You can't have a mid-life crisis in the airline industry because every day is a crisis.
Most people think of us as this flamboyant airline, but we're really very conservative from the fiscal standpoint.
When I started working on Southwest Airlines, I kid you not, only people flying on business and very wealthy people ever flew.
I guess the worst moment I ever had in business was the fear that Southwest Airlines wouldn't get off the ground.
The spirit of Southwest Airlines is exuberant, it's caring, it's dedicated, it's diligent, it's fun, it's rewarding, it's a joy.
Keep costs low and spirits high, and the people of Southwest Airlines will keep LUV in the air.
In 1996 - when, for the fifth year in a row, we had the best record among major airlines for on-time performance and for baggage handling and the fewest complaints for the number of customers carried - we dedicated an airplane to all of our 25,000 people. We put all their names on the outside of the overhead bins.
I've been asked a number of times what was my proudest accomplishment when I was still very active in the day-to-day affairs of Southwest Airlines. I always said job security for our people.
Just because you don't announce your plan doesn't mean you don't have one.
I've always said manage in good times so that you're ready for the bad times.
Power should be reserved for weightlifting and boats, and leadership really involves responsibility.
The clear, unmistakable sign of a bureaucrat is somebody who worries about whether he has a window.
Wild Turkey whiskey and Philip Morris cigarettes are essential to the maintenance of human life!
The people of Southwest have always been my pride, my joy and my love. Their indomitable dedication and esprit de corps have taken Southwest from a three-airplane dream to a 500-airplane reality.
We will hire someone with less experience, less education, and less expertise than someone who has more of those things and has a rotten attitude. Because we can train people. We can teach people how to lead. We can teach people how to provide customer service. But we can't change their DNA.
Your employees come first. And if you treat your employees right, guess what? Your customers come back, and that makes your shareholders happy. Start with employees and the rest follows from that.
We turned our planes around after landing and got them off again in 20 minutes back in the early days; 15 minutes in many cases. That gave us a huge cost advantage because we could do more flying in a day with a single plane than anybody else.
Fight hierarchy and bureaucracy as hard as you possibly can. Don't ever let it become the master; always remember it's the servant.
I tell my employees that we're in the service business, and it's incidental that we fly airplanes.
Who says a lighthearted approach to business is incompatible with success?