“If you treat others with kindness, you’re going to get it back.”
—Moses Noriega, Customer Service Agent
Before he worked at Southwest Airlines, Moses Noriega was an aviation enthusiast with a passion for traveling. It’s been six years since Moses started at Southwest, and he has loved every second. A Customer Service Agent in Las Vegas, he embodies the Southwest Spirit by ensuring Customers get to their destinations with free bags. (He always does it with a smile, which are free, too.) Whether it’s serving on the Diversity Council or volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, Moses never turns down a chance to share his Servant’s Heart. To him, Southwest is more than just a job—it’s a lifestyle. Thank you, Moses, for helping us connect People to what’s most important in their lives. —Kyndall Hinton
Sneak Peek “I flew Southwest before I worked here, and when I used to check in, the Employees made me feel like I was one of their best friends. It made me want to work for a Company that is going to reward their Employees for what they do.”
Work Perks “Because of Southwest, I met singer Ana Bárbara, who has won a Latin Grammy Award. She’s now a great friend and mentor and has taken me on tour.”
Smooth Moves “I love dancing. I try to take a class twice a week here at a hip-hop school in Vegas.”
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Today, Southwest Airlines is making history across North America. Not only did we begin service to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, but Southwest also launched new service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to four international destinations.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG)
Earlier this morning, Southwest cut a ceremonial ribbon with our first flight to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG). Complete with the fanfare you come to expect from Southwest, Company Leaders and its Cincinnati-based Employees, along with local stakeholders joined our Customers to celebrate our launch at our brand new CVG gates.
Southwest CFO Tammy Romo celebrates the launch of Southwest's CVG service with local Employees. Southwest EVP & Chief Financial Officer Tammy Romo helped usher in a new era for our travelers by opening the airline's newest city. During a news conference, Tammy introduced our new Team in-place to open CVG. She continued by saying that “today is an important day in Southwest’s history. It’s the first time that low fares, no bag fees*, and no change fees** has ever landed at CVG!”
Our CVG service starts today with eight departures a day: five trips between CVG and Chicago Midway, and three between CVG and Baltimore/Washington.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to four international destinations
Meanwhile in South Florida, on the heels of last week's community and media preview of a new international concourse that offical opens later this month, Southwest launched new service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) to four international destinations: Belize City; Cancun; Montego Bay; and, bringing our tenth country served, Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands. This November, we’ll add San Jose, Costa Rica; Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; and Turks and Caicos to the list of international destinations served from FLL. The Turks & Caicos daily roundtrip beginning Sunday, November 5, just became available so make sure to grab a seat for those flights!
*First two pieces of checked luggage, size and weight limits apply.
** Fare difference might apply.
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Tucked away in the mountainous region of Chiapas, Mexico are the remote villages of Tierra y Libertad and Unión Buenavista, where some of onboard partner, Community® coffee is grown. The treacherous terrain makes the areas difficult to reach, especially during the months of heavy rainfall, preventing teachers from accessing the community and limiting the educational resources available to the coffee farmers and their families.
In response to this challenge, Southwest and Community Coffee have committed to making a donation for every pound of coffee served onboard nearly 4,000 daily Southwest flights, to the ECOM Foundation to help fund satellite schools in these remote areas.
The schools in these two villages, which opened this past fall, give the community access to online curriculum through satellite internet that provides access to secondary education and agricultural, technological and academic training for all community members. In addition, community members now have access to university level curriculum. Each classroom is equipped with computers and a local community member to facilitate the online classes. The classroom space has staggered scheduling for maximum usage, so the facilities can impact up to 2,400 individuals and families.
Coffee is the primary industry in these close-knit communities, and we want to do our part in ensuring their livelihood is sustainable for the future by equipping the community members with the educational resources, right in their own backyard. So, as Southwest celebrates one year of serving premium Community coffee onboard this month, we ask you to raise a cup and join us in giving back. ¡Salud!
For more information, please visit southwest.com/coffee.
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Hi @kelman ... assuming you mean our international flights, those are completely dependent on the slots that we are able to obtain on order to operate them. We always ask to get slots that maximize connectivity, but we’re sorry the ones we have don’t work for you. But we agree—we’re offering GREAT destinations with fantastic beaches and diving from our gateways, including FLL. THANK YOU for bearing with us!
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Hi @jamessbarnett ... I'm sorry to learn that you are missing The Golf Channel. Hopefully you will be able to find something on ESPN or ESPN2 that will satisfy your sports craving while onboard.
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The excitiment surrounding the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing has people turning everything into a competition . Don’t forget you can watch the Kentucky Derby live onboard WiFi enabled aircraft, this Sa turday , May 6 !
