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Back to Work - The Sequel

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The "gift" of feedback...one of the greatest gifts someone can receive is the gift of truthful candor.  A friend of mine likes to say, "we all need 'grace and truth' but remember 'grace' comes first for a reason."  Throughout the year, I have received my share of 'undeserved favor'...that is grace, and thankfully my share of LUVing truth.  This blog has been a blessing in both of these areas.  In particular, one of the longest running threads, "Back to Work" has given our Recruiting Team real insight into the questions, hopes, and dreams of the People applying to work at Southwest Airlines.  As our small gift back to those trying to work here, our Recruiting Team will monitor this new blog thread and periodically respond directly to questions.  They will try to anticipate questions and leave a tip or two that might make the application process seem less like a process.  My thanks to all of you for giving all of us in the People Department at Southwest Airlines the gift of feedback.
214 Comments
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Wow. Who knew that post had active commentary for the entire year? The blog desperately needs a way to subscribe and be notified of new comments to posts.
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I submitted an online resume for the Flight Attendant position last May and waited eagerly the rest of the year for a response. A Southwest Flight Attendant had also submitted an internal reference for me in June, but I still heard nothing back. I'm currently a Flight Attendant for another airline, but I want to work for Southwest Airlines more than anything else in the world. I've read the entire website, read NUTS! twice, researched everything I could find on the internet about Southwest and even Netflixed the first season of Airline. I tell other Flight Attendants that they should apply at Southwest and how I applied at Southwest, but haven't heard anything back yet. Some of them say things like, "There are other airlines hiring right now. I have a friend who just applied at Suchandsuch Airlines. You should apply there." I always have the same answer for them. I tell them I'll just wait to hear something from Southwest. There's no other airline I want to work for. Southwest is the best. Once you're accepting resumes again for the Flight Attendant position I'll apply again, and again, and again.... I just have this feeling inside that Southwest is the best place for me. And I'm going to do whatever it takes to show that I'm the best person for Southwest. I'm already doing my part to spread the LUV.
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James, Thank you so much for your interest in joining the Southwest Airlines family as a Flight Attendant! As you can imagine, the Flight Attendant position is one of our most popular that people apply for Ã
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Wow... This is an interesting site and I would venture to say that very few airlines have the openness to have an open submission site like this. I have been looking at South West Airlines for a while now, and have submitted a resume electronically online. I am an Aircraft Mechanic with 10+ years of 737 Experience. I am more interested in BWI. Is there anyway that I can contact the Base Maintenance Manager there directly either by email or phone line directly. I am looking primarily for Line Maintenance A&P and or Avionics (Previously Cat II/IIIa certified with other airline).
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You are welcome Jeff! Ding! boy and appearance tech "poolie" for mdw. Joe
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How bizarre - This morning I submitted my first ever application to Southwest, and mere moments later Jeff Lamb submits this topic to the Southwest Blog. Karma? Kismet? Pure blind chance? Maybe none or all of the above. But you can be sure I will bookmark this topic to continue reading after it rolls off the front page.
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What Shari P. didn't answer is why James never received an answer to his resume - would have been nice to know all the positions had been filled... On another note, I don't understand why Southwest has gone to the expense of placing the new gate posts where people still have to line up like cattle. Why can't people get assigned seats when they purchase their tickets? Take off time is not any faster than other airlines that provide assigned seating. This method may have made sense when Southwest first started - don't know. But, Southwest may be missing its marketing edge by persisting in this area...
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Hi John , Thank you for your positive feedback about our blog and your interest in helping us maintain our fabulous fleet of 737's. At this time we do not have any openings at our BWI Mechanic base, but I would love for you to email me your resume so we can talk to you about future openings or different locations ....just in case you ever get the urge to move about the country. You can email me at amy.webb@wnco.com. I look forward to hearing from you, and again we appreciate your interest in joining our family !
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I don't believe this is necessarily the correct place to post the following comment, but it wasn't easy finding a way to post a comment on this blog. Southwest Airlines is getting away from some of the small, but key things that helped make it the country's #1 airline. First, they changed their policy on re-booking. No longer, if you got out of your meeting and to the airport a bit early, could you catch an earlier flight. Now you must pay the fare difference, which is often substantial if you booked far in advance. More recently, they've changed the way we board, which isn't a huge deal, but it wasn't broke, so why'd they fix it? Also, what's with Business Select? All it is is a fare comprable in price to the legacy airlines. Finally, I learned today that it will no longer be free to check a third bag. Granted, I never check that many bags, but it seems as thought Southwest Airlines is trying hard to get away from all of the things that have set it apart from the other terrible airlines for so long. Stop trying to be like the other Airlines, for so long you were doing a great job and now you're veering of course!
