It really is amazing how a small act of kindness can make a profound difference in someone’s day…or life! We’ve all heard this saying a thousand times and have probably passed up opportunities to do something nice for someone else—I know I have! But last month I got to witness this firsthand when I enlisted the help of our Customers to send LUV to a child in need.
Here’s my story:
During boarding, a Customer stopped at the door and asked for a favor. I said sure! She wanted to know if she could take a picture of the plane because she was on her way to see her four-year-old niece who was having open-heart surgery. So after we boarded, I grabbed the PA and told the 140 Customers onboard what was going on and to show the LUV—and they nailed it!
Here’s the picture that this Customer shared with her niece.
A day later I received the following message on Facebook:
You don't know me, but you orchestrated an incredible moment that impacted my family and everyone that knows us in a magical way. My daughter Teagan underwent open heart surgery Friday. You had the pleasure of meeting my sister Amber.
That photo has created an overwhelming response for compassion and good. With all the crap going on in the world, it was a symbol that at the heart of everyone is the belief that love and kindness exist. I know you didn't do it for any personal benefit, but if I had my way, the whole world would know of you and of what you created. Thank you from the bottom of our now mended hearts! You are an amazing person, and I'm glad our paths crossed. God bless you. 💗 I'm sure this will not be the last you hear from me!
Along with this message was a family photo with little Teagan in the middle.
*An update on Teagan: After only 96 hours after open-heart surgery, she went home. Teagan had surgery on Friday, July 8, 2016 and left the hospital on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.
I am so glad that I was able to help Amber (Teagan’s Aunt) when she asked for a favor on the plane that day, and I am thankful that I work for a Company that lets us be ourselves. We are here to help our Customers, and as small of an act as it was, I did what I could to help this Customer. Thanks for letting me share my story, and best wishes to Teagan and her family!
Thank You for caring hearts going to help heal a heart. This is what makes your Airline a little more special! God Bless All in this wonderful picture!
Does anyone know of a site I can go to looking for possible point/mile donations? My grandpa passed away last night and would really like to make it for his service but I am unable to financially. I am a rapid rewards member but have very few points.my Name is Tarah Manning My rr# is20698370976 my email address is email@example.com in case anyone out there would be generous enough to transfer there unused points or help out..It is very hard asking for a helping hand but hopefully it will serve its purpose..I can provide hospice and or funeral info in case you would like to verify my story before donating..thanks for taking the time to read.hope to hear from u.
On May 21, Southwest Airlines welcomed 162 new Interns to the Southwest Family. As the Marketing Department Operations and Planning Intern, I am fortunate to be one of the Interns selected to participate in the Campus Reach program. Here’s a look into my first day of orientation.
8:00 a.m. – Start of Orientation
I was welcomed to the Company in true Southwest style! Every Intern starts their first day by walking through a celebratory tunnel of cheers before orientation begins.
In the morning, we learned about all things Southwest. We enjoyed a tour of our Headquarters building, learned about the Company’s history, and talked about our awesome flight benefits! My favorite fun fact is that Headquarters was designed to ensure every Employee is given equal opportunity to witness the best views our Corporate Campus provides. As a result, we all share the amazing views of Love Field and downtown Dallas from the top floor of the building.
12:00 p.m. – Lunch
Midday, we had an opportunity to connect with the best part of the internship, the People! My Intern Cohearts are amazing. We represent 73 schools and 23 states, each with diverse backgrounds and fields of study. Lunch was a great opportunity to make new friends, take pictures at the photo booth, and pick up our first item of Southwest swag.
1:00 p.m. – Afternoon
After lunch, we continued our education of Southwest. We watched videos, which provided us with some great historical touchpoints. If you’ve ever heard of the epic arm wrestling match known as Malice in Dallas, it’s a great example of the Fun-LUVing Attitude valued by Southwest!
5:00 p.m. – Southwest Deck Party
At the end of the day, we enjoyed our first Southwest Deck Party, which is a weekly opportunity to mingle with Cohearts and enjoy great food. At Southwest, every day is an opportunity to live out the Values of the Company while engaging in our incredible Culture!
Orientation was just a preview of the fabulous adventure that I’m embarking on this summer. Thank you Southwest Airlines for this amazing opportunity—I’m so grateful for the warm welcome to the Family!
