Southwest adds value by being one of the highest standard-setters in the airline industry. It is different from any other airline not only with its low prices, yet its “fun” flying atmosphere and culture which makes it an option that does not exclude or categorize travelers by class or income. Southwest provides an all-inclusive flying experience with no assigned eating, no baggage fees and total comfort.
The competitive priorities for Southwest are to have the best employees possible to make the best flight experience possible. Not being afraid to hire those who “color outside the lines” is instrumental to company culture and it is apparent that Southwest does not take itself too seriously to create a strict regulated flying experience, compared to other airlines. It is quite lax in baggage fees, seating and more that keeps the cost low for customers while they do the hard work.
Southwest is for all traveling customers. There are “classes” that provide other features for those traveling for different reasons, but the flight experience is inclusive of all who pay for a seat. Service remains the same for all, seats are not assigned and even the crew members are all in it together to make sure customers have the best experience.
Kelleher never took a pay raise or bonus in his time there and opted for low operating costs with avoiding bigger airports and keeping plane turnaround quick.
Southwest must maintain its culture of human to go along with what it has always provided for customers—a fun flying experience. Herb Kelleher insisted that an airline be fun for employees and passengers and to do this, it has to keep people at the core of its businesses, as well as hiring people who like to serve and make others happy and are not just all work and no play.
Even if Southwest were missing out on easy money, money cannot be its only goal. The goal is to make passengers happy and provide them with safe, quality and efficient flights. No baggage fees indicate that dedication to them, rather than just attempting to squeeze money out of them.
I attribute the airlines’ success primarily to its low price. It is consistently profitable by keeping things simple and not creating too much division or separation between its passengers who all have one thing in mind—to get to their destination safely.
Southwest faces changing economies and lowered income among customers, which may mean that leisure activities like travel are the first to go. To combat this, Southwest can continue to offer low price fares.