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Sadly, I've never been very graceful! I'm a girl who knows what she wants, and truth be told, I've never interviewed for a job without getting an offer. I'm humbled - truly. I'm now moving on to greener pastures - a position at a very respected firm in the field. Everything DOES happen for a reason. 😉 (Even if it makes me cry like I just got dumped by my boyfriend). "Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for the truth. " - Benjamin Disraeli Happy Trails - and good luck!
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Jim - I'm not sure it was Karma but I am glad you applied online at www.southwest.com. I am also excited to have a convenient way for our Recruiting Team to communicate with you. Thanks for your comments and best of luck! Jeff
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Hey, I never thought i'd have the urge to rave about an airline (you always hear the bad stuff) but the customer service you at Southwest have is outstanding. Back in December an accident in Providence shut down the airport i was supposed to fly out of. I called up southwest customer service, asked to be moved to a flight out of a different airport for the next morning, and it was done. 2 minutes on the phone! I was blown away at how easy it was! The next day i had to call and push my flight back 2 more times because the extreme cold kept causing my various modes of transport to break down, and once again 2 minutes, boom, done! After dealing with other airlines I never imagined i'd ever encounter one with this level of service. Thanks a bunch!
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I'm not a blogger. Yikes, probably on the wrong place to post this. But I've been flying Southwest for years and am constantly surprised by the great customer service. On New Year's Day, our flight was delayed by 2+ hours out of Chicago. No big deal to us, there was lots of snow, so cleary it was no one's fault. But the Flight Attendants at Southwest went out of their way to apologize for the delay and make us feel special on the flight. What amazing customer service we got. Way to go Southwest!!!
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Dear Mike G. SW has always charged the difference between the fare you paid and the walk-up fare to leave on an earlier flight whether it is confirmed space or as a standbye passenger. Think of it like a concert or movie ticket. You have purchased a ticket at an agreed upon price for a specific flight. If you tried to attend an earlier movie or concert your ticket would not be valid for that performance. This policy makes it possible for our airline to position the fleet in a cost effective manner providing our passengers the best pricing for our product at the least expense. SW does not charge the typical $100 change fee to confirm a ticket exchange, and we allow the passenger to use their unused funds if their travel plans change. Those funds are available for up to a year from the time of purchase. Most other airlines keep all the passenger ticket price if you do not travel as planned. Just thought that a little perspective on pricing practices would help everyone understand why we can offer the lowest fares and the most seats at those fares!
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one of the happiest days of my life, getting my picture taken for my SWA badge and being issued my employee number. With that badge, so many things are possible! My family and I have excellent benefits. we travel all over this great country and i work with some of the greatest people. I think most Employees here would agree that that day was one of their happiest. I love to look at the picture on my badge and remember that feeling. I hope all of our Employees never forget how excited they were their first day here! I just had my 7th SWA birthday (Jan 2) and as always, SWA sent me a birthday/anniversary card. It's so nice to be remembered. Heck, sometimes my own family forgets my real birthday...but not SWA! Now, when i retire someday, that might be my happiest and most saddest day at the same time...i'll let ya know in about 25-30 years lol.
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Dear Mike G... Another fact- Out of 100% of SW passengers, only 2% checked 3 bags. Most of our passengers only had 1 or 2. Our new bag policy charges only $25 for a 3rd bag, while other airlines charge $50 and up. Also. we have the BEST customer service out there.
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What a great treasure this site is! As someone who just submitted an online resume last week for an inflight supervisor position here in Chicago, it's wonderful to read such positive stories from members and soon-to-be members of the Southwest Family. I do have a few questions for anyone who might perhaps have some of the answers. First, if a position is listed on SWA's site as 'hiring' what is the usual time frame in which someone gets back to a candidate if they are interested in them? It's like sitting by the phone hoping your dream date will call!!! I've never felt this excitement about a potential job before! Second and last question - is it wise to put in for another position at the same time to maximize the possibility of an interview, or is it just better to sit back and be patient? Thanks!
