Southwest first expanded to the East Coast in 1993, with service to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. In 1994, the company acquired Morris Air, a Salt Lake City, Utah based airline. That same year, Southwest launched several programs to cut costs. A ticket less system reduced travel agents commissions, and Southwest began to use an in-house reservation system.
By 1997, Southwest Airlines served cities in all parts of the continental United States. This same year, Southwest formed an alliance with Icelandair. This agreement enabled Southwest passengers to connect from several United States cities to Europe through Icelandairs Baltimore hub. The company completed its first non-stop transcontinental flight in 1998, thus establishing Southwest as a formidable domestic competitor. In this paper potential areas of improvement, and how Southwest Airlines can gain its own advantage in the industry will be discussed.
Southwest ranked number one in on-time performance for several years according to [The Department of Transportations Air Travel Consumer Report]" (Goh, 2007, 103). This punctuality can be attributed the companys ticket less system and no-frills approach to air travel. The ticket less system reduces costs for both consumers and Southwest. Travel agents and ticket brokers are eliminated from the ticketing process. This also minimizes the lengthy check-in processes by eliminating physical transactions between customer service representatives and the consumer. All that is required is a reservation number and a form of identification to receive a reusable boarding pass, which enables the customer to board quickly.
Southwests no-frill approach reduces preparation time by eliminating the time required for three optional services. The first service to be bypassed is the meal distribution by flight attendants. Southwest does not serve meals on any flight regardless of duration. This severely reduces the time required of planes while sitting