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Memorial Day

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As you know, the Memorial Day Weekend traditionally marks the beginning of summer, and we have a lot of fun and relaxation on this weekend.  The SWA Blog Team hopes each of you has a great summer, and we will be taking Monday off--look for new posts on Tuesday.  (We will continue to moderate comments all weekend.)  However, during your upcoming celebrations, stop and think about the true meaning of the day, which is to honor those who in uniform who have given what Lincoln called "the last full measure of devotion."  It first began in 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate graves at Arlington Cemetary. No doubt, you know someone in uniform who is serving in harm's way.  For us, that includes our Coworkers, Francisco and his shipmates, relatives, and friends.  We thank them, and we wish for their safe return.  We would LUV to hear your Memorial Day memory or thought.
24 Comments
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God bless every man and woman who is currently or has ever been a member of The United States Armed Forces. They go places they don't want to go, do things they don't want to do, all in order that I can enjoy the freedoms to go where I want to go, and do what I want to do. And for each man or woman serving, there are almost always parents, a spouse, and/or children who also sacrifice, foregoing companionship so their loved one can serve with honor. Think about the job description - you have to be willing to die to protect the freedoms of people you don't even know, because you believe in your country and the way of life it offers. Wow! If you've ever worn the uniform, please accept my thanks and appreciation for what you do.
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Thanks for your continued support and prayers. enjoy your weekend. USS BLOG BOY
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Hi, I am a part time student/male model in birmingham,alabama.I applied for jobId= 2963 in march, on the website it says now hiring, I know I have the experience, I very outgoing and optimistic. I was reading the april post of jeff lamb "one in a million". The question I have is that after I applied i moved from the address given on the resume, I am wondering how southwest contacts a potentail candidate. If it is by mail, may be that is why I havnt' heard from southwest? Btw I flew southwest once to see my brother in albany,ny. Ever since I love the people and atmosphere, which I would love to work with. Awesome blog btw, any help is appreciated. God Bless jc
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I am very disappointed in SWA for not participating in the Memorial Day Fisher House airline miles donation program. I have searched the site and don't find any other mechanism for me to donate my miles to vetern's families. I am sure that there are many Rapid Rewards members that would also donate their Rapid Rewards miles as a Thank-You to those who have served our country. Come on SWA...the Freedom to Fly only exists because of the efforts of these brave men and women.
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Hi! I had a question. Yesterday I flew from hartford to seattle with 3 stop overs. there were three flight attendents who were very helpful to me and I wanted to thank them personally for helping me. Is there a way to go about that?
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Deb, Alesha, scroll down please. Call customer service at 1(800) 248-4377 and ask them your questions. I am copy and pasteing some info for you. Q: How do I give away my Award to another person? A: The Rapid Rewards Member who received the Award will need to make the reservation for the person traveling. Simply get the destination, travel dates, and flight times from the person who will be using your Award and visit southwest.com (password required) or call Reservations to book the Award travel. Award travel is subject to the government-imposed September 11th Security Fee of up to $10 per roundtrip, which must be paid with a credit card, Ticketless Travel funds from a previously unused reservation, or a southwestgiftcard at the time of reservation. Q: How will I be notified when I receive an Award? A: Once you receive 16 credits within 24 consecutive months, you will receive notification via e-mail (requires an account e-mail address) or the USPS (which can take 14-21 days) that an Award has been deposited in your account. You can also check your account online via MySouthwestÂ
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I am a MSGT in the Air Force Reserves and have over 20 years of service to my country. Due to the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) actions my squadron at Luke Air Force Base AZ (944th Maintenance Squadron - an F16 Fighter Unit ) was shut down. If we wished to continue serving we were required to find a new place to serve on our own. One of the few squadrons that welcomed us was Carswell JRB in Fort Worth, Texas. Several of us who live in Phoenix are now having to fly over every month at our own expense on Southwest Airlines into Dallas Love Field. The cost to us is almost as much as we are paid for our weekend of duty. Because we are an all volunteer force it is our choice to continue our service, and we do so with pride. We are simply looking to try and get a break on the flights over and back each month. Several of us travel together so we can share car rentals and such expenses. I am, and some of my comrades who travel with me, are Iraq War veterans (2005) and have served in many other real world contingencies and continue to fight the war on terrorism. We are not looking for a free ride by any means, but simply a way of lessening the financial hardship on ourselves and families. We try to get the cheapest fare we can but usually not even the Internet fare is available. We get the discount fare which totals $321 round trip. That is pretty stiff for us. Most of us will continue our service for many years and have no plans to move as we have our civilian jobs and families in the Phoenix area. Help, please!