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The following blog post is by Southwest Sr. Business Consultant Jeff Sigmon
August 2016 saw Southwest celebrate the opening of our newest international gateway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) with daily flights to Nassau, Bahamas. In the time since, we also celebrated the expansion of service to Varadero, Havana, and Santa Clara, Cuba; followed by the announcement of nonstop service to Belize City; Cancun, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Grand Cayman—all beginning on June 4 when a new facility comes on-line at FLL. The facility will bring additional gates and U.S. Customs & Border Protection services to our Terminal 1.
We’re keeping the momentum going and continuing our growth for FLL by having filed application this week with the U.S. Department of Transportation to serve Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands (PLS) via nonstop service from FLL. The service would begin Nov. 5, 2017, subject to governmental approvals.
The Turks & Caicos Islands encompass a large international market popular with both local Floridians and our Customers. The short, 1 hr., 45 min. flight (580 miles) comes with a relatively low aircraft investment to one of the world’s greatest beach destinations, home to Grace Bay Beach, which consistently appears among TripAdvisor’s Top World Beaches.
Fans of marine activities will find world-class snorkeling and scuba diving along 70 miles of barrier reefs, paddle boarding, boating, kayaking, and fishing. Chalk Sound, an area encompassing hundreds of rocky islands surrounded by serene lagoons, complement the amazing beaches of Turks & Caicos.
Hats off to the entire cross-functional Team that assessed and is now readying for PLS and future international service!
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The following post is by Southwest's Sr. Director Federal Affairs David Richardson
On December 16, I was proud to join about 750 members of the Washington, DC aviation community – including FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, TSA Administrator Peter Neffenger, and several former DOT Secretaries and FAA Administrators – to honor and celebrate the unique and impactful career of Colleen C. Barrett – Southwest’s President Emeritus.
As you probably know by now, Colleen is the 2016 recipient of the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy, which is arguably the most prestigious aviation award in the nation, if not the world. The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) selected Colleen for this special honor, and the Aero Club of Washington hosts an annual black tie gala that generally coincides with the anniversary of the first successful powered flight by Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903.
Herb Kelleher celebrates Colleen Barrett
As a regular attendee of these Wright Brothers dinners – aka, the “Aviation Prom” – this one was truly special and extremely “Southwesty.” The program included a uniquely “Herb-esque” tribute speech by our Founder and Chairman Emeritus, first-class musical entertainment by our very own Why? Nots, and a touching tribute video. The Why? Nots even performed a special song for Colleen, using (naturally) the melody of Willie Nelson’s "Always on My Mind."
Not surprisingly, I’ve never seen so much laughter or tears at one of these dinners before. Colleen and SWA kicked DC butt – just sayin’.
I’m also very pleased that Colleen’s extended family, including her son, Patrick; grandson, Evan; and brother and sister-in-law, Pat and Heidi Crotty; could be with her during this wonderful night. Also in attendance were numerous members of Colleen’s Southwest Family, including many retirees who worked closely with Colleen, four of our Board Members, Gary Kelly, as well as many of our current Leaders.
Toward the end of the dinner, Jim Albaugh, Chairman of the NAA and retired CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, formally presented the 2016 Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy to Colleen. The trophy citation reads: "For dedicating nearly 50 years to aviation, including serving as President of Southwest Airlines, where she devoted herself to creating a unique, service-oriented corporate culture which made her one of the most successful leaders in U.S. airline history." Please join me again in congratulating Colleen on this well-deserved honor!
Colleen with Jim Albaugh (NAA Chair) and Greg Principato (NAA President)
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Thanks to our more than 53,000 Employees, Southwest is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies for the 23rd consecutive year—the only commercial airline in the Top 10. Southwest ranked #8, an honor made possible through the passion of our dedicated Employees. The Top 50 Most Admired Companies, what FORTUNE calls the “All-Stars,” is selected by a group of 3,800 executives, directors, and security analysts who picked the 10 companies they admired most. They are able to vote for any company in any industry that ranked in the top 25 percent in last year’s survey, along with those that finished in the top 20 percent in their industry.
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“At Southwest, we support each other and always find a reason to laugh.”
—Jan Fleiner, Inflight Coordinator
When she’s not enjoying the Colorado outdoors with her husband and two daughters, Denver-based Jan Fleiner spends her time serving others. As an Inflight Coordinator, she has formed a deep connection with her Flight Attendants, who brighten her day with their passion for helping Customers. Jan stays active by raising animals, gardening, repurposing almost everything, and volunteering in her community. Her hobbies keep her busy, but right now she’s most excited about becoming a certified horticultural therapist. Southwest Airlines is proud to honor Jan for sharing her Servant’s Heart with her Coworkers and community.
