In addition to the young women from GenHERation who participated in Discovery Days, we had another very special guest: Lilly Santiago. Earlier this year, Southwest shared Lilly’s story. You may recall that Lilly’s father, Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent Will Santiago, reached out to his Cohearts on Facebook with a request to show Lilly that there are women working on the ramp at Southwest. Will’s post received an overwhelming response with dozens of Southwest women responding to Lilly’s question and encouraging her to follow her dreams. Shortly after, Lilly spent a day in the field at our Baltimore station to see and experience all the jobs women accomplish in our operation.
We invited Lilly to join in on the Discovery Days fun to show her even more of the work women are doing at Southwest Airlines. Lilly joined the girls from GenHERation for a scavenger hunt to learn about Southwest history and meet our Campus Reach Internship team. The group also heard career advice and lessons learned from Elizabeth Bryant, Vice President Southwest Airlines University; Leah Koontz, Vice President Controller; Linda Rutherford, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications Officer; and Ellen Torbert, Vice President Diversity and Inclusion. Lilly joined a team of GenHERation girls to design a marketing campaign to encourage students to fly with Southwest.
The morning with GenHERation was packed full of fun events, but the day didn’t end there. Lilly and her family continued to meet incredible women at Southwest by visiting the Network Operations Center and meeting Dispatch Trainer Carla Caisee. With Carla’s help, Lilly was even able to help send Pilots messages during their flights. To show Lilly what it was like to work in Technical Operations, Katelyn Dittman, Technical Operations Staff Engineer, walked Lilly around the Dallas Hangar. Lilly also spent some time learning all about how Southwest Airlines Employees are trained to do their jobs.
At the end of her fun-filled day, Lilly shared that “women can do all the jobs and nothing can stop them." Lilly, we couldn’t agree more!
Southwest is honored to fly 50 families to Orlando for a magical 5-day all-expense paid trip to Walt Disney World for the 2017 Kidd’s Kids trip. This is the 11th year for Southwest to partner with Kidd’s Kids. The below is a guest blog post from Traci Liberto, the mother of two Kidd’s Kids participants.
I joined the Southwest Airlines Family in 1998 as an Employee in the finance department in Dallas and later transitioned to a job in Provisioning. I loved my job, made incredible friendships, and felt truly blessed by the Company. However, after nine years I left Southwest to pursue a new job that gave me the title of “stay at home mom.”
My oldest daughter, Melissa, was born with Cystic Fibrosis in 2007. Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time. My husband and I now have two daughters, and our youngest daughter, Makayla, was also born with Cystic Fibrosis. Melissa and Makayla never get a break from CF. Their mornings start early with hour-long breathing treatments, where they inhale medicines that help open airways or thin mucus. These medicines include antibiotics to fight lung infections and therapies to help keep the airways clear. Melissa and Makayla do at least three different inhaled medicines in the mornings along with airway cleaners. Their treatments start all over again in the evenings, but if they are sick they will do additional treatments throughout the day. With every meal and snack, Melissa and Makayla also have to take a handful of medications for CF.
My daughters are both active girls! They attend public school, love playing outside, and enjoy singing and dancing. While my daughters don’t let having CF stop them from doing the things they love, there are days where the girls get really sick and have to miss out on a lot of fun things.
I share this story with you to help you understand just how thrilled my family is to be a part of the 2017 Kidd’s Kids trip! When I learned that my family would be traveling to Walt Disney World because of Kidd’s Kids and Southwest Airlines, I was beyond excited and started crying tears of happiness. My family has been looking forward to the time we will spend together and the memories that we will make since we were told that we were selected for the trip. My girls look forward to meeting all the Disney characters, visiting the Haunted Mansion and getting princess makeovers at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
I can’t wait for them to have the chance to experience all of those things and more, and I can’t thank Southwest Airlines enough for all that you do for families like mine through your work with Kidd’s Kids.
Have you ever thought that one trip would change your life forever?
