In Baltimore

1508 words 7 pages
Question:
1. How does Southwest Airlines compete? What are its advantages relative to other airlines?
2. The plane turnaround process requires coordination among twelve functional groups at SWA to service, in a brief period of time, an incoming plane and match it up with its new passengers and baggage for a prompt departure. Please evaluate the plane turnaround process at Baltimore -- resource utilization, capacity, bottlenecks, information flows, etc. How is the process working?
3. Why is the opearational performance at Baltimore eroding? What issues do you identify that require action?
4. What would you recommend Matt Hafner do? Answer please see attachment:

1 The competitive advantages of Southwest Airlines are as follow:

A. Unique
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b.Labour shortage: Efficient turnaround process relies heavily on its employees. The tight labour market, however, forced Baltimore to have a serious labour shortage at least in short term and lead to many mandatory over-times. As a result, it led to declining productivity and slowed down the turnaround process. Moreover, the experience of employees is also crucial. With high labour turnover rate and frequent hiring, Baltimore was having a comparably inexperienced workforce. This would affect the operational performance.

c. Uncontrollable passenger connections: Southwest’s connecting flights were unevenly distributed and Baltimore was one of the stations that had the greatest amount of connecting flights. The numerous connecting flights made operations become more complicated and satisfying all customers become even more difficult. As a result, flights were frequently held up for connecting passengers.

Two issues should deserve much attention. They include:

a.Unsatisfactory customer services: Mishandled bags and passenger complaints in Baltimore were higher than the system-wide average and its number of passenger complaints was even the highest among all stations. Limited facilities and frequent flight holdings brought inconvenience and dissatisfaction to passengers. All these were definitely undesirable especially for Southwest which built its success on passenger’s trust. These problems

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