Giving Back “I especially enjoy guiding young people as a 4-H leader and volunteering my time at my local food bank.”
Rocky Roads “With famous parks and friendly people, Colorado is worth exploring. Even my drive to work has mountain views.”
Lessons Learned “It’s important to show an appreciation for others and have fun at work. That’s what drew me to Southwest, and it’s what keeps me here.”
Snow Going “Last year, an epic snowstorm hit Denver. Everyone worked through the challenges as a Team, and I was impressed with the grace our People displayed in a stressful situation.”
Photo by Daniel Bedell
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Hi Barkleyhendrix! I checked with our Network Planning folks reagrding your question and found out that this scheduling has nothing to do with the new reservations system. We were able to obtain additional weekend only slot allocations in LGB through the established processes which allow airlines to return slots for specific days and other airlines to apply to operate them. We actually have the Saturday/Sunday DEN service effective in starting March.
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Happy Groundhog Day! Perhaps you’ve heard of Punxsutawney Phil. But have you heard of Houston Hobby Phil? Looks like he just predicted six more weeks of winter.
Thanks to HOU Employees Phillip Ford, Pablo Barrera, Richard Mondelli, Woody Stuckey, Fabian Cordova, Kenneth Dean, and Derrick Bishop for getting in on the fun!
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The following post is by Laurie Barnett, Managing Director, Communication & Outreach
Southwest Airlines has always stood for People. In four decades of taking Customers from one destination to the next, we’ve discovered our Purpose: to connect People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. By serving Customers and fostering those connections, we’ve seen the communities we serve flourish. It has become apparent that, in the air and on the ground, community is more than a place—it’s the heart of what brings us together. At Southwest, we’re known for our Heart, and our Heart has many facets.
Our Heart is to take care of People because we’re more than an airline—we’re your neighbor. By creating resources like our Medical Transportation Grant Program, we’re able to provide love and comfort to families facing difficult challenges.
Our Heart is to make connections that empower communities to thrive by investing in civic and local relationships. Our Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community Program builds connections that bring people together and strengthen communities for a more resilient future.
Our Heart is to do what’s right by championing communities and respecting our resources through environmental initiatives.
By Living and Working the Southwest Way, we connect People and communities in a way that’s as uniquely us as the color of our planes. As humanitarian Jean Vanier said, “One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.”
With 43 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for the importance of our People and the communities we serve, as well as our commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2015 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at SouthwestOneReport.com
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The following blog post is by Southwest Customer Support & Services Scheduling Specialist Kelsey Richerson
Last fall, about 40 Southwest Employees and family members met in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Most were Flight Attendants, many were strangers, but everyone united with a common goal: volunteering at Elephant Nature Park. The trip was organized by Airline Vigilantes which is a volunteer organization founded by a Southwest Flight Attendant, whose members are airline employees, their friends and families, using thier airlines flight privileges for a great cause.
Elephants are often subjected to horrifying conditions. There is even a term for the process in Thailand, called the “phajaan,” or “Breaking the Spirit.” Young elephants are taken from their mothers and tied into a crate, beaten and starved for a week until they are obedient and sentient. When they are injured or sick, they are forced to keep working because they are only seen as income. In Thailand, elephants are classified as livestock, so the laws for their wellbeing are few and rarely enforced.
Luckily, there are sanctuaries like Elephant Nature Park that help. There are more than 70 elephants that call this park home, from recently born babies to elderly elephants. Herds have formed within the rescues to help raise the younger elephants, creating new families to replace the ones lost. Walking the grounds of Elephant Nature Park is both heartbreaking and enlightening. There are scars, disfigurements, and blindness, but these elephants are slowly starting to trust humans again. We learned their stories and personalities while helping to prep their food, clean the park, and talk to the staff and founder. It was hard work on hot days, but of course Southwest Airlines Employees don’t mind getting a little dirty! Most people just don’t know the backstory to “perfect photo” elephant rides. Education is one of the best ways to try to end these practices, but we also have the opportunity to help. Our flight privileges allow us to have the world at our door step, so we can be the voice for those that cannot speak.
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The following post is by Network Planning Senior Analyst Jon Selig.
Beach in Rum Point on Grand Cayman island
It’s interesting how when we think about the future, we often connect it with the past. Recently, my children and I were talking about going to the beach soon. Being a part of Southwest Airlines means that going to “the beach” is not just a drive to whatever is nearby. It means being able to travel to the bright sunshine of so many Florida destinations, particularly the dramatic sunsets of Tampa and white sands of Pensacola, or to see the mesmerizing sunsets of California and the Pacific. I told my children about the time their great-grandmother took me to the Cayman Islands. The trip to this special place with its enchanting beaches, an exciting boat excursion to the famous Stingray City, and an invigorating walk through the botanical gardens holds memories that I still treasure today.
