Competitive Advantage Case Study: Southwest Airlines

876 words (4 pages) Business Assignment

17th Apr 2020 Business Assignment Reference this

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For a brief moment, let us rewind the tape and have a brief overview of commercial airlines during the 1950s. Oh yes, some might say, simpler times! People were not overwhelmed by the unflattering amount of technology that clouds our current daily lives every second. But, how simple was it without all the high tech and information technology we get to lavish today. Well, roughly 70 years ago if an individual wanted to purchase an airplane ticket their options were limited. See, back then during the Golden Age of air travel debit/credit cards didn’t exist. The internet was yet far from a conceivable thought in many. So, their options were as limited as contacting the airline in person at the airport, or again, in person booking a seat through a third party agency. Indeed, simpler times they were, flying wasn’t just about getting from point A to Point B, but it was a vacation of itself. Moving forward, currently, the skies have become the fastest and safest way to journey across state lines and continents. Thanks to the advancements in technology, airline companies such as Southwest airlines keep investing massive amounts of resources into more convenient ways to reach every traveler in need of a ticket. The proliferation of information technology has also immensely expedited within the maintenance and operations departments enabling them with a continues platter of constant efficient communication.

Presently, Southwest remains as one of the more competitive and easily approachable airlines within the industry. Thanks to their investments into information technology, booking a ticket at a competitive price remains as simple as a click away. All at the comfort of one’s home. Although the gloom of flying might not be as radiant as it was during the Golden Age; currently reserving a seat can be accomplished with just a phone call. Instantly, once the transaction is completed the customer will receive an email from the airline providing him/her with all the information needed regarding their ticket. Modernization is such that ancient tools such as whiteboards, logbooks, pneumatic tube, radios and many others are becoming the essentials of the past (Ungerleider, 2017).

The modernization to bring Southwest airline to the 21st century is always ongoing. The challenge to remain committed to their customers goes far beyond reserving a ticket. The integration of OpsSuite within the airline allows employees to have an accurate representation and up to date status of an airplane undergoing maintenance. No longer time has to wasted. With the integration of OpsSuite, the state of an aircraft can be continuously tracked to ensure and dictate its incorporation to the fleet, thus minimizing lost income and overall impact in available assets. Operating with legacy systems can considerably affect strategic priorities, hence the importance to remain airborne in a hyper-competitive marketplace (Information Systems Associates, 2016).

Similarly, irregular operations due to outdated systems and obsolete methods could be an airline’s worse enemy. Not being able to adjust to those changes swiftly can lead to an array of complications. For instance, a flight coming from San Diego could be delayed due to inclement weather. On the other end, travelers at the Miami airports are furiously demanding answers as to why their plane has not arrived yet. It all ties together with the airline having the capabilities to ahead of time warn their passengers of upcoming delays before discomfort leaves a sour taste of a company’s ethics. Taking full advantages of the growth in technology and adequately utilizing its potential is a critical feature which Southwest airlines seek to explode. Quickly sharing information through OpsSuite enables employees to coordinate better when things do not go fall as planned. Monitoring operations while remaining on-schedule saves Southwest millions in penalties and potentially lost in customers.

Ultimately, after all these years, it is fair to say that information technology has played a significant role in the advancement and leaps the aviation industry has had since its beginning. No longer does a customer has to pay up to 5% of their salary for a ticket. The availability and ease in which a ticket can be obtained trumps all the layovers and splendidness the Golden Age might have had. No longer information is shared at one station; it is feed through a live network of endless boundaries. The re-precautions of irregular intermediaries such as weather can be instantaneously dealt with, and adjust according, thanks to the implementation of information technology.


  • Information Systems Associates. (2016, June 28). Airlines are more reliant on information technology than ever. Retrieved from Business Destinations:
  • Ungerleider, N. (2017, March 27). Southwest Airlines’ Digital Transformation Takes Off. Retrieved from Fast Company:

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