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Southwest Airlines Won’t Follow ‘Basic Economy’ Trend

CEO Gary Kelly says low-cost pioneer will maintain two-free-bags policy as well

The pioneering low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines has no interest in following the crowd and offering a “basic economy” product, CEO Gary Kelly says.

Travel and Leisure reports that Kelly stated bluntly: “You’re not going to see basic economy from Southwest.”

He also said that the airline has no plans to change its policy of allowing travelers to check two pieces of luggage at no additional charge.

“We’re not going to charge for bag fees,” Kelly said.

“I love the fact that we’re different, and [other airlines] unbundle and we don’t; and so we just need to continue to find ways with the universe of travelers and the varying needs that they have to see how we can stay true to our brand and offer something of more value to road warriors, to once-a-year-flyers, whatever it might be.”

JetBlue and Alaska Airlines, major competitors to Southwest, both offer basic economy class service. The no-frills tickets help legacy carriers like American, United, and Delta Air Lines compete with low-cost rivals like Spirit Airlines.