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Flashback Fridays: Some Favorite 40th Anniversary Photos

Aviator C

The actual date of our 40th Anniversary is this Saturday, June 18.  This edition of Flashback Fridays is primarily pictorial, and my goal was to share some of my favorite photos from 1971 and 1972.  Along the way, I found some unique photos sharing our original procedures, so they are the “educational” portion of the program.


One of the iconic photos from 1971 is a variation of the one above with our Flight Attendants (they were called Hostesses back then) running across the ramp.  Many of today’s prints of that photo are grainy because they are copied from prints and not the negatives.  The photo above is a new digital version from the original negative, and it shows everyone was having a great time.


However, I discovered that only a portion of our Inflight staff is shown in the running photo.  This photo above was taken the same day from a different perspective, and it shows six or seven additional Flight Attendants, which I am guessing is just about our entire Inflight staff back then.


This appears to be a photo of the aircraft being repositioned for the shoot, but it illustrates a couple of Southwest historical facts.  The aircraft on the left is the first N23SW, and it is the fourth 737 delivered to Southwest.  Notice that it only wears “Southwest” on the tail without “Airlines” titling.  The aircraft in front of us, wears “Airlines” on the tail, so it is one of the first three aircraft delivered to us--only the first three wore the full titles on the tale .  N23SW is important to us because the need to sell one of the four aircraft caused the birth of the ten-minute turn.


By the same token as the “Running Flight Attendant” photo, modern day prints of this photo showing a sample of our work force have become dirty and tinted.  Above is a fresh version from the negative.


The photographer tried the shot from a higher perspective (above).  It really needs more people in the photo for this angle to work.


One of the work groups that didn’t receive a lot of attention from the camera back then is our Provisioning Folks who stock the aircraft.  Just beyond the Agent is N21SW, one of our three original aircraft.


And finally, here is our history lesson.  The Operations Agent is sorting “Gate Passes,” and I had asked a week or so ago, what Passengers turned in to board the aircraft in the days of the cash register receipt tickets.  This was it. The paper Gate Pass says:  “THIS IS NOT A TICKET  This pass allows the holder to board the aircraft.  It will be taken from the Passenger as he boards.  The passenger’s tickets will be collected during flight.”  Each pass has a boarding number up to 112, which is the capacity of the aircraft at the time.


In this last photo above, the Ops Agent is collecting the passes as the Passengers board the aircraft.

1 Comment
Explorer A
Happy 40th birthday to my favorite airline! Great post, too! *Has party & has balloons, cake, peanuts, pretzels, & candy corn.* :) Thought for the day: Why are they called cookies when you bake them? SWA LUV & mine!