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Cleaning Planes and Feeding Las Vegas

New Arrival

A poster on my previous blog entry asked ”What exactly does the Corporate Culture Committee do?”

Well ... the Corporate Culture Committee (CCC) is a mostly-volunteer group of Employees (and retired Employees) from every city in our system who travel around our 64-city network putting on events to let our Employees and Customers (Passengers) know how much we appreciate them. These events can include anything from cooking burgers for our Ground Ops folks to providing chair massages for Customers waiting at our gates. It's a lot of fun and really helps you keep in touch with what's going on in the field . The video above comes from two such events.

The first minute or so of the video is from a visit to our HOU (Houston) Maintenance Base. We were there (in shifts) from early afternoon through mid-morning the next day, so we could visit with all three shifts, and we served barbecue with all the fixin's pretty much nonstop.

Washing Planes During HOU MX CCC Event

Some time around 3:00 a.m., things were kind of slow for us because that's when the Maintenance guys and gals are really busy getting planes ready for the new day. So, I walked outside with my camcorder and saw the surreal scene you'll see in the video. The bright lights against the black sky, and all the steam and water, seemed to be just begging for some dramatic music and slow motion. It turned out to be a sort of ”faux commercial” celebrating the folks who keep our planes clean.

Ground Ops Employee Getting His Burger

The remainder of the video is from a Culture event in Las Vegas where we cooked about 2,000 burgers, brats, and hot dogs for our Ground Ops folks. Of course, there were lots of Crews (Pilots & Flight Attendants) coming and going, and we were glad to feed them, too. I think this part of the video really shows how supportive all our Employees are of each other, and how much impromptu FUN we have with each other.

Enjoy the video, and look forward to more soon. There's lots more where this came from!
19 Comments
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uh, two questions: 1. How do you get a grill and propane past the TSA? 2. With all that partying going on on the ramp did all the 737s get turned in 30 minutes or less?
New Arrival
Good questions Cliff! Most of the 'stations' already have grills in place, so we don't have to get anything past the TSA. ('Station' is our term for our facilities related to a particular airport.) But if they don't, we sometimes have to go to plan B (catering) or even plan C (good ole George Foreman grills). Anyway, the main things are to see old friends and make new ones, and to let everyone know they make a difference and are appreciated. Southwest is known for working hard and playing hard. Both got done that day without any impact on our OTP (Ontime Performance).
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Bob - you have a gift! I absolutely love the footage of the aircraft being washed.
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I want to play with the power washer!!! ;-p All that food sure looks good. Someday (night) I'll get to have some. :-) Now drinking premium tap water! Ding! boy Joe
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That sounds like fun! I'd LUV to be part of that committee, but I have a long way to go until retirement! Thanks for another great post. SWA LUV from future RSA, CSA, & FA! 🙂
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Great video Bob! I remember watching them wash the plane that night in HOU! Miss you guys but tell everyone I said hi. Keep up the good work! Shannon
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Looks like so much fun! I've been in banking for 5 years and let me tell you, they don't like to cut loose and grill burgers like they did in the video! Please tell me how to get an interview with this great company! Nicole Your dedicated applicant
New Arrival
Thanks, Shannon! Seems to me I have a little video of you doing the hula at that HOU MX event. Who knows when that might appear somewhere 🙂
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Haha! The movie (TV) star closeup of Susie Boersma is hilarious. 🙂
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We always fly Southwest if they go where we are trying to get to because of the low Senior fares, the great service, the ability to change reservations with no penalty, and the best on time service; BUT we have noticed on our last few flights that the crews are becoming too serious. We know that the primary purpose of the crews is our safety, but in the past years the crews have been a little fun or crazy, but not during our last few trips. Sitting in a seat for hours can be kind of boring so tell your crews to lighten up a little. You are a great airline.
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Now THAT looks like fun. If Southwest every needs a friendly in-house attorney to work in the San Diego area, I'm there!
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And thanks for taking the time to answer my question too!
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You get what you pay for in life & I could never ! fly on such a tiny air craft, B 737 I would have a panic attack ! even a B 757 is small to me but I feal good on the B 767 or B 777 etc. now those are real air ships! & I dont mind paying Delta etc.. lil more $ & it is such a tiny amount $ more to be comfurtable & relaxed & happy SO SW when you get some real air crafts let me know I will FLY you!
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Southwest Airlines employees are up at 3:00 A.M.!?!?! I have a whole new appreciation for them!
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Micah, Most of the mx and cleaning is done overnight. Less planes flying at night. wash, rinse, sanitize, dry, repeat Ding! boy Joe
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Sound like fun. Does Southwest have a formal culture department How does one get a job like that?
New Arrival
Margaret, Yes, we do have a formal Culture Department, and it is augmented by lots and lots of volunteers. You can read about our OUTSTANDING Director of Culture Activities, Sunny, here ... http://www.blogsouthwest.com/author/sabercrombie ... and link to some of her blogs.
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I am a retiree and would love to volunteer for this culture program please get me involved.
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Bob - GREAT post! I really enjoyed the video. I'm working the MDW MX Event next week, and am so looking forward to that! James MDW FA