Matt D
Topic Author
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Thu Jul 06, 2000 12:50 am

I am not referring just to low fares and no frills. I am talking about how you run the airline. Look at how they treat their employees. Like humans, not just numbers. I have read and heard time and time again that Southwest is one of the best places to work. It is not an overly authoritarian corporate culture. It also reflects in their customer service, which also is consistently ranked among the highest. And they are the airline with the consistently lowest turnover and highest profit margin. They have a proven formula for success.
So, why don't the other airlines operate this way? Why is it that in the face of this prosperity that so many other airlines are getting hit with potential and actual strikes so often?
Continental is the only other one I can think of that has gone from one extreme to the other. When Lorenzo was around, he ruled with an iron fist (as so many others do). It was a shitty airline that was in bankruptcy in both financial and employee/customer morale. Having a dictatorship management scheme was a failure. Then Bethune came along, and well...the rest is history....
So again.....
Why haven't the others followed? Are the egos in the airline world that big that they are blind to success? Is having power and control in the short term more important than conceding some of that power, and treating your workers with respect and making a killing financially in the long term?
Apparently it is.
 
txagkuwait
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Thu Jul 06, 2000 1:06 am

This is a real good subject....thought-provoking.

My answer to the question is basically...all the other airlines think they are smarter than Southwest.

Southwest's product isn't radically different from the coach product on American or USAir or anyone else. A meal? On most 2 or 3 hr flights you might get something masquerading as a sandwich. On anything less...you are gonna get "beverage service only" which means that they block the aisle with a cart for an hour and you get one drink. In a case like that, Southwest's product is vastly superior.

Boarding process? Since the gold, platinum, titanium, iridium, and lead AAdvantage members etc get to preboard....the boarding process on the other carriers is as maddening (if not more so) than on Southwest. The difference is a machine has told you which seat you will sit in. Hope that the person sitting next to you took a bath...otherwise you may not get to select another seat.

Southwest has managed to keep a corporate culture alive where the great majority of the employees honestly believe they are on a crusade to make air travel affordable. They are well paid but the good wages came as a trade off on work rules....the work rules are pretty flexible (FAs can help clean planes, ramp agents can push the aircraft back, etc etc).

A lot of airlines came and looked at Southwest's operations over the years...especially the executives of low-fare start ups. But hey, even Gordon Bethune came and studied it back when he was still working at Braniff (I think).

Everyone will smile and nod but then go back home and fail to heed the lessons. They are smarter than the boys and girls in Texas.

That's one of the reasons so few start ups have been able to prevail. The system is delicate, finally tuned, and you can't afford to junk a single part of it. Even the "no assigned seats" is critical to the overall concept.

What's funny is that the big airline executives will sit there and delude themselves by thinking "Southwest won't take our business passengers"...."Southwest's passenger complaint ration is so low (in April 2000 1/4th the complaints of the airline in 2nd place) because people don't expect much from them."

And then the people with the ugly planes will sneak up behind them and swallow another market with low fares and kind service. Funny how it works, but it has worked many, many times in the past and will work again.

And those big airline execs who are so smart and so well paid will be wondering "what happened?"

 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Thu Jul 06, 2000 3:06 am

Also, way back in the early days, their president, Lamar Muse, talked with the unions and lobbied for those flexible work rules. He implemented the profit sharing plan, he asked the unions to look at long term compensation rather than a dollar an hour increase in pay. He basically made many of the early employees millionaires, because he followed thru on what he promised. Many of those employees are still working for Southwest...not because they have to, but because they WANT to.

What did it mean? It meant that the employees realize that it's THEIR airline, THEY share in the profits that are made by working together. They were a small airline that was going to kick some bu**. That was the begining of the "Southwest Spirit" that sets them apart.

 
J32driver
Posts: 385
Joined: Fri May 05, 2000 2:55 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Thu Jul 06, 2000 3:39 am

No matter how you cut it, the corporate culture is a direct result of the man at the top of the ladder. If he is comfortable with his authority then he lets others below him exercise their own authority right down to the agents who are allowed to do multiple tasks to make the airline run as efficiently as possible.

On the other hand, those guys that rule with an iron fist will always run a piss poor airline. If the guys below you are afraid to speak up for fear of getting fired, the guy at the top will never learn of the problems below that are sucking away the profits!
 
imkeww
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Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2001 1:48 am

J32Driver

Thu Jul 06, 2000 4:00 am

Well Said! Your observation could also be extrapolated to most industries, but is especially true in the airline industry!
 
Guest

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Thu Jul 06, 2000 5:30 am

I'm a former employee of Southwest that "saw the light." It is my honest belief that Southwest Airlines is NOT one of the greatest places to work. I know that I will probably get allot of anti-coex mail since I have stated MY OPINION. I left Southwest and went to Continental which I see as the best move that I have ever made.

Before comments can be made about how great of a place Southwest is to work for, ask the flight attendants... ask the rampers... ask the provisioners... ask the customer service agents..... Plus , always remember.... Southwest Airlines has one of the best marketing and public relation departments ever, which I BELIEVE gives the illusion of how great Southwest Airlines really is......