Our Vision at Southwest Airlines is to be the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline. We strive to deliver Outstanding Hospitality to our Customers day in and day out as we serve over 100 destinations across the U.S. and 10 additional countries. Our Employees are the Heart of our Company and interact daily with our Customers. Read more to hear some of the recent travel stories that our Customers shared with us!
The Midnight Junior Flight Attendant
Submitted by sayrajan27
I wanted to give a shout out to Danielle and the amazing Flight Crew on Flight #3574 from San Francisco to Denver. My daughters fly back and forth between Colorado and California often to visit their dad. On this particular flight my 7-year-old, Sophia, was having a rough night and flight back home to Colorado. She was sad to leave her dad but she was also very tired as it was a midnight flight.
Sophia started crying and sweet Danielle asked her if she would like to be a junior Flight Attendant. Sophia instantly stopped crying and helped the Flight Crew hand out snacks and pick up trash. She got a round of applause at the end of the flight making her a very, very happy little girl!! I cannot thank Danielle and the Flight Crew enough for doing what they did that night. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts!
Southwest’s Raleigh/Durham, NC Station Helps Save a 50th Anniversary Celebration
Submitted by JorieWalker
The Southwest ticket agent at your Raleigh/Durham Station saved my neighbors' 50th anniversary! They were told by the cruise line that they could not board the cruise ship without their passports, which they had accidentally left at home. This was terrible news because they had booked a cruise with their whole family—kids, grandkids, siblings, and friends included—so a lot of money and planning hours were invested.
Plus, these neighbors are the very best of people. They've given so much of their time and effort to others and they never hesitate to lend a hand when they're needed. Of all the people I know, these good souls deserved a celebration. But that was about to not happen. They were told about the passport problem on Saturday, and their cruise was due to leave Sunday afternoon, New Year’s Eve.
I was called in to help get these passports to their hotel in Florida. I got the passports from their house and started frantically driving to or calling every shipping company I'd heard of. After having no luck with any of them, I stood in line at the Southwest terminal at RDU (which was the longest I'd ever seen—almost back to baggage claim) to see if there was anything they could do to help.
The ticket agent was a miracle worker! She helped me get a last-minute ticket on a holiday weekend that enabled me to hand-deliver their passports and still be back home in time to celebrate the holiday with my own family, all at a reasonable price. And she worked through this miracle with cheerful patience that was unexpected with that long of a line. The relief and joy she brought to an entire family was indescribable. Smiles and tears all around. She is just one of the reasons I will always search Southwest Airlines first. Thank you, Southwest Airlines and your RDU Station!
The Adventure of my Lost iPad
Submitted by Egrant
Late last year, I tearfully left Memphis en route to Tampa. It had been a rough two weeks due to a family situation, but I needed to get home and pack for my upcoming move to Memphis.
I arrived in Tampa and went home, got to work and then realized I had left my iPad on the plane. I drove to the airport and was met by the most professional Employee, Customer Service Agent Donna Gandy, who realized my distress and started to make calls. She called upstairs to my gate and asked OPS Agent Lakayla Nelson if an iPad had been turned in. By luck, OPS Agent Thomas Keesling overheard the call and a Flight Attendant had just handed him my iPad that had taken a journey from Tampa to LaGuardia back to Tampa.
My boyfriend and now fiancé, Mark Davis, and I have commuted on Southwest for over a year between Tampa and Memphis and plan to marry in 2018. We owe the solid building of our relationship to your reasonable direct flights between Memphis and Tampa. Thank you, Southwest!
Want to share your story? Have you witnessed an over-the-top act of Southwest Airlines Employee kindness? Let us know at Southwest.com/contact-us.
I want to give a shout-out to Southwest Customer Service Agent Ed #35! I'm a patient at MDAnderson Cancer Center in Houston, and I travel there on Southwest every three weeks from my Milwaukee Home. Unexpectedly (and uncharacteristically), my doctors will finish
with me early - and Ed saved the day by moving me to an earlier flight tonight at no extra charge. This isn't the first time Southwest has accommodated erratic treatment schedules that run long, get changed or act unpredictably in other ways. I can't say enough for your flexibility and understanding for those of us whose top priority is getting well. Thanks, Ed! Thanks Southwest! - Betsy B.
