just procrastinating

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Southwest Airlines and Whiskey
Something I read earlier today at Businesspundit made me think about this story in the early years of Southwest Airlines. Back in the 1972, Southwest flew from Houston to Dallas and back for $26 during the day and $13 at night. In a move to get rid of Southwest, Braniff had decided to cut their daily rate to $13. Southwest didn't want to fly that route for $13 during the day because it was unprofitable. More from the Handbook of Texas Online:
Braniff lowered its Dallas-Houston fare to just $13. In an action that became characteristic of the airline, Muse responded with newspaper advertisements claiming, "Nobody's going to shoot Southwest Airlines out of the sky for a lousy $13," offering customers their choice of either a $13 fare or a full-fare ticket plus a fifth of premium liquor. The bottles of liquor did not cost $13, but a businessman could put the $26 fare on his expense report and take the liquor home free. Once again, a Braniff tactic backfired. With 80 percent of its customer base choosing to pay full fare, Southwest won this 1972 fare war and became the largest distributor in Texas of Chivas, Crown Royal, and Smirnoff.
Can you imagine trying to slip that one by the folks in Finance? Walking off a plane with a bottle of whiskey; man are we lame nowadays or what?

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