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A Very Special Photo Shoot at Southwest Airlines

Adventurer B

Everyone knows Southwest has a well-deserved reputation for unparalleled Corporate Culture – that usually involves FUN, being a maverick, and  doing whatever it takes.  That was never more true than with a recent photo shoot with our Board of Directors for FORTUNE Magazine’s annual FORTUNE 500 Issue on newsstands now.  Olga Romero and I led a cast of thousands - well, maybe not a thousand, but it sure seemed like it – to help create a photo shoot on the third floor deck of our Headquarters building for the feature in this national publication. 


As many of you know, there’s a great view of Love Field and the Dallas skyline from the third-floor deck.  Well, about a month ago, it was turned into a set for the FORTUNE photo shoot.  With the incredible help I mentioned before, we mounted ten rows of aircraft seats on a platform located on the deck, so the beautiful Texas sky would be the backdrop for our Board of Directors. We certainly couldn't do the typical conference room shot!

Over the course of three days, FORTUNE scouted locations, built a set, took test photos, and ultimately created a Fun-LUVing look at our Board, which is what we were going for. 


Over those three days, I got a really great suntan, and Olga and I moved our office to the deck.  But, just like anything we get to do for this great Company we work for, the experience reinforced how awesome the People of Southwest are – from the Board on down.  The photo shoot took place during the quarterly Board meeting, so our Directors literally had just minutes to spare for the photo. 

To make the most of the Board's time, our Team from Communication and Strategic Outreach answered the call for extras, sitting for hours in the aircraft seats under the elements to check people position and lighting; our Facilities Maintenance Team answered panicked phone calls asking for a screwdriver or caution tape or a visit over to our Maintenance Hangar to grab one more row of seats; our Marketing Team let us rope off part of the deck and hammer and saw during a Team celebration; our Maintenance Team escorted us out on the ramp, secured an aircraft, and delivered a tow rope for an alternate photo possibility; our Inflight Team ran specialty Southwest water, baskets, peanuts, and service trays to be featured in the photo; and, finally, our Board of Directors were really great sports: throwing and catching peanuts, taking direction to “lean forward,” or “show the water,” and then heading right out for flights to their “day jobs.” 

So, check out the photo and the issue on newsstands and when you look at that photo, give a silent cheer for the cast of thousands that made it happen.


Explorer C
Explorer C
flew out of Elpaso texas on flight 3500 saturday at 205pm on april17th to hobby-houston texas,got home to find they had stole from my luggage a wig I have to wear one because of my health,talked to several people at Elpaso airport for a week now -somebody is stealing from baggage,know it sounds minor but not to me,my sister and husband owns honcho boots in El paso and they use southwest to fly back home to beaumont texas all the time,I also flew there on southwest,not sure to use you again when I fly back there in 2 months
Explorer C
Love the '' Board Meeting '' picture ! Only at SWA ! Very cool ! 🐵 lol
Explorer C
SoutWest truly deserves the logo heart emblem! They have been so very kind to my whole family over the last 15+ years!! Two of my sons worked for the airline. Cheers to all the wonderful employees in their every station and corporate office!!
Explorer C
That's pretty cool! Good job with the photoshoot; it must have been a lot of FUN organizing everything and making it all come together. I "LUV" Southwest and all of the people I've met who work for it!
Explorer C
I had a phone interview for an HR type position a few years ago. I wasn't the right fit, but I sure would love to work with your company. I love your corporate values and SW seems like such a fun place to work. I love your commercials too. Happy people, makes a happy company.
Explorer C
i would have loved to have been there and helped.
Explorer C
I love SWA and so does my small business. There are many weeks I fly several times. I know that I will get great fares and service from SWA. I am disappointed if I have to fly to a city that is not serviced by SWA, but thank goodness that is few and far between. Southwest, thanks for all you do to assist business and vacation travelers each and every day. You are appreciated!
Explorer C
It looks like a great shot, and a lot of hard work obviously when into it. But who is the talented photographer behind the lens?
Explorer C
Would love to have been there!
Explorer C
Once again Southwest has shown ingenuity, originality and JUST PLANE FUN!! The big guys could learn a lot from you. Your employees are your greatest asset, and it shows!
Frequent Flyer A
Carolyn Bertrand, I'm so sorry to hear about your travel experience on Southwest. I believe you've already talked to the El Paso airport, but I'd also recommend filing a claim with our Central Baggage Services by calling 214-560-3600. Southwest always strives to deliver the best Customer Service and I hope we can remedy your situation.
Explorer C
very cool, proud to be a parent of one of your employees, Mark.
Explorer C
The photo is sooo Southwest!! I love SWA. I worked in their reservations department for three years until my family moved overseas. I really enjoyed the job, but more so my co-workers and the corporate values. There was always someone sharing a funny story in between calls or with a customer on the line. As troublesome as travel can be, it was empowering to know that in extraordinary circumstances we and the airport personnel were going to do everything possible to right a situation. Management provided opportunities for growth, fun and unlimited travel - awesome company!
Explorer C
ask the Oakland crew how well they helped "barbara" fly back to Albuquerque!. She was a gift fr our daughter and security decided she was a weapon. the SW crew pkged her up and let her fly special!! thanks, she made it to her new home in NM safely without a hint of violence!
Explorer C
Great picture! Fun and creative. I will be picking up a copy of Fortune just to read the article!
Explorer C
Fantastic!! The new promo reminds me of the days in the 90's when we were really blitzing the industry, We were expanding at a breakneck speed and kicking the industries butt! Great job Southwest ! Thanks for a fantastic career.
Explorer C
Was Herb there? Graduated from high school with him. Was full of fun then too!
Aviator C
anonymous 16:44 Herb wasn't involved with this shoot since he decided to leave the Board in 2008. But, don't worry, there must be thousands and thousands of photos of Herb throughout our Headquarters building. Brian