In terms of airlines, Southwest is brilliant. Southwest started out as a small company, with a positive attitude and low price, and then eventually grew into one of the largest airlines in the world, with the same positive attitude and low prices. Southwest’s founders and employees knew what passengers were looking for when it came to flying, low prices and a hassle free experience and became committed to delivering both of those qualities to their customers. However, when it comes to delivering those qualities to thousands of customers all over the country daily, a company needs to be meticulous. It is my opinion that Southwest Airlines acquired AirTran too quickly, and therefore Southwest’s reputation of providing customers with low prices and a hassle free ...view middle of the document...
Because Southwest spent so much money acquiring AirTran (1.4 billion dollars), if the acquisition fails, it’s not something that Southwest can just write off.
I believe that before Southwest airlines buys AirTran, the companies should have a trial period. During the trial period, Southwest’s pilots should try to fly the Boeing 717’s, and AirTran pilots should try to fly the Boeing 737’s. Management should also rotate flight crews and air personal, that way all employees can get used to working with one another. After the trial period (which would hopefully be around 6 months), management should survey both AirTran and Southwest’s employees and customers to see how each felt about customer service.
It is my belief that after the trial period is over, all Southwest employees will have helped merge AirTran employees into the “LUV” way. Hopefully this will make the actual merger of the 2 airlines go more smoothly, and it might even improve Southwest’s deliverance of low prices and a hassle free experience to customers. Management will also rest assured knowing that both Southwest’s pilots and AirTran’s pilots can fly both types of planes.
After browsing Southwest’s website, it appears to me that even though Southwest’s owns AirTran, Southwest is letting AirTran still be a separate company. However the website also states that eventually the 2 will fully merge, offering more flight options and a loyalty program to their customers. I think only time will tell to see how the full merger works, but I believe that is it in the best interest of both companies and the customers to move slowly into one company.
1) Inkpen, A. (n.d.). Southwest Airlines. Thunderbird School of Global Management, 16-16
2) "Southwest® & AirTran® Network Connectivity." Journey to One Airline. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.