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40 Years in 40 Days: Class of 2009

Explorer B

One of my favorite things about Southwest Airlines is our way of celebrating an occasion.  As my new coworkers from AirTran found out last week, Southwest Airlines does not get into something without making a mark. My most memorable occasion so far comes from my beginning with Southwest Airlines at the station opening in Minneapolis/St. Paul in 2009.

MSP Sign

I was hired as a Customer Service Agent, which required two weeks in Dallas for training. Luckily, class was planned to wrap up a few days before business started so we could get back to Minnesota and get the party started.  One of the first orders of business was to get out and volunteer some time. We partnered up with one of the local food banks and collected bags of groceries at supermarkets around the city. It was a great experience getting out with some of my new Coworkers and being the first representation of Southwest Airlines for many in the area.

Water Cannon

Another great experience prior to the opening was the station mixer at one of the local dinner clubs. This allowed the newbies, like me, to mix in with some of the Southwest veterans who just moved to Minnesota. Employees had come from different stations and different jobs across the system, so the evening created a great opportunity to start building bonds.

MSP Cheers

As we got closer to the launch of service, the FUN did not stop. In Southwest tradition, our station Employees met the first arriving airplanes filled with even more Employees from Dallas! We continued to get the finishing touches in place to use those planes to launch our service to Chicago the next day. We ended things with our President and CEO, Gary Kelly, coming in for a press event with the Mayors of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Gary in MSP

I had lots of big FUN volunteering, eating out, making signs, and watching the press event as we opened Minneapolis and St. Paul. It was a great way to start off a great career with a great Company. Two years later, I still LUV to get involved and celebrate our accomplishments.

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