Are Airline Leaders Blind?

I can’t get over the fact that Southwest Airlines continues, year after year, to take advantage of its creativity, innovation and customer loyalty to create ways to remain profitable as its competitors drop like flies.

I wonder if it ever dawned on the other airlines to take a look at how Southwest conducts business, treats employees, and values customers. It’s so simple … observe, duplicate, prosper.

For example, Southwest has increased its share of the domestic market this past year by about 1%, which equated to about $100 MILLION dollars. Every other airline in the U.S. lost money during that same period of time.

Here’s the obvious truth that the other airlines can’t seem to see:

Southwest is the only airline in the nation that allows passengers to fly with two bags at no charge!

All other airlines are charging $20 to $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second. That means that recession-weary fliers are paying an additional $100 for a round trip flight!

In addition, all fliers know they’re not paying extra for the bags. Airlines are simply increasing their prices under the guise of luggage fees. So in addition to the $100+ ticket increase, you also receive an insult to your intelligence.

The Southwest “bags fly free” campaign has driven traffic growth for the Texas-based airline at a time when it is actually reducing its capacity and the domestic market is actually shrinking.

The other airlines increased their prices via the “bag scam” in order to make more money off each of their customers. In reality, they’ve lost customer headcount and, as a result, a sufficient amount of money.

Last year, checked bag fees added up to close to $2.5 BILLION for airlines. And yet Southwest, with no bag fees gained $100 million while all other airlines lost money.

You certainly don’t need a calculator to figure that one out … unless you work for one of the other airlines.

Customer Service = Customer Loyalty = Profitability

Customer Abuse = Loss of Customers = Disaster

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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