Those who fail to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it
In an attempt to improve low loads factors between SAT & DAL, on Jan 22, 1973 SWA cut it's fare in half, to $13. No restrictions, any seat any flight. On Feb 1st Braniff launched it's counter attack by slashing their fare between DAL & HOU. Full page newspaper ads announced that Braniff pax could fly from Dallas to Houston for only $13 to "get acquainted with the airline".
Braniff had struck what appeared to be a lethal blow. While Dallas-Houston was a small part of Braniff operations, it was fledgling Southwests only moneymaker. Losing the Love-Hobby market to Braniff would mean the end for tiny Southwest. With very low cash reserves, matching Braniffs fares would bankrupt Southwest Airlines.
The rebuttal was to be Southwests most famous ad:
"Nobdoy's going to shoot Southwest out of the air for a lousy $13"
...the headline of a two page spread that ran in the Dallas and Houston papers. It explained how Braniff was trying to put Southwest out of business, then went on to say that SWA would not only match Braniffs fare, it would offer every passenger a choice:
the $13 fare
a regular $26 ticket and a complimentary fifth of Chivas Regal, Crown Royal or Smirnoff Vodka!
The business travellers loved it. They could write the $26 off, and keep the free liquor. For that two month period it's said that Southwest became the largest distributor of Chivas Regal, Crown Royal & Smirnoff in Texas!
Breaking the story as a David & Goliath duel in which the little guy didn't stand a chance, they media played a critical role in helping SWA capture the hearts (and pocketbooks) of travelers all over Texas. To Braniffs dismay, 76% of SWAs pax paid the $26 and took the liquor.
The Braniff plan had backfired, and Southwest had, once again, outsmarted a more powerful competitor. Braniff terminated DAL-HOU service in 1975.
from the great little book "Nuts: Southwest Airlines Crazy Recipe for Business & Personal Success" by K & J Friedberg.