\


Sorry pro-Southwest Airliners............

Continental can be the model...........
 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Thu Jul 06, 2000 5:47 am

Not gonna bash you coex, but you might want to go stop by Gordon's office and ask who he used as a model for employee relations. It certainly wasn't Frank Lorenzo.

Certainly as companies grow, they are going to get a few who don't like the company. Rather than bash you, coex, I'd like to commend you for actually DOING something to remedy the situation. Too many folks in union jobs don't want to change because they go to the bottom of the seniority list, so they stay where they're at and bitch and moan and complain, and threaten CHAOS or strike.

You kind of have to go by past history. Right now, all US airlines are doing pretty good. Let the economy tank, and other airlines are going to look at cutting costs. Airline profits are just pennies per seat mile, and in this industry, a penny saved really IS a penny earned. One of the first places that an airline looks for cost savings is to the labor force. That translates into defered raises, givebacks, or layoffs. Southwest has weathered past downturns in the economy pretty well. When no other airlines were making money, Southwest was still sharing the profits that they made. They also only had one small round of layoffs in the very early years. Since then, they've had none.

Southwest has grown quite a bit. Some of the new hires aren't going to be happy when they realize that "Alaska's paying $X more for the same job". But in my opinion, the number of satisfied employees at Southwest far outweighs the number of dissatisfied employees. You've done yourself and Southwest a favor by going to CO - they lose a dissatisfied employee and you gain what you feel to be a better situation. That's win-win, my friend.
 
Gnomon
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 1999 12:38 pm

ADD In The Airline Industry

Thu Jul 06, 2000 6:49 am

Matt D wrote: "Is having power and control in the short term more important than conceding some of that power, and treating your workers with respect and making a killing financially in the long term?"

It's a sad, sad day when the powers that be in the airline corporate culture sit down and say, "We don't want to compete any longer. Let's consolidate. At everyone's expense but ours."

I think this mergermania is a result of the same corporate culture that differentiates other carriers from Southwest. Quick money seems to be the bottom line these days, not long-term improvements of service or long-term commitments to a certain type of service, as Southwest has shown. Southwest maintains its unique "Southwest Class" (which I arbitrarily call it), while carriers like DL, CO, AA, and UA have some kind of attention span disorder that compels them to rebrand and rename business and first classes, combine the two, etc. just about every couple years. How many different business- and first-class products have those airlines gone through in the last ten years? The constant change gets very, very old.
 
txagkuwait
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Thu Jul 06, 2000 7:06 am

Dear Coex:

I won't bash you. On the contrary---I will second what GoeingBoeing said and reiterate that IF you were unhappy at Southwest...then you did yourself and them both a favor by leaving.

Having read quite a few threads of yours over the last year or so.....you are (as I recall) very bitter towards Southwest Airlines Co. and lose few opportunities to bash them.

That being the case, would you care to share the nature or reason why you were terminated?

Best regards,

TxAgQ8

 
Guest

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Thu Jul 06, 2000 10:31 am

I will be more then happy to tell you why I left Southwest Airlines... I wasn't terminated..... I had no personal problems with SWA, or anyone at SWA. I was a member of SWA culture committee, spending so much time arranging events for SWA. Even events for employees who need special help....

I'll write why I left SWA and then post it... I don't have the time tonight to write anything else and I know that by tomorrow, this post would have already advanced.........
 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Coex

Fri Jul 07, 2000 3:39 am

The thread ended up on the second page, so I wanted to revive it for you...I read TxAgQ8's question and did a little search, and you really don't miss many opportunities to bash Southwest, In fact, you've started a few threads bashing them. Now, I've quit jobs that I didn't like before, but I never found it necessary to slam them. I couldn't quite understand what you had posted, but I really am kind of curious to know the circumstances surrounding why you left Southwest. Please enlighten me...

Thanks
GB
 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Fri Jul 07, 2000 10:25 am

I fear I posted too early. here is is again Coex. I'm very interested to hear why you left Southwest. Maybe you'll get this before the topic makes it's way back to page 2.

GB
 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Fri Jul 07, 2000 10:37 pm

darn it, the silly post made it to the second screen again before you could read it Coex....Here it goes again. My interest stems from a project I am working on concerning disgruntled employees. It seems obvious to me that you are disgruntled, so my curiosity is getting the better of me!

Thanks,

GB
 
txagkuwait
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Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Sat Jul 08, 2000 5:47 am

CoEx:

Me and GoingBoeing are still waiting.....

You've had plenty of time to concoct some perjury.

Let's have it!

Have a nice day....

TxAgQ8
 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Sat Jul 08, 2000 11:29 am

..
 
nycank
Posts: 232
Joined: Mon May 29, 2000 6:47 pm

Why SouthWest? Why Not Swiss?

Sat Jul 08, 2000 7:42 pm


Both Swiss Air and Singapore Air have excellent service as far as the customer
is concerned. Some of it in direct contrast to SouthWest's. So a better question
is Are there two industries within this sector ?

