groups (A, B, C) and a number when they check in. The
number refers to where they stand in line at the gate.
Group A boards first, and once on board, passengers may
sit anywhere they like.
Southwest grows by entering new markets other airlines overprice and underserve. The company believes
it can bring fares down by one-third to one-half whenever
it enters a new market, and it expands every market it
serves by making flying affordable to people who could
not afford it before. Southwest currently serves 68 cities in
35 states, usually secondary cities with smaller airports
that have lower gate fees and less congestion —another
factor that leads to faster turnaround and lower fares. ...view middle of the document...
5 billion gallons of
jet fuel each year so even/ minor change adds up. The
airline estimates that these changes saved $1.6 million in
fuel costs over just three months.
Southwest has pioneered services and programs
such as same-day freight service, senior discounts. Fun
Fares, and Ticketless Travel. It was the first airline with a
Web site, the first to deliver live updates on ticket deals,
and the first to post a blog. Despite its reputation for low
fares and no-frills service. Southwest wins the hearts of
customers. It consistently ranks at the top of lists of
customer service for airlines and receives the lowest ratio
of complaints per passenger.
Southwest has been ranked by Fortune magazine as
the United States' most admired airline since 1997, the
fifth-most admired corporation in 2007, and one of the
top five best places to work. Its financial results also
shine: the company has been profitable for 37 straight
years. It has been the only airline to report profits every
quarter since September 1 1 , 2 0 0 1 , and one of the few
with no layoffs amid a travel slump created by the slow
economy and the threat of terrorism.
Although the hot pants are long gone, the LUVing
spirit remains at the heart of Southwest. The company's
stock symbol on the NYSE is LUV, and red hearts can be
found across the company. These symbols embody the
Southwest spirit of employees "caring about themselves,
each other, and Southwest's customers." "Our fares can
be matched; our airplanes and routes can be copied. But
we pride ourselves on our customer service," said...