Beware of Channel ‘Debt’ That Goes Unchecked

The Southwest meltdown yields valuable lessons for tech vendors, channel leaders
By T.C. Doyle

The meltdown that occurred in December 2022 at Southwest Airlines was a calamity for travelers, but also a cautionary tale for business leaders.

Southwest grounded an estimated 300,000 travelers in the days before Christmas 2022 when a powerful storm dumped an unexpectedly large amount of snow and ice on the Northeast United States. As weather conditions deteriorated, Southwest began canceling flights. Over a three-day period, it canceled more than 15,000 flights, stranding passengers from New York to California.

Although the snow fell evenly on all airlines serving the Northeast, only Southwest suffered a system-wide collapse. “Why” is a cautionary tale about decision-making, executive leadership, and business strategy that extends far beyond the transportation industry to companies ...

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