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Deb, just to follow up a little bit on what Joe wrote. When we had paper Awards Tickets, we did have a program where Rapid Rewards Members could donate those awards for individuals in the military. Since the Awards were on paper, the Member didn't have to reveal any personal information. Now that the Awards are electronic, it has made travel by Rapid Rewards Members much easier. However, one byproduct is that it is very difficult to donate the tickets in advance because the Awards come directly from each Member's Rapid Rewards account. A Member would have to reveal his or her password, and with that information, anyone could go into the account and strip all Awards. Note, a Member can still donate an Award on an individual basis by booking travel for the individual, but it would be extremely difficult and costly to set up such a program for a large number of individuals. Brian
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I just wanted to comment about a sad tragedy that happened over the Memorial Weekend. One of your employees Tom Finnegan was killed in a motorcycle accident on his way to work in Phoenix, Arizona. Tom was a great person and I hope everyone prays for his family.
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It is time to change the no-assigned-seat policy !!!! For the folks working in customer service dept, step out of your office and go to the airport gates and observe by yourself. Have you seen at any other airlines' gates that people start to form a line 40~50 min before departure ? I wonder why ? And surely I learned the reason. My son (4 years old) and I walked all the way to the end of plane and could not find two seats next to each other. A gentlement offered his seat so I can sit next to my boy. Shame on you Southwest to shift this burden to passengers themselves instead of assigning two seats to me at check-in as other airlines do. On my way back home, we used the pre-boarding line. But I wonder none of you SouthWest people ever fly with your teenage children or family or friends ? Preboarding is only granted to kids 4 and under (and elderly, etc), is it easy to keep 5-year-old kids or older kids in line for half an hour or longer ? I definitely think NOT ! And I am not alone after watching a mom with 2 teenagers complained about this, twin sisters had to sit serveral rows apart, to give you a few more examples. I don't know how much cost you can save for not assigning seat to passengers. But I would fly another airline which I don't have to wait in line for 45 min just so I can sit next to my family. And does it really take a ph.d to figure out that family travel more on holidays and the plane is usually sold out during this time ? It is really ironic while trying to find two seats next to each other in a crowded plane and hearing from the ratio "...select your favorite seat ...". Yeh, right, only if I can. My memorial weekend was ruined by Southwest from the beginning.
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Hongbiao, and those of you scattered throughout the blog, I'll save Herb and those in customer relations the time and effort, and wish you well with your next airline. Ten of my family members went from BWI to MDW one Christmas, and we were fine, although the plane was quite full. Unassigned seating makes Southwest Southwest, and makes for faster turnarounds. And when traveling alone, I have more than once offered my seat to someone else so he or she could sit with someone else. It's no. big. deal. Southwest didn't ruin your weekend. It's obvious that Southwest doesn't meet your needs. But I find it unnecessary for Southwest to become like every other (bankrupt!) airline.
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MR. ZHAO, I can see your fustration but i am not sure how Southwest Airlines ruined your MEMORIAL WEEKEND? With all due respect to you sir, Memorial day is a time to reflect on all of the brave men and women who have fought and died for this country. As a member of the military i would love to trade places with you, perhaps you could come out here in the 120 degree temperature and i could go over there and wait 45 minutes in air conditioning for my plane to arrive. We take so much for granted yet we have so much to be thankful for. While the assigned seating policy can be a hassle to some, Southwest Airlines isn't like the rest of the industry. No company is perfect but Southwest truly values their customers and their employees. I am sure they did not intend to ruin your weekend... USS BLOG BOY
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Well said USSBB, well said.... Mr. Zhao, you might want to do some research on flyertalk.com in relation to assigned seating. You will find multiple examples of folks purchasing tickets weeks and months in advance, and yet not securing seats together. And I surmise you won't find many folks in an assigned seat who would move to allow parents and children to sit together. After all, that seat is "their" seat....
