Officials at Southwest Airlines today announced that its website, southwest.com, has already generated more than $1 billion in passenger revenues this year. Approximately 30 percent of Southwest`s total passenger revenues are currently made directly through the site. The number of reservations booked through southwest.com from January through August 2000 has increased 96.2 percent and revenue has increased 111 percent from the same time last year.
“I think the success of southwest.com speaks volumes about the loyalty of our Customers and the faith they have in our product,” said Kevin Krone, Southwest`s senior director of marketing automation. “People have a choice of airlines and an even greater choice of websites, but they clearly believe that Southwest Airlines and southwest.com offer the best value.”
Since making online reservations available in April 1996, southwest.com quickly gained altitude after introducing weekly Internet fare specials in February 1998. Subscribers to the “Click `n Save” program have nearly doubled since this time last year, and now top 2.7 million. Another contributing factor to the site`s success is the exclusive offer of double credit to members in Southwest`s frequent flyer program, Rapid Rewards, for each online purchase. That offer was recently extended to June 30, 2001.
Southwest recently added a free tool for business travel managers to track travel booked online through southwest.com. Hundreds of companies have registered for “SWABIZ” and the program continues to pick up steam.
“SWABIZ provides information a travel manager can actually use, and it saves them some money,” said Mark Erickson, Southwest`s national accounts manager. “Third-party websites for corporate travel charge a fee for the service. We offer real-time access to Southwest Airlines inventory without charging a fee.”
Southwest plans to make southwest.com even easier to use with increased functionality for Customers and e-mailable itineraries. Customers should also look forward to additional travel products available through southwest.com.
Southwest’s website was named by Business Week to the “Web Smart 50” along with other companies using the net in the most innovative ways and as one of the nation’s ten best that “get it” when it comes to electronic commerce in FORTUNE magazine’s Nov. 8, 1999 issue. FORTUNE praised the site for its ease of navigation and ticket purchase.