From the moment he got into the business he was cutting prices and his competitors knew it too, so just to compete they had to lower their prices just to stay in business with Southwest. It was never Herbs plan to knock a competitor out of business that was never his intention he just wanted to make a nice affordable airline and that’s exactly what he did. He had plans to take out services so that he could make a very affordable airline.
He thought of simple things, things other airlines did not do. That’s what made Southwest so profitable for years to come.
Herb Kelleher revolutionized Southwest Airlines by taking out the use of unnecessary services this is what one article had to say about Herb, “His vision for the airline-one that reshaped the industry-centered on using more fuel-efficient, low-cost planes to reduce fares and challenging his employees to provide no-frills service without lowering standards” (Rifkin). Herb Kelleher was an animal in the Airline scene, he came in to the industry with little to none only a few planes to his name.
He soon turned those few planes into a multi-million dollar empire which we now know as Southwest Airlines.
Flights from Southwest are very cheap starting at only around sixty dollars “when it began to fly in California its prices were above one third the prevailing prices on the routes” dollars for a direct flight (Kroft). Since the beginning, Herb has never been known for strict management he is better known for playing practical jokes and having fun with the customers aboard the plane “ He was known as a very empathetic and charismatic leader that earned him respect throughout the industry resulting in a profit for a consecutive 24 years (Gill).
If you like who you work for and genuinely enjoy the boss, you are probably more inclined to work harder and generally be happier overall.
Herb completely changed the idea of the aviation industry, he reformed it entirely. The older generation above everyone knows what it was like to fly before Southwest airlines was a thing. It was expensive, time-consuming, and overall not a fun thing anyone wanted to do. Anyone who knows the name Herb Kelleher knows he was an entrepreneur, being so he brought several new ideas to the aviation industry. He completely and utterly cut costs and has saved countless of Americans hours by making new bag checking ideas, and how bags were checked.
A lot of the new generation does not understand how unbearable flying was up until 1966 when Southwest was founded, starting with only 9 planes he turned it into all almost a billion-dollar company. “All of Southwest’s aircrafts are Boeing 747’s using a single aircraft type saves significantly on training” (Kroft). This is just one of the several ideas Herb used to make his airline one of the most profitable among all others. “Southwest has turned a profit throughout the wars and was one of the handful of Airlines profitable last year” (Kroft). He also used low-cost airplanes that saved significantly on fuel. He also paid a lot of attention to customer service “Herb Kelleher, who turned conventional airline industry wisdom on its head by combining low fares with high standards of customer service” he knew that if you had great, reliable customer service that people would continuously come back (Rifkin)
The impact Southwest had on society is among few. All over the united states are Southwest flights. All of their flights are not very long either so it makes them much more logical. “ All of Southwest’s flights are under two hours in flying time and many are under an hour. Prices are always rock bottom” (Kroft). Southwest even goes the extra mile by re-using plastic boarding passes which are one hundred percent reusable. It doesn’t seem like much but when millions of people a day are flying its cuts cost considerably one of many reasons why their one of the most profitable airlines in the business. “Southwest succeeds with an approach that is entirely different from that of any other airline. It has spent two decades carving out a unique niche among U.S airlines” (Kroft). Anyone who flies Southwest knows its different from other airlines, each flight is short and for the most part it is a direct one way flight. Herbs competitors were offering the same flights he was, but why where people still using Southwest?
“At one point Herb painted one of his airplanes like a whale and called it shame” (Kroft). The CEO had a very unique and quirky style of management he did things differently. Most if not all of Southwest’s employees enjoy doing their job and that is mainly because a lot goes into the hiring process when you apply. There are several requirements you must meet most of which are personality-based. Anyone who has flown Southwest can say the flight attendants are a joy to be around, always playing games with the passengers and keeping that’s light, fun, and entertaining. Which is great if you have kids on board who may be scared to fly. “The 66-year-old founder, chairman, and CEO of Southwest Airlines is best known for zany antics and unconventional management” (The best of). Up until the day that he died Herb would go on his flights and mingle and entertain guests, he truly loved his profession and that’s just one more of the things that made him successful. His management style more than likely stems from his quirky personality it is hard not to like him, and that’s why people have positive things to say about him.
It is safe to say Herbert Kelleher is leaving behind a legacy that is Southwest Airlines. He’s done everything right in the aviation industry and he is very successful because of it he changed the way we fly totally. He has made billions from it but from the beginning, he was never really in it for the money. He simply just wanted to make flying faster simpler, and just all-around more affordable for the average working class, and that’s something no one can put a price tag on. He could have made much more money by just doing what other airlines did raising prices constantly, changing rates and baggage fares. He saw something no one else did and what he saw is a completely new way to fly.