SouthWest Airlines

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According to their main website, their mission statement is, “The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of customer service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and company spirit.” This reveals Southwest’s true mission: To please their customers.
     For their loyal customers, Southwest offers a “Rapid Rewards” program which gives the customers free tickets based on the number of times they fly with Southwest. Customers who make 8 round trips or 16 one-way trips receive a free ticket. Programs such as the “Frequent, Frequent Flyers-Companions Travel” offer a year of free trips to customers. Customers who make 50 round trips a year can designate someone to fly with the customer free of charge for an entire year. Award programs such as these show that they appreciate their loyal customers and that they are willing to take cuts, such as giving away free tickets, to prove to their customers that their patronage is valued.
     Another aspect of their great customer service is their online travel booking center. The customer can rent a car and make reservations at a hotel all online. This allows the customer to thoroughly plan their vacation or trip. Since Southwest was a relationship with Alamo, Budget, Dollar, and Hertz, customers have the ability to pick what kind of car they will get upon arrival. By making friendly relations with other companies Southwest is making their customers’ job easier by consolidating all the necessities of travel under one roof. This shows that Southwest is willing to go the extra mile for their customers and do more than just provide transportation by air, but also transportation by land, and also accommodations at hotels.
     As a part of their “low fares, no frills” campaign, Southwest does not offer any in-flight meals to their customers. They believe that by offering the bare minimum, so they can offer low customer rates. However during the flight they do offer complementary juices, cold drinks, and nuts to the passengers. They also encourage the passengers to bring their own meals on board for their own pleasure and convenience. Actions like this show the honesty of Southwest Airlines. Although they could make a sizeable amount of revenue by offering in-flight meals, Southwest allows passengers to bring their own meals so that the customer saves money.
     A big part of Southwest’s game plan is cost reduction; this shows that Southwest is very customer-oriented.

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A lot of the things they do require them to work harder, faster, and smarter but in the end they are doing it for the customer. The amount of time on the ground is directly related to the success of an airline, because airplanes only make money in the air, on the ground they are wasting time and money. Average ground time for most airlines is close to an hour. According to their website, Southwest and its diligent employees have learned to cut their ground time to 15 to 20 minutes increasing punctuality. Another way they reduce their cost is to fly into smaller airports. In Chicago, instead of flying into O’Hare they fly into Chicago Midway Airport. In New York, instead of LaGuardia and Newark, they fly into Long Island or Buffalo airport. By doing this they can move faster in and out of the airport because there is less air traffic resulting in an increase in flight increase. As a result of this Southwest saves money and in the long run can offer an even lower fare for their customers. Actions like these show that the company is willing to make sacrifices and adjustments to make sure that the customer gets the lowest price possible.
     All the methods and policies that Southwest abides by to maintain their low prices are an example of utilitarianism at its best. It is plain to see that the main goal of their business is to provide the “greatest good for the greatest number.” Their rewarding their loyal customers, going the extra mile, being honest with their policies, and making sacrifices for better customer service all point to reaching the goal portrayed by utilitarianism. Although the goal of any business is to reach maximum profitability, it seems that Southwest’s ultimate goal is to please the customer and give the “greatest good to the greatest number.”


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