It is three o’clock in the afternoon during a Central Florida summer, which can only mean one thing: thunderstorms are on the horizon! At Southwest Airlines, the Safety of our Employees and Customers is always our top priority. On occasion, due to the location and intensity of a thunderstorm, we must delay our flights until the storm has passed. Well, you’re in luck if during a delay you are at Customer Service Agent Bob Campbell’s gate.
Bob Campbell Hosts a Paper Airplane Contest Bob Campbell is coming up on his 15th year at Southwest Airlines and is currently a Customer Service Agent in Orlando, Florida. Bob is known amongst his Orlando Team for hosting gate games with Customers during irregular operations, infusing a little fun in what would normally be a challenging Customer Experience. Bob can probably recite Southwest’s Official Games from the Heart book from memory, but he still carries a copy with him from gate to gate.
In August, his "Worst Driver’s License Photo Contest" game broke the internet and went viral! Since then, Passengers began arriving in Orlando asking for “the famous Bob Campbell.”
“Nothing is better than laughter and smiles,” Bob said. “It makes my day better knowing that I’m empowered to help positively shape our Customers’ Experience.” Bob infuses his Fun-LUVing personality into his gate games. As a former conductor for Amtrak, he calls “All Aboard” and even blows a train whistle that was gifted to him by a fellow Southwest Coheart when it’s time to board.
His favorite gate games range from the funniest driver’s license photo to paper airplane contests and even a scavenger hunt ... yes, a scavenger hunt around the airport! Bob shares that “the scavenger hunt is a fun game to play if you have a lot of time! All the items that you have to collect are either free, or I will accept a photo of the item.” He adds that “kids and parents love the paper airplane contest. It’s a nice way for them to put down the technology and create something together.”
Bob Campbell Hosts a Paper Airplane Contest Hospitality is at the Heart of Southwest Airlines. We encourage our Employees to bring their unique personalities and interests to work and infuse fun into their job. From a singing Flight Attendant and a guitar-playing Pilot to dancing Ramp Agents and relentlessly entertaining Customer Service Agents, our Employees love sharing their personalities with our Customers. In return, it brings our Customers joy to see our Employees have fun on the job.
Southwest Employees love what they do, and it shows by a daily expression of their Heart. Our Employees continue to create special moments with our Customers that are unique and can’t be copied. Bob concludes his announcements by saying, “Now, just remember you won’t see this type of fun at those other carriers.” You are exactly right Bob, and we love you for that.
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“In life there will be highs and lows. The secret is to stay balanced through it all.”
— Jess Gartner, Founder, Allovue
Photo by Cade Martin
As a middle school teacher in Baltimore, Jess Gartner saw how budgeting can impact students’ educational growth. This fueled her desire to provide equal opportunities for every student, and led to her founding Allovue, an education finance startup. As CEO, Jess is working to change how the education sector measures its bottom line by connecting budgets and spending to student success. Since Allovue works with districts in 19 states, Jess is always on the go, so Southwest’s no change fees earn an A-plus in her book. Thanks, Jess, for bringing your expertise from the classroom to the boardroom. We’re honored to fly you everywhere in between.
—Linnea Jordan, Customer Relations
Yes You Can “For female entrepreneurs looking to take the next step in starting your business, remember that you are qualified to take on any challenge. Don’t let fear hold you back.”
Early Bird “When traveling for business, I try to fly out early and use my weekends to explore the area.”
Charm City “Next time you’re in Baltimore, check out Clavel, a family-run mezcaleria and tacqueria, for their incredible tacos and queso fundido.”
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Great adventures are all around us, and there’s no better time than summer to discover them. Whether you are planning a weekend getaway with friends or a summer beach vacation with family, Southwest wants to take you there to help make this a summer to remember.
Figuring out where to go on your summer escape can be a bit overwhelming. You may even be tempted to go back to the same place that you went last summer—or where “everyone else is going”. This year challenge yourself and step out of your travel comfort zone and explore somewhere new.
While some places have been popular with summer travelers for years, others have just recently started to gain attention. From the white sand beaches of Cabo San Lucas to strolling down the National Mall in Washington D.C., no two cities are the same. Here are a few of our favorite Southwest cities for your summer getaway.
