Southwest Airlines - What makes them so successful? Discusses the advertising and management techniques that makes Southwest Airlines so profitable.

Essay by terry.choaUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, February 2004

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When discussing airlines, one small but powerful name stands out; Southwest Airlines. This airline positions itself as different for a number of reasons. The most logical is that they are the only short haul, low-fare, high-frequency, point to point carrier in America. The airline flies to fifty eight cities in thirty states and they offer numerous flights to the same cities each day. This makes them very convenient for travelers. Southwest Airlines also values their employees very much. The airline prides itself in being a great place to work. They state that their people are wonderful. They reward the employees' productivity and treat them with respect. They have an excellent relationship with the employees and the labor organizations that represent them. Southwest also has a very strong customer service policy. The airline began the first profit-sharing plan in the U.S. airline industry. Employees own at least ten percent of the Company stock.

The mission statement says "we always try to do the right thing". This has led the way to the airline industry's best cumulative consumer satisfaction record, according to the US Department of Transportation. They tell the employees that they are in the Customer Service business, they just happen to provide airline transportation.

Southwest Airlines offers open seating. You must still obtain a boarding pass on a first come, first served basis, but once you are allowed to board the plane, you can use any unoccupied seat. This makes boarding much quicker and there fore more efficient. They also do not serve meals once the plane has reached a cruising altitude. You are given a "bag lunch" as you board the plane. This enables them to provide you with a snack, without the stewards taking the time to serve you. Most of the flights are relatively short, so they...