Southwest Airlines

Topics: Southwest Airlines, Low-cost carrier, Airline Pages: 18 (5886 words) Published: May 9, 2013
Marketing Excellence
Southwest Airlines

“fees don’t fly with us”

Prof. Dr. Osman Karatepe
Ghazal Adel Fahmideh
Tour 504
Southwest Airlines Co. is the largest low-cost carrier in the United States, and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. The airline was established in 1967, by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher. Southwest begins flying within the state of Texas (between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio) with three Boeing 737 aircraft. Today Southwest operates nearly 400 Boeing 737 aircraft to 59 U.S. cities. Southwest has the lowest operating cost structure in the domestic airline industry and consistently offers the lowest and simplest fares. Southwest also has one of the best overall customer service records. Moreover, It is one of the few airlines with no layoffs aimed a travel slump created by the slow economy and the threat of terrorism. Southwest offers types of products and services which include; air transportation, mobile access, shuttle service, priority boarding, early bird check-in, and pet allowance. Southwest has pioneered in Senior Fares, a same-day air freight delivery service, Fun Fares, and Ticketless Travel. Southwest was the first airline with web page-, DING! The first-ever direct link to Customer’s computer desktops that delivers live updates on ticket deals, and the first airline corporate blog. A timeline of key dates in Southwest Airlines history:

1971 - Southwest begins flying between Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The idea for the airline was hatched over drinks by San Antonio lawyer Herb Kelleher and one of his clients, Rollin King, who ran a small charter service in Texas. 1972 - Southwest was forced to sell one of its four planes to meet payroll. Employees made up for the lost jet by turning planes around and starting the next flight in 10 minutes. 1973 - Southwest makes money, starting a string of 36 straight profitable years. 1974 - A new Flight Attendant uniform is introduced—the Company's third -- a play of white polka dots on orange for blouse with rust shade of orange hot pants and aviator jacket – to become effective. 1975 - Southwest places fifth Boeing 737 into service.

1976 - Sixth Boeing 737 is placed into service.
1977 - Flight Attendants sport a new look for "spreading LUV all over Texas." The new uniforms feature a 1977 version of hot pants—none cuffed, front zippered, and fitted at the waist for a sleek look. For summer, Southwest is introducing an overalls-styled outfit combining a miniskirt or bib-like top of denim satin polyester. 1978 - Herb Kelleher becomes interim CEO for several months, and gets the job full-time in 1981. 1979 - Southwest begins service in New Orleans. Until Congress deregulated the airline industry (in 1978), Southwest couldn't fly beyond Texas. 1980 - Southwest announces the highest passenger traffic in its history with a 22.8% increase to 498,083 passengers in April 1980, compared to 405,664 passengers in April 1979. 1981 - "Loving You Is What We Do" is the theme of a multi-media advertising campaign launching Southwest's second decade of service. 1982 - Expands service to California.

1983 - Southwest begins retrofitting the fleet with new, shiny interiors of leather and warm earth tones. 1984 - Houston Pilot Base opens- its first crew base outside of Dallas 1985 - Begins service at Chicago's Midway Airport. Acquires a competitor, Muse Air. 1987 - Southwest first began to offer a frequent-flyer program , calling it The Company Club. Unlike competitor's programs which were based on miles flown, The Company Club credited for trips flown regardless of distance 1988 - Ticket By Mail is born.

1989 - Annual revenue passes $1 billion.
1990 - Southwest accepts delivery of the newest, most technologically advanced, and quietest aircraft in the world today—the Boeing 737-500. 1991 - "Friends Fly Free" is introduced. Every full-fare Customer, age 18 or older, can take along a friend of any age absolutely free....
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