Southwest Airlines holds the unenviable #12 (out of 14) position for on-time arrivals on the latest list released. Hawaiian (surprise, surprise) is first and Alaska and Delta follow in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
Southwest didn’t use to hold that position . . . ever. In fact, it held #1 positions in on time for a long, long time.
Now, yes, they’re bigger and they’re busier but . . . here is the thing:
Delta is #3. US Airways is #5 and American Airlines is #9.
Southwest is losing this battle badly and it isn’t just because they’ve entered non-traditional markets either. When people ask CEO Gary Kelly about a culture loss, these are the things that come to my mind. He refutes that culture loss but I don’t think that it is fair to believe that culture at Southwest is the same it ever was.
There are operational problems at the airline. Their systems are creaking under the loads they’ve been placed under. They have no systemized approach for scaling up to their demand and their not leaving happy employees in their path.
So, when people call out a deterioration of culture at the airline and they really do mean things going down hill such as on time arrivals, it’s best not to say “Oh no. We’re fine!” Acknowledge the problem and start to address it rather than acting as if there is no problem.
Otherwise, you start to look like American Airlines circa 2010.