May 30, 2017

Southwest Airlines Is My Airline Of Choice. Does This Affect You?

By Paul Bieber

If you are a consulting client, yes it does. The lowest fares, and I get in on time. OK, that is the end of this blog. Or is it? The question is not which airline I fly on, but why? My local airport is Manchester, NH, and I have access to Southwest, Delta, USAir, and an occasional United flight. So why Southwest?

When you set your pricing in the glass industry, just like in the airline industry, you can work on price, service or quality.   You can work on two of these points but never all three.  If you choose to be a low-cost provider, then you have fewer employees and somewhat diminished service compared to your competitor who has extra employees on staff in case someone calls in sick. If you want to be known as a high-quality shop, you will be using heavier aluminum and have better warranties on your incoming glass.  That doesn’t equate with low pricing.

Southwest offers low prices and good quality (actually, the only quality I measure an airline on is:  Am I able to walk off the flight?) and while they have wonderful people, you sit in tight quarters and get a pack of peanuts.  No business class.  You pay more for that on other airlines.  Even though I rate Southwest’s service as fair, it is still my first choice for an airline.

Can you use this model in your business.  Pick two of the three—quality, service or price, and build your business on the two you select.  If you try to do all three, you will not succeed, ever.

Last week I was on four Southwest flights, I walked off the plane on each one, brought my own lunch with me, didn’t overcharge my client, and had a good week.  Two out of three is darn good.