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Death of Herb Kelleher

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Death of Herb Kelleher

Old 4th Jan 2019, 04:54
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Death of Herb Kelleher

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Old 4th Jan 2019, 06:14
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I haven't flown Southwest in some time, but Herb was definitely a forward thinker.

His model has been copied by many in the US and around the world, though not always successfully.

It certainly still works for the company he created, and I guess that may be his best legacy. RIP, Herb, you're a Texas legend.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 06:24
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Nearly twelve years ago I was a new hire pilot in training for his airline. After a long (boring) day of ground school on the second floor of the training center, I was rushing down the stairs to make it to the hotel bar for the complimentary beer at happy hour. On the landing I came upon an older gentleman showing two people the display of a POW uniform of one of our pilots. I said excuse me sir in my haste, and when he turned around, I was greeted by Herb Kelleher himself. I muttered, “glad to meet you”, and he said “damn glad to meet you too!” That was my only contact with him. It’s been a fine run at his airline and I’ll say that MOL might have copied his business model, but he damn sure fell short of Herb’s personal model.
Fair skies and tailwinds Herb.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 06:31
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One cannot fake sincerity.
Herb was the real deal.
He was a good human and understood the connectivity of all on this small blue planet.
God Bless.

"His style presents the ultimate case study for airlines or any service company whereby if you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers, which will take care of your shareholders. That simple yet profound way of leading continues to inspire us, and we aspire to honor Herb's example."
American Airlines CEO Parker commenting on Mr Kelleher's unique legacy, faces a big task undoing a whole adversarial labor relations model embedded in his airline.



Unfortunately grubs like Mr O'Leary and countless other wannabes took elements of the Southwest recipe but lacking the vital ingredient never got it right.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 08:48
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Originally Posted by TriStar_drvr View Post
I’ll say that MOL might have copied his business model, but he damn sure fell short of Herb’s personal model.
Fair skies and tailwinds Herb.
Sorry, off topic a touch, I'm pretty sure MOL likes people to think he copied Southwest - it actually more closely resembled Valujet: history somehow got revised...
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 10:40
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Herb proved the theory that if your staff come first, they will take care of you..
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 11:00
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I’ll say that MOL might have copied his business model, but he damn sure fell short of Herb’s personal model.
So very very true!

I never met Herb Kelleher but he was a hero of mine. What a guy!
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 13:10
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He got my vote after chucking out the corporate lawyers and offering to settle a commercial dispute with an arm-wrestling contest. 👍🏻

Which he lost.... but won the bigger battle. 😁

The world needs more Herbs.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 13:37
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Originally Posted by alfaman View Post
Sorry, off topic a touch, I'm pretty sure MOL likes people to think he copied Southwest - it actually more closely resembled Valujet: history somehow got revised...
MOL went to the USA in 1991 before ValueJet was formed in 1993 - he definitely based the model on SW -

Unfortunately, he wasn't half as nice the guy that Herb was - but one thing he did take up - SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY - which was a basic principle at SW and not perhaps at VJ
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 14:18
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Aww, nuts ! 😢
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 16:34
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Originally Posted by Rated De View Post
One cannot fake sincerity.
Herb was the real deal.
He was a good human and understood the connectivity of all on this small blue planet.
God Bless.



American Airlines CEO Parker commenting on Mr Kelleher's unique legacy, faces a big task undoing a whole adversarial labor relations model embedded in his airline.



Unfortunately grubs like Mr O'Leary and countless other wannabes took elements of the Southwest recipe but lacking the vital ingredient never got it right.

It is said that when asked if he could describe his airline's success in 3 words he replied " USAir, USAir, USAir"
PSA had around 49% of the California market when USAir bought us and South West was a small regional airline out of Texas. USAir ripped us up and left a huge hole which Herb walked through. (To a lesser extent, so did Alaska with Sunglasses now on the Eskimo logo!)
Kudos to Mr. Kelleher for seizing the opportunity and producing such a great airline.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 18:43
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Years ago, in the Boeing newspaper (i.e. back when Boeing had a weekly newspaper - printed on real paper), they had a interview with Herb Kelleher. Fascinating reading - especially when he talked about the early days of Southwest. Stuff like how they learned how to turn a flight in 10 minutes (sounds impossible, doesn't it). Fascinating interview.