I am flying from Atlanta to Punta Cana. This is my first international flight. Any tips or things I should be aware of? I just read that I will have to claim bags on a layover. Is this true? What about snacks and drinks? Can I bring these on an international flight with a layover in the US?
Bags will be checked through on the way to Punta Cana, but whenever you come back to the United States from an international destination you will need to get your bags and clear customs at your first stop in the US. After exiting customs you'll recheck your bags and proceed to the next leg of your trip. The exception is if you are coming from a preclearance location where customs clearance is done before you depart the international location. Punta Cana is not a preclearance location.
Food can be taken on board, but plan on eating or disposing of everything that isn't in a sealed package before getting off the plane in a different country. Transporting perishables (fruits, vegetables, etc) between countries is a big no no.
If you have time before your trip I strongly recommend obtaining Global Entry from US Customs, it definitely speeds up the customs process when returning to the US and includes TSA PreCheck for travel within the US.
Enjoy your trip!
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Food can be taken on board, but plan on eating or disposing of everything that isn't in a sealed package before getting off the plane in a different country.
Especially any fruits or meats! You can't bring back any apples or bananas or other fruit or vegetables that you got at the resort hotel into the USA when you come back, and having these on you when you come through customs will cause you a delay if they are detected.
How does the customs process work?
I am making an assumption here based on my past travels, but I would assume that when you check your bags, they will be checked directly to Punta Cana; check with the agent when you check your bag. On the way back may be different. It is common to have to claim bags and go through customs when you come off your flight that gets you back in the US and then re-check for your connecting flight back to Atlanta.
As far as food and drinks, you can bring things on board regardless of the destination. Keep in mind that you will not be able to bring liquids (beyond small toiletries) through security.
Hope that helps!
We rented a car for our trip in December (12/21 - 12/29) and finally received 600 points from the rental on 1/11/18. The thing I don't like is that these points aren't being added to my companion pass qualifying points for this current year. I get that these are points from a 2017 trip, but if I was 599 points short of qualifying for companion pass in 2017, these points would not be added to my 2017 numbers and then qualify me for companion pass. So in essence, these points aren't being counted for anything.
Note, that I did qualify for the CP in 2017 so I didn't need the points, but feel these points since they weren't awarded until 1/11/18 should count towards 2018 CP qualification. Any thoughts on why they aren't counted for either year?
Just venting, and ultimately thankful for the 600 points and hoping that I won't need those last few points come December to re-qualify for CP again. :-)
They weren't the bonus points, just the 600 points for a regular rental. I did get the points credited to my RR account, just not the CP.
Thanks for the update @TheMiddleSeat! I'll keep an eye on it.
Thanks @Lindsey, I will do that. I haven't received the CP points for that rental.
I agree completly! I booked through the SW site. When I click recent activity, it shows the 600 points for the rental, but when I click to see what is CP qualifying, they go away and they aren't in my total points on the dashboard either for CP. I get the additional points won't be, but I haven't even received those yet.
Check the terms of the rental, if these are bonus points then they aren't always applicable to CP qualification, but you should have them added to your balance of rapid rewards points for booking travel, etc.
All the car rental promotions on the Southwest site say it may take up to 8 weeks for points to post and I imagine the individual rental agencies sites all say similar things regarding points posting to any frequent flyer account. As Southwest doesn't have have direct insight into your car rental like it does with a flight you take, points are going to take some time to post.
What's confusing is that you say the 600 points weren't Companion Pass qualifying points. If you booked through the Southwest site the 600 points should count towards CP. Additional points most likely would not be CP qualifying. And since the 600 posted in 2018 they count towards the 110,000 points you would need to retain CP next year.
I still haven't received the companion pass points for this car rental. is anyone else still having this problem?
I did rent a car last week and have received those points and they were credited to my CP points so it must have something to do with original rental was 12/30 and must just be lost. :-(
On July 3, 2016, Pilot Trey Turner saw a familiar old friend sitting across the gate area in Oklahoma City. Upon closer inspection, he realized he was being afforded the opportunity to reunite with his favorite teacher, whom he hadn’t seen in over 21 years.
