If Southwest wanted to acquire another airline...

Discussion in 'Southwest Airlines/Airtran Airways' started by jimntx, Nov 4, 2019.

  1. jimntx

    jimntx Veteran

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    #1 jimntx, Nov 4, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
    This article from Dallas Business Journal explores possibilities including JetBlue, Alaska, and (oh, please God, NO) Spirit.

    As Spirit is 100% Airbus, it would certainly speed up any desire to diversify the aircraft mix. However, if even some of the stories I have heard about Spirit are true, integrating Spirit employees into the Southwest corporate culture seems to be an insurmountable task.

    Alaska would be interesting. It is almost exclusively Boeing, but does have some Airbus equipment. Enough for WN to claim it had diversified? Don't know. Potential problem: Alaska has enormous brand loyalty in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Messing with the "hometown airline" may have negative impact on existing local customer base.

    I don't really have a dog in this hunt. Discuss.

    https://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2019/11/04/southwest-airlines-acquisition.html?ana=e_me_set1&j=90172241&t=Morning&mkt_tok=eyJpIjoiTVRVd09XSXpOekEzTkdVeiIsInQiOiJ1SVhQZG5DK1wvRGhPTDBQZHNIXC9xSFlxdTZERk1wRFwvVDhxS3RqUzI3QVN6QkhpN0h6SkFTWUZzR2dUMUo4K3d5RENON3loNUdSRnJjM25aaUthb3NcLzRFbmUwbEUrVnlCNE5Xdm42OU1wUzk5Z01RZU5MVEl3cGRVT1lMNks5NGZJbzg3SXJIVXZQZzJUd2lpTGVIclRRPT0ifQ==
     
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  2. swamt

    swamt Veteran

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    Jim, One of my favorite rumors to talk about.
    My opinion. Alaska would be the best fit all around. Fleet, routes, size, and most of all the people and culture would better fit with SWA's. Although I think your right about the loyalty that ALK has, I would think they might come around as long as it's Southwest knowing the culture is good there.
    JetBlue; Not so much fleet, but size and probably a better and smoother approval process from DOJ.
    Spirit, Not seeing it unless we could do a 3 some with SWA getting JB and Spirit, or maybe Hawaiian and JB. Not sure if the DOJ would ever get over a 3 some with ALK involved or not. They may tend to think to big of a deal as far as size.
    Hey jim, just so ya know, the article you provided requires to register. I don't register to any articles just to read. There is enough already out there that has my info. KWIM...
     
  3. jimntx

    jimntx Veteran

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    #3 jimntx, Nov 4, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2019
    Sorry about the registration thing. I forgot that it is required. I just like the fact that the publication is focused on North Texas.

    Another Alaska bonus. They have been flying mainland to Hawaii for some time--175 flights per week from Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, and Anchorage!!!

    I thought maybe 2 or 3 airports--say Seattle, Portland, San Diego. Had no idea their network was that developed.
     
  4. eolesen

    eolesen Veteran

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    I suspect WN learned enough from the Airtran merger to want to avoid anything other than organic growth going forward. There are far too many integration issues between technology, customers, and employee pride.

    There are some operational mindsets around Alaska specifically that the folks on Denton Drive could never get their heads around.... Taking on an airline *older* than WN who has been on the attack for the past 20+ years? Yeah, no. That would be toxic beyond belief.
     
