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Southwest Airlines Community

EarlyBird—More Than Just a Better Boarding Position

Adventurer A

Southwest Airlines relies on a dedicated group of local Employees in every city we serve who evaluate and respond to each request for a charitable donation that comes from the community. These “Local Giving Boards” allow local Employees to decide how Southwest can be the hometown carrier when it comes to charitable giving in their communities.  Southwest Airlines focuses our resources primarily on five areas of charitable giving: the Military and it Families, Families Facing Serious Illness, Youth Leadership and Community Involvement, the Environment, and Disaster Preparedness and Response. To celebrate the season of giving, this week we’ll highlight some of our memorable stories from 2010 in each one of these categories.

Environmental Stewardship is a responsibility Southwest takes seriously, as minimizing waste and effectively using our resources (energy, people, and materials) helps us protect our most vital resource of all—the world in which we live. Efficient operations are the hallmark of our Company and the foundation of our environmental commitment.

As many of us watched the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico spread this summer, we were extremely concerned as we read the reports and saw the threats and disturbance to the marine environment along the coastal barriers.  In particular, Louisiana’s state bird, the brown pelican caught our attention as they had just been dropped from the endangered species list about six months prior to the spill.  If you watched the news coverage, you would have seen dozens of brown pelicans being transported to rescue centers for treatment.

So, how could Southwest, an airline, do our part to make a difference?  Southwest Airlines is the official airline of the National Wildlife Refuge Association (NWRA), so what better opportunity than to leverage our partnership with them to help to restore what the oil took away.  We launched our first ever cause-marketing campaign—Help Us Help Them—on September 21 to donate $1 (up to $100,000) to the NWRA for every EarlyBird Check-In purchase through October 4.  The brown pelican is a bird, we offer an EarlyBird product—you get it, right??  In celebrating the first anniversary of the Early Bird Check-In product we decided that an investment in our communities was the best gift to both our Employees and our Customers.

Thanks to our EarlyBird flyers, we were thrilled to announce our $100,000 donation to the NWRA on October 18.  The money was put to good use.  The NWRA used our donation to work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to acquire and restore brown pelican nesting sites along the Gulf—this work will help ensure the survival of 10,000 brown pelican chicks next year.

Southwest Airlines is proud to support an organization that works hard to conserve our country’s precious wildlife.  For more information about the EarlyBird Check-In program, visit  And, to learn more about the National Wildlife Refuge Association, visit