Seattle, Washington Space Needle No city embraces summer like Seattle. With over 50 different summer festivals, outdoor movies and countless hiking trails, there’s no better place to be outside. If it’s your first time in Seattle, don’t miss taking a trip up to the Space Needle or strolling through Pike’s Place Market. Stop in Market Grill for lunch, and take a seat at their counter for their famous blackened salmon sandwich and a hot cup of chowder.
Market Grill inside Pike's Place Market
Check out nearby outdoor adventures including kayaking Puget Sound or hiking the North Cascades for breathtaking views. Did you know that the best time to spot the majestic orca killer whales falls between mid-April through mid-September? Hop on one of the many whale watching excursions that leave from downtown Seattle for a quick day trip around the San Juan Islands. It is known to be one of the best spots to catch a glimpse of these beautiful creatures.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico El Arco
What’s summer without a visit to a beach and a little sun? If you are looking to grab a great deal, look no further than Cabo San Lucas between May-June for off-peak season deals.
The beauty of the Baja California Peninsula surrounded by desert landscapes and beaches is one-of-a-kind. Cabo San Lucas is the ideal destination to have a balance of beach time incorporated with adventurous day trips. While its sport fishing and golfing are renowned around the world, don’t pass up an opportunity to go scuba diving, snorkeling, take an ATV tour, or kayak.
You’ve come to the right place for not just great Mexican food, but fantastic seafood that was likely caught only miles from your table. Don’t miss the shrimp and fish tacos at Los Tres Gallos, a quaint Mexican restaurant decorated with rustic wooden tables, vibrant colors, handmade pottery, and hanging vintage lights.
Orange County, California Disneyland Resort
Step out of the John Wayne Orange County Airport and immediately feel the warm California sun and ocean breeze. Here you’ll find some of California’s best beaches-ideal for relaxing or catching the perfect wave. Head over to Huntington Beach to see why it’s known as the true Surf City USA. Don’t forget to take advantage of one of their 500 free fire rings available on the beach designed to be the perfect excuse to roast s’mores for dinner.
This is a summer not to miss at the nearby Disneyland Resort as Disneyland celebrates the debut of Pixar Fest from April 13th to September 3rd. You’ll enjoy a new nighttime fireworks show guaranteed to light up the night sky. Look for Pixar themed inspired treats, and have the chance snap a photo with some of your favorite Pixar characters!
If you are looking for a lunch or dinner with an eclectic vibe with over 20 artisan eateries proven to please even the pickiest of eaters, pay a visit to the Anaheim Packing District. Sunlight beams down from the top of the atrium, making this large market-style space warm and inviting. For a new spin on the popular boba tea, check out Mini Monster, and for everyone’s favorite summertime sweet, don’t pass up Popbar for a new spin on popsicles.
Popbar at the Anaheim Packing District
Interested in sharing your travel inspiration? Leave a comment below or visit our Travel Inspiration Discussion Forum to share your knowledge with Southwest Customers.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Independence Beer Garden
The City of Brotherly Love is alive and full of life in the summertime. The Spruce Street Harbor Park on the Delaware River Waterfront is the spot to enjoy a summer night relaxing in one of the many colorful hammocks along the waterfront. While you’re here, treat yourself to a local favorite—crabfries and cheesesteaks from Chickie and Pete’s sold along the waterfront. After a visit to Independence Hall, stop in a new place making its own mark in history—the Independence Beer Garden. Take a seat at one of their picnic tables, or settle into an Adirondack chair and sip on local beer, a house made cocktail, and enjoy the ultimate summer escape.
Spruce Street Harbor Park
Don't leave Philadelphia without visiting a true art experience. The Magic Gardens is a collection of mosaics that cover around half of a city block and are made up of elements that you can touch and feel including cement, bicycle spokes, bottles, ceramics tiles, and everything in between. It’s beautiful example of imagination, creativity, and expression coming to life.
Chicago, Illinois Wrigley Field
A city with some pretty chilly winters certainly knows how to enjoy the summertime. Stroll along gorgeous Lake Michigan with the skyline of Chicago behind you, or catch a free concert in Millennium Park. Street festivals are happening almost every weekend in Chicago in the summer time. Come with an appetite to the Taste of Chicago in Grant Park July 11-15, 2018 when local restaurants and food vendors set up booths for samples of their most popular dishes.
