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Southwest Airlines In A Different World Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1946 1437 Words (6 Pages) James L. Heskett, W. Earl Sasser Harvard Business School : 910419
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

The decision of acquiring the slots is yet under consideration, and one has to present argument of conformity and viability of this acquisition as per the core values of the organization. If one observes the core values of the organization they are aligned to being more customers oriented. The heart of their strategy is being low cost as they are competing in the automobile industry rather than competing with airlines. Further, Southwest has differentiated itself in such a low differentiation industry by making its superior services, on time take offs and arrivals, low cases of baggage loss, lowest turnover, hot air hostesses and humour as their unique selling proposition. These USPs originated when they were a small number of players and later when the company expanded it also played on this proposition. They hired more staff as per their humorous personalities as demanded. They let the fleet take responsibilities of pleasing customers. With every strategic change, they ensured that their values are enacted.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. How has the original strategy been altered in recent years? How, if at all, have these changes affected Southwest’s key success factors?

  2. Would you recommend that Southwest Airlines acquire the gates and slots available at LaGuardia Airport? Why or why not? How does this decision fit with others that the airlines management has made recently or faces in the future? Use few outside resources that directly relate to the issues.

  3. How has the original strategy been altered in recent years? How, if at all, have these changes affected Southwest’s key success factors?

  4. How does this decision fit with others that the airlines management has made recently or faces in the future?

Case Analysis for Southwest Airlines In A Different World Case Solution

1. How has the original strategy been altered in recent years? How, if at all, have these changes affected Southwest’s key success factors?

Southwest (SW) airline, in a low differentiation industry, was in fierce price competition. Addition to that, it was preoccupied industry where the players sued SW to stop them getting in. In order to counter the price competition, the management set the lower fares than competition to win the niche. Moreover, the company, after selling one of its aircrafts, decreased its turnaround time to 10 minutes. SW targeted 90 minutes flights with no food, but peanuts. The seating arrangement was not distributed into classes that increased, timely take off, timely arrival, lowest luggage lost issues. This was all supported with lowest fares; this was supported with their mission of competing automobiles. They were providing unique cultures with hot air hostess and humorous attitude. Later when it grew, they initiated flights of more than 90 minutes, SW put its emphasis on not deviating from its core values, and they made sure that flights are taking off on time, arriving on time. SW started to hire more employees with humorous personalities and funny announcers. Moreover, for long flights the employees were given a free hand of dealing with the people and make their travelling experience young, friendly refreshing and exiting. They focused on changing the customer experience, added new flights and searched for new market, but they did stick to its core that made SW a great player in the industry.

2. Would you recommend that Southwest Airlines acquire the gates and slots available at LaGuardia Airport? Why or why not? How does this decision fit with others that the airlines management has made recently or faces in the future? Use few outside resources that directly relate to the issues.

It will not be wise to get the bidding done in a hurry, they can certainly wait bit longer; there are many reasons for that. The proponents argue that the recommended bid should be $7.5 million, and doing this it could cover a whole lot of costs. However the people countering the decision argue that LaGuardia has a high cost structure this can lead to a threat to its core values and its core selling proposition i.e. customer service and culture of SW. Addition to that many are concerned as La Guardia is famous for frequent flight delays and high cost. Moreover, the high end wages might be another factor. Landing cost is quite higher than the landing cost at the airport at Islip. SW is also suffering lack of information, and they are not well aware of the bidders, SW is also not sure that the amount $7.5 million will be a winning bid or not. This decision is somewhat not really in congruency with the previous decisions of SW, which they previously made. They are in a transition phase, and they took some decisions but retained the low cost structure and retained its unique on air services and culture. However, this time it would be quite hard for them to stay parallel with their core values and USPs. One can see that SW did lost and were outbid by competitors (Maxon, 2011).

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