Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Introduction

A well-known American airline that uses a low-cost carrier model is Southwest Airlines Co. With scheduled service to 121 locations across the US and 10 other countries, it is based in Dallas, Texas. 2018 saw more domestic passengers flown by Southwest than by any other US airline. According to passengers flown, it is currently the third-largest airline in North America.
Herb Kelleher and Rollin King founded the airline on March 9, 1967 under the name Air Southwest Co. It changed its name to Southwest Airlines Co. in 1971 and started operating as an intrastate airline only within the state of Texas, initially serving the routes of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. In 1979, it started providing regional interstate service, and over the ensuing decades, it expanded nationwide. At the moment, Southwest flies to airports in 42 states and several locations in Central America.
Southwest operates a rolling hub and point-to-point network and offers free checked baggage, which sets it apart from other US airlines. Its fleet consists entirely of Boeing 737 aircraft.
During the busiest travel season, the airline employs approximately 66,100 people and makes about 4,000 daily departures.

Southwest Airlines

History

Herbert Kelleher and Rollin King launched Southwest Airlines in 1966, and the company was incorporated as Air Southwest Co. in 1967. In an attempt to stop the company from implementing its intended strategy of undercutting their prices by operating only within Texas and being exempt from oversight by the federal Civil Aeronautics Board, three other airlines—Braniff, Trans-Texas Airways, and Continental Airlines—took legal action.
The airline changed its name to Southwest Airlines in 1971 and started offering regularly scheduled flights between the Texas Triangle cities of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio after the lawsuits were settled in 1970. After the Airline Deregulation Act was passed in 1979, Southwest started operating flights to neighboring states and started operating flights to other cities in Texas in 1975. In the 1990s, it began offering service to the East and Southeast, and in 2006,, it began service to Denver, which is currently its most popular destination. Southwest enjoyed financial success for 47 years running, from 1973 to 2019.

Southwest Airlines

Places of destination

Southwest Airlines will operate flights to more than 100 locations in 42 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean as of January 2024. Instead of using other major airlines’ conventional hub-and-spoke structure, Southwest uses a point-to-point system in its base cities along with a rolling-hub model.

Southwest Airlines

Fleet

With 820 aircraft as of March 2024, Southwest Airlines’ fleet ranks fourth in the world among commercial airlines. Every aircraft operated by Southwest Airlines is a member of the narrow-body Boeing 737 family.
With the exception of a brief period during which it operated a small number of leased Boeing 727 aircraft, Southwest Airlines has operated Boeing 737 aircraft almost exclusively since its founding. Southwest is the biggest Boeing 737 operator in the world and was a customer of the 737-300, 737-500, and 737-700 at launch. In 2023, it received its 1,000th Boeing 737.
Southwest pilots and flight attendants are able to crew any aircraft in the fleet without any limitations by using a single basic aircraft type.
Southwest announced its order for one hundred MAX 7 aircraft in March 2021. With this order, Southwest Airlines became the biggest buyer of its kind. They raised their total purchase order for MAX 7 aircraft to 234 in June 2021, and then to 342 in October 2023.

Southwest Airlines

Experience of passengers

Southwest does not have business or first class cabins on its aircraft; it only provides seats in economy class. But Southwest does provide a lot of amenities, like these:
The airline allows each passenger to check in two bags for free and allows passengers to change their flight up to ten minutes before takeoff without incurring additional fees. In the case of a cancellation, travelers receive a travel credit equal to the cost of their ticket, which they can apply to future purchases on Southwest Airlines or Southwest Vacations. The credit is perpetual.
In addition to providing free nonalcoholic beverages for passengers, Southwest also sells alcoholic beverages for $6 to $7 per drink. Certain holidays like Halloween and Valentine’s Day offer free alcoholic drinks.
On every flight, there are free snacks as well. Southwest has gained notoriety for its lively boarding announcements and occasionally spontaneous musical outbursts from its crew.
Before 2007, passengers were boarded by Southwest by being divided into three groups, denoted A, B, and C. Lines of passengers would form at designated letters and boards.
Under Southwest’s “customer of size” policy, passengers who are overweight and require more space than one seat will receive a refund for the cost of the second seat.

Southwest Airlines

Onboard amusement

Wi-Fi will cost $8 as of September 2023 and support live TV streaming, movie streaming, music streaming, and messaging through apps.On August 21, 2009, Southwest announced that it would start implementing in-flight Wi-Fi Internet connectivity through Global Eagle Entertainment’s satellite-broadband-based product, following the conclusion of a testing phase that started in February 2009. Southwest started equipping its planes with WiFi in the first quarter of 2010. In the summer of 2012, the airline started testing live television streaming; in January of 2013, it started testing video on demand. Beginning on September 2, 2023, passengers will have access to live TV, movies, messaging (iMessage and WhatsApp), and real-time flight tracking information through Wi-Fi. Regular passengers will also have full Internet access available for a fee.

Southwest Airlines

Quick Benefits

June 18, 1987 saw the launch of Southwest’s first frequent flyer program, which it called The Company Club. The program credits flights regardless of distance traveled. On April 25, 1996, Southwest Airlines changed the name of its frequent flyer program to Rapid Rewards.
One credit was available for each one-way flight from an origin to a destination, including any stops or connections made on Southwest Airlines, under the original Rapid Rewards program. A complimentary round-trip ticket with a 12-month validity period was given by Southwest upon the accumulation of 16 credits over a 24-month period.
Rapid Rewards shifted to a points system based on ticket price on March 1, 2011. Based on a four-tier fare scale multiplier and the ticket price, members can accrue and use points. Moreover, there were no blackouts.

Southwest Airlines

Promoting

The business has always used comedy in its advertisements. Previous slogans have included “Love Is Still Our Field” , “Just Plane Smart” , “The Somebody Else Up There Who Loves You” , “You’re Now Free to Move About the Country” , “THE Low Fare Airline” , “Grab your bag, It’s On!” , as well as “Welcome Aboard” . As of 2022, the airline’s tagline is “Low fares.” Nothing to conceal. TransFarency is that.Stevens Aviation, which had been using “Plane Smart” as its motto, informed Southwest that it was violating its trademark in March 1992, not long after Southwest began using the slogan “Just Plane Smart.” The CEOs of the two companies staged an arm wrestle instead of filing a lawsuit. The competition, which took place at the now-demolished Dallas Sportatorium and consisted of two rounds, had a $5,000 payout requirement for the loser to donate to a charity of their choice and a trademarked phrase for the winner. Distributed among the staff members was a promotional video that depicted the CEOs “training” for the fight, with CEO Herb Kelleher being helped up during a sit-up where a cigarette and glass of Wild Turkey 101 whiskey were waiting.

Southwest Airlines

In summary

The airline is renowned for its triple-bottom-line approach, which guarantees its efficacy and efficiency, the impact on its workers and society, and a general commitment to sustainability and effectiveness, in addition to its exceptional performance and efficiency.

References

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