Keep doing what you are doing Southwest

I am still catching up on my reading from the last two weeks.

I ran across an article in WSJ’s Dec. 23rd edition titled “Southwest Air Considers Shift In Its Approach”. The article has very little to do with Southwest. The article states Southwest is considering buying Embraer 190’s to their fleet. The rest of the article is about what all of the other low-cost airlines are doing.

You may know the only plane that Southwest flies is Boeing 737s. The reason is they are the lowest cost plane to fly. Imagine the indirect benefits the Southwest gets from flying one type of plane (maintenance, parts, pilot training, etc.). Southwest’s CFO Gary Kelly estimates the Embraer per-seat cost would be 15% to 25% higher than their current fleet.

The article ends with a quote from Kelly that I think correctly sums up their market:

We think the driving factor in choosing an airline is the fare.

Why change?

2 thoughts on “Keep doing what you are doing Southwest

  1. I totally agree cost is a primary factor in deciding what airlines to choose. It is with a lot of people or sites such as Orbitz and Travelocity would not exist.

  2. The driving factor in choosing an airline is the fare only for the sorts of passengers Southwest serves. Once you’re out of the realm of the rock-bottom price, major airlines (not counting Southwest or other discount airlines) all tend to have fares that are within five or ten dollars of each other for a given destination. The driving factors for me then become 1) comfort (I’m 6’3″ and American had me for a while with their More Room in Coach plan, which they are, sadly, phasing out), 2) convenience (for a given trip I’ll rule out half the airlines from the start because they don’t offer a flight at a time that’s convenient for me, or because they connect through some out-of-the-way airport or have a three-hour layover), and 3) my own preferences and experiences with various airlines.

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