Tales From The Cowboy Days Of The Airline Industry: Herb Kelleher

There have been a lot of exciting moments in the commercial aviation industry over the last 50 years.  Deregulation brought on many changes that the “cowboy” CEOs of the time handled in different ways.  Guys like Bob Crandall, Gordon Bethune and Herb Kelleher have so many stories to tell.  For me, some of the best stories of that generation are the ones they tell themselves.  Herb Kelleher was the humorous, purposed CEO for many years.  He’s done enough notable things to fill books.

A friend of mine, Michael P, pointed me in the direction of a podcast entitled “How I Built This” on NPR.  I’ll admit, I hadn’t heard of it previously.  The host’s name is Guy Raz.  That presented a bit of silly confusion for me, in that I thought it was humorous Herb kept calling him Guy instead of by his name.  Silly me.  The podcast is embedded below for you to listen in.


The Final Two Pennies

I had hoped he’d go into more detail on Southwest Airlines being the largest wholesale purchaser of liquor in Texas for a few months.  That’s one of my favorite stories from that generation.  It’s a great tale of how a scrappy team came up with a way to beat a much bigger competitor at their own game.  Thanks, Herb.  I loved listening to him tell stories about the “good old days” of air travel.

BTW, if you’re having trouble with the embed above, I did find a link to the actual episode instead of having to scroll through the entire episode list on NPR.

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