The Dallas Morning News has an interesting look at the changes Southwest Airlines is considering making over the next 2 years or so. Southwest has (obviously) been held up as a shining example of how to make an airline work in a miserable commercial environment. But over the past 3 years or so, their consumer value has diminished a bit, as other airlines are offering free TV, assigned seating, more legroom, and, likely in the near future, wi-fi, at the same price (or lower) than Southwest. They plan to roll out an assigned seating policy of some sort by the end of the year, they’re testing wi-fi, they may introduce TV, as well as considering other changes.
This hardly suggests that their model is broken, but other airlines offering similar value have surpassed them in nearly measure. As one person in the article said, with JetBlue you get free TV, with Southwest you get a funny boarding announcement.