Trey Turner, on Mrs. Laura Deaver:
I wouldn’t say I was a bad kid, but middle school was … a trying time. My interests in 6th grade were limited to planes and baseball. I had this wonderful teacher who had a baseball-themed classroom: Needless to say, she was my favorite.
That was 21 long years ago now, and I’ve spent the last two flying for Southwest. I’ve somehow managed to turn my favorite hobby into a career, and I’m so thankful Southwest has picked me to do this. I don’t typically think back on my mischievous middle school years, but I was confronted with them in the gate area of a recent flight to Houston.
Sitting at the gate doing some preliminary flight reading, clad in my Southwest uniform, I noticed a woman sitting across the gate area who looked familiar. I had to get closer to be sure, so I made my way toward her. Her phone was sitting on the seat next to her, so I pretended to sit on it ... she looked up and recognized me immediately.
“Oh my gosh, Trey Turner!” she shouted. And just like that, it was like I was in 6th grade again talking with my favorite teacher, Mrs. Laura Deaver.
“Every time I come down here, I look for you,” she told me. She wanted to take a selfie, but I knew I could give her a far better experience than a simple selfie. “Let’s go in the cockpit after the flight lands!” I suggested, since I was just traveling and not flying. She was so cute about it, asking, “Am I allowed to be up here?” We were afforded some time to catch up on the short flight over the last 21 years. She hadn’t aged a day.
“I am so proud of you,” she told me, “I can’t believe all that you’ve done.” Her compliments amused me, because I don’t feel like I’ve done that much. I get to spend my life doing what I love: flying planes.
Mrs. Laura Deaver, on Trey Turner:
Having been a teacher for 23 years, all of my students are my favorite, but there’s just something different about Trey. He has this twinkle in his eye. He was one of those kids that would hang around after class, just to talk.
My family and I fly nothing but Southwest Airlines. I’ve been Facebook Friends with Trey for years, so I knew he flew for Southwest, but it’s really unusual to run into former students. Sometimes you see them from afar, but they don’t recognize you. That wasn’t the case with Trey.
When we were boarding, he asked if I wanted to sit together on the plane and I said I absolutely did. I think he was almost as excited as I was.
It was clear, as he showed me his travel log and patiently answered all my aviation questions, that he has a true passion and love for what he does. It was so wonderful to see him so successful, and so happy to see me! I wanted to take a selfie with him, but he offered to show me the cockpit instead. Since we were last to get off the plane, Trey asked the Captain to take our picture. He explained how I was his 6th grade English teacher, which launched the Captain and First Officer into stories about their own middle school teachers.
You see them as 6th graders, and sometimes later in middle school. Every once in a while one will come back, but for all intents and purposes, you don’t see them again. They don’t come back to visit. Running into Trey made my summer. It may have made my year! It’s still on my bucket list to be on a plane that he’s flying—I’d fly anywhere with him.
You won’t get friendlier skies than Trey Turner. Did I tell you about the twinkle in his eye? He always looks like he’s up to something.
Watching a total eclipse of the sun is, typically, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I was lucky enough to see one once before, in 1970, from Eastern North Carolina. But watching the eclipse on August 21, 2017 from an altitude of 37,000 feet above Western Idaho along with 173 others equally excited was truly a “who gets to do something like THIS???” moment! Between Southwest's flights up, down, and across the continent, we actually had several regularly scheduled flights within the path of totality—best of all, there were seats available for anyone that wanted to buy a ticket to witness the show in the sky. My Coheart David and I were onboard Flight 1368, Portland to St. Louis, which followed the path of totality perfectly. We're here to tell you what it was like, with as many pictures as we can.
Monday, 8/31—5:30 a.m. PDT
Arrived at the Portland International Airport after a 3-hour drive from Seattle. Was expecting heavy traffic. There was none. The only notable thing about the trip was some random guy at a (totally packed) Rest Area off of the I-5 dressed in a Poo Emoji costume. (???)
6:00 a.m. PDT
Southwest ticket counters and kiosks are busy, not crazed. Chatted with a few Friends in Customer Service working the counter, had some (badly needed) coffee, and proceeded through TSA Checkpoint for Concourse C.
