At some point in life, everybody who thinks they're anybody will go to Louisville on the first Saturday in May to witness what is known as the greatest two minutes in sports. The Kentucky Derby is the only race in the world that is always watched. People come from across the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America to be part of the spectacle of this global event, and perhaps, if they are lucky enough, the periodic connection with a winner.
I'm a Louisville native, and this time of year holds a special place in my heart. I started my Southwest Airlines career as a Customer Service Agent at the Louisville International Airport (SDF). Along with the pagentry that is thoroughbred racing, I can attest that the moment you step foot into my old Kentucky home, you'll see the way the whole city turns on its southern charm and hospitality. The week before the Derby, live music is performed by the Louisville Federation of Musicians as they serenade patrons passing through the recently renovated terminal, which will be adorned in the familiar red roses; southern bells in antebellum hoop dresses will be handing out chocolate-covered Woodford Reserve bourbon balls during peak travel times; and when your baggage makes its way around the carousel, a bugle will signal the call to the post. The airport environment is an exciting reflection of the Derby flair and festivities, and Southwest Airlines enjoys being part of that.
I can also assure you that, just as fast as the horses race around the hallowed grounds of Churchill Downs, many of the patrons will run to catch their flights at SDF (which is less than three miles away). After a day of standing in the warm Kentucky sunshine, sipping mint juleps, and betting on long shots, you can hang your Derby hat on the fact that you'll be greeted with a friendly smile by our airport Employees as we take you back to your home town. While our staff is in top form to meet our Customers' needs, on a couple of occasions, I've seen a few travelers, who, for one reason or another, lost control of their inhibitions and ended up spending the rest of their visit with Louisville's finest.
The day after the Run for the Roses is the busiest of the year for the SDF Ground Crew. For your convenience, I encourage you to utilize the travel tools we make available on southwest.comto keep your mind at ease. Of course, it's a sure bet that we'll have extra staff readily available and working hard to help with your checkin, boarding, and overall airport experience. "Down-to-earth" service is a very important part of making sure the time you spend with us is just as enjoyable as was the time you spent at the track (and maybe even better for those who leave a little lighter in the wallet than when you arrived).
I wish you all the best for this year's Kentucky Derby, and even if I don't see you in the winner's circle, you can be sure that we'll be looking forward to welcoming you onboard our LUV jets as you travel to/from Louisville.