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Freedom To Fly

bstevens
New Arrival

Everyone knows that airline employees get the benefit of free travel. If there is an open seat, we can go. What you may not know is that Southwest also extends those flight privileges to our spouse, minor children, and parents.

The Freedom to Fly is one of the best things about working for Southwest. It became even more of a blessing when my wife's mom, Mary, was diagnosed with cancer last year. Since Mary lives by herself in Pensacola, FL, we decided to have her go to Jacksonville, FL, to live with her son and his family during treatments. My flight privileges allowed my wife, Carol, to fly down to Jacksonville to help with her care and also allowed my Mom, Liz, to fly in from Tuscon, AZ, to care for me and my daughters while Carol was away. For the past nine months, Carol has gone to Jacksonville as needed and my Mom has come to Nashville.

Thankfully, Mary is now in remission. Last week Carol flew to Jacksonville to help move her mom home to Pensacola. As she has done throughout this ordeal, my Mom flew in and has played taxi driver and cared for my children during the past week. Today, Carol flew home to Nashville and Mom returned to Tucson.

You expect your employer to care about you, the employee. But not many companies also care about an employee's family. Thanks, Southwest, for not only being a great place to work, but for also caring about our internal Family (Employees) as well as our external Family (Employees' Families).

20 Comments
Micah_Moughon1
Explorer C
Please expand the freedom to fly to Knoxville! Haha OK. I know you guys are watching all the markets closely and waiting for a perfect time to enter. On a different note, Frontier just announced that it will not offer nonstop Denver-Jacksonville service. So, do you think you guys will? Anyway, something to think about.
Steve24
Explorer C
Oh its great that your employees can fly because your frequent customers can't anymore. After about a dozen tries at using my many free tickets and having every weekend flight on all days "blacked out" 2-3 months in advance, I am not traveling SWA anymore. This A-Lister is now a former loyal 15e+year customer. I suggest you subject employees to the same free trip availability limits of the general inventory. No, you dont get "freedom awards."
Not applicable
[...] Freedom To Fly - Flying privileges are helpful in difficult times. [...]
Jeffrey_Sigmon
Explorer C
Great post. Southwest is one of my favorite companies and possible career move for me at some point down the road. At my last job, I use to fuel SWA's B737's and the ground crew treated me like one of their own. Everyone there was happy and humble which is not often seen.
blusk
Aviator C
Steve A., I am sorry you feel that way, but our Employee travel benefits have no effect on Award Travel. Our Employees fly standby and only receive a boarding pass after all the Customers have checked in. SWA Employees (with the exception of a few emergency situations) traveling on passes do not remove any seats from the inventory available to Customers, including Award Travel. So you see, our availabiliity limits are much more restricted than any other Passenger group, and there are times we may have to sit all day at an airport just to find an empty seat on a flight. Brian
Mayer_Zimmerman
Explorer C
Don't know where to comment on this and probably have done so at least once, but your new boarding system is a CROCK. The old one was much better. The new one is grossly unfair and certainly NOT an improvement. I used to arrive at the gate an hour and a half to two hours before flight time, sit on the floor and be among the first 5 or 10 people on board, and get my window seat in 5A..... Now I punch up Get Boarding Pass as soon as the computer will let me do so, maybe 15 seconds after 24 hours before flight time, and I get A 32 or A 52.... I know that you save some seats for people who pay more ... but I pay plenty, usually on a government fare.... I have had enough flights between work and pleasure during the last 2 years to get two free tickets, and I think your alleged boardiing improvement is not..... On my last two flights I have been in 15 D and 22A , instead of up front as I used to be. How is that an improvement? And I won't even mention the phony "disableds" who get on first..... I have had a quadruple bypass, I have claudication of both legs, and I refuse to say I am disbaled... But I see all these phonies do it to get on first.... You should screen them better... I think maybe it is time to assign seats on all flights.... Maybe on flights over 3 hours to starts with, and a month or two later, on all flights.... Maybe it willbe fairer that way. I was agianst that at first, but your new m,ethod is NOT working! And I certainly hpe you don't do what USless Air does: DO NOT charge extra for window seats or aisle seats. Next thing you know they will have standing room only, pay exta for sitting down altogether. I would pay extra NOT to fly on USless Air... Thanks for listening... A loyal SW customer and shareholder..... (So loyal I did not even sell my shares although they keeps going down, while every flight I have been on for the last two months is stuffed to the gills). I know what you are odig with all that money- you are buying fuel.. Right? . Mayer Zimmerman
helen1
Explorer C
