Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines / customer / airline / success

Essay Topic:

The business analysis of the history of the Southwest Airlines and the dedication of the company to its customers.

Essay Questions:

How did Southwest Airlines struggle to become #1 customer’s choice? What innovations were introduced by the Southwest Airlines to make the consumers feel as comfortable as possible? What advertising recognitions did the company obtain?

Thesis Statement:

Southwest Airlines never gave promises it could not keep and looking through its history makes it obvious that it has always been a company whose main characteristic was “trustworthy”.


Southwest Airlines

"Our success in no way depends on the failure

of anybody else, but on our own achievements"

Southwest Airlines

Introduction: The history of the Southwest Airlines is the story of 32 years of hard work and dedication. It is a story of “being different” from others and “being better” than any other airline. From the very start of the existence of the Southwest Airlines Rollin King and Herb Kelleher decided that it’s main goal would be to get passengers to their destinations at the time they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make sure they have a good time doing it. A simple but hard to keep promise. To be “different” from others was the only way to survive and to stand out in the struggle for #1 customer’s choice. Southwest Airlines did even more than that. Southwest Airlines paved its way to the top owing to all the innovations, which it ushered in making the flights easier, better and cheaper for its customers. Southwest was the first airline with a frequent flyer program to give credit for the number of trips taken and not the number of miles flown. It pioneered senior discounts, Fun Fares, Fun Packs, a same-day airfreight delivery service, ticketless travel, and many other unique programs. Southwest Airlines never gave promises it could not keep and looking through its history makes it obvious that it has always been a company whose main characteristic was “trustworthy”. It makes a difference; a real difference that makes people chose and trust Southwest Airlines. Not assigning seats also makes a contribution in the Southwest difference. On one hand in a way it breaks the “rules” but on the other it forms new ”rules” that are being used in the Southwest Airlines empire. Or it would be better to say the “empire of difference”.

One of the promotional tools used by the Southwest Airlines was the word “love”. The company originally used it in 1971 in its first advertisement. This word by itself makes every person feel comfortable and protected. So the success of such slogans as: “How do we love you? Let’s count the ways”(1971) and for instance ”We are spreading love”(1977) was great. Every time Southwest Airlines started to fly to a new city it would say for example: “We are spreading love all over Texas” or “We are spreading love to Austin, Corpus” or any other place. The company marked the cities it flew to with hearts n the map. Even the stocks of the company are listed on the Stock Exchange as "LUV”. It is also important to point out that Southwest Airlines did not just do their best in being “different” but also were highly recognized by numerous awards. The recognition of the company’s hard work and success started in 1988 when it became the first airline to win the amazing Triple Crown award - Best On-time Record, Best Baggage Handling, and Fewest Customer Complaints. Southwest Airlines have won it thirty times, with a shocking success of five annual Triple Crowns for 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996. In addition to that awards the company got an award for Best Customer Service, Best Bonus Promotion, and Best Award Redemption at “Inside Flyer” magazine’s 15th annual Freddie Awards. This company made a tremendous contribution into the commercial airline industry and no other airline has contributed more than that. Southwest Airlines was proud of its achievements and found a way to introduce them to the whole world. One of the brightest examples of advertising the company was the Triple Crown plane, dedicated to the employees of Southwest Airlines for their marvelous achievement of five consecutive annual Triple Crown awards. It was the advertisement of hard work, dedication and keeping promises.

Conclusion: As it was mentioned before the company has made and continues making various innovations that do not only help it to stand out among its competitors but make a weighty contribution into the advancement of the general commercial airline industry. Southwest Airlines introduced such innovations as: ticketless travel, same-day airport cargo delivery, self-service checking kiosks (to reduce the amount of time Southwest Customers spend in line); visually distinctive Winglets (started extending the airplane’s range, saving fuel, lowering engine, maintenance costs, and reducing takeoff noise); online boarding passes via (allows the customers to proceed to their departure gate without stopping at the ticket counter, skycap, or self-service kiosk) and many more. Southwest Airlines is a company whose main priority is outstanding service. And shows the best results in “spreading love” all over the United States. It has grown to become one of the largest airlines in America. The message of the advertisement has a lot to do with the respect towards the efforts that people put into working out and going in for sports in order to lose weight. The scales “promise” their owners to provide the stimulus to keep working out by showing the progress that may be not even visible for the person or showed on other scales.


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