Higher ticket prices mean that Southwest Airlines is no longer the “discount airline” it once was, but there are a few things that the airline will never do to increase revenues or conform to other industry norms, CEO Gary Kelly says.
That includes charging for checked luggage and for making changes on reservations, as well as replacing the airline’s open-seating policy with assigned seating, said Kelly.
USA Today reports that Kelly stated: “Let me be very blunt. We are not looking at assigning seats right now. We are not talking about assigning seats now. And we’re not talking about looking at it sometime in the future.”
“We are not thinking about bag fees,” Kelly added. “We are not thinking about change fees.”
That’s not to say that Southwest is against all fees: the airline charges a premium for early check-in and priority boarding, for example.
Kelly said Southwest is looking at other ways to generate income, but added, “I don’t think we need to change the essence of what Southwest Airlines is to still find opportunities to drive revenues.”