At gate C12, there were a few enthusiasts already in the waiting area for our 9:00 a.m. flight. We began chatting with them as the crowd of enthusiasts grew—people had actually flown TO Portland to take this specific flight! We had Customers from Manchester, NH, NYC, Las Vegas, and a father/son duo that traveled from their homes in Denver and San Diego (respectively) that were all there and flying for the same reason—to join One Team: All Eclipse!
7:30 a.m PDT
Our inbound aircraft, N8306H—a 737-800—was operating about 30 minutes behind schedule due to air traffic getting out of the Bay Area in Northern California. Everything indicated we would still be fine, we’d just meet Eclipse 2017 a little quicker than we’d planned. We’d still be high into the stratosphere!
8:15 a.m. PDT
We begin our announcements about the special flight, for which we received applause, cheers, whoops and loud shouts of “YES!!!!” It was clear we had a “boat” full of fliers eager to see the eclipse from the heavens. About that time our ride to the skies pulled into our gate to even more whoops and cheers.
9:00 a. m. PDT
Preboarding begins, followed by general boarding. All Customers and Crew aboard all of our Eclipse2017 flights received certified Southwest Eclipse Glasses and a commemorative card outlining the events AND the “cosmic drinks” to be offered aboard!
9:30 a.m. PDT
Pushback from gate C12! On our way—we’re airborne and wheels-up just minutes later. Everyone aboard immediately hit the Free TV available on Southwest to watch either CBS News or NBC News, both of which were broadcasting the eclipse live, starting about 75 miles Southeast of Portland in Madras, OR. We were closing in on Madras along our line of flight and actually watching the progress of the eclipse approaching us from the back via Free TV!
9:50 a.m. PDT
The sunlight starts to become less intense as we cross the Columbia River heading to the Southeast. Our Captain has told us he will fly our aircraft through a series of curves to give Customers on both sides of the plane a great view, which would be taking place almost directly above us, and practices just to let us know what it felt like.
11:20 a.m. MDT
We just crossed the line into Idaho (and the Mountain Time Zone) and it’s getting very dark. Captain gives us a three-minute warning of near-totality, with totality expected at approximately 11:27 a.m. for about three minutes (one minute longer than on the ground because of our speed). Excitement among everyone, Customers and Crew alike, is growing as the land and skies darken!
11:27 a.m. MDT
TOTALITY!! Our Captain begins S-turns to give everyone a view—and WHAT a sight! The cabin is dark but more excited than a Friday night flight to Las Vegas. You can hear People all over the cabin in window seats are saying “Come on! Lean over here! Get this shot! LOOK AT THIS!” Here’s the photo my new Friend Jim from New Hampshire in the row in front of me took, as well as one my colleague David took of the horizon during totality. Note the corona of the sun in Jim’s and how you can see past the moon’s shadow in David’s out into where the sun is still shining!
11:31 a.m. MDT
And just like that ... totality is over, and the sun seems to increase in intensity far quicker than it faded. I guess it’s like a concert you’ve waited to see—the run-up seems interminable, the event seems to flash by, and before you know it, you’re looking for the after party—which we got! Our awesome Flight Attendants came through with drinks. Then, with more than two-and-a-half hours left, for many of us, it was nap time!
As someone that remembers People more than sights or things, the excitement of the Customers and Crew on board flight 1368 is what I’ll remember most. We thought we’d be the only geeked-out people aboard. Wow were we wrong! A close second would be the incredible views, majesty, and sheer humbling beauty of watching a total eclipse of the sun, 37,000 feet in the sky inside and aircraft with their Heart on the entry door. It’s totally worth it, everyone. So ... see you again in April of 2024?
Thank you for writing about your Solar Eclipse experience in great detail. I had originally planned on driving out to Carbondale, IL to witness the event, but couldn't secure a place to stay for the night ( was able to witness it on TV). Now I can't wait to start planning for the next solar exclipse on April 2024!
We are planning to travel from Omaha to Punta Cana in April. There are flights throughout the month going to the Dominican Republic, but no return flights. Will additional flights be scheduled soon? If not, what do they do with the empty airplanes?
