A New Millennium
The 2000s were a tough time for the airline industry. The terror attacks on September 11, 2001, devastated the country and impacted commercial aviation profoundly. Carriers were left to generate revenue by any means necessary, and some opted to introduce baggage fees.
However, with the Customer top of mind, Southwest took a stand with the launch of bags fly free®, for the first and second checked bags within weight and size limits. Despite multiple financial crises, Southwest remained committed to Customers and has repeatedly said “NO” to hidden fees as a way to succeed.
Bags Fly Free
The U.S airline industry was reeling after 9/11. With America on the brink of war and the economy struggling, airlines looked for solutions by diminishing their workforces and introducing new fees to boost revenue. Checked baggage and flight change fees became the norm across the industry. While Southwest was experiencing the same challenges as other carriers, the Company’s response was completely different. Bags fly free promised Customers that the first two checked bags within weight and size limits would fly free on Southwest.
In 2001, Southwest underwent its first major livery change in the Company’s history with the introduction of the Canyon Blue color scheme. This new palette modernized the Company’s look, and made Southwest planes easy to spot.
Wanna Get Away
While the first Wanna Get Away ad aired in 1998, the famously hilarious spots grew in popularity throughout the 2000s and continued until 2008. The “Wanna Get Away” slogan is widely known throughout the airline and marketing industries. It has been so popular that Southwest recently brought it back and continues to use it to this day.
Wright is Wrong
In 1979, majority leader Jim Wright persuaded the U.S. House of Representatives to ban interstate service in and out of Love Field to protect DFW airport. This Wright Amendment severely limited Southwest Airlines’ service from its home airport.
In 2004 CEO Gary Kelly announced the airline’s intent to openly challenge the Wright Amendment. The Company launched a campaign to garner public support of the amendment’s repeal. In 2006, the Wright Amendment Reform Act passed that would put an end to the restrictions eight years later.
2000 – 2009
by the numbers
The 2000s showed Southwest’s true colors during a difficult time. When layoffs and bankruptcies were prevalent, Southwest stood up for what was right for Employees and Customers – and it paid off!