Case Detail

Case Summary

Southwest Airlines Flight 1248 (C)

Case Number: 5-107-001(C), Year Published: 2007

HBS Number: KEL287

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Authors: Daniel Diermeier; Justin Heinze

Key Concepts

Crisis Management, Reputation Management, CEO Decision-making


After the company’s first aviation fatality, Southwest Airlines’ CEO is faced with new and difficulty decisions. The alacrity and compassion that characterized the company’s response serves as a paradigm for any organization facing a future crisis situation.

Learning Objectives

Taken together, the cases address the following teaching objectives:

  • Understand the strategic and reputational nature of crises
  • Understand the challenges of managing a crisis, whether the company is at fault or not
  • Learn the requirements for building trust in a crisis

Number of Pages: 5

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Strategy

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: Chicago, United States

Industry: Airlines

Organization Name: Southwest Airlines

Organization Department: Management

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Position: CEO

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2006