Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly said Thursday his company's secret to standing out from the competition is simple: Don't nickel and dime your customer.
Kelly spoke after Southwest reported earnings that set new company records for first-quarter profit, operating income and free cash flow. The airline came in 4 cents above estimates with adjusted quarterly profit of 88 cents per share. Revenue also beat forecasts.
To be sure, low energy costs have given airlines a cushion. Southwest reported its fuel costs before hedging fell about 30 percent from a year ago and were down 3.3 percent on a hedged basis.
Shares of Southwest were 2.4 percent higher in premarket trading Thursday.