Southwest Airline is the Gift that Keeps on Giving – giving business lessons on how to run a successful airline.
- First, when they were created, Herb Kelleher’s vision was to make flying domestically affordable for more people – and that they did. A recent ad concludes with someone (presumably the captain) saying over the speaker, “You’re now free to move around the country” (a takeoff on “you’re now free to move about the cabin”). Southwest Air fares are lower than many other airlines. And yet, they’re very profitable. In fact, in an industry plagued by losses, it’s managed to make a profit EVERY year!
- Next of note is their culture: When founder Herb Kelleher asked about it, said, “Someone can go out and buy Boeing aircraft and put up ticket counters, but they can’t beat our culture, our esprit de corps”. When pressed further, he said, “We care about employees, not just at work, but in the totality of their lives!”
Is “Corporate America” watching and listening? It doesn’t seem so.
- Just in case people are paying attention, Southwest Air chose for their New York Stock Exchange symbol LUV.
- I noticed a Southwest Airline ad a few years ago, in which it showed employees volunteering in the community. No mention of cheap tickets or great customer service.
- Most recently, they have an ad describing their “TransFAREncy” policy. In the ad, they promise they are not trying to fool the customer. In the ad they say, “We don’t just fly you; we like you.” The symbol for this program is a Heart. To see the ad and read about it, go here.
Do you get the message yet, Corporate America, especially CEOs and head Human Resources officers? If you don’t yet get it, that’s okay. Southwest Airlines will keep finding ways to get the message across!
Source: Southwest Image Library