Due to their unique strategy, Southwest Airlines has been one of the leading and fast-
growing U.S. airlines in this nation. They have attracted an appealing taste to their consumers –
with their unspeakable prices and service - that has allowed them to become a profitable and
successful company. In the New York Times, an article written by the Bloomberg Business
News, they calculated that “Shares of Southwest rose $2.625, to $21.50, on the New York Stock
Exchange where 3.61 million shares were traded, almost five and a half times the three month
daily average” (Bloomberg Business News). This prospering airline succeeds in the domestic
market of airlines because of their unconventional, distinctive, and “cheap” strategy. In the
article titled Southwest Blazes Profitable Trail, the author states, “What makes Southwest so
special is that everything it does is the exact opposite of more conventional and costly U.S.
The initial business plan and strategy was very simple and straightforward; a trait that
attracted people all over the U.S. Their number one reason for attraction is because of their low
fares and tickets for flights – which is the ultimate bargain for consumers. This is due to the
following reasons. Their planes flew from point-to-point rather than using the major airlines hub-
and-spoke pattern. There were no assigned seating; essentially it was a first-come-first serve
basis. Southwest served no meals, only snacks. They have the bring-your-own meal philosophy.
This was a good aspect considering people do not fly airlines for the food and this also kept costs
low – beneficial to Southwest and their customers. They did not charge passengers a fee to
change same-fare tickets. There was no electronic entertainment which customers had to rely on
the flight attendants for entertainment. In addition, they did not offer a retirement plan but
offered their employees a profit-sharing plan, thus keep fixed costs low. Most importantly,
Southwest provides key, signature customer service, an aspect that truly stuck to their consumers.
Even in their mission statement accessible on their website, they strive for the “highest quality of
Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company
Spirit” (Southwest Airlines Co.). Basically, Peter Morton could sum up the reasons of
Southwest’s success in his article by saying, “Besides low fares, it is also renowned among U.S.
passengers for its ultra-friendly service, low baggage loss rate, bring-your-meal philosophy and
high frequency of service” (Morton).
However, Southwest came across an obstacle during their course of success. They had to