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Case Study: Sw Airlines

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In the 1940s travel via airplane was a privilege. Men wore a suit and tie and women wore dresses with a hat and gloves.   Parents would endure a 27 hour flight from the middle of the country to Hawaii to see their soldier son at Pearle Harbor. Air travel was a luxury. Customers expected the best in treatment.   Chef prepared meals were served on white china with glassware and silverware.   A lot has changed since that time.   There are a number of discount airlines today. They come and go, but Southwest Airlines has managed to stay in the business since 1971.   Their success is due in part to the successful identification of their market and the needs of their customers.
Southwest Airlines primary marketing strategy included bright red heart logos and catchy phrases for its peanuts (meals) and their drinks.   As it grew, Southwest Airlines became known as the airline with cheap fares, on-time service and, most recently, not charging for luggage when other airlines started to do so.   Passengers flying on Southwest Airlines are entertained by the pilots and flight attendants who tell jokes, describe funny facts of the areas as they fly over, and even burst into song.   The flights are shorter than other airlines and the planes are turned around on the ground faster than the industry average.   This allows the airline to move more passengers a day than other airlines.  
The marketing department at Southwest Airlines has targeted reduced fares as its primary strategy for attracting customers.   Their website contains a blog where they discuss the fact that they are the lowest carrier in the industry and they explain how it is done.   Basically this is done utilizing a no frills approach. There are no blankets, no pillows, no movies, no internet access, and limited beverages.   Passengers know this when purchasing a ticket; they don’t expect any “extras”.   Behind the scenes Southwest knows that the heavier a plane is the more fuel it will consume.   So leadership purchases fuel...

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