Someone far more brilliant and erudite than I contrived the best example of airline industry gallows humor: "How do you make a million dollars in the airline industry? You invest $100 million." The frequently bleak state of the industry sometimes inspires even the most unacquainted to become self-styled "experts" on the causes or solutions.
Southwest Airlines has been profitable for 38 consecutive years and has never furloughed an employee. Why is Southwest different? The Southwest difference is our people, and interacting with them on a daily basis is my fountain of youth and inspiration. Still, it would take away from their accomplishments that have been forged by sweat, brain, and muscle equity, to imply that Southwest’s singular record has been easy, preordained, or guaranteed. Nothing is further from the truth.