Running head: SW Airlines Case Study
Cardinal Stritch University
Advanced Marketing Management
September 3, 2013
Scott A. Braucht, MBA
In the 1940s travel via airplane was a privilege. Men wore a suit and tie and women wore dresses with a hat and gloves. Parents would endure a 27 hour flight from the middle of the country to Hawaii to see their soldier son at Pearle Harbor. Air travel was a luxury. Customers expected the best in treatment. Chef prepared meals were served on white china with glassware and silverware. A lot has changed since that time. There are a number of discount airlines today. They come and go, but ...view middle of the document...
There are no blankets, no pillows, no movies, no internet access, and limited beverages. Passengers know this when purchasing a ticket; they don’t expect any “extras”. Behind the scenes Southwest knows that the heavier a plane is the more fuel it will consume. So leadership purchases fuel through hedging and Southwestern Airlines takes steps to ensure the planes weigh less. This includes using materials in the seats that weigh less, providing less water to the fixtures in the bathrooms and power washing the engines to remove excess dirt each night.
Southwest Airlines’ website also talks about their customer service records and focus on superior service. Does Southwest deliver on this secondary marketing strategy? According to The American Customer Satisfaction Index (Martin, 2013), Southwest Airlines was rated an 81 on a 100 point scale. In that survey customers identified customer services as one of the highest indictors of quality and what they looked for in a low fare airline.
As a low fare airline, Southwest has identified a segment of the airline market that is looking for those lower fares. Consider Delta Airlines and its customer base. Delta is a world-wide carrier. Its customers want access. Even though they are concerned with price it is not their first priority. Delta customers want convenience. Delta also understands its market. Presumably they...