Recently, American Airlines announced that it was going completely à la carte with its service offerings. Want a blanket? Pay X. Want to be put on standby? Pay Y. It is an attempt to wring out every last penny from all revenue sources in a somewhat desperate time.

Southwest, however, continues its one-price-and-done approach—and remains the most profitable airline.

As for brand reputation, there is little guessing as to which airline dominates.

Offer an Experience

Southwest is making money. It has done the math. Along with lower costs because of its fuel hedge purchasing strategy, it also knows how much it costs to deliver a passenger from point A to point B, including all the amenities and services. But because Southwest packages it all, the hassle is reduced. No need to worry about correct change or having your credit card.

Hassle-reduction reduces stress and creates a better experience, adding to the airline's aura.

You offer an experience by...

  • Understanding clearly your prospects' interests
  • Packaging a specific offering tailored to their needs
  • Simplifying the prospect's life, giving choice and even delighting them

Packaging Starts with Data

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Anthony Cirillo is president of Fast Forward Strategic Marketing Consulting, LLC ( in Huntersville, NC. Reach him via