In my capstone marketing strategies course, we spoke a lot about Southwest and its competitive advantages – its unique culture, its ability to differentiate itself and its foresight at having bought oil before prices went up. Well it seems that the oil has been used up and Southwest is finding that it must change those things – raising prices and getting rid of open seating – that made it different from all the other airlines. Is Southwest losing its competitive advantage – and its customers?
Speaking of ridiculous airline changes, I booked a flight with airtran and got charged a $5 “seat fee” each way. What’s up with that?