Southwest Remains Best Loved Airline

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines, the budget air carrier who has been gradually and methodically transforming itself for decades into a national powerhouse, remains the best loved airline in the eyes of the business community. In a recent survey, Fortune magazine bested Continental Airlines as the most admired U.S. airline.

Thumbs Up For American Too

While the news for Southwest, Continental, and American (which also did well) was good, the flip side is that all four airlines which went through bankruptcy over the past several years brought up the rear. United, USAirways, Northwest and Delta were the least admired airlines as was SkyWest which hasn’t gone through bankruptcy. Many customers have been complaining that the service on these impacted airlines is deplorable something Southwest has been able to avoid.

Airlines Under Attack

The airlines have been under a relentless attack for many years now as higher fuel prices and the effects of airline deregulation close in. The terrorist attacks of September 2001 fueled the decline, putting even the strongest airlines in a grave position. Add in all of the security requirements and the removal of basic amenities and it is no wonder that passengers are unhappy.

Southwest has managed to buck the trend by offering a working environment many employees compare to family relationships. Unlike the management-employee polarization prevalent at most air carriers, Southwest has managed to cultivate and sustain a good working environment despite the added pressures. Indeed, Southwest has been profitable for 35 consecutive years, an unheard of feat in aviation.

Check Them Out

Although I haven’t included Southwest on the list of CabinManagers recommended airlines (for the simple reason that their starting pay is low) I can unequivocally say that they are perhaps the best airline to work for from an employee satisfaction standpoint. Unfortunately, Southwest isn’t hiring flight attendants right now nor are they accepting applications. Keep an eye on their career page

in the event that this should change.

Further Reading

He Gave Southwest Its Wings

Southwest CEO describes 2008’s challenges

Now Boarding Business Class

(Source: Dallas Morning News)

Logo copyright/courtesy of Southwest Airlines.