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I've been reading this blog posting (and the previous) with great interest. I have a group interview at CMH on Thursday for a CSA and I'm very excited! I was a huge fan of Airline on A&E and Southwest in general (some of my best flights have been on Southwest). The enthusiasm exuded by the staff is simply contagious, and I believe I would fit in perfectly. Trying to learn everything I can, I've been reading "Lessons in Loyalty," written by a former Southwest People University trainer, this blog and everything in between. Hopefully I'll meet some of you others who have been posting here at the airport on Thursday! -Eric
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I think my biggest wish in the hiring process would be the opportunity to sit down with a real, live person with the People department and have a short discussion regarding my resume' and where I could fit in the SWA family. My current career path wouldn't qualify me for the airport group interviews, which makes a face-to-face meeting that much harder to come by. I'd gladly take time off work and fly to DAL (with a stop on the way until 2014) just for ten minutes with the People department. I realize that it sounds like American Idol or one of countless other reality shows, but if I am asked to sing, dance, or tell jokes during my ten minutes, I will oblige!
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i sent in my resume for one particular job posting, and SWA called me on another position. I did not get that job, but the original position i sent in for i did get. remember here, we hire for the person/attitude, train for the skills. i did not have any background in aviation. i had leadership skills and customer service skills and a great attitude. of course it helps if you know some about the industry, but it's not going to keep you from getting a position....that depends obviously on the position you are applying/interviewing for. mechanics and pilots should know alot!!!! lol. but you catch my drift right? there is alot of pride in our brand. and to this day, i'm still very proud to say i work for Southwest Airlines.
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Tamra, Happy 7th! I'm glad you like your job so much. I am looking forward to the time when I get my turn. Thank you for your part in keeping the planes safe and in good repair. Ding! boy and appearance tech poolie. Joe
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I have been flying on Southwest since you came to BWI and I could only fly to Cleveland! ( I did, for $19).. I used to like the cattle call. But too many people use uncanny methods to cheat and beat the system... ( Like the allegedly disabled who lie to get early boarding)..... And your new boarding procedures are really a step in the wrong direction. I used to (purposely) arrive one and a half to two hours before flight time and sit on the floor so I would be the first on the plane. Now I can't do that any more.... Even though I check in on-line for a boarding pass ten seconds after 24 hours prior to flight time, I get number 20 or 30..... And people with a lower number who arrive after me get on first.... THE TIME HAS ARRIVED FOR YOU TO GO TO ASSIGNED SEATING!!!!!!! BE FAIR!!!!!! I will take my window seat at 5A, please... Thanks!
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I have never seen anything like the chaos at LAX for cases coming off the carousels that SW must have bought from a 3rd world country, the damage to cases was unbelievable and the line to report lost and damaged cases was longer than anything this traveller has ever experienced. Once at the head of the line the disinterest of SW staff was also incredible and to cap it all the helpline number is not answered. No compensation has been offered, take my advice.....boycott Southwest and save your sanity. Oh and if you do have to contact them it can only be done in writing or phone, they do not have a facility to contact them directly on their website. REMEMBER, SOUTHWEST AIR......WE CARE LESS!
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Carol, I had to chuckle when I ready your line, Ã
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Hi Shari, OK, Perhaps 'Dream Date' was slightly dramatic (LOL) but you get my drift!! Thank you for your response and your patience. I think there are many of us who are out there who see that 'perfect job' pop up on Southwest's career page and just get that Aha! feeling. It's a lot like househunting. You can look at lots of houses or just a couple but when that perfect house comes along, you can actually picture your family and furniture in it. So, at least in MY mind, I've gone through the whole hiring/interview process and I'm already out there at Midway working and LUVing being part of the Southwest family! I'm just waiting for you all to catch up! Have a great evening! Carol
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Dear Jeff, Your company does a very poor job of tracking your customers. In the last month I have flown to Las Vegas and SW had no Frequent Flier miles listed. In the same month (December) I cancelled a flight to Phoenix and asked that I use it this month (Jan.) I had the days and times of the flights to convey to the airline specials but it took forever. I tried to convert it to a flight this weekend to Ind. but to no avail. I will spend more time tomorrow on the phone explaning the $$$ change to someone to try to get it right. My Frequent Flyer # is worthless! Whatever happened to the good old days of Southwest? Dr. Chamberlin
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Im so glad I found this site. Im one of many thousands of people trying to work for the best Airlines in the country. Going back to November 10 of last year, I went to the Southwest's Ramp Agent Hiring Sessions at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. I remember smiling a lot because after the I got interviewed, the nice lady Recruiter recommended me so I went to the airport's SWA office and got my finger printed. A week passed by and I got drug tested. A few weeks later I got an email from the SWA Employment Coordinator asking me if I can make it on December 13,2007 for paperwork signing so I can start Dec.31,2007. I went to the paperwork signing, signed papers and got my picture taken for SWA Badge and they talked to us about the benefits. Two weeks on the 28th of last month, I got a call from a Training Supervisor informing me about TSA doing a background check on me. She told me that she would call me back a week later. I guess she must be busy so I didn't get a call back. I know the trainers are working hard to get me a start date that I was offered originally. I appreciate their hard work and that they do not try to inconvenience anyone. I will call her tomorow. My question is how long does the TSA background check process take? I read that TSA are using a new policy of background check. Im wondering at this point in the game where I am? Working as a Ramp Agent for Southwest is a dream. I want the job so Im hoping that I would get that call that Im cleared to work and the Training Supervisor will tell me the time and where to report for Badging and Training Class. Im very confident that I will be a work horse and be a valuable asset to the company. I would appreciate any other tip or info. Im very excited and eager to work and I look forward to finally being to sleep well. I cant sleep,blame the wait time,lol. Happy New Year to all and thank you for the tips and the respond to my question.
