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Southwest Airlines

HFT 3540 - Guest Services Management. Professor Eric Olson. Case Study group project: Southwest Airlines.

Rachael Fan

on 30 January 2014

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Transcript of Southwest Airlines

Founded by
Rollin King and Herb Kelleher
in 1971.
In the mid 1980's, Southwest Airlines was the first to offer the
frequent miles program
(allows the passenger to bank traveled air miles to be later used as credit for a
free ticket
reduced airfare.
They were also the pioneers of the
senior discounts
fun fares
, and the
fun packs
Case Study
Learning Excellence: Southwest Airlines' Approach
“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.”
Founded by Rollin King & Herb Kelleher
SW makes money, starting a string of 36 straight profitable years
SW begins service in New Orleans
Service expands to California
Expands to
Southwest launches its first flights from Atlanta, with routes to Austin, Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Denver and Houston Hobby.
Begins phasing out plastic reusable boarding passes
Begins selling to travel to Hawaii and other places aboard partner ATA airlines
Congress votes to repeal a law in 2014 that prevents SW from operating long flights from its home base at Dallas Love Field
focus on employees promotes focus on customers
quality service at reasonable price
"customer appreciation day is everyday"
Supporting their culture...
Lost baggage
30 day search.
Damaged baggage
apology, reimbursement, LUV voucher.
Worst on-time rates
new schedules, more time in between flights.
Flight cancellations
Rebook. Overnight accommodations.
Varolii automated communications.
We're going down
: No apology or explanation, but here's a $200 voucher.
Pop Quiz!
Works Cited
University of the People
Corporate university used to train 25,000 people
Standardize employee training
Manager 2-day training anually
Leads to employee:
being more knowledgeable and up-to-date
prevention of mistakes
Employee Empowerment
Feel involved, responsible, and motivated
Interact as a family
Given more responsibility
Less hierarchical thinking
Lost baggage
Delays and deemed as "
the worst on-time rates in the U.S.
Flight cancellations
"We're going down."
Satisfying Customers since 1971
Sources of Success:
1. Southwest as an "excellent"company
2. Source of employee motivation is the excellent company
3. Whether lessons learned can adequately address potential future problems
In Search of Excellence:
1. a bias for action
2. close to the customer
3. autonomy and entrepreneurship
4. productivity through people
5. hands on; value driven
6. stick to the knitting
7. simple form, lean staff
8. simultaneous loose-tight properties
According to In Search of Excellence,
meets the requirements
of an "excellent" company.

Even though they are considered "excellent,"
they may run into
future problems.

Important lesson:
Creating a
good, relaxing work environment
translates over to excellent experiences for customers.


In what state did Southwest originally start?

How does employee empowerment play a role in effective management and overall employee retention?
Case Study:
What is key to helping an employee provide excellent service?
From the consumer's standpoint, when issues arise like lost baggage, delays, etc., how do you think Southwest should handle these situations in order to keep your business?
How does Southwest's "luv for its customers" support other aspects of the company's culture?
Southwest Airlines
Ashley Long
Michelle Oretsky
Amanda Wright
Rachel Fan
Alexandria Hartle
Breanna McBean
Christine Nguyen
Who has ever had an excellent experience with Southwest?
Do you think Southwest should be considered "excellent" based on this criteria?
LUV's their
Full transcript