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Improving Customer Flow in the Lobby

Tyler Vonderheide - Continuous Improvement Lead, Southwest Airlines

Customer satisfaction with airlines has steadily increased over the past seven years. Leading the pack is Southwest Airlines which was again ranked highest in customer satisfaction among low-cost carriers by the J.D. Power 2018 North America Airline Satisfaction Study. The study measures customer satisfaction for seven factors; Southwest ranked #1 in five of those factors within their category: cost & fees; boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservation. In its 48th year of service, Southwest is the largest domestic air carrier since 2003 and has maintained a delicate balance between low cost and high customer care. This balance has required a commitment to Innovation and Continuous Improvement across all its operations.

Join Tyler Vonderheide to learn about Continuous Improvement at Southwest and a recent project that he led at Chicago's Midway Airport. The project was born from SWA staff noticing inefficient customer flow during peak customer travel times. This resulted in customer confusion, underutilization of all Self Tagging Kiosks (STKs), and customer complaints. Customer Service Associates reacted by resorting to a one-line queue which only made the problem worse.

In this session, the following key points will be covered:

Tyler Vonderheide - Continuous Improvement Lead, Southwest Airlines

Tyler is a highly skilled cross-functional leader with a passion for improving customer value. Through Continuous Improvement, business alignment, and servant leadership his mission is to help all teams achieve success. With a strong foundation in analytics, business modeling, and operations, he champions low cost and Continuous Improvement across all Southwest operations with specific attention to Finance and Corporate Departments. Tyler leads Enterprise Continuous Improvement (ECI) projects and also serves as a strategic partner. Prior to Southwest, Tyler held engineering and lead positions with Lockheed Martin related to quality, manufacturing operations, and procurement.

He holds a bachelors in mechanical engineering from University of Florida and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. Tyler was awarded Lean Six Sigma Green & Black Belt certifications while at Lockheed Martin and is currently pursuing Master Black Belt certification.