Here are some points and food for thought:

1. Swiss and Singapore both depend on International Ops for their survival, being
small countries they have no domestic volume to speak of. They have to be
sensitive to diverse clientele and compete for every passenger. Hence the
attention to details.

2. Both Airlines are really small in size too - They somehow became cash rich by doing something right - Satisfying customers and maintaining still a good margin. Swiss has taken majority stake in Sabena (I hope they improve SN's CRM), and SIA took approx 49% stake in VirginAtlantic. A combination
of size and details has prevented (or saved) them from dealing with macro
economics of large OPs like UA/AA/DL etc.

3. Bilaterals - International Airlines still work on Flag/national and inter-govt.
agreements This gives them necessary slots (Bermuda-II aside) and a
manageable forcasting methodology. SIA and SR both have never been a
discount airlines in the sense that their fares are *not* cut-throat.

SouthWest has not had to juggle international operations - I wonder what their
flight operations and profitability would be in TransAtlantic or TransPacific sector ?

The domestic US deregulated hub-spoke differential yeald-management and
complex pricing models have evolved in part because of having to satisfy
a few major industry analysts associated with amjor Wall St. firms every QUARTER !!!!! - who in turn can influence institutional investors. Ever heard of
Candice Browning ??  

These are few of the many talking points I have  

nycank
 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Sun Jul 09, 2000 9:43 am

..
 
tritanic
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RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Sun Jul 09, 2000 11:30 am

Folks Southwest is doing pretty good. It's the Wallmart of the Airline industry. It's no frills, simple, and at times very humorous (which the big boys need to look at), but let's not go over board. If you think the big boy's don't have a good product, and if you think passengers don't like the frills, well you are WRONG!

The month of MAY D.O.T report came out for all the airlines. Delta finished first in ontime. Delta finish second behind South West for customer complaints. Delta finished 2nd in mishandled baggage. Considering that Delta flies apporximately 70 million more people a year, that's not to shabby for a major. South West is good for a smaller airline that's growing, but the highest paid employees in the industry with the most benefits are still UA, CO, AA, and DL. People love preseat assignments, People love First and Business class, people still enjoy some pampering, and if you are willing to pay, well the airlines will accomadate you. In most of the majors the top 10 percent of passengers (the highest frequent fliers) represent 75 percent of all revenue!!!
 
goingboeing
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Sun Jul 09, 2000 11:59 am

Very nice dissertation for a Delta fan. Too bad the topic is dealing more with EMPLOYEE satisfaction than CONSUMER satisfaction. But...altough it's true that Delta carried more passengers than Southwest, for every 100,000 of those passengers, .41 complained about Southwest versus 1.60 of the 100,000 Delta passengers.

I wouldn't brag about the top 10 percent representing 75% of all revenue...let the economy tank and you'll see that revenue decrease. Something you young folks aren't familiar with yet...it's called "austerity programs".

27 years of continuous profitablity and counting.
 
txagkuwait
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

Tritanic....

Sun Jul 09, 2000 12:07 pm

Interesting.

You state 10% of the passengers provide 75% of the revenue.

I don't believe that. At least not without some sources.

Yes, airlines like high yield business.

They like people who pay outlandish amounts of money for First Class.

How many of those folks in the F compartment do you think paid book price for a F ticket? How many do you figure upgraded using miles?

But 10% of the folks providing 75% of the revenue? Unless you can cite some sources, I have to say No Way, Jose.

Incidentally.....as long as we are talking about airlines...thinking of Southwest as "a good smaller airline" doesn't really wash anymore.

In terms of passengers carried, in the United States they are #4. Behind DL, AA, and UA. About 1.2 Million pax per month behind UA.

On the other hand, they are about 600,000 pax a month of where they were last year.

 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Tritanic....

Sun Jul 09, 2000 12:45 pm

Ok now let's take this to a new level. As far as sighting sources. I'm actually bringing you statistics that was forcasted for revenue control at Delta Airlines based on last years numbers. At Delta we call are elites Platinum Medallions, and yes these few represent that much revenue, and those numbers were put forth in corportate to support a "special program" that would enable individual attention to these high revenue passengers. The program is called a Passenger Service Coordinator. This specialty service program has agents in business suits, that are very highly qualified in there field to meet on board late arriving aircrafts to give new iteneraries, hotels, rebookings, and at times cars to take them to close connections. I have a great amount of revenue informaition for our other high mileage fliers also, but I really don't think it's pertinant.

DL flew 106,000,000 passengers last year and profited over 1.1 billion dollars. By years end they will have purchased new computers for all employees for home use. They will have free AT&T internet access for home use. They have the highest compensated employees in every category. They have won numerous awards: "Airline of the Year", "Best managed Airline". They are the LEAST unionized airline in the world!!!! That must say something with employee satisfaciton.

The airlines of today: AA UA CO NW BA invest BILLIONS to take care of these elite business passengers who often will spend for the full fares (just for the flexability). I know personally how CO UA and DL have invested in technology for these important passengers, such as, personal pagers from the airlines that completely update and flight changes, or stby changes, atc delays. Free wireless internet access within the gate areas and club rooms. Internet access during flight. Passengers are also ranked not only by the mileage flown, but now a new criteria based on revenue generated. Inhanced first class service, such as food and new seating.