Today, we’ll pick up that conversation as I get to tell my children about Southwest’s new flights. We’ll all be able to make our own memories as we launch new daily service to Grand Cayman from Fort Lauderdale, starting June 4th. We are also excited for yesterday’s announcement regarding new service between San Diego and Cabo San Lucas starting April 25th, making SAN our 15th international gateway. In addition, there is more service from Austin this summer, including Saturday service to Pensacola.
It’s going to be an exciting time to travel to the beach this summer with our loved ones. We can all look forward to such wonderful opportunities to make new memories with our friends and families, bridging the experiences of our past with the hopeful eyes of the future. Thanks for all of your support and for all that you do. Have a great day, everyone!
Copyright: mikolaj64 / 123RF Stock Photo
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The following post is from Southwest Flight Attendant Sandy Wittl.
I am a Phoenix-based Flight Attendant and my daughter, Jenna, is based in Denver. We had been trying to fly our first trip together for over a year. We finally made it happen and Jenna's good friend Katherine also joined us. What a crew!
When we arrived on December 9 to check-in at the gate, we were told that our flight from Denver (DEN) to Sacramento (SMF) was hosting a Live at 35 concert with Andy Grammer. We were so surprised and excited to have this opportunity on one of our flights, but especially for a Live at 35 to happen on our first flight together! What an experience! The atmosphere and energy on board was amazing, and our Customers were so excited—not to mention the Crew, too!
Shortly after our inflight service Andy Grammer performed two hits, “Fresh Eyes” and “Honey I'm Good.” The plane went nuts! Andy is such a great performer, so personable, and willing to pose for pictures and sign autographs for everyone onboard. Each Customer on the flight also received 20,000 Rapid Reward points to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Chase Visa Rapid Rewards credit card. It was really awesome to see our Customers’ reaction and to be part of such a great event. I LUV that at Southwest Airlines, we do things that are totally different, fun, and stand out from the rest. I believe our Customers love that, too! Thank you Southwest for a day that my daughter and I will never forget!
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“My job is a new challenge every day, and I look forward to that.”
—Jessica LaCoursiere, Customer Service Spervisor
Compassion and Hospitality are at the heart of everything at Southwest, and Phoenix-based Jessica LaCoursiere consistently demonstrates these values as a Customer Service Supervisor. Each day, Jessica owns the behind-the-scenes challenge of directing different departments to work together cohesively. Jessica finds energy in showing Hospitality to Customers and Employees as she makes a constant effort to connect our Customers to what’s important in their lives. We are grateful to have Jessica, who is encouraged by change and transition, in our Family. —Alison Dee, Communication & Outreach
Lend an Ear “People need someone to listen to them, and they don’t always need your advice. Listen first, and if you’re asked for advice, then give it.”
Good Genes “My father retired from Southwest after almost 30 years as a Ramp Supervisor. It’s been in my blood for a long time.”
Petal Power “I’m always doing a floral arrangement or wreath arrangement—it relaxes me.”
Take Charge “As a supervisor, there’s a lot on your plate. Bridging the gap between departments can be a hard thing to do.”
Photo by Brandon Sullivan
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The following post is by Diane Quest, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Points of Light
“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve...You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On Jan. 16, millions of volunteers will come together for Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service , to honor the legacy of a man who dedicated his life to the service of others.
As we kick off 2017, MLK Day is an important opportunity for Americans to unite through service. Points of Light–the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service–calls together its community of changemakers to reflect on gains won during the Civil Rights Movement and to address contemporary issues facing our nation.
Southwest Airlines, as part of its commitment to building connections among people and communities both in the air and on the ground, joins Points of Light in partnership of America’s Sunday Suppers, a meaningful way you can make a difference and connect with others on MLK Day.
Host a Sunday Supper by bringing your friends and neighbors together to share a meal and conversation about the issues facing your community and generate ideas on how together, you can collectively take action through service.
A great way to jump-start the conversation is by asking questions, like:
How can we use our full range of assets and civic power (influence, time, advocacy and skills) to more fully participate in community and civic life?
What is one thing you would like to change in your community? What are tangible steps you could take to make that change happen?
Points of Light also offers a conversation guide to help get you started with tips for having a good discussion, additional conversation starters and tools for the whole family.
Learn more at www.pointsoflight.org/mlkday.
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