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Dr. Chamberlain, Thanks for your comments, and I am so sorry that we have disappointed you lately. I hope you understand that Jeff's area of expertise lies elsewhere, but as an Officer of SWA, he wants to ensure your satisfaction. I have asked our Rapid Rewards experts to followup with you. Brian
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I noticed now your "business select "isn't going too well because now you are offering a rebate to those with Southwest Visa Cards to reduce the total fare. I predicted you would see a bottom line loss because of this change in boarding policy and apparently this is happening. I also notice that you are saving the lower numbers for these business fares which often do not show up so sometimes the last folks to get their on line boarding passes sometimes get a lower number that was saved but not used. I know of no one who pays more to board first and a lot of companies are not going to allow their employees to pay more just so they can get on ahead of the bulk of your customers. Your management just irritatated most of the common folks who made your airline great and it is really sad. I would hope you would now either assign seats or go back to the "cattle call" that rewarded people who got their boarding passes first. Under current policy. the little guys, middle America folks who were your best customers are now pushed to "the back of the bus" Please take a poll and you will see what a mistake you made. But then, management never admits a wrong for fear of losing the respect of your stockholders. The spin you put on the new boarding procedure doesn't wash. And my comments are coming from a person who can well afford your " Business Select" debacle.Raise the fares if you must but make the boarding procedure fair for all , or just put first class seats in.
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Any chance you could give us a couple of handy tips for interviewing for a flight attendant position and what to expect? Anything good ole tip will do. -Kiona M.- from: ELP
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Roel, First of all, congratulations on your position in LAS! We are excited to have you com onboard Southwest Airlines. You are correct in that all airports are required to conduct an additional security check prior to issuing an airport badge to have access to secure areas of the airport. Unfortunately, each airport is conducting this assessment process differently across the country. That being said, the timeframes are different as to when you will hear back from them. We ask that you remain patient and we will keep our finger crossed that it will be soon! Good Luck!
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I read through a few of these comments, namely John's, who is also a mechanic. From the many A&P's I know and work with, Southwest seems to be the oasis in the desert. at least for those that want to stay with airline work. The big thing that catches my eye is the attitude and atmosphere I hear so much about. I've been with a regional carrier for just over 18 months ( 7 years on helicopters in the Army) and realize the number of mechanics with much more experience that send resumes in must be great. I love working on aircraft because I learn something new almost every day and am constantly looking for a place where people have the same attitude. Mainly, i'm writing this looking for insight not only from the People Dept, but any other A&Ps that see this as well. Also notice that in the last few months some of the requirements for mechanics changed. Like 2 years minimum on 737s changed to 2 years on aircraft 12,500 lbs or more. What was the reasoning for that? I wouldn't think there's a shortage of mechanics with 737 experience. Take care
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Hello ItÃ
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Jeffrey, Great questions regarding our pool process, so let me try to clarify. Once you have been successful through the interview process and have passed all of the background screenings, you are placed in a pool. The pool is created so that when a Station or Department calls the People Department and requests to fill a position, we have candidates ready to go. So the length of time that someone is in the pool could vary depending on the hiring needs of the Station. As far as how many people are in the pool at the same time also varies depending on the size of the Station. Our larger Stations will have bigger pools, and are smaller stations wonÃ
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Interviewing Tips 101 Many times we get the question asked: Ã
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Shari thanks for your help. Hope I can join your team soon. Thanks again Jeffrey
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Jeffrey thanks for asking what I am have been wondering and Shari I really appreciate you posting a response. I have been waiting for a CSA position at SFO. I dread calling Michelle in the near future to see what the status is for it has gone from I'll hear something before Christmas to now maybe in February. I have gone through this process since October based upon they were hiring. Talk about putting all your eggs in one basket ( I did). I really wanted to work for Southwest and still do believe that I am a fit but this has become very discourgaging since I thought SFO had the need for CSA's. The previous blog and this one is a great information tool for all thanks SW and best of luck to the other applicants.