Let's not mix apples and oranges. Southwest has a great product, but it doesn't forecast revenue in the same respects as the big boy's. It markets to different clientelle.

Southwest bumps for passerners (percentage) than any other airline in the domestic U.S.....and lacks in loss baggage.

Basically it's two seperate products. Some people take greyhound to their destination, some trains, some hitch, and if one will sacrifice certain convienances for savings then all the power to them. Just remember why the special program previously mentioned is there. It's to keep our 250,000 dollar a year passenger very satisfied. And all the majors will spare no expence to attract such.

Pleas exuse the spelling, not enough time to go back and edit.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 1:33 am

My how times have changed. Not too long ago, rather than "Passenger Service Coordinators" for 10 % of the passengers, Delta had "Red Coats" for 100% of their passengers. Red Coaters are harder and harder to find these days. Stop and think about it - what Delta is saying is "to hell with you greyhound riding losers...sure, you're 90% of our passengers, but these 10% "platinum plated titanim premier" CUSTOMERS are who we care about.

Let me give you some examples -

My Sister-in-law was visiting us last year. HEr husband is a very successful surgeon. She brought her 2 boys (3 and 5) with her. I dropped her off at the airport and discovered that Delta no longer preboards families with children. They did call for platinum level passenger preboarding - yet nobody stood up. Based on your statement that those flyers made up 75% of revenues, I can assume that this flight must have been operating at a loss. BTW, while not platinum (or even copper) - those tickets WERE full Y fare. She's back this year... and flew USAirways. Y'all lost 4 full Y class passengers (hubby came with this time).

Flying into ATL with a connection to MCO that was going to be close (thanks to a ground crew misfueling the plane) I asked the FA if she could tell me what gate our connection was leaving from, since my wife suffers from arthritis and if it meant changing terminals we'd request a wheelchair. Her reply? "No". Funny, AA,UAL, US, NW and even Vanguard announces connections. Delta used to, and maybe they did for the titanium 10%. I guess they were too busy for this flight.

Delta used to be my airline of choice back in the early 80's. Their service has deteriorated for us "regular folk". That's one big thing about Southwest - the family who travels once a year is treated as well as the businessman who travels everyday.
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 7:29 am

Goingboeing, well it's obvious you have a love affair with Southwest, but I would prefer stats instead of the ONE time your sister flew, and the ONE time a connection gate was not given on board.

PSA's are still in place just like yesteryear. For your information some of our "Titanium", or we call them Platinum fly with us around 100-150 times a year. Some of them see us more than their own families. I am proud of any company that will take what ever means necessary to satisfy these very loyal customers. That's not just with DL, just ask any of the other majors how important these select folks are.

It's a very difficult task to have Full fare paying customers and those who are at 10 percent of a full fare. Flight crew does not know the difference, therefore they do not distinguish service given.

Everyone's important, but like any company and any business they will give their most loyal and most revenue producing just a tad bit more attention.

Let's look at certain industries, how about Marriott? Well if I'm paying $50.00 more a room I expect a little more then Redroof, they both have beds, so what's the difference in price?

With the majors they offer choice! If you want $112.00 RT tickets or if you want $2500 RT Hawaii the choice is there. If you were on DL and the plane suffers maintanence well they can easily place you on AA, CO, NW, UA, US, and many more, well except South West who have no airline agreements with any other airline. How about if a thunder shower causes a misconection. Does Southwest pick up the tap for hotels, and food? Most majors do, even though the tariff rules state not such action is needed due to weather or ATC!

Southwest is without a doubt the best discount airline in the business, but they are not ready for comparison at this time.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 8:58 am

Tritanic - Back in the early 80's, I flew Delta almost exclusivly - twice a week, every week, without fail. I would have been one of your gold plated 10%. Back then, we were all just "Frequent flyers", we didn't get any extra perks, outside of the Medallion club and the special unlisted reservation number that was avialable to the guy with 1,000,000 miles or the guy with 10 miles. We didn't get preferred seating, we got upgrades if we wanted to pay for them or redeem the miles. Everybody was treated about the same, and the service provided was excellent.

The recent times I've flown, it's very apparent that your medallion flyers are most important to Delta. I guess it's good that y'all have found a way to identify the elite passenger. Because the service given to the non elite full fare and 10% full fare passengers has deteriorated considerably. Sure, I can't cite stats that "prove" that. I've only got the flights I've flown, or the flights my family has flown. And they have all had less than stellar service. That's why they have become my last resort when travelling.

You're right, I'm a fan of Southwest - they've got the flights to most places I want to go at the times I want to go, and for the price that doesn't break the bank. I even select WN for business when I travel. I save my company money, and I don't spend all day flying thru hubs. The service I recieve is better that I would get on most other airlines. Any flight less than 2 hours on any airline won't get anyone much more than peanuts and a coke.

