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Southwest Airlines Is Making 11 Big Changes, And Passengers Should Be Delighted



Southwest Airlines Is Making 11 Big Changes, And Passengers Should Be Delighted

(CTN News) – In this regard, Southwest Airlines is undergoing an 11-part experiment to find faster ways to board passengers and turn planes around at the gate.

According to Dawn Gilbertson in The Wall Street Journal recently, Southwest Airlines has designated four gates at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as “innovation zones” where permanent changes may take place.

We aim to reduce turnaround time by five minutes.

Southwest Airlines is currently testing 11 things, according to a spokesperson:

  • Operation agents can organize pre-boarding passengers and families before boarding begins, easing congestion. Southwest shared photos of yellow carpet used to identify this area, but they’ve since realized that yellow gets dirty too quickly during the experiment.

  • Wayfinding digitally. During boarding, these signs and displays show “basic flight information and visual announcements.”

  • Stanchions that are dynamic. These are boarding gates with integrated, streaming screens that display announcements and direct passengers.

  • Boarding with music. On the jet bridge, they’re experimenting with playing recorded messages and music, either disco, EDM, hip-hop, or kids’ music, on the theory that people move faster when up-tempo music is playing.

  • Mobile tools that allow employees to communicate with each other and solve problems more quickly, such as group chats on the plane and at the gate.

Southwest Airlines chief operating officer, Andrew Watterson, told the Journal, “If we come across something that works and can stand alone, we’ll roll it out.” The goal is to have five-minute turn times and be customer-friendly.

Furthermore, I asked Southwest Airlines if any employee innovation experiments had been carried out.

Especially if you have ever sat at a gate and thought to yourself, “wow, why aren’t they doing X differently?”, I think this is a welcome change.

It’s also a chance to get inspired and experiment if you’re a business leader.

Consider dividing up your operations into small parts to run experiments and see what you can do.

Try something new at one or two of your locations and see if it is worth expanding to others.

If there is no geographic diversity, perhaps you can organize operations according to weekdays or teams.

A lot of changes aren’t necessary. A trial period with two vendors’ products and then deciding which one is best for each team may be an option.

There is nothing like first-hand experience to help you decide whether a change is a good idea.

Why follow the airline industry if you work in another field? Almost every day of the week, analysts, investors, and journalists monitor every move on the market.


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