After watching the television show Airlines on cable. I would not fly Southwest if they paid me. I have never seen a bigger group of jerks. Especially at LAX, B.W.I., Midway and several other terminals. The people Southwest employees are rude, arrogant and stupid not to mention FAT. The uniforms are really ugly not to mention the workers. They are under trained and appear to have the I.Q. of a low grade moron.
blusk
Aviator C
Gee Helen, I guess your opinion is pretty obvious. I wonder why you felt the need to unload like that? Brian
Anonymous4064
Explorer B
Helen, I have flown to and from BWI about 100 times and through Chicago's Midways airport as well (Sorry, I never been to LAX.) Southwest is my primary airline on cities they fly to with Northwest as my second choice for flying to cities Southwest doesn't fly to. I wouldn't judge any company by what the media makes a company appear to be until you fly them. You should go to some airline website message boards (not the airlines themselves but websites such as flyertalker.com) and see what people say about an airline and fly that airline before you start trash talking them. I think you are the one who is rude, arrogant and stupid not to mention FAT since you haven't said you flown Southwest and you are judging them by what a TV show said about them.
scottnearsmf
New Arrival
Which is probably why Southwest Airlines and the producers of Airline (correct me if I'm wrong) decided to stop the show since during the last season or two, the show (Airline on A&E) only seemed to focus only mostly on negative customer contacts. Since Southwest Airline's intent for the show was to give a behind-the-scene exposure to the airline in such a way that some one watching the show would want to book a flight the show during its later season was no longer giving the intended exposure to the airline, an mutual agreement to stop the show was reached. Correct?? Brian.
scottnearsmf
New Arrival
By the way, Congratulations on the renaming of the Middle Fare Column from "Business" to "Anytime". I think that was a smart decision.
Rika
Explorer C
I would just like to make a comment on the poor management of the internship program you guys are running. I am a college student who applied for a summer 2008 internship back in Febuary. The deadline wasnt until march, and i have been struggling to hear back from yall. It is really unfortunate that I had to work really hard to get in all the papers and essays that i needed for this company and i cant even get a response back. I haven't heard one thing from southwest since i mailed them a huge package with all my grades, letters of recommendations, and essays. Hopefully, someone who cares will read this and know that the blogosphere world is not small and that i will be blogging about this company on my website and my friends websites to make sure they dont fall in the same hole i did.
scottnearsmf
New Arrival
I would on Monday the 28th, to call the main number at the Corporate Office at Love Field using the 214 area code not the toll free number and ask to be transferred to the Internship Department and ask number one, did they receive your package that has your cover letter, resume, transcript, letters of recommendation and your "Why Southwest Airlines" essay in it. Most of Southwest's jobs gets more far applicants than openings but hopefully they will fill you in as to where you application package stands when you call them on Monday.
Leah3
Adventurer B
Helen, I'm assuming you've heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Well, don't judge Southwest until you've flown them. I always have great service on Southwest & believe me, if I could fly this airline everywhere I go, I would. I have some friends whom I LUV dearly that work for Southwest, too! Exciting news for the day: I reapplied at East Central University, where I earned my first Bachelor's, & received my letter of acceptance on Thursday! I'm going back for a Bachelor's in Psychology, & then possibly a Master's in it! I want to be a Psych. Tech, Psychologist, or both-just not at the same time, obviously! SWA LUV! 🙂
joe-mdw-plane-d
Frequent Flyer C
Congrats Leah and best of luck to you! 5 cents please! :-) Joe F.
jlamb1
Adventurer C
Rika - I am sorry that you were disappointed with our Internship application process. I checked and found an email we sent to you within 30 days (actually on April 14th) of the application deadline. I know the application process and essay are very time consuming and I do appreciate the effort of everyone that applied. Someone will contact you by phone today. Again, I apologize if our original communication didn't get to you timely. Jeff Lamb
Leah3
Adventurer B
Thanks, Joe! 🙂 I won't charge you anything to come see me! :) I can't believe you start training next Monday! Wow! I know it will go well. Fact for the day: Piaget's first of the eight stages is "Trust vs. Mistrust." SWA LUV! 🙂
q_
Explorer C
help! where can I find the advertising track "ding. you are now free to move about the country"?
CSR
Explorer C
The people Southwest employees are rude and arrogant! ive never felt so damn and hurt in my entire life! They are not very helpful at all even in cased of emergency, you were trying to explained your situation to them but they never listened instead they just want you to pay if you changed flights due to emergencie's thats it...no helped at all...no mercy!! if you want to chAnged it pay for it thats all... take it or leave it... i think its ridiculous for not to listened and just ignored what you're trying to tell them.....all theyre after is money! no mercy! tsk tsk tsk! not good at all! not a great customer service....dont put out on their b....
scottnearsmf
New Arrival
Severe storms headed for Nashville tonight, my prayers are with you, stay safe.