BTW - it's true that Southwest doesn't interline, but they make up for that with FREQUENCY. If a plane has a mechanincal, chances are pretty good that they've got another flight (or two or 3 ) out within the hour. If it's the last flight of the night and there's a mechanical or missed connection (although those are few since WN is more of a point to point carrier) then yes, they will put me up in a hotel.

Bottom line, I get to spend more time with my family and less time traveling these days. So when I do spend my hard earned dollars to fly somewhere, I prefer to take an airline who cares about the 90% of us who make up only 25% of their revenues. You've pretty much pointed out that we don't matter at Delta, and that's why I'm not flying Delta that much any more.
 
txagkuwait
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

Hey, Tritanic....

Mon Jul 10, 2000 9:03 am

Actually, I know GoingBoeing and he does not have a love affair with Southwest, they are more like "just good friends."

And I guess some of us folks who think that our discovery of and continued support of Southwest as the most revolutionary idea since penicillin (for those unwise love affairs) can be pretty insufferable at times.

However, what it boils down to is that most of us who are members of "the great unwashed" or "the huddled masses yearning to breathe free" if you prefer....our employers want us in the coach cabin, and we do fly a lot....but we have corporate travel offices and such to make sure we aren;t squandering the bosses' year end incentive bonus.

Those of us who fly AA or DL in coach, steerage, or "the main cabin" may have a slightly different point of view. On most of our domestic travels....the travel experience we would get from a full Y ticket on DL is no better (and sometimes worse) than what we would get on WN.

The bottom line is, a lot of the time...there is no meal service to speak of in coach on flights of 2 hrs or so. And if we do go 3 hrs and there is a meal provided....well, a great deal of the time I would do just about as well to eat the packaging material the food-like substance came in. (I had a REAL nasty turkey sandwich the other day on AA)

The pitch (distance between seats) in Southwest's 737s is as generous if not more so than that found in the coach cabin of DL. How do they do this while cramming so many seats in? Simple, they have those new thin line seats and the galleys are very simple...for drinks and snacks only (no meals) so you can squeeze a few seats in without turning the cabin into a torture chamber.

What continues to set Southwest apart from everyone else is the overall impression you get from the employees that they honestly believe they are on a crusade to make flying affordable. They do, in fact, sneer and make fun of some of the walk up fares that other airlines get away with. I recall well a remark one made at BNA about Delta's fare from there to Atlanta being criminally obscene.

A lot of airline execs like to think that they are not liable to suffer at the hands of Southwest since "business travelers don;t like to fly them." This delusion usually doesn't last too long.

But in the big scheme of thing, it's all interesting to watch, but folks ought to fly on whomever they wish. Ultimately we will see what the outcome is. In the meantime, me and GoingBoeing have about decided that we have seen the future and it is Southwest...whereas you think we may be headed to mega-carriers that will continue to offer air travel in accordance with the way things have been in the past.

Suffice it to say, it will be interesting to watch.

But hey, those deals with DL aren't isolated incidents. Next time Mrs Tritanic needs a permanent...let me know. I got some Delta tales guaranteed to curl her hair. Especially the one that involves the schoolchildren from a private Christian academy and a hooker motel with 4 free porn channels near FLL.
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 9:25 am

As with all the airlines the late 80's and early 90's spelled disaster. Most airlines reduced the work force at least 30 percent. Some airlines did not survive, but some did, and with survival you will see poor service, reduced number of aircraft, poor morale, and less money spent on passengers.

Hence a huge turnaround during the later half of the 90's. Finally a profit, well now lets make up for the previous 5 years, overnight? no I don't think so!

The majors have invested billions in technology which was way overdue! What does that buy, computers, internet access in the field, less lines, more information on hand via interactive displays for the public, ....and the list goes on.......

If I had to choose to fly, I would also choose my pocket book over the other perks, but I'm not in that position. The key to expansion for all majors is the opening international market! Not soley more frequency between domestic routes. It's South America, China, South Africa, more open European markets (not codeshares). UA, AA, and DL look to grow on an international scale!! Our business class actually pays those fares on these routes; therefore the airline will spare no expense to ever enhance there product.

Some families do like preseating, and preferred seating.

Once again from within the industry "Apples, and oranges" they both taste great, but you can't compare, they are not the same!!!

You are way off with your interpretation of how the majors regard there passengers. The carriers respect and care for anyone on board there aircraft, but if you pay for a steak dinner you can expect to get one. That's not disregarding the person trying to keep within a tight budget.

Once previously stated DL flies more then 70 million more passengers than Southwest and DL sits right behind the "no frills" airline in second place consistantly.
No frills, no expectations, no complaints.
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Hey, Tritanic....

Mon Jul 10, 2000 9:41 am

Well TxAgKuwait, we here in ATL are laughing on the floor!! You and your "revolutionaries" are here to change the world and the airline industry!!! Maybe you're talking some sense into me, why hell the theatre by my house has horrible seating, high fares, and lousy popcorn, NO MORE!!! I refuse to be taken!! I will rally the troops to boycot that theatre!! I will become revolutionary!!!!

