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Boarding Now: Very Important Puppy (VIP)


At Southwest Airlines, our Purpose is to connect People to what’s important in their lives and our partnership with Make-A-Wish® allows us to do just that by providing meaningful travel to Make-A-Wish families. Since our partnership began in 2010, Southwest has donated more than 23,000 Southwest tickets to Make-A-Wish - valued at more than $9 million. Historically, wishes involving travel account for 75% of the wishes that Make-A-Wish grants, and Southwest has helped grant more than 4,000 wishes over the last decade. We’ve helped these deserving families travel all over throughout the past 10 years – creating memorable experiences at places like Disney World, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and Hawaii.


Understandably, travel wishes have been paused for over a year due to the pandemic, contributing to the more than 25,000 eligible children waiting for their wish to come true. Make-A-Wish has continued to grant the life-changing wishes they can because a wish has the power to replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy, and anxiety with hope. Some of the travel wishes have shifted to outdoor playhouses, shopping sprees, a room redecoration, or a puppy!


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While Southwest hasn’t been able to connect wish kids and their families to their travel destinations over the last year, we recently had the opportunity to connect a VIP—Very Important Puppy—from Orlando to his forever home in Tennessee with Make-A-Wish Kid Olivia. Southwest not only provided complimentary travel for VIP Finley and his puppy nanny James, but our amazing Employees created special moments all along the way—from gate announcements in Orlando to a spirited welcome upon their arrival in Nashville.  


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Olivia and her entire second-grade class were able to join in the fun at the gate via FaceTime. Our Employees and Customers wrote congratulations notes to Olivia on Southwest Kindness postcards and they were delivered to Olivia in a branded Southwest pet carrier on her Wish Day. Olivia and her new buddy are forever connected and Southwest will always have a little part in making this furry connection happen!


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Thanks to all the Customers and Employees who made this trip an extra special one for Olivia and Finley by putting their Heart in Action! We look forward to welcoming Wish Kids and their families back onboard soon!