Southwest Airlines and United Airlines Compare and Contrast Essay

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While both of these companies deal with air travel, they can be compared in a variety of ways. We can see how these two airlines are related and different. United Airlines' headquarters are in Chicago, while Southwest Airlines' headquarters are in Dallas. Each of the two airlines has its own set of values that direct them to success, high customer service ratings, and other attractive characteristics.
In the United States, both United Airlines and Southwest Airlines have global destinations. Southwest Airlines is widely regarded as the biggest and cheapest carrier in the United States and around the globe that generates revenues year after year. On the other hand, United Airlines are the rated the third largest airline based on revenue (Jenny 58).

Basing on the history of the foundation of the two airlines, we find that united airlines were formed on a silver way, meaning that the founders of the airline had no difficulty in establishing it. Elected directors, officers, and Alliance coalition of the president founded it. The founders incurred no any problems in founding it. On the other hand, the southwest airline had a difficult foundation story. It was founded when there were very strong rules in the aviation sector. Their competitors rose against them and even threatened never to employ someone from southwest airlines in any other airline. That is when the workers were united and protest until they won against their competitors. Thus, the two airlines contrast by the foundation story (Freiberg 16).

The United Airlines have about 108 international destinations, 78 domestic across many countries across the world. Southwest Airline has approximately 101 destinations across only 41 states. United Airlines has many destinations compared to the southwest airlines. Both the airlines offer international and even local flights.

The employees of the south-west airline have good teamwork and have a family spirit. They have the crazy recipe and believe that employee comes first since the time the airline was being founded. For instance, one of the employees got an accident and lost an arm, he was compensated by being given light duties so that she can get her salary. Southwest, therefore, has most productive workforce compared to United Airlines, which no one has ever testified on being compensated. People in southwest airlines are driven by the desire of making money every day.

Southwest airline has their recipe that makes them different and enables them to make profits every year. This is not the case in other airlines like United Airlines. The southwest company always keeps the prices at the bottom. They have rated the cheapest airline in the world but make the profits every year. By being cheap, they gain many customers who then results to profit making (Jenny 22). While the United Airlines are not the cheapest, that is why their profits fluctuate. On other years, they can make losses due to customers being few as they look for cheaper flights in Southwest Airlines. Therefore, the southwest airline gains the market dominance due to their low fares.

Customers come second in the Southwest Airlines. That is, they take their clients imperative and respect them. Their customer's feedback means a lot to them as in they believe in serving the customers to their satisfaction (Freiberg 46). They have highest customer service ratings .this encourages customers to use their flights when traveling or to send parcels and to transport cargo. In the United companies, this may not always be the case, and thus many customers would prefer using the southwest airline when traveling instead of the united airline.

Southwest does not issue tickets or even transport cargo to the passengers who connect to other carriers. On the contrary, the United airlines offers these services to customers who connect different destinations, for example, from New York to San Diego then from San Diego to Phoenix. The founders of Southwest found that by doing so the efficiency would increase, but the United airlines has not restricted on that but still find it efficient.

The advertisement is one of the techniques that Southwest has applied for its success and the United Airlines. Both the companies use this recipe to gain fame and promote their services to their customers (Freiberg 78). Advertisements in the media have contributed to the greatest success of the two airlines. Just like the way any other company could use the strategy of advertising themselves to get customers.

Leadership aspect applies to both the airlines. Leadership is a dynamic relationship between leaders and leaders and leaders and workers. In the southwest airline, leadership is from the inside to out which is a belief that guides them to success. United airline may view leadership in another angle but overall, when there is the proper relationship between those in authority and the workers, everything will be okay.


These airlines may have different cultures or beliefs guiding them, but the goal is just the same that is to make the success out of them. They are two companies offering the same service; therefore, each one of them tries to outdo the other. One is the potential competitor of another. Success depend on how they understand the word success. It may be by making much profit or by providing the best services and gain fame.

Work Cited

Baxter, Jenny. Airlines. Key Note, 2010.

Freiberg, Jackie, and Freiberg, Kevin. Nuts!: South West Airline's Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success. Crown Business, 1998.

Renga, Alan, and Mentges, Mark E.. Pacific Southwest Airlines. Arcadia Publising, 2010.

November 11, 2021

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