What are you a moran!!! I said over and over again that Southwest offers a great product!! ONce again moran, "Southwest offers a great product!", but there is a seperate demand for international, first class, much larger and sofisticated aircrafts, and a system that deals with 100,000,000 a year!!! The majors offer a different product, and that's my point!! There are some people that demand these things and are willing to pay for it!!! So the airlines are still learning to appease all classes of service.

SO keep up the revolution, and maybe just maybe I'll see your head on the tail of a Southwest 737 flying over the Atlantic, once they take over the world!! Oh ya a 737 flies under 1200 miles, maybe they will invest in larger aircraft once they rule the world!!!

No matter where you look and how you look there will always, always be people that have money to burn, and spend, and if not one airline then another will be there at there heals to pick up the slack.

Why did Airtran introduce their business class?

Keep up the revolution, and don't give up the REAL fight!!!! Keep the faith!!!!
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Hey, Tritanic....

Mon Jul 10, 2000 9:41 am

Well TxAgKuwait, we here in ATL are laughing on the floor!! You and your "revolutionaries" are here to change the world and the airline industry!!! Maybe you're talking some sense into me, why hell the theatre by my house has horrible seating, high fares, and lousy popcorn, NO MORE!!! I refuse to be taken!! I will rally the troops to boycot that theatre!! I will become revolutionary!!!!

What are you a moron!!! I said over and over again that Southwest offers a great product!! ONce again moron, "Southwest offers a great product!", but there is a seperate demand for international, first class, much larger and sofisticated aircrafts, and a system that deals with 100,000,000 a year!!! The majors offer a different product, and that's my point!! There are some people that demand these things and are willing to pay for it!!! So the airlines are still learning to appease all classes of service.

SO keep up the revolution, and maybe just maybe I'll see your head on the tail of a Southwest 737 flying over the Atlantic, once they take over the world!! Oh ya a 737 flies under 1200 miles, maybe they will invest in larger aircraft once they rule the world!!!

No matter where you look and how you look there will always, always be people that have money to burn, and spend, and if not one airline then another will be there at there heals to pick up the slack.

Why did Airtran introduce their business class?

Keep up the revolution, and don't give up the REAL fight!!!! Keep the faith!!!!
 
Matt D
Topic Author
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 9:55 am

Jeez....look at what I started.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE:Tritanic

Mon Jul 10, 2000 9:57 am

Any moran knows it's not "sofisticated". Every SOPHISTICATED person ain't a MORON.

The plural of "aircraft" is "aircraft"

International means noting to the guy who's got a meeting in St. Louis.

First class ain't much on a one hour flight.

Braniff was laughing about an upstart with 3 planes and no assigned seating not that long ago, and hell, they were flyin' nonstop to Dusseldorf.

If Southwest starts service to ATL, will Delta add more legroom on the BNA flights to compensate for the $750 fare?

Finally, I've discovered in debates that the loser usually resorts to calling the opponent moron, idiot, a-hole or some other such name. You win, Tex.
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Hey, Tritanic....

Mon Jul 10, 2000 9:58 am

>>>Oh ya a 737 flies under 1200 miles, maybe they will invest in larger aircraft once they rule the world!!!

If this is the caliber and quality of information that you're basing your various arguments upon, methinks thou hast a problem...

The 737-700 has a range of 3,800nm (per Boeing's website) and and if you'll look there, you'll see the various routes that one could serve non-stop from BOS. You'd be surprised...

Cheers...
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

Nah Matt, Just Keeping The Thread Alive For Coex

Mon Jul 10, 2000 9:59 am

He's supposed to tell us why he left Southwest. IMHO, the last words in his "exit interview" were "You can't fire me, I quit!"
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Hey, Tritanic....

Mon Jul 10, 2000 10:13 am

We're not discussing range with the revolutionaries, that's based on most airline scheaduling uses 737's for under 1200 miles!!!!!!!! Look at some timetables!!!!

Southwest is not the greatest, nor will they ever be!

Nice little airline though......

Keep fighting the good fight!!!! Fight those evil majors!!!
 
txagkuwait
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 10:19 am

Let's see...in April of this year Delta flew 9 million passengers. Little old Southwest flew roughly 6.2 million passengers. That is scarcely 70 million more.

In fact, it would take 2 years or more for DL to carry "70 million more" passengers than Southwest.

And you know what, that 6.2 million is only going to increase faster and faster. That's over a million more passengers than they carried in April of 1999.

GoingBoeing is right. Laugh. Laugh your butt off. Braniff laughed too.

Those of us who fly Southwest, like Southwest, and liked 'em so much that we bought some of their stock...we want you to laugh. We want you to perceive them as "not a threat". Harding Lawrence did every nasty thing he could think of and wasn't able to kill them.

I don't the great CRAAndall could have killed them. The original president of Southwest, the great M.Lamar Muse, said that the "system is idiot proof, as long as his successors didn't f*** with the system it would continue to roll on" And it has.

