Essay on Southwest Airlines: From the Beginning

Essay on Southwest Airlines: From the Beginning

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Southwest Airlines roots can be traced back to Texas in the 1960’s where a company by the name of Air Southwest Co. was created to provide interstate flights in Texas to avoid federal aviation laws. This technique of trying to avoid federal regulation was challenged when 3 other major airlines filed a lawsuit against Air Southwest Co.; later the state of Texas upheld Air Southwest Co. right to fly within the state of Texas and the Supreme Court decided not to review the case. (Southwest Airlines, n.d.) This was a challenging start for Southwest as it was being targeted right off the bat by some of its competitors. The company name was changed in the early 1970’s to Southwest Airlines Co. and a headquarters was established in Dallas, TX. The company’s main focus was interstate flights between the 3 major cities in Texas including Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. (Southwest Airlines, n.d.)
Southwest Airlines founder Herb Kelleher studied other airlines to try and figure out what culture he wanted to bring to Southwest Airlines. Herb Kelleher and President Lamar Muse ended up using a model copied almost word for word from an airline out of California called Pacific Southwest Airlines. (Southwest Airlines, n.d.) Pacific Southwest Airlines (PSA) motto was pretty simple as they wanted to also be known as the “The World’s Friendliest Airline” You could tell PSA wanted to be the friendliest airline by the big smiley face that was on the front of each of the companies Boeing 727 airplanes. (Pacific Southwest Airlines, n.d.) Kelleher and Muse saw the success that the culture brought to PSA and they wanted to bring that success to Southwest Airlines. Muse later confessed that creating the operations manual for Southwest Airlines was pr...


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...ed May 5, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/01/21/southwest-airlines-motivates-its-employees-with-a-purpose-bigger-than-a-paycheck/
Southwest Airlines. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 5, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Airlines
Pacific Southwest Airlines. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 6, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Southwest_Airlines
Mouawad, Jad. (2010, November 20). Pushing 40, Southwest Is Still Playing the Rebel. The New York Times. Page BU1. Retrieved May 7, 2014 from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/business/21south.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Southwest Airlines. (2014). Southwest Citizenship. Retrieved May 8, 2014 from http://www.southwest.com/citizenship/
Southwest Airlines. (2014). Ellen Torbet. Retrieved May 8, 2014 from http://swamedia.com/channels/Officer-Biographies/pages/ellen_torbert

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