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John F. Thanks so much for your post, and for your service to our Country ! I love the description of Southwest as the "oasis in the desert" ! We are so fortunate to have something special here that is hard to describe. It's truly a great big family of folks who love what they do and care about the People they work with. I did some research and it looks like our requirements have not changed recently. We do require our A&P Mechanics to have 2 years of experience on aircraft of 12, 500 lbs or more as you correctly stated. While having 737 experience might help someone be competitive for our open positions, we have not required it to my knowledge. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions. I would be happy to talk with you about the opportunity to join our great Team of what we think are the best Mechanics on the planet 🙂
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John F., Oops, I forgot to add my email address. Its amy.webb@wnco.com.
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WORK WITH ME,FLY FOR FREE! NOW HIRING-Ramp Agents at Denver International Airport. To speak with a Southwest Airlines Recruiter Please Call (602) 304-3926 or apply on Southwest.com. https://www.southwest.com/cgi-bin/resume?jobId=4232 Randy Nist Southwest Airlines Employment Manager-DIA
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Something I did later after my last interview (a one-on-one) in November 2006 was I wrote down questions that I might be asked if I interview (one-on-one) again, & the answers. That way, if I'm presented with those questions, I'll be ready! Obviously, I won't bring them with me! I think back to answers I gave & felt later I could have given better ones; I've had other experiences since then, so I have different answers to give. Fact for the day: Tuna spells "a nut" backwards! SWA LUV! 🙂
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Hi Leah - you crack me up with your "facts/thoughts of the day" and "jokes." I have been reading the blog entries as thoroughly as ever, just haven't had a chance to respond recently. I'm still holding out for a position with SWA, are you still doing the same? Somebody would have to be NUTS to not hire either one of us very soon! My one-year waiting period for a CSA position at BNA is coming to an end soon, and I'm so excited to be able to apply for that position once again. I've already applied for RA, OA, and PA too. Take care!
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Hi, Jill! Thanks. 🙂 I've not yet resubmitted my resumÃ
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I was just looking at the Careers Section & saw you're hiring for CSA's in TUL, which is where I live! 🙂 I'd LUV to reapply & work here, but I'm waiting for the right time. Really, though, I'd go wherever I'm needed! I'm flexible, believe me. 🙂 This is the first time I've seen the Company hiring in TUL.; I have dear friends who work at the TUL Station, too. Also, I thought one of my friends here said TUL is more for Senior employees. Thought for the day: Why are things shipped by cargo when you're not driving with them in the car? SWA LUV! 🙂
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Leah, This is a prime opportunity. Please go apply at TUS! Posting before Blog boy catches me, Ding! boy joe!
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Ding! boy, I really, really want to do it, believe me! I'm just hesitant. I need to pray & think about it. Fact for the day: The ZIP code 74147 is the same backwards! I don't know if there really is such a ZIP code, though. SWA LUV! 🙂
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Hello hello hello!! So glad I found this blog. I was just on the career website and it said check back at the beginning of the year to be able to post a resume to become a flight attendant. Do you have any idea how I can submit my resume for the web site is still not taking resumes? Thanks, Anna
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Oh, Ding! boy-didn't you mean TUL, not TUS? :) Thought for the day: I wonder what the ZIP stands for in ZIP Code. SWA LUV! 🙂
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Yes, I meant Tul. Good catch.
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Anna, Thank you so much for your enthusiasm and interest in joining our Southwest family as a Flight Attendant. We are still not accepting resumes for the position due to the number of People in our pool. We want your interview experience to be the best that it can be, and we hate to have you go through the interview process and then if selected wait a really long time for class. We are always reviewing our numbers and balancing that with the hiring needs of the Company, so please continue to check back with us at southwest.com. We truly appreciate your patience, and look forward to the time we can meet with you and discuss this great career oppportunity! Amy