This happened to our Customers Michelle and Rocky. Michelle, a young talented hair stylist travelled for work. Her flight got delayed and she had to change flights to avoid misconnection. As she boarded her new aircraft looking for her seat, she found one that she thought was a nice, peaceful place where she can get comfortable and listen to her music and just enjoy the ride. She asked a man, with the calm energy, if she could sit in his row. He stood up and allowed her to get settled. Rocky (the calm energy guy) who flies on Southwest Airlines frequently and has held A-List Preferred status for almost 10 years met his new seat mate on that day and she has been intriguing him ever since.
Their friendship grew deeper like nothing they have ever experienced. Michelle has become a RR companion as he continues to add number of flights on his A+ status in the friendly sky on his favorite airline.
Spring flowers are blooming as well as love between Michelle and Rocky. Rocky had a bright idea of moving his commitment to the next level. He wants Michelle to be his companion for life. Where is the best place to create BIG magic? Of course where they first met and gotten to know each other. Rocky made a call to Southwest Airlines for assistance and planning the proposal.
On February 26th Rocky and Michelle boarded the flight from Austin to Orlando. Once the seat belt sign turned off, Rocky shared how much he loves Michelle over the PA system and to Michelle surprise, he got on one knee and asking her to be his LUV and companion for life! It was magical and beautiful. Each Customers congratulated them. A little girl told Michelle that she was a princess. The Captain let the newly engaged couple sit in the cockpit for pictures.
As Michelle and Rocky walked down the jet way, the door was shut. Rocky knocked and opened the door to a huge celebration! Everyone cheered for them. Flowers, Mickey Mouse style bride and groom hats, a bouquet of balloon flowers made by a Southwest Airlines Customer waiting to board his flight, and a bottle of champagne were given to the lovely couple. A Southwest Airlines Employee serenaded them with a beautiful song while Michelle and Rocky enjoyed posing for many pictures as the gate area was decorated to welcome them on their special day.
To Michelle and Rocky, congratulations LUV birds!
—Noparat "Boom" Elg, Manager of Customer Service at Southwest Airlines Co.
Captain Lou Freeman was Southwest's first African American Pilot, and the first black Chief Pilot at any major U.S. carrier. But he doesn't see himself as a history-maker, just a Pilot who loves to put smiles on people's faces. That's his legacy.
Having spent a grand total of 10 hours in a canoe, the first time my husband floated to me the idea of participating in a 340-mile, non-stop canoe race across the state of Missouri, I dismissed it immediately as idle talk that would go nowhere.
But six months later we brought in 2016 together — sipping champagne in a hotel room in Dallas — by registering for the race at 12:01 a.m., the minute registration for the 11th annual MR340 began.
The MR340 is billed as the longest non-stop river race in the world, and our four-man race team was comprised of me, my husband Matthew Wilson, 32, my sister-in-law Emily Bowers, 29, and her husband, Clint Bowers, 29.
Preparing for this race was not easy, but the things that could have been a real hassle — like flying myself and my husband from our home in Houston to the other half of our team in Kansas City for a little paddle practice without breaking the bank — were made possible by choosing Southwest. Also, "bags fly free" had never meant as much as it did when we were able to cart all of our gear, including paddles, life vests, water coolers and other large, bulky items to our starting point without incurring any additional costs.
A heavy rainstorm, record-high temperatures and a lack of rest proved too much for our team, and we had to call it quits after about 150 miles. But, it's still an incredible experience that I'm glad to have shared with those I love.
Congratulations to your team, Michelle. I have competed in this race 3 times and the amount of gear you need to have for just one person is a lot. The idea of flying with that gear for 4 people is not one I would want to entertain. That is awesome to know that you were able to do it without extra costs with Southwest.
SWA cancelled my reservations twice because I booked them in the same travelling time frame. I booked two flights in advance for my travel because I did not finalize my work schedule/appointment until it gets closer to the date. I booked and paid with reservation confirmations then SWA cancelled my booking a day or two days later. Has anyone experienced the same issue? I already wrote to SWA. What else do you think we should do for this unfair practice? Thanks.
