Southwest Airlines Case Study

1430 Words 6 Pages
It was only but 44 years ago in 1971 in Dallas, TX where one of the world’s most famous airlines would emerge! Started as a very small regional carrier, flying only from Houston, TX to Dallas, TX. Founded by Rollin King, a business man who graduated from Harvard University with a Master in Business Administration and Herb Kelleher who graduated from Wesleyan University with a Bachelors in English. Southwest Airlines to this day have kept a great reputation among many customers and have continued to beat the competition back to back. Southwest made their airline different in many ways to keep it a unique airline in competitive times.
One way they did this was by hiring pretty flight attendants in very short pants for the time. Of course who
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Southwest earned their motto by excellent customer service and from having the prettiest flight attendants serving “love bites”. It goes to show that they want to express their gratitude to their customers because like any good airline. They know that customers are the heart of the airline which keeps the fuel burning that keeps them alive. So in 1977 they listed their company ticker in the New York Stock Exchange as “LUV”. Southwest’s mission statement was, “dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit” (Southwest, 1988). Though their great customer service didn’t stop there, when the Department of Transportation started ranking all airlines solely based on baggage handling, on time arrivals and customer service, Southwest out did its larger, more costly competitors to win the first “Triple Crown” for them in 1992. The “Triple Crown” award is given to an airline when an airline wins in three top categories. They kept winning them year after year. This was amazing for such a new airline, compared to the richer, bigger ones like American airlines or Delta who started in the 1930’s era and have had a big lead. In 1993, when Southwest was expanding to the East Coast via Baltimore/Washington International Airport, Southwest was the only major carrier to take home a profit. By Jan, 1982 after the Airline Deregulation, Southwest expanded routes to LAS (Las Vegas), PHX (Phoenix), SAN (San Diego), and MCI (Kansas City). Slowly adding more routes throughout the years and expanding their wings. By adding more routes, Southwest attracted many more customers. Thus, this created major profits for Southwest increasing the 2nd quarter earnings by as much as 15%! By 1984 Southwest was number 1 in the country overall for 4 years in a row. By 1998 Southwest Airlines grew to the 5th largest US airline, which carried over 51 million passengers

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