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Did Southwest Kill Deregulation?

Tue Jul 24, 2001 10:23 am

On a PBS special regarding air travel since 1960, they made the comment that Southwest killed deregulation by showing that a cheap, no-frills carrier could survive and give the public what they wanted. Do you think this is true?

RE: Did Southwest Kill Deregulation?

Tue Jul 24, 2001 10:51 am

I was just watching that and they used Southwest to show that it would work,deregulation never died so it doesnt really make scence

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RE: Did Southwest Kill Deregulation?

Tue Jul 24, 2001 11:11 am

Maybe not just Southwest, but I would say the Texas-based political power and the campaign donations of the honchos at Texas based airlines killed deregulation, definately...

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RE: Did Southwest Kill Deregulation?

Tue Jul 24, 2001 11:18 am

Actually deregulation was signed in to law during the Jimmy Carter administration. Southwest and United were the two airlines pushing hardest for it. American Airlines and Delta were the two largest airlines in opposition. It was a classic piece of law making in Washingtion. Lots of well paid airline lobbyists on both sides. And today we have the wonderful results. The weakest airlines went under or merged, the strongest are still in and fighting for even greater market share and efficiencies. has many forums. It has spell check and search functions. Use them before posting!
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RE: Did Southwest Kill Deregulation?

Tue Jul 24, 2001 12:00 pm

Don't you mean they killed regulation?
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RE: Did Southwest Kill Deregulation?

Tue Jul 24, 2001 2:57 pm

I agree with GoeingBoeing.

You mean WN killed regulation?? Deregulation is still law and WN has been the most successful company to benefit from it.

If you want to argue who might kill deregulation, it would be the big 3. Ultimately, theoretically it maybe just the big 3, providing outrageous fares, no service, massive delays and MAYBE safety concerns, therefore possibly encouraging the government to reregulate.l
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RE: Did Southwest Kill Deregulation?

Tue Jul 24, 2001 3:06 pm

All the show was trying to point out was that an intra-state airline (ie...a company not regulated by the CAB) could still grow to profitability. The show stated that Texas and California were the only two suitable markets at the time, and of the two, Texas was the more underserved. And, so Southwest was born, starting with three planes serving three Texan cities.
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RE: Did Southwest Kill Deregulation?

Tue Jul 24, 2001 3:52 pm

Southwest is actually all that's keeping deregulation alive in many markets. Deregulation was supposed to mean that airlines let the market drive their costs and fares down to economically sound levels in a "volume" profit philosophy. Deregulation was *not* intended to mean that the biggest, high-cost airlines shut down the free market and gouge medium and small-size cities with a bloodthirsty "margin" profit philosophy. As we all know the latter is what happened.

Southwest as we all know forces the Oligopoly/ Six Mafia Families to lower their outrageous fares at markets they enter. Southwest liberates medium size cities, and small cities within driving distance, with its just and good "volume" profit philosophy. Southwest has also shown conclusively that the volume philosophy, properly managed, beats the pants off the mafia gougers every time when the low-fare product is good.

Southwest fliers know that WN's product--friendly and helpful employees, clean new jets, uncongested hub operations, an FF program one can use easily, and good handling of the flight delays that do occur--is the best in the industry. WN makes deregulation a reality for the communities it serves.

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RE: Did Southwest Kill Deregulation?

Wed Jul 25, 2001 5:15 am

From what I recall of the debate surrounding deregulation, the main benefits cited by proponents of the then-pending legislation were to allow the airlines freedom to give the travelling public what they wanted and fares that more people could afford -- which were largely one in the same.

Once deregulated, the airline marketplace promptly sent the message that what the public wanted above all, beyond the basics of safety, reliability and respectful treatment, was more reasonable fares for air travel. Frills were of far lesser imortance, and of minimal or no concern on short-haul flights.

Since Southwest is consistently ranked #1 in Customer satisfaction surveys, they have obviously been successful in giving the public what it wants. From its beginnings before the dawn of deregulation, Southwest's record in the areas of safety, reliability, and satisfied Customers is unsurpassed by any U.S. airline.

Southwest has also been, by far, the most significant factor in keeping air travel within the means of more people. If anyone thinks the other major U.S. airlines share the same agenda, take a look at fares in virtually any market where Southwest or another no-nonsense, low-cost carrier is not present or nearby to spoil the price-gouging parties of the full-service majors.

Therefore, how anyone can suggest that Southwest in any way killed deregulation is far beyond my comprehension. If anything, Southwest has kept the true intent of deregulation alive by making it an unavoidable issue (how else does one explain United Shuttle, Delta Express and MetroJet?) by its eminent success in giving the public what it wants most: safe, reliable, air transport at reasonable cost.

Moreover, the unrivaled financial success Southwest has derived from giving the public the basics it most wants in air travel has no doubt inspired others, including jetBlue, Air Tran, ATA, and Sun Country, as well as Westjet, easyJet and Ryanair, to give the public more opportunities to chose what it wants most when travelling by air.

To answer the two-part question posed by the starter thread of this topic: 1) "A thousand times FALSE!" to the notion that Southwest may have killed deregulation, and, 2) "A thousand times TRUE!" to the observation that Southwest has proven that a no-frills airline offering low-fares could survive -- and thrive, through good times and bad -- by giving the public what they most want when travelling by air.
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RE: Did Southwest Kill Deregulation?

Wed Jul 25, 2001 4:33 pm

In a lot of ways, Southwest is a deregulation success story. Prior to deregulation, they were a Texas-only airline, and if they wanted to fly outside of Texas, they would have had to go to the federal CAB in order to even get considered for out of state routes. What also helped Southwest was the fact that two of it's biggest competitors, TTA and Braniff struggled in the early pro-deregulation years. TTA eventually merged with Continental, and we saw the problem they had in the last decade or so; and Braniff went belly-up. Deregulation is indeed still alive and well, even though the majors are not exactly operating fairly within the tenets of deregulation.

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