outside of Juan Trippe and Bob Crandall, I don't think there is anyone who has read the currents of the Airline industry better then Kelleher. Southwest has a fiscal stablity that just mocks the rest of the airline industry in the United States, and even overseas.
At the same time, I think the ATA experience is opening a few eyes at South West as well. A lot of the routes that ATA is lending to South West (via the code share) are doing really well according to anecdotal evidence (for example, DEN
) and the vacation routes that ATA has fills in very very nice with South Wests huge point to point system.