Southwest Airlines, owned by Southwest Airlines Company, is a passenger airline primarily operating in the United States. Based on information in their annual stockholders report (Southwest Airlines, 2012), they provide scheduled air transportation for passengers departing and arriving from 103 cities in 41 states. This is limited compared to some of the larger airlines. The airline is the largest US domestic airlines based on the total number of originating passengers boarded. This does not mean they are the largest by fleet size or number of employees. Because of the point to point model rather than the typical hub and spoke model, 71% of Southwest’s fares are non-stop allowing them to increase the total passengers per day per plane.
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This mission statement leads one to believe Southwest has shifted their marketing strategy. Gwynne stated Southwest ranked seventh out of eighteen carriers in on-time travel for the twelve months ending in November 2011. Southwest still has some low cost fares, but cheaper flights can be found on other airlines. Maybe low cost and on time is not what is important to Sothwest’s customers anymore. This is evident based on Southwest having fewer customer complaints and rank high in customer satisfaction. They also have never had a passenger fatality. No other airlines have had a better safety record in the history of the industry per Gwynne.
Southwest Airlines has never operated a first class or business section. This was a weakness in their strategy which alienated some market segments. Based on Southwest Airlines (n.d.) web site, Southwest created a three tare price system that allows business or frequent travelers to pay to board the aircraft first. This allows them to choose better seats closer to the front of the planes. Most casual travelers are just looking for the low cost solution for travel. Southwest also rolled out a new travel rewards program in 2011 to entice more business professional to fly Southwest. This tactic has helped increase business travel on Southwest, but businesses are using alternate methods to communicate to their