Sunday, July 27, 2008

Why Don't Other Airlines Follow Southwest's Lead?

Southwest Airlines posts another profit yet they don't charge for checked luggage. It's no secret that for years they have done what is called hedging when purchasing fuel. If you are not sure what hedging is, its freezing the price by buying forward. So why aren't all the other airlines following Southwest into the land of profit? Some have tried to hedge in the past but for one reason or another they only did it half heartedly and on a small scale. Everyone likes to bag on Southwest Airlines, but when a business model works you can't argue with success. Large corporations are ran by collections of "experts" that get paid a lot of money to run these companies, yet why do most run them into the ground? Ford released numbers recently of a $9 billion loss. I know Ford is not really related to travel, but it is a good example of a company going in the wrong direction. On the flip side, the airline's losses were not as big as expected, but it's a sad state when a company is already expecting a loss to begin with. The economy is in bad shape right now, and that has been the excuse of many companies, but was in a downward spiral way before gasoline was even near $4 a gallon. As a consumer I am hoping for the best, but I just have to say that these companies have no one to blame but themselves.

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