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I Thought I Knew a Lot About Southwest Airlines

Explorer C

I thought I knew a lot about Southwest Airlines, after all I grew up in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area and was required to read Nuts!, write several papers,  and participate in case studies about Southwest while I was in college.  But I’ve noticed in my little less than a year’s worth of time working at Headquarters that there are some things I didn’t have a clue about.  So, listed below in no particular order are 17 things I didn’t know about working at Southwest Airlines Headquarters until I got here.  Why 17 things?  Well, who wants to color within the lines?  😉



  1. Outside of the cafeteria is a big screen television that does nothing but play Southwest Airlines commercials from yesterday to today.
  2. Free peanuts!  The peanuts that are served on our planes can be found in a few locations around the building.  On a really good day, the honey roasted nuts are available.  And for the peanut sensitive folks, yes, pretzels are also available.
  3. Headquarters sits just next to Love Field, so we are lucky enough to see our planes land and take off all the time, but you can also see just about all of the most notable Dallas buildings - everything from the Dallas skyline, to the old home of the Cowboys, Texas Stadium, to Las Colinas and North Dallas.
  4. Speaking of the Dallas skyline, the cafeteria offers a breathtaking view.  Oddly enough, you can’t see Reunion Tower.
  5. Speaking of the cafeteria, it’s actually called The Landing, and as you enter you can’t miss the flight schedule for Love Field and the Freedom Shop, a store full of SWA goodies.
  6. Herb has his own speed sign.

    [Photo Courtesy Airline Biz Blog, The Dallas Morning News]
  7. A servant’s heart even appears in the men’s restroom.  I can’t tell you the number of times I’m about to wash and then dry my hands in the restroom and find that the person in front of me dispensed a paper towel for the next person.  When this first happened, I thought it was just a rare act of kindness, but it happens everywhere and very often.  If you remember the movie, it’s like a Pay It Forward moment.  And yes, it was a bit awkward bringing a camera into the men’s restroom.
  8. There are murals with a 3D effect that honor various departments; this one honors our hard working folks in our Technology Department.  In the lower right hand corner, it says “TECHNOLOGY POWERS THE BRAND.”  The second picture of course honors our Flight Attendants.

  9. One of the original Southwest Flight Attendants sets up a vendor booth once a week and sells homemade SWA goods ranging from T-shirts, to luggage tags, to badge reels.
  10. If you want to exercise, there’s a nice running path around nearby Bachman Lake, or you can get a group together and play sand volleyball or basketball on the courts in our parking lot.
  11. In the unfortunate event in which an Employee passes away, it’s communicated in the daily Employee’s newsletter, no matter what city he or she worked.  There’s even a link provided to an internal website where you can leave an “In LUVing Memory” comment.  It’s rare to see a Company do something like this to honor an Employee, especially one as large as SWA, and it shows this place is really about family and sharing the LUV.  There are also tributes to Employees that have lost their lives serving in our military.  The tributes are scattered around Headquarters, but this one rests right outside our front door.
  12. During our warm weather months, Deck Parties start at 5:00 P.M. every Friday, and each week a different department becomes the sponsor.
  13. I knew the walls of Headquarters were decorated with priceless pictures of our Employees, but I wasn’t aware that our conference rooms have a lot of spirit as well.  You never know what you might find.  For instance, one room is  decorated  with sports memorabilia thanks to our sponsorships of various teams and sports.
  14. There’s a really, really big T-shirt on the first floor.
  15. Free Sky Mall and LUVLines magazines are located by every elevator.
  16. Welcome Aboard!  Employees can sponsor a New Hire by purchasing Southwest rubber ducks, called Winglets.  Money made from the sale of Winglets goes toward welcoming a New Hire into the Southwest Culture. The Winglets themselves travel down to Sea World to compete in a Duck Derby race.  Each Winglet is numbered to represent their owner, and the first 25 Winglets to finish the Duck Derby win their owner a prize.
  17. Our time zone is actually called “Herb Time.”  That’s how our time is displayed when we log into our work stations and access our intranet homepage.


Explorer A
Has Southwest looked at putting small stores at airports selling shirts and stuff? It would probably do well at connection airports like Chicago, Nashville, Houston, Orlando, Tampa, Baltimore, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Denver.
Explorer C
Great post, Keith. I really miss that place!
Explorer C
this makes me really want to work for southwest if not a company that does these things for the employees...
Keith, The Volleyball Court is actually the product of a very old friend and colleague of mine, which isn't with Southwest anymore. It was built shortly after the current HDQ complex was opened in 1990, by a member of our then-brand-new Revenue Management group. So, if you're in the blogosphere--thanks, Schulle, and everyone that helped with the construction of it (which was done on a Saturday with PLENTY of beer!!!). You'll will be happy to know it's being used nearly daily, if not several times daily, now!!!!!! (There should be a plaque....or at least a t-shirt.....) Bill
Adventurer B
I've been to HDQ twice when I interviewed for FA position & saw some neat displays. I didn't know about what was mentioned here (the blog)! I'd really LUV to tour HDQ. That would be fun! I do have some pictures of the theme painted planes there. 🙂 Speaking of the Freedom Shop, I don't see it online anymore! 😞 I've ordered off of it before & I want to again! :) I have a nice collection of SWA shirts, planes, etc., & will keep on collecting. SWA LUV!
Explorer C
Any chance of getting Southwest luggage tags? I'm tired of using my old Deltas tags!