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LUV Stories: Unexpected Thank You

Adventurer B

One of the many ways we keep our Southwest Culture and SPIRIT alive is by telling, and re-telling, stories of the events that have defined us as a Company. There are many venues for telling such stories.

  • FLY classes (Freedom, LUV & You) that all new Employees go through
  • Rocking Chair events where a group of longtime Employees sit around (in rocking chairs) and talk about their lives at Southwest
  • Halloween skits, which almost always lightheartedly relive events from long ago, and not so long ago (And wait 'til you see some of the video from a Southwest Halloween. We go completely Nuts for Halloween.)
  • A fantastic Puppet Show that our People Department presents at special New Hire luncheons (I’ll have to show you some of that one of these days.)
  • And just about any gathering of two or more current or former Southwest Employees

You probably already know about many of the stories that made headlines.

  • Our years of court battles just to get the right to fly
  • The $13 Fare War in 1973 when we proclaimed “Nobody’s Going to Shoot Southwest Airlines Out of the Sky for a Lousy $13″ (Winning that confrontation with Braniff led to our first profitability.)
  • Malice in Dallas, when Herb saved lots of money and got a ton of free publicity by arm wrestling for the rights to the “Just Plane Smart” slogan
  • And most recently, our successful Wright is Wrong campaign to lift the outdated Wright Amendment restrictions at Love Field

But there are hundreds … thousands … of smaller, more-personal stories inside Southwest that are just as important to our Culture and SPIRIT, and I recently became aware of another venue where many of these stories live and thrive.

There is a group of retired Employees who meets about once a quarter at The Landing (our headquarters cafeteria). I heard they used to call themselves Old LUVers, but that was quickly changed to just LUVers. They come from all over the United States just to be together for a few hours … to catch up on what’s new and reminisce about old times. So I asked them if I could set up my camcorder, record their LUV Stories, and share them with YOU!

This first story is from Buddy Mitchell, Southwest Employee #946, retired. It illustrates how important a simple “thank you” can be. It can be something that makes a difference forever!