Not only are pizza and hot dogs known in this city, but its home of the Original Rainbow Cone. Take a break to cool off and check out this Chicago family run ice cream shop that has been in business since 1926 with a kiosk on the walkway of Navy Pier. A Rainbow Cone consists of the colorful combination of chocolate, strawberry, Palmer House (vanilla with walnuts and cherries), and pistachio ice creams topped with orange sherbet, as a palate cleanser.
Original Rainbow Cone
Washington, D.C. The National Mall
The Nation’s Capital is the place to be during the summer to take advantage of the free and affordable outdoor concerts and festivals. If you are looking to celebrate the Fourth of July here, make sure you scope out a spot on the National Mall early in the afternoon for the best view of this spectacular show.
If you think DC’s National Mall is beautiful during the day, just wait until you experience it on a summer night. The Lincoln Memorial in particular casts a beautiful glow at night as the reflecting pool shines back at you against the Washington Monument and the Capitol.
Enjoy a Friday night with the local Washingtonians and kick back at Jazz in the Garden held inside the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Gardens every Friday during the summer beginning May 18th to August 24th. Sip on sangria and snap your fingers to smooth jazz in the background.
Is one of these cities on your summer travel list? What summer vacation on Southwest Airlines are you most looking forward to this year? And head to Southwest.com to book your next summer getaway!
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“Languages have the power to unite the world.” —Judy Jenner, Co-owner, Twin Translations
Photo by Melissa Valladares
It’s been said, “Nothing is so simple that it cannot be misunderstood.” Taking on this challenge, Judy Jenner and her twin sister, Dagmar, created Twin Translations, a boutique translation and interpretation business. Judy calls Las Vegas home, but her work as a federally certified court interpreter often has her on Southwest flights to Reno for Spanish court interpretations, or traveling to speaking engagements to promote the importance of language, translation, and interpretation. Through her frequent flights, Judy has achieved A-List Preferred status and earned Southwest’s Companion Pass. Being able to change flights easily and without fees allows her to be with her clients at a moment’s notice. Thanks for your loyalty, Judy! Your passion for language and Southwest leaves us speechless.
—Linnea Jordan, Customer Relations
Pass It On “I’m passionate about teaching the next generation of linguists through my work as an adjunct professor at UC San Diego and UNLV, my alma mater.”
Page Turner “I’m a voracious reader of books in my three languages: English, Spanish, and German. My goal is to read around 50 books a year.”
Game, Set, Match! “My husband and I love to travel. We’re looking forward to using my Companion Pass and Rapid Rewards points to attend the U.S. Open in New York this year.”
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David Novak will never forget Flight #468. At Southwest Airlines our Purpose is to connect People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. Some connections have been known to form before the boarding door closes. Thanks to Southwest’s Open Seat Seating policy Passengers have the flexibility to choose any available seat. For Dallas Companion Pass holder, David Novak, he got his wish in his seat onboard a Southwest flight in the summer of 2008.
In June of 2008, David was in the boarding area at LAX when another Passenger, Hayden, caught his eye. He was hesitant to approach a stranger in an airport, but hopeful to strike up a conversation not knowing if he would ever see her again. It wasn’t until later David noticed that she began to line up for his same flight to San Antonio in the A group. David was boarding in the B group, and kept a mental note to look for Hayden onboard. Sure enough the stars aligned. David took the empty seat next to her.
“She caught my eye sitting in the window seat. As seats were beginning to fill up near the back of the aircraft I knew I had the perfect opportunity to sit in the open seat next to her thanks to Southwest’s Open Seating Policy.”
The two immediately developed a connection and later kept in touch. When they began dating, Hayden was just beginning medical school. The two would frequently hop on Southwest flights to make their long distance relationship only a short flight away.
Seven wedding anniversaries and two children later, the Family of four are anxiously awaiting for their upcoming Puerto Vallarta trip thanks to David’s Companion Pass.
“Travelling Southwest as parents couldn’t be easier. We love their Family Boarding policy, and the flexibility of no change or cancellation fees, which make last minute changes a breeze. It goes without saying Southwest is our airline of choice.”
Every seat has a story at Southwest. Open Seating, no change fees, and low-cost air travel gives you the freedom to write your own. So don’t be too quick to pass up that middle seat on your next flight. It might just turn into something more.
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