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The Man Who Saved Southwest Airlines With A '10-Minute' Idea

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The early 1970s were a turbulent time for a little startup called Southwest Airlines. The company had a tiny fleet of just four airplanes that flew to three destinations — all of which were in Texas. But by 1972, Southwest had already posted a net loss of $1.6 million, and the company was forced to sell one of its planes. (www.npr.org) More...

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preacher1
preacher1 1
I can still remember in the early 80's after they came into LIT. I flew to DAL and back as a pax and it was strange going to my car at LIT and seeing the same plane I just came in on back in the air. Pilots kissing roll marks and grabbing the 1st turnouts were a change, You wondered why everybody didn't do it.
paultrubits
paul trubits 1
What got me was the pilots going threw the seat backs pulling out trash. It was a "little engine that could" mentality. I loved that SWA. If one of the newer "discount" airlines had that same attitude and ability to turn planes, I would be happy to fly them.
preacher1
preacher1 1
With the larger planes, the 10 minute turn is not possible any longer but they are still turning quicker than the legacies, for those same reasons. Love 'em or hate 'em, they are hard to beat,
paultrubits
paul trubits 1
As a pilot you should appreciate this: I have never heard an announcement from the cockpit that we will be pushing back as soon as we get our paperwork.When the door is closed, they are ready to go. The "behind the scenes" people must be first rate.
timbecker156
tim becker 1
You think SWA is bad? Try Jetstar Australia what a crapper of a budget airline very dis functional. If you fly to Auckland with them from YSSY guess what you bags and rags end up in OAKLAND USA. Not bad.
nicholasweber
Well that's better than London Ontario iunstad of London UK!
preacher1
preacher1 1
I don't recall saying they were bad.
canuck44
canuck44 1
I just witnessed WestJet do pretty much the same thing. Our aircraft from YYZ was unserviceable and not quickly repaired so we had to wait for a replacement to arrive from YOW. As soon as the last passenger disembarked, we were boarded and pushed back as soon as the Tourons (tourists plus morons)could be stuffed into their seats.

As we approached RSW the flight attendants collected every bit of trash they could asking everyone to check the chairback pocket. As soon as we landed and the door opened, two male cleaners entered and as the passengers disembarked from front to back they cleaned the seats before the rear was cleared. They were finished the whole aircraft within a minute of the last passenger deplaning and the loading for the return to YYZ began.

I had a car at the airport and no checked luggage...they were taxiing as I pulled out of the parking lot...15-20 minutes at the most to turn a 737-700 and this team work undoubtedly contributes to the fact they are profitable.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I'm thinkin' SWA has stretched their turn time to 20 minutes on the larger aircraft and that may have to be extended as they get the bigger ones. It matters not. It is all about attitude. That is one thing that got TWA. Nobody cared or at least it seemed that way. I still remember as a pax into STL and getting strung out on a long final over IL somewhere. That was ATC and couldn't be helped, but then to land halfway into the runway and dawdle back to the terminal, causing nearly everybody to miss a connection. Pitiful.
canuck44
canuck44 1
There are different incentives...in the WestJet example, they were looking at a 3am arrival at YYZ on the turn. Can't blame them for not wanting it to be 4am.
nicholasweber
Not the best of Safety Videos from SW Airlines!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYA_ivyj3kE
andrew357
andrew357 0
SWA should be sunk gone and not forgotten?. Bring back the queen of the skies a real pioneer airline. The first all american airline to order the 707's the first airline to order the first 747-100's the record breaking airline to fly non stop around the world. PAN AMERICAN WORLD AIRWAYS. Or PAN AM now that was a airline GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN?? who remembers her.
mhlansdell00
Mark Lansdell 1
I'd love to see them rise again. I got stuck with a lot of stock when they went down. As for the 74, they've been trying to get it out of the air for years and years. Even the TV show couldn't make a go of it. I'm afraid PanAm is gone. Gone forever, the way of the flying boat they made so famous in their Clipper Service

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