How many consecutive years has Delta reported a profit?
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 10:35 am

Are you truley what I said earlier, "a moron". How many times did you read that Southwest was a good airline with a good product! But know you think I am somehow bashing Southwest! No I'm bashing you for not responding to the subject at hand I presented to you in this post. You don't have to fly first class! You can fly Southwest to visit your aunt Cecil for easter.
That's not the subject at hand! and yes DL did fly 106,000,000 million people and Sothwest flew less than half of that last year........

You are happy with Southwest congratulations, but to bring this into some revolutionary state in which you feel you have become an activist of something larger than life is frickin insane!!! It's a product you purchase, and some offer a little more product with increased patronage or fare!

See your just like the nonindustries on this post. You must have a favorite and defend it untill your death. It's like your favorite football, baseball, basketball, nascar driver and so forth. You have no definition of character, nor manhood unless you back your favorite 100 percent. You feel this defines you
!!! Well congratulaitons!!! Your leather Southwest (NFL like) sports coats in the mail!!

What's your favorite car? How about college football team?

Sothwest is fine, but unless they upgrade aircrafts, define hubs, and fly outside the boarder they will always be that friendly discount carrier!!

Keep the fight you revolutionary!!!!!
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 10:42 am

>>>Sothwest is fine, but unless they upgrade aircrafts, define hubs, and fly outside the boarder they will always be that friendly discount carrier!!

A fate I guess they'll just have to *suffer* (all the way to the bank...)
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 10:46 am

Hey tritanic - why not read a book on the history of Southwest airlines. Tex goes waaaaay back with them. Personal kind of thing. Not some tennybopper favorite airline. He watched it go from 3 planes to 300 planes. In other words, he's been involved in some form or fashion with LUV for longer than you have been out of diapers.

And he still hasn't called you a moron.

BTW, the plural of aircraft is "aircraft"
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 10:51 am

Original question to the post. Why isn't Southwest the Industry Model? That's because the industry model is CO, AA, UA, DL, NW........BA, LH,JA........this is no place for routing for an underdog!! You reall don't think Southwest hasn't modeled it's operation much like the others. It has low fares, but from an operational point of view it sure has many simularities.
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 11:00 am

Goingboeing, are you ever going to respond to what I have said about different products. Do you have no response to the obvious facts. Do you realize the difference in marketing and revenue that's involved with international carriage versus 500 mile hops to grandma's house. Are you arguing with yourself about Southwest? It markets to a different clientelle and you no that, so why are you turning this into something complicated. We were talking about Industry models, or was I mistaken? They have 300 737's ....congratulations...ok then what about over 600 like AA, UA, DL and that's comprised of 777, 747, 767, 757, 727, L1011, MD-11's. Please explain your comparison. If you want to compare down to a scale in which you find their flight crew funnier, than you are correct....Southwest is the industry model!!!!

Keep the faith, and the fight.
 
txagkuwait
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 11:10 am

Not germane to the argument, but GoingBoeing will testify that I am usually a real stickler for accuracy.

You make the comment "DL carried 108 MM pax last year, Southwest carried less than half of that number" or words to that effect.

In Calendar Year 1999 the numbers filed with the USDOT show DL as having carried 99,705,011 passengers and WN as having carried 65,287,547.

First of all, you're numbers are wrong. Secondly, Southwest carried roughly 2/3rds the number DL carried...not "less than half."

I don;t mind arguing...I will argue with the devil himself...but I prefer to argue with folks who have the courtesy of using correct information.

Best Regards,

TxAgQ8
 
txagkuwait
Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

Interesting Year-End Numbers

Mon Jul 10, 2000 11:18 am

While I was looking those numbers up at the DOT website.....it occurred to me if the DOT is correct, then WN managed to catch AA in # of passengers last year. I am not sure how that happened.

Here's what they are saying:

DL 99,705,011
UA 77,583,494
WN 65,287,547
AA 64,035,305
US 54,430,359
NW 46,750,314
CO 36,228,639
TW 24,744,110
HP 18,223,821
AS 12,084,918

Those are "enplaned passengers" for Calendar Year 1999
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 11:22 am

See that's my point!!!! You are using domestic numbers and I don't blame you for that mistake, but now let's add all the international passengers.....well for DL that adds up, oh and also South West yes indeed that adds up........excuse the less than half remark for SothWest.......I'll bring up a link so you can verify yourself ...in just a few.....and I believ DL is almost 107,000,000 to be exact....
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 11:39 am

TxAgKuwait, you can find world wide passenger count at the web site for International Airline Transportation Associaton.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 11:43 am

<< Original question to the post. Why isn't Southwest the Industry Model? That's because the industry model is CO, AA, UA, DL, NW........BA, LH,JA........this is no place for routing for an underdog!! >>

No, they haven't modeled after the "majors". Let's look, shall we?

Hubs. LUV doesn't have them. THey are a point to point carrier. AA has started some AUS-LAX flights (avoiding DFW), Delta has opened a lower fare point to point operation called "Delta Express". USAirways has Metrojet and United has the Shuttle. Who's modeling who here?

No First Class

No Assigned Seating

No Meals

LUV was supposed to fail back in 1975. Pundits said the same thing you did...this is no time to root for the underdog. Now, there are several cities BEGGING Southwest to start service. Most of those cities are served by Delta, AA,CO,NW, etc. Why on earth would they want an underdog in town? Could it be that they want point to point service at decent fares?