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  5. swamt

    swamt Veteran

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    No prob.
    Yes a great focus on North Tx.
    I found this article this morning and it does a great comparo with 3 different airlines. After reading and doing the comparo's I now have to change my mind. I did know that JB was as big as it is until I read this, very interesting to me. I think now I would prefer a JB merger over the ALK. For one, I think any airline other than ALK would get a smoother approval. 2- JB is also another LCC so combining the two would be a bit easier. 3- JB has more East Coast as we dominate the West Coast and then we could just blend everything together in the middle. Also going with JB would enhance the international routes as well as some very dominate long haul flights. And don't forget that JB was founded by a previous Executive from SWA using a mirrored platform from the SWA playbook.
    I'm right there with ya about Spirit, really don't want anything to do with Spirit. However, with that said, maybe we could look at JB and Spirit in a 3 some and just use the a/c we wanted, sell the rest, use the routes we wanted, pass on others, and re-interview all employees for rehire and new probation. Why? We have heard of many Spirit employees that are NOT SWA material and would not blend well with the SWA culture, so I would suggest on hand picking the ones we want after reading thru all their employee files and interviews. I know it sounds mean but, we do wanna protect the culture as much as possible.
    Here's the article I found and read this morning, I hope it's not the same as yours and you find it a good read and comparo. If it is the same I apologise for the re-post:

    If Southwest wanted to acquire another airline, which would it target?
     
  6. swamt

    swamt Veteran

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    Good points and well said. But I still think SWA would do it if they have to in order to get the a/c quicker than waiting on Boeing or to avoid the possible "avoid threat" of customers overwhelmingly refusing to fly on the Max 8's going forward...
     
  7. jimntx

    jimntx Veteran

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    #7 jimntx, Nov 5, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2019
    Yes, it's the same article (filtered through Yahoo from Dallas Business Journal). No biggee! However, on your response that is highlighted above...
    Don't think that would be allowed. I vaguely remember that during the AA/TWA blending Congress decided that the TWA flight attendants had been dreadfully mistreated--not enough to demand that the parties in question go back and redo the seniority lists; just enough to prevent stapling to happen in the future. I imagine since WN is the most unionized airline all represented groups would be covered by the stapling prohibition. As Spirit is much younger than WN, for all practical purposes all unionized Spirit employees would be inserted into the combined seniority lists at or near the bottom even if you used original hire date or years of continuous service. Trust me. It's gonna cause a whole bunch of bad feelings on both sides. I think requiring Spirit employees to re-interview would not pass the Feds smell test, because you can't get much lower on the list that just interviewed for the job. Truth is, unless you are merging with Delta, almost any airline will have union seniority list issues with which to contend.

    I know a couple that has flown Spirit 3 times (each time swearing they would never do it again). They told me a real horror story of an elderly man getting up to go to the lav during taxi out. There's an FAR prohibiting that, but with elderly people it's not that simple. Flight attendants yelled at him from their jumpseats to sit down or be removed from the flight. He ended up urinating all over the seat and himself, and was horribly embarrassed. Don't know if my friends embellished the story or not, but if its even a little bit true, I can't imagine those flight attendants lasting very long on the Southwest payroll. A lot of people over a certain age have a condition called urinary urgency. They get no warning of a need to go until it's almost too late in the best of situations. I could easily see the WN attendants calling the cockpit to advise of the situations and the a/c stopped on the taxiway until the old guy did his business.
     
  8. eolesen

    eolesen Veteran

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    737 NG's are available for the taking today, as are A320's.

    Pilots? WN can control that situation organically as well. They currently turn applicants away.
     
  9. swamt

    swamt Veteran

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    Your probably right about my comment. I guess we would be better off just bypassing on Spirit. They may not be around much longer anyway with how they treat customers and nickle and dime them to death. In that article they mentioned the average fares for the three carriers. Sure Spirit was the absolute cheapest at somewhere around 55-65 bucks. However, that's just on the fare average alone not all the added fees including bag charges, drinks, seats etc.. It also noted that the added charges on Spirit were double their average fare. So their "true cost" ends up being around 120-130 all in fare charges whereas SWA and other airlines are somewhere around 130-160. SWA is 149.00 I think. It's very deceiving how they always brag about the average fares when hardly no one flys that way, there is always some sort of add ons, always...
     
  10. eolesen

    eolesen Veteran

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    There will always be room in the market for bottom feeder bus with wings carriers. Just like there's still room for Greyhound.
     
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  11. swamt

    swamt Veteran

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    Yes E, I agree. I remember when SWA was called the greyhound of the skies. Now that these ULCC carriers have emerged they have stolen that title from us. (Spirit, Frontier, Allegiant, Go, etc...)
     

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