Southwest doesn't allow multiple bookings for the same passenger, same day. As a result of the new reservation system, they are now enforcing this policy by automatically cancelling such flights (reports are they cancel the most expensive of the conflicting flights).You won't be able to double-book anymore on Southwest.
This message is shown online when selecting your flights:
Prohibition of Multiple/Conflicting Reservations: To promote seat availability for our Customers, Southwest prohibits multiple reservations for the same Passenger departing from the same city on the same date, or any multiple reservations containing conflicting or overlapping itineraries (such as departures for the same Customer from multiple cities at the same time). Furthermore, without advance notice to the Passenger or purchaser, Southwest may cancel such reservations, or any other reservations that it believes, in its sole discretion, were made without intent to travel. With the exception of Southwest gift cards, funds from proactively cancelled reservations by Southwest will be returned to the original form of payment. Reservations paid for with a Southwest gift card will have the amount applied from the gift card held as travel funds for use by the Customer on a future Southwest Airlines flight.
Dear Southwest Airlines,
I would like to introduce myself, my name is Kimberly Juday from Rhode Island. I am a Certified Pharmacy Technician. Five years ago, a love story made a huge landing in my life. I met a guy from Los Angeles, California, named Orjo Intia (pronounced: Or-Joe.) He is a Health Information Management Technician at a hospital. Orjo and I started a friendship for a couple of months that consisted of phone calls, text messages, and video chats. As those few months went by, he flew over 2,000 miles (2,579 to be exact!) on Southwest Airlines to Rhode Island in January 2012 (his first time ever to the state of Rhode Island) so that we could see each other in-person and see if there was more to this friendship.
Even though Orjo and I lived over 2,000 miles away, on Jan. 27, 2012, we became an official boyfriend and girlfriend couple and started a long-distance relationship. Every couple months, we would take turns buying plane tickets from Southwest Airlines to fly out to see each other. We've been together now for five years.
In May 2015, it was my turn to fly out to Los Angeles to see Orjo. During this trip, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, and of course I said "YES!". Even though we are engaged, we are still in this long-distance relationship until the wedding. The wedding is going to be in my home state of Rhode Island, so it is easier to stay in Rhode Island through all the wedding details. We have set our wedding date as Sept. 9, 2017 in Rhode Island. We have made our wedding theme as "Love is in the Air". We already started our hashtag on Facebook and Instagram: #LoveIsInTheAir9917 and #KandOHereWeGo9917.
Our relationship became official with the help of a plane ride from California to Rhode Island on Southwest Airlines, so we know that there's no better theme to symbolize and celebrate our wedding day than this. Our relationship is long distance and is never complete without one of us flying to each other's state. Flying Southwest Airlines has kept our love together through this long-distance relationship and it will always have a special place in both of our hearts.
As I mentioned, our wedding theme is LOVE IS IN THE AIR. We wanted to take this opportunity to share our story with you and also wanted to let you know how much Southwest has been a part of it. We plan on celebrating the Love is in the Air theme by incorporating airport, airplanes, and travel at our wedding reception. We are expecting around 180 guests,traveling from all across different states.
Thank you again for being a part of our love story, especially the opportunity to take our engagement photos at Southwest Airlines terminal. Carl and Linda (Operational Supervisors at the PVD airport) really made us feel welcomed when we were having our photos taken last month.
Kimberly & Orjo
I would like to extend my Florida trip for a couple of days to see Havana.
Can I book a flight to Cuba with Southwest?
Can I order the tourist card via the internet?
Thanks in advance,
Thank you for the fast reply!
Travel from Germany to Cuba is not an issue at all.We need to buy the Tourist Card (travel agency 30€) and a valid passport.
The Tourist Card is looking exact like the one provided by CTS,but there is no need to choose
one of the 12 reason for traveling.
Our Government don't want to know what we are planing to do in Cuba.
For me it would be perfect to use my (german) Tourist Card,book the flight with SouthWest,
and travel from Florida...
Could this plan work? Or is the US Government checking my Tourist Card?
Thanks in advance and all the best for 2017,