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New Southwest Leadership Won’t Add Baggage Fees to Airline

Southwest Airlines currently owns the largest fleet of Boeing 737 MAX airframes among U.S. based carriers. During their second-quarter earnings announcement, airline CEO Gary Kelly said they were optimistic to start flying the 737 MAX by the end of 2020.

Although Southwest Airlines is preparing for a change in leadership, many of the core product features won’t change. Incoming chief executive Bob Jordan is telling the media that baggage fees and premium cabin seating aren’t among the changes he wants to make.

When Southwest Airlines seats their next chief executive officer in 2022, many of the changes may not be customer facing. In an interview with The Dallas Morning News, incoming CEO Bob Jordan noted that many benefits flyers “LUV” about the airline – like free luggage and open seating – will stay under his leadership.

Changes to Focus on Improved Technology, Corporate Diversity

During their 2021 second quarter results call, Jordan told investors that free checked bags won’t be going away under his leadership. In additional comments to USA Today, the future chief executive noted that customer surveys suggested customers didn’t want a premium product or assigned seating in the future. Instead, Jordan wants to improve the airline’s technology platforms.

“Our employees are just terrific, but they expect that a lot of things can be quick, delivered over mobile platforms, easy to resolve, even in [irregular operations] situations,” Jordan told the newspaper. “Our employees expect the same thing. They want it to be very easy to work with Southwest Airlines, manage their shifts off of their iPhone.”

Jordan also wants to focus on improving diversity in the boardroom and throughout the executive ranks. With an all-white and nearly all-male executive suite, the incoming leader wants to rethink how the carrier looks at recruitment.

“So, just very focused on…the processes we use to think about how we hire and how we recruit and where we hire and where we recruit,” Jordan told the Dallas Morning News. “And then how we think about just improving our diversity in senior leadership and then again that depends on the pipeline.”

Jordan Replaces Longtime CEO Gary Kelly, Who Stays on Airline Board

When Jordan becomes the sixth CEO of the company, he will replace longtime leader Gary Kelly, who replaced airline founder Herb Kelleher as chairman of the airline’s board. Kelly will remain a part of the airline, as the succession plans call for him to keep his board seat.

jamesteroh August 29, 2021

Well Delta gives me two to three 70-pounds bags for free (Two if I'm in coach and haven't been upgraded before checking or three if I'm upgraded before checkin or if I have a paid first class seat or are using an RUC). But I never check a bag so doesn't matter anyway. I'd rather have a guaranteed comfort plus seat at time of booking and a lot of times I get upgraded anyway. The no-change fees is a joke because the few times I needed to make a change on delta precovid anyway to a different date or have it confirmed the agent just made me pay the fare difference. The times I want to make a change are if I want to same day confirm which Delta lets me do for free at t-24 and I'm confirmed and WN makes you pay to upgrade to the full fare and then you ended up with a lousy boarding pass number unless you buy business select. Bag fees aren't the only thing WN lacks from their competitors. They lack assigned seating, free same day confirm for their elites, flights to europes, lounges, a first and economy comfort cabin, alcohol on board, and in flight entertainment options and free text messaging. I think I'll stick to Delta as a diamond and even they give me a better allowance for checked bags than WN if I ever need to check a bag lol

AsiaTravel2019 August 22, 2021

So glad WN is focused on going Woke and not on improving their core product.

askmrlee August 11, 2021

While the seat may not be waiting for you like on a legacy carrier, at least you usually don't have the case of "gate lice" on WN. Just 2 weeks ago I experienced an entourage of Group 5s boarding with Group 1 on a UA flight out of SFO who jumped to the front behind what appeared to be a non-rev who told the gate agent "they're all with me".

Danwriter August 11, 2021

As long as it's still festival seating, I'll stay away.

BC Shelby August 11, 2021

...would be nice if he ditched their "cattle call" boarding procedure A real pain if you have a tight connection and end up at the back of the line on your next leg as all the choice seats are usually gone by then and your' stuck in the middle.