iflyswa
Posts: 98
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:09 am

Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sat May 19, 2007 2:37 am

Rollin King, the man with the plan behind Southwest Airlines in 1966, says now that there never was a napkin. The story of the golden triangle route map drawn out on a cocktail napkin has been immortalized, even in history and training materials put out by the company, and in all kinds of books about the Southwest. Supposedly, this is why every Southwest Airlines cocktail napkin was printed with the current route map of the period.

Heartbreaking to have this wonderful piece of Southwest lore just shattered. Truth or Myth, couldn't you have taken it with you to the grave, Rollin? I'm sure I'm not the only one that would have liked to live on happily believing that the napkin was real. Along with Herb's storied response "Rollin, you're crazy. Let's do it" (also a myth), the story of two men and a napkin is a huge part of our Southwest Culture, and a model for the maverick Spirit that exemplifies the Southwest way.

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcont...us.ART.State.Edition1.372f4be.html

I guess it's a little like faith: if it helps you to be a better person and to live better, then it doesn't matter if it's real or contrived because it still holds a real significance to those that ascribe to its tenets.

Herb and Rollin were at a bar in San Antonio, they must have been drunk. Rollin just can't remember the napkin. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

By the way, anyone else think Rollin was in a BAD mood when he gave that interview?

iflyswa
Opinions expressed by "iflyswa" are not those of Southwest Airlines Officers, Directors, or Employees.
 
propilotjw
Posts: 520
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2000 1:02 pm

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sat May 19, 2007 6:43 am

I read that article the other day... the story isn't as fun without the napkin. I have to say, I would be a bit upset if I was in Rollin's shoes also!
 
AA737-823
Posts: 4905
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2000 11:10 am

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sat May 19, 2007 9:17 am

Odd, as Herb Kelleher says it's true in his NUTS book...
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sat May 19, 2007 9:41 am

If one reads the first two paragraphs of the article and considers the context, along with basic human nature, it may be easy to figure out.

When Southwest Airlines Co. holds its annual shareholder meeting Wednesday in Dallas, the man who thought up Southwest won't be there.

Rollin W. King, 76, ended 40 years' involvement with the carrier with his mandatory retirement from the Southwest board of directors at last year's annual meeting.


I would suspect that Rollin hasn't particularly adapted to his first year of forced retirement from the BOD. He's the same age as Herb, IIRC, but Herb is exempt from the mandatory retirement age. Maybe there's some ruffled feathers over that, specifically, or just generally being out-of-the-loop after 40 years of being in it. Seeing as how most men are married to their careers, I can see it as a tough thing to walk away from, especially if you didn't want to.

In any event, it seems odd that, if the napkin story supposedly isn't true, why we haven't heard that sometime before now? I personally believe the napkin story is true. Perhaps Rollin was trying to generate a little news coverage. Who knows....
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
TropicBird
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:13 am

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sat May 19, 2007 10:08 am

Here is some other sobering news about Southwest. The excerpts below are from an AW&ST story about the airlines fuel hedging advantage which is now disappearing.


During the four years between April 1, 2003, and March 31, 2007, Southwest reported a total of $2.8 billion in operating profits. Of this amount, $2.2 billion came from gains in fuel hedging. The rest, about $600 million, came from operating the airline. In effect, 78% of Southwest's operating profit during this period resulted from activities that had nothing to do with running an airline business.


In six of the 16 fiscal quarters since April 2003, Southwest would have reported operating losses if it weren't for hedging. Three of these quarters were in 2005, when Southwest turned in an $819 million operating profit for the full year. Without hedging gains, Southwest would have recorded an $85 million full-year operating loss.
 
mymorningsong
Posts: 85
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 6:11 am

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sat May 19, 2007 10:50 am

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 4):
Without hedging gains, Southwest would have recorded an $85 million full-year operating loss.

Not really. Without hedging, Southwest would have charged more for its tickets, as would other carriers. It's prices today are higher than they were previously because they aren't hedged nearly as well as before.
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4458
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sat May 19, 2007 5:30 pm

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 4):
Here is some other sobering news about Southwest. The excerpts below are from an AW&ST story about the airlines fuel hedging advantage which is now disappearing.

Why can't a thread about WN exist without someone reminding us about the fuel hedging situation?! Notice I said "reminding" as in...IT'S NOTHING NEW!!

It's time for some new material folks...  Yeah sure
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
flyorski
Posts: 725
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:23 am

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sat May 19, 2007 5:42 pm

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 6):
Why can't a thread about WN exist without someone reminding us about the fuel hedging situation?! Notice I said "reminding" as in...IT'S NOTHING NEW!!

It's time for some new material folks.

Exactly!

However I agree that the napkin story is probably true, and he is mad for being forced to retire.
"None are more hopelessly enslaved, than those who falsly believe they are free" -Goethe
 
stlgph
Posts: 9054
Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2004 4:19 pm

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sat May 19, 2007 6:20 pm

many companies have their own "napkin" stories about their founding principles and establishments. it's a great wives' tale. generally 99% of the time they aren't true.

i'm guessing this one isnt either.

if you live in Texas and need draw a route map between Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio so you can find where all three are ... you have no flippin' business starting an airline.

but, whatever you people want to believe. Southwest also doesn't have hubs, either.

Quoting Iflyswa (Thread starter):
anyone else think Rollin was in a BAD mood when he gave that interview?

doesnt sound like it, no. sounds like a cigar interview to me.
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
TropicBird
Posts: 432
Joined: Sat May 28, 2005 9:13 am

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sun May 20, 2007 4:33 am

Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 6):
Quoting TropicBird (Reply 4):
Here is some other sobering news about Southwest. The excerpts below are from an AW&ST story about the airlines fuel hedging advantage which is now disappearing.

Why can't a thread about WN exist without someone reminding us about the fuel hedging situation?! Notice I said "reminding" as in...IT'S NOTHING NEW!!

It's time for some new material folks...

Because some of us are tired of the bragging about what a good (and consistently profitable) airline Southwest is when in reality it's just a lucky gambler. This is the first substantiated example I have seen of what their past earnings truly are.
 
Silver1SWA
Crew
Posts: 4458
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:11 pm

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sun May 20, 2007 6:59 am

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 9):
Because some of us are tired of the bragging about what a good (and consistently profitable) airline Southwest is when in reality it's just a lucky gambler. This is the first substantiated example I have seen of what their past earnings truly are.

I have a few things to say...

-Where did anyone brag about WN's profitability in this thread??

-It was a bit of a gamble, yes. But it's called smart business.

-Hedging contributed to their success over the past few years, but it doesn't take away from all WN has achieved over its entire history.

-You aren't the first person to attempt to shoot us down from our high with such sobering news...like I said, it's old.

[Edited 2007-05-20 00:07:02]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
socalfive
Posts: 474
Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2001 5:37 am

RE: Southwest Airlines: No Napkin?!

Sun May 20, 2007 8:14 am

Quoting TropicBird (Reply 9):
Because some of us are tired of the bragging about what a good (and consistently profitable) airline Southwest is when in reality it's just a lucky gambler. This is the first substantiated example I have seen of what their past earnings truly are.

Don't tell us that anybody out there is dumb enough to BELIEVE that the only reason WN remained profitable was because of the hedges. The hedges kept them from having to spike fares, in other words, increase revenue and in so doing, put them in even more of a competitive advantage. WN isn't the only carrier hedging fuel either by the way.