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Introducing “Is This Seat Open?” a new podcast from Southwest Airlines, L.A. Times Studios, and At W


In celebration of Southwest Airlines’ 50th Anniversary, we’re thrilled to announce our first public-facing episodic podcast, called “Is This Seat Open?” This podcast offers a unique perspective on stories from our colorful history and was created in partnership with L.A. Times Studios and At Will Media.


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The title “Is This Seat Open?” comes from our open-seating policy, which is just one of the many unique ways of doing things here at Southwest. “Is This Seat Open?” covers 20 stories, from the very early days at Southwest, up to the present day. Each story is told by some of the People who were there to experience these iconic moments in history. Two of our Employees, Quinnie and Lucas, host the podcast.


Here are just a few of the stories that are shared in “Is This Seat Open?”:

  • Who Was Herb? Hear about Southwest Founder, Herb Kelleher, from the perspective of his daughter, Ruth.
  • Fare Play & Bottle of Booze: Southwest’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Ryan Green shares how a 1973 marketing masterstroke saved the fledgling airline and helped it turn its first annual profit.
  • Bringing Dad Home: Now retired Southwest Pilot Bryan Knight reveals how Southwest helped him honorably lay to rest his late father, a Vietnam veteran who had been missing for 52 years. 
  • Go-Go Boots, Khakis, & Jams: Southwest Employee uniforms have been iconic throughout the carrier’s 50 years of flying. Kelli Bartlett, a Flight Attendant who has been with Southwest for more than four decades, recalls each unique uniform throughout the years and describes the current 75 bold, striking, and casual-yet-professional pieces worn today. 


In addition to listening to the podcast, you also can visit to see photos, archival content, videos, news clips, and write-ups for further context and information about each story.


Happy listening! Be sure to share your favorite episodes in the comments below!


*The Los Angeles Times Newsroom was not involved in the production of this podcast.

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