Southwest’s Holiday Meltdown And The Myth That It’s A Point-To-Point Airline

In the media coverage of Southwest Airline’s holiday disaster, there have been all sorts of prognostications regarding the reasons for the meltdown which stranded and delayed millions of consumers, and what the airline must do to avoid a recurrence.

One is the suggestion that Southwest’s point-to-point route system — i.e., that it carries more passengers who don’t need to make an intermediate connection — was a contributor to the complexity of the operational collapse. But the rationale given that this was a major factor in the meltdown still isn’t particularly strong.

That’s because Southwest isn’t really a point-to-point carrier. Nope. Southwest actually depends on connecting (“flow”)

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