Remember when Southwest was an industry darling?

The “news” was atwitter this evening about a DOT investigation into Southwest’s service meltdown, as it is considerably worse than the other airline’s. The CEO, Bob Jordan, was on, making soothing, conciliatory, noises.

One of the Southwest staff told the news their IT systems date from the 90s, and were never updated to handle the increased traffic at the airline since then.

My thoughts wandered back to the several cases, in recent years, of the airline paying multi-million dollar settlements with the FAA for pencil-whipping maintenance records, ignoring FAA maintenance directives, and, allegedly, “capturing” the FAA office charged with inspecting the airline.

I looked at their balance sheet. Nope, it is not billions into negative equity, like Boeing and McDonald’s. But, in the underinvestment, and corner-cutting on maintenance, there is the stench of beancounters at work.

Looked into CEO Bob Jordon. Nope. He is an IT guy. Oh, wait. He has only been CEO since Feb, 2022.

Gary Kelly was CEO from 2004 to Feb, 2022, and is still Chairman. What does his CV say? Bachelor’s in Accounting from the University of Texas. Audit Manager at Arthur Young & Co. From 86-01: controller/CFO/VP Finance at Southwest.

Funny how that beancounter touch always shows up, eventually, when something happens to put a little pressure on, and the company they hollowed out collapses.

Herb Kelleher must be spinning in his grave.