He will be missed.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 19:13
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Southwest is famously a loyal Boeing customer:

Southwest Airlines took to the skies in 1971 as a maverick upstart—and they retain this spirit today. Southwest and Boeing have been partners since the company's inception, when Boeing helped Southwest begin operations with three 737-200s. Since then, Southwest has faithfully remained an all-Boeing fleet.

"In 1971, Boeing made three white-tails available to a pissant little airline trying to start service in Texas," [CEO Jim] Parker said. "We remember those favors, and we have never flown anything but Boeing since."
https://www.boeing.com/news/frontier...une/i_ca2.html

Kelleher often observed that airline taxes were even higher than those on booze and cigarettes. For him he said, that was a triple whammy.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 21:28
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tdracer, I once watched an equally very interesting documentary about him, including an interview with the man. I can't remember when or where though. Might well be on the net but I haven't looked yet.
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Old 4th Jan 2019, 23:56
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Definitely an inspiration to many aviation professionals and enthusiasts, may he fly in peace eternally.
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Old 5th Jan 2019, 11:33
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
MOL went to the USA in 1991 before ValueJet was formed in 1993 - he definitely based the model on SW -

Unfortunately, he wasn't half as nice the guy that Herb was - but one thing he did take up - SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY - which was a basic principle at SW and not perhaps at VJ
Correct he did.

Business magazine did a piece on MOL circa 1994 when Ryanair was still an upstart airline. MOL met with Herb and Colleen Barrett and he describes their meeting and subsequent dinner. Apparently lots of alcohol was involved and lasted most of the night with people dropping off to sleep occasionally. All 3 apparently trace their heritage back to one small town in County Cork in Ireland was the claim.

The MYTH that MOL and Ryanair did not follow the Southwest way is laughable. Everybody did but the idea there was a single standard Southwest way is also laughable and this was described by Herb many decades ago. They looked at each market and tailored their offering to it to grow the market and gain share. Adapting the way they operate each and every time was the way they were successful. When they got to a particular size then it becomes easier.

US marketplace is very different to Europe as carriers go Chapter 11 in the US and start again while wiping out pay and benefits. This doesn't happen in Europe therefore a different model needed to operate to be successful and starting up a fully unionised with mega benefits airline in Europe was never going to be a success.

Herb was definitely a pioneer.
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 09:59
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Don't forget Sir Freddie please.
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 09:59
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This isn't PSA as PSA copied them as well: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Air_Lines


Herb said his inspiration was PSA however I've always wondered if thats the whole story especially because of Southwest Airways original livery colors "coincidence" and the desire of SWA to perhaps camouflage being such a blatant knock off after also using the name and business model.

Southwest Airways (later Pacific Air Lines) is the origin of the no frills, low cost, quick turns, fun loving, light hearted persona discount airline business model. US deregulation was like an angel descending from heaven for Herb in 1978. Herb did it well and also had much better luck of timing.

The conversation isn't complete without the names Jack Connelly and Leland Hayward. They both passed away the year Southwest Airlines began operations. They have been all but forgotten in the shadow of SWA.
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Old 6th Jan 2019, 15:23
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When will we again see a blatant knockoff (as a big +) of the original Southwest (Airways) model. Instead of later new and not so new-comers that try to emmulate Ryanair's bloated you can have most for a price so we can grow model. To succeed you ned to do the original fresh stripped out version, not the 20 years down the line FR effigy, filled with extra money making schemes that looks good on paper but have efficiency and reputation repercussions. Something Ryanair wouldn't have dreamt of doing as a streamlined upstart disruptor. There are no complaints of split families or middle seats with free seating.
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Old 7th Jan 2019, 14:01
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