Bags still fly free, but Southwest is hinting at some new non-ticket revenue initiatives

Southwest Airlines has arguably built a franchise around its bags fly free mantra, but the airline appears to be working on new initiatives to shore up its non-ticket revenues.

Now that its new reservations system is at full capability, the US low cost carrier is preparing to unveil some new revenue initiatives later this year, but for now the company is keeping mum on those plans.

“…it’s a little early for competitive reasons to share exactly what we want to do,” CEO Gary Kelly recently told analysts. “And so, yes, you’re going have to stay tuned on that for sometime later in the year when it’s more ready for primetime. That will give us a better opportunity to forecast better what we think the benefits will be.”

For now, Southwest is enjoying the benefits of introducing variable pricing for its “Early Bird” check in product that allows customers to pay for a better boarding group. Company executives stated the new pricing scheme was performing right in line if not slightly ahead of expectations.

There are obviously no expectations for Southwest to introduce a basic economy fare or charge of bag fess; but interestingly, Mr Kelly stated he’s asked all the time about a basic economy type fare.

“You’re not going to see basic economy from Southwest. That’s not what we do. And I already said, we’re not going to charge for bag fees. We have we think better opportunities that fit our brand.,” Mr Kelly declared.

He stressed Southwest needs to continue to find ways within the “universe of travellers 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”.