Gary Kelly keeps pushing this " Lil Airline That Could " routine. This clown is in over his head. To not charge bag fees boarders on dereliction of fiduciary responsibility. Even at $5 per bag, a fraction of what other lines are charging, Southwest would nearly double earnings...reread what I just said....DOUBLE EARNINGS....AND THAT IS JUST $5 BUCKS PER BAG. Another discount airline I own, RYAAY, charges for everything and is poised to dominate the European airline market as KLM-Lufthansa, British Air, and Air France are all struggling and loosing market share to the discounters.
Nicey-nice talking and happy-duck coddling of employees is great P.R. but it has turned LUV stock into an also-ran financial holding. I am a long term LUV shareholder and believe it has huge potential with the recent consolidation in the USA airline industry but only if Kelly is replaced with an aggressive ceo.
In recent TV interveiws, Kelly comes across as a stuttering, stammering nincompoop, much like Dagwood Bumstead trying to deal with Blondie in the old TV series. The employees sense he is weak and now feel they are running the company and are entitled to their jobs and their top-of-the-line pay. While contented employees are extremely important in the airline industry and Southwest truly has the best employees in the business, it is never healthy for the hired help to assume they are in irreplaceable. Kelly's sheepish demeanor magnifies this problem. It is also important for the ceo to realize he is not irreplaceable !!!