Southwest Airlines began its service in 1971. It is the fifth largest airline company in America, operating more than 2,100 flights per day and carrying over forty-four Million passengers a year to fifty different cities all over the U.S. (Stanley 1). Southwest has the best on-time record, best baggage handling, and fewest customer complaints in the industry and won the industry's Triple Crown award for best airline five times in a row (Stanley 1). It is one of the most profitable and successful airlines in the world. They are known as an unusual company because they don't operate the same ways as all the other airline companies. Before boarding one of their planes you will notice that you don't have assigned seats. The company also doesn't sell tickets through reservation systems used by travel agents. Instead, most tickets are bought at the gate. The only food served on board is peanuts and crackers, which passengers don't seem to mind. You would think that a real meal is needed on some flights but not on Southwest's flights. Most of their flights are under five hundred miles. .
Southwest's internal culture is what sets this airline apart from other companies in the industry. Every employee is given the general guidelines of their responsibilities and role in the company, then expected and encouraged to go outside those guidelines fearlessly (Bunz 163). This is an airline who takes the boredom out of flying and makes it fun again. Communication of this image is important to the success of the company, so Southwest takes every chance it gets to be funny and out of the ordinary. It seems the employees of Southwest love the benefits of watching their actions create personal financial rewards through stock ownership. .
You might ask yourself how a small airline like this became so successful. The CEO Herb Kelleher credits the success to the key values of the company that he developed (Bunz 163).