As stock price plummets, changes may be incoming for Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines' stock price has struggled throughout the year and that may lead to big changes for customers in the future.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida / Gary Hershorn/GettyImages

Southwest Airlines is considered one of the top airline options for travelers flying on a budget. Yet, that company may be in line for changes as an investment group looks to take over more ownership in the publicly traded organization.

Elliot Investment Management has built an approximate $2 billion stake in Southwest Airlines. As the investment group continues to grab up more power, there are rumors of a push to make several changes within the airlines to recover the falling stock price. For example, President and CEO, Bob Jordan, talked about incoming changes.

“Additionally, we are evaluating options to enhance our Customer Experience as we study product preferences and expectations, including onboard seating and our cabin,” Jordan said. “And, we are implementing cost control initiatives, including limiting hiring and offering voluntary time off programs.”

Southwest has talked openly about making changes to its boarding policy. The airline was known for allowing customers to sit where they chose. That may be going away, making a shift to see customers pay more for priority seating or the opportunity to board earlier to choose their seats. These changes come at a time when other airlines are making changes and increasing fees in various ways. Southwest has mostly remained committed to keeping costs low and clear for travelers.

Southwest’s stock has continued to struggle throughout the year. In total, it is down nearly four percent. The highest it has hit in 2024 is $34.83 per share back in March. Since then, it has dropped down to $25.51 per share back on May 29.

It will be interesting to see what changes Southwest Airlines makes over time and how customers respond. With the goal to rebuild the stock price, there doesn’t seem to be anything that is off the table in the coming months to years.