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Southwest Airlines Strategic Planning Initiatives Essay

1300 words - 5 pages

For any company that wants to survive among its competitors, they must come up with a strategy that makes them stand out from the others and grabs the customer's attention. Southwest Airlines has done this in many ways by coming up with ideas before other airlines do to help draw in more customers and keep the customers happy once they have them there. These ideas, or strategic planning initiatives, have shown airline customers and the industry what Southwest Airlines is capable of accomplishing and how far they are willing to go to ensure customer satisfaction.Although Southwest Airlines only started 37 years ago it has become one of the country's leading airlines. For such a young airline they have become the pioneers behind many of the basic concepts that other airlines use today such as ticketless travel, senior fares, the first employee profit sharing plan among airlines and the first airline web page. A mere two years after the company was founded, Southwest marked their first profitable year and continued to do so for 32 years marking an industry record (Southwest, 2008).Customer service remains a top priority to Southwest Airlines and they have received many awards and recognitions for their achievements in customer service. One main reason that customers are satisfied with Southwest's service is that the executives at Southwest Airlines made the decision to not increase fees during the tough economic times like many other airlines. The executives at Southwest Airlines have decided to not implement fees for basic customer service requests such as checking in the first or second bag, changing flights, choosing an aisle or window seat, checking in for your flight curbside, offering a snack during the flight, or charging a fuel surcharge (Southwest, 2008). When checking flights between the same cities on the same days, Continental Airlines was charging an average of $19.50 per flight in addition to a $15 fee for the first checked bag and a $25 fee for the second checked bag. However some passengers were exempt from these fees such as military personnel, elite members, and children flying with adults (Continental, 2008). According to the Delta Airlines website, the average fee per round trip was $40.50 (2008). In these tough economic times many customers are not willing to pay the additional fees that the majority of the airlines are charging.Any successful organization will have a strategic business plan, a document that states the organization's purpose, structure and outline. When creating this plan it is important to show what the intentions are of the company, how they intend to do business, and their financial standings and strategies. When looking at strategic planning, the organization must look at initiatives and the value of those initiatives.To have successful initiatives, Southwest Airlines must balance out benefits so they meet both customer and organizational needs. With respect with certain incentives, the money lost in...

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