Southwest Airlines: In a Different World - Team 3
1.) Why has Southwest Airlines been more successful than its competitors?
Herb Kelleher and Rollin King established Southwest Airlines in 1967. For the
first few years, Southwest Airlines battled illegal lawsuits from larger airlines that did not
want Southwest to enter the market. After many years in the courts Southwest Airlines
was able to offer flights to customers. Starting a new company with large expenses is not
an easy task. Southwest Airlines had to find a way to stand out to customers so they could
sell their airline tickets. In the beginning Southwest offered a low fair price to fly. One of
their promotions was a one-way ...view middle of the document...
Southwest brought innovation to customers and the
airline industry. Many airlines started to take after Southwest and adopt some of their
ideas after seeing how much success Southwest Airlines has created.
2.) How has the original strategy altered in recent years?
Southwest Airlines originally offered low airfares, forcing other competitive airlines
to lower theirs as well. Many major airlines offered complete meals, where as Southwest
Airlines did not. This contributed to why they were able to offer lower costing flights.
Herb Kelleher introduced the idea of handing out small snacks such as peanuts and
alcohol at a price. This small amount of food gave passengers a snack while keeping the
preparation and cleanup to a minimum for the stewardesses. Southwest raised their
airfares and gave non-alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages and snacks for free during
flight. Hiring younger, more attractive stewardesses they created the marketing scheme
“Long legs and short skirts”. Southwest has strayed away from this concept but still hires
interesting stewardesses. Southwest Airlines never offered first class which potentially
could have pushed some customers to other airlines. Southwest recently created a
business class though, which gives more room and a separate area of the plane – though
this is not comparable to first class offered by other airlines. Southwest started their
company offering only three flights to Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio Texas. Now
Southwest Airlines has flights to every major city in the lower 48 states, except
Cincinnati. Today, Southwest Airlines flies more passengers than any other airline.
Fortune Magazine has made them in the top ten companies for the past four years.
Having almost 700 Boeing 737’s planes, Southwest Airlines has grown dramatically from
its original 3 planes and continues to grow each year.
3.) How have these changes affected Southwest’s key success factors?
In terms of success, times, technology and what is aesthetically appealing to
consumers is constantly changing - so in order for a company to remain successful they
must learn to roll with the punches and make some changes along the way. Southwest
Airlines is still growing in popularity today, so we would say that the changes have
definitely affected Southwest’s key success factors. As previously stated, what started
Southwest Airlines success was the low prices of their flights, then it was the free drinks
with a little bit higher priced tickets, and now it is the environment and the perks they
offer as well as convince. These changes have made Southwest stronger as a company
and after a little bit of trial and error they have found a system that truly works for them.
4.) Conduct a stakeholder analysis.
There are several stakeholders both inside and outside of the company. The main
stakeholders within the company are the executive leadership starting with CEO Gary
Kelly who was on the top of the pyramid...