There must be a sh*tload of Grandma's living between Dallas and Houston. At least the boys are nice enough to dress up to see her. Being facetious here, Tri - Southwest gets more flights (read that as paying customer) out of those 300 planes than DL,AA,or CO and the other get out of their 600. And there's a hell of a lot of business travellers going between Dallas and HOuston, KC and Chicago, LAX and OAK.

I own stock in Southwest. Why? Becuase they manage to turn a profit. They don't want the complications brought about by a fleet of differing aircrafts. Got a problem with the MCI-MDW flight? Send the crew over to the MCI-TUL flight, we'll have another on it's way. They make money. For 27 years they've made money. Had they followed your advice of << Sothwest is fine, but unless they upgrade aircrafts, define hubs, and fly outside the boarder they will always be that friendly discount carrier!! >> They might have lost money a few of those years.

You seem to be saying "mine's bigger", therefore, it must be better. 600 jet's vs 300 jets. But it's the same with your equipment and airplanes...it's not how big it is, it's how well you use it. Southwest's been doing more with less for a long time...and nobody does it better.

 
bacardi182
Posts: 1029
Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 2:47 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 12:00 pm

i am very proud of you guys! you have not started any fights about kids vs adults, boeing vs airbus, or europe vs america!

southwest will never become the "world" airline. I would never fly them. I am stuck with flying AA, not because i like them. but because almost everything i do revolves around them! when i use my credit card, i get miles. whats the point of those miles if i fly southwest. when i fly on an airplane, i get more perks with my gold card. Hell, when i drive, i always have to drive around dfw airport and see those damn silver MD-80's! I am an AA passenger for life, that is until delta takes over dfw  
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 12:04 pm

Also tri - Southwest has identified thier niche. They stick with it because it works. No international? That's fine...it's not part of the niche. Southwest is a VERY formidable competitor in the US domestic market. They don't compete internationally, so when the European or Asian markets suffer a downturn, it doesn't impact LUV at all. I imagine the bigwigs at ATL are hoping against hope that Airtran starts international service. That would insure Delta's dominance of ATL.

Too many airlines don't have a niche. They're the international airline that was founded in Monroe Louisiana (ever been there, Tri?...I have - on business). Yes, Delta is the only airline in the world where I can fly a jet from Monroe to Moscow to visit grandma-ski.
 
goingboeing
Posts: 4727
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 1999 1:58 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 12:09 pm

Last I checked, there were several airlines that flew into DFW. Adjust your schedule a bit, get a new credit card that gives you CO (or TWA, or UAL or heaven forbid - DELTA) miles, book CO via IAH (or the others thru their hubs) and have at it. You've got a choice. Or, you could get a Southwest Visa. That's the beauty of America - choices.

READ MY LIPS - Southwest WON'T ever be the world airline...but they WILL be a force to be reckoned with in the domestic US market.
 
travelin man
Posts: 3198
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 12:13 pm

As a frequent traveller with little bias (admittedly except recently against UA for some crappy service), let me put in my $.02.

The assertion that business travellers do not (or would not) fly Southwest is absurd. I am a business traveller. When I had to fly to Oakland every week for three months from LAX, I chose WN. It was always on-time and VERY frequent (every 1/2 hour or so). For flights for about an hour, I don't give a rat's @ss about first class or the 350 frequent flyer miles UA or AA so generously give.

On the other hand, when I fly back East, I choose AA or UA. Frankly, I don't want to stop, and I like the frequent flyer miles on long routes. Besides, if there is an opportunity to upgrade, it would be worth it.

I know this thread started out as a thread about how the airlines treat employees. I must say that I haven't encountered rude flight attendants on many of my flights. It is much faster to check-in at WN.

To sum up, for short-haul flights, WN is the same as the majors, except WN is on-time more often. This is why I choose them. For long-haul, it's UA and AA for the miles, the non-stops, and the upgrade options. Basically, there is room for both, and I don't see either model replacing the other. The two types of service complement each other.

I do thank WN for establishing low fares in CA. This is why our NoCal-SoCal shuttle flights are a lot cheaper than Northeast Corridor routes dominated by DL and US.

My $.02

 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 12:15 pm

Southwest is running out of niches in the market place. They are very strategic on stayingAWAY from the majors. They rarely ever compete or will enter a market that is in direct competition with a major. An example BHM BNA there is no other direct service, no competition! Most of there markets are exactly the same. Yes, that's smart, but put them in the same market, and you might want to call it predatory, but a major would kill them with the simular fares. There are to many perks for the same product as previously stated. They can only expand on this practice so much, and once they have to enter some of the major markets directly with the majors, we will then see how they hold up SIDE by SIDE!!!
 
tritanic
Posts: 149
Joined: Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:12 pm

RE: Why Isn't Southwest The Industry Model?

Mon Jul 10, 2000 12:18 pm

Best post I've read on this subject and to the point. Travelin man "The two types of service complement each other".........two seperate types!!!

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