It's an issue with the timing of the return flights, you won't be able to book a single reservation for flights from Punta Cana to Omaha. Flights from Punta Cana are routing through Chicago (because Omaha has non-stop service to Chicago) and the earliest arrival into Chicago is too late to catch a flight to Omaha. Southwest won't let you make a reservation for flights that require an overnight stay, that's why you aren't seeing any return flights. You would need to purchase a Punta Cana to Chicago flight, then also purchase a Chicago to Omaha flight the next day, and book a hotel room in Chicago for the overnight.
It will put some stress onto yourself, but you can also look at booking separate trips if you can get to a different airport from Punta Cana - the choices on the current route map are MDW, ATL, FLL, and BWI...when I click the map for non-stops to OMA I only see MDW there out of these choices.
So - all of these are potentially not the best to get back to Omaha...it seems like MDW would have been the best choice for Punta Cana.
There are some select service hotels with shuttle service around MDW although I've never tried these since I live here....HGI, Hamptonn, some independent operators...depending what you'll pay for luggage it might be close.
One week from today, Southwest will celebrate an exciting moment in the lives of millions of Americans: a total solar eclipse visible in a coast-to-coast celestial shadow that will temporarily envelop Southwest cities from Portland, OR, to Charleston, SC.
There are several scheduled flights most likely to experience maximum effects of the eclipse on August 21, and we’re bringing Customers on those flights some commemorative flare with special viewing glasses and cosmic cocktails.
"Not to throw too much shade but with 3,857 flights scheduled to operate that day using our all-Boeing 737 fleet, we'll be unmatched in offering hundreds of seats in the air over the continental U.S. that morning with a potential view of the rare sight," said Warren Qualley, Manager Meteorology for Southwest. "We plan to showcase the glow of our everyday Hospitality in a different light on these celebratory flights in our summer flight schedule and our team of Meteorologists is working hard to provide clear viewing* of this solar spectacle from our flights! The next total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. won't occur until April 8, 2024, so don't miss this opportunity!"
Network & Schedule Planners modeled the operational day against projections of the umbra and penumbra--shadows cast by the moon's eclipse of the sun. On August 21, the scheduled Southwest flights with the greatest likelihood of offering those in the air the best view are:
Southwest Flight #1375 departing Seattle-Tacoma at 8:50 a.m. PDT for St. Louis
Southwest Flight #1368 departing Portland at 9:05 a.m. PDT for St. Louis
Southwest Flight #1969 departing Denver at 9:50 a.m. MDT for Atlanta
Southwest Flight #1577 departing Denver at 10:20 a.m. MDT for St. Louis
Southwest Flight #301 departing Denver at 10:20 a.m. MDT for Nashville
Not planning on traveling that day? Don’t worry—you can still follow along on the Southwest Facebook page where we’ll be livestreaming the action.
*Looking directly at the sun is never recommended, but one can safely observe an eclipse with specialty-rated solar filters.
Are you in town for a Flight Attendant interview this week? We would love to hear from you! Feel free to share your Southwest selfie photobooth pics and your experience here on our Careers discussion board. Thanks for joining the conversation on Community!
Hi there @mojoloving,
Our heart skipped a beat from your kind comments and great group #selfie photo!
Hi there @Loverton8,
Thank you for your response and your love for Southwest! Sorry to hear it did not work out for you this time. We appreciate your interest in the Flight Attendant position and wish you luck in your career.
Hi there @Kaleoaloha,
Aloha! Thanks for your question and we appreciate your interest in joining the Southwest family in Hawaii. Right now it sounds like you are doing exactly what we would recommend. Continue to monitor our Career Discussion board here and future employment opportunities at www.southwest.com/Careers.
I came for an interview today and it was SO GREAT! I LUVed every moment! My interviewers were so warm and friendly it really felt like catching up with old friends! I was so impressed by everyone we came into contact with and even some of the FAs in some of the FA promotional materials were there so I felt like I was meeting celebrities! Thanks Southwest! 💙❤💛
Thank you for sharing the FUN group selfie pic! We are thrilled to hear you enjoyed your interview experience and appreciate your passion in joining the Southwest family.
Hi there @juanafly,
Thanks for your kind words and we love your photo! Looks like you have the drink tray skills down
Hi there @DallasLuv,
It was a real pleasure meeting you today and thanks for the kind words on your interview experience! We think you are pretty awesome too. Much luck in your Career, sounds like you are ready for it to take-off