Southwest Airlines Case Study

2463 Words10 Pages
Enhancing Service at Southwest Airlines

Kevin Winstead
Sullivan University
MGT 620

Executive Summary

This proposal addresses the needed steps to be taken in order for Southwest Airlines to see continued growth in the airline industry. Southwest Airlines has been able to remain one of the most profitable airlines in the industry for an extended period of time. Even with the hindrance of the 2001 terrorist attacks involving airplanes and the U.S recession of 2008, Southwest has continued to see strong revenue growth. Meanwhile, other companies were experiencing major losses and in some cases folding. Southwest Airlines has capitalized on the company’s strength of being the top low cost
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Customers are part of the process and taking their roles willingly. For distribution of tickets, initially commission was given to travel agents but later Southwest implemented a “ticketless” (paperless) travel program and later the development of as a means of using the internet to sell travel directly to customers. Southwest was a true pioneer in utilizing the internet, first establishing a website in 1995. This lowered distribution cost.
Southwest has an average turnaround time of 25 minutes. This is quite lower than the industry average. For this success, the factors that were responsible were; an absence of meals on all Southwest flights, a limited amount of checked luggage on Southwest’s typically 60- to 90- minutes flights, a near-uniform configuration for all of its 737 aircraft, a team-oriented approach to ground services with team measures for turning around planes and freedom to do whatever necessary to get a plane pushed off on time with a high speed boarding process.

Southwest has a great reputation of treating their passengers like family, often telling jokes and word games during the flights. Southwest also treats their employees very well, offering a wide range of perks and benefits. Southwest employees are routinely the highest paid in the industry.

Average First Year Airline Pilot Salary

Source:, an industry career page (Aug, 2011)


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