Southwest wins on bet against extra fees

How did Southwest score its recent record revenue? Well, it could be because it isn’t jacking up fees for all the extras. The decision to do business the old fashion way seems to have been good for a quarterly profit of $112 million and may provide a good reason for other airlines to reconsider these unpopular measures.

In a roundup of coverage on the airline’s quarterly financial results, USA Today, found the answer in reports by Bloomberg and the Las Vegas Sun, attributing the results to “the company’s policy of not charging for bags and excellent customer service offered by employees.”

Rather than take the short returns on charging for blankets and checked luggage, Southwest is apparently making a longer-term bet on customer satisfaction, with a policy that’s more likely to appeal to the average passenger.

Is it sustainable? Well, that remains to be seen. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that Southwest has built its business on something of a contrarian strategy … and it’s been working.

[photo by Mr. T in DC via Flickr]