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Paul and Francisco, Also with all due respect, let's not get into anything else but take this as a simple buisness issue. Ask yourself the very basic question, is this hassle necessary ? Can SW do better ? Paul, it is your own business if you don't mind waiting in line or having some good-hearted people giving their seat to you and your faimily. But there are people who do mind, and Southwest has to show how much they really care, not you. And FYI, a lot airlines are doing fine and not in bankrupcy. And their customers don't have to wait in line. Bottom line, given the choice, would you rather going through the hassle or have worry-free assigned seats next to each other ? Simple like that. Come on, any Southwest people ?
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Mr. Zhao, with all due respect, you must acknowledge Paul and Francisco's emotion. This is a post about a very special holiday to honor those who have died serving our nation, so it really isn't a business issue in this context. Having said that, the vast majority of our Customers pasionately prefer open seating. this subject has been thoroughly covered on the blog. Please read their comments on Gary Kelly's two posts on the subject. Click here and here. As Phil mentioned above, assigned seating doesn't guarantee a window or an aisle seat (someone is sitting in those center seats!) nor does it guarantee that families will sit together. (Incidentally, since the news came out last year that we might consider assigned seating, our written correspondence mirrors that on the blog.) Of course, we would LUV to have your and your family's patronage, but we have no plans to change open seating. Brian
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Hongbiao, I don't see the problem, although maybe you didn't know what to expect. You weren't inconvenienced; you just don't like the system of seating that SWA uses. And you have every right not to like it. But that doesn't mean SWA should change a methodology that has worked for nearly 30 years just to accommodate you. To me, open seating is no hassle at all. All the seats get to the destination the same time as the rest of the plane. End of discussion. We live in such a great country that you are free to fly with whomever you choose. If you don't like SWA's boarding and seating policies, don't. fly. SWA. It's as simple as that. Vote with your wallet, and prop up US Airways, Northwest, Delta, (all of which went bankrupt in the past few years, and are only just starting to get solvent), Independence (oops--they're not bankrupt, they're gone), TWA (ditto), etc. I agree with Brian; please put this comment on a more appropriate post next time. And I do not work for SWA.
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OK. Brian, thank you for writing the topic post....regarding memorial day...a day - which many people, until recently, used as an excuse to BBQ, drink, go to the beach and enjoy life. Today - it is mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, setting up their lawn chair in a cemetery to be close to the one they lost in our most recent and ongoing war. We should pause, more than a moment to reflect upon the sacrifices of our men and women over the years. For their courage and honor, I am continually grateful. This post has drifted from the opportunity to reflect upon memorial day - into one about seating, service and jobs. None of which, in my mind have a place here. Yet, SWA does a great job of including everyone's views - even when they are placed inappropriately. I have many thoughts and comments to make, but it is not the time, nor the place. As this post is for those, who have fought with bravery, suffered and died in a foreign land....some arrived home for a final resting, others, buried on foreign soil - but it is for their sacrifice I am given one day - to remember. I can pause for a moment. I explain to my children what Memorial Day means, we attend parades and walk the cemetery...we reflect as a family and pray for those currently serving so we have our freedom. I think Jim said it best....Wow. In the meantime - if you are tempted to write something completely unrelated to Memorial Day - I'm sure you will find an appropriate forum for your question and comment. Let's leave this one open for reflection....one forum, set aside, to reflect and share stories honoring those who served. Jenny
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Jenny, Thanks for the eloquent comments! Brian
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TO ALL: For the past few days I will have to admit that I had some anger in my heart towards those who decided to use this particular blog to beg for a job and to complain about assigned seating. While i don't blame someone for wanting to work at Southwest or if a customer was inconvinenced then by all means voice your concerns. This is one of the reasons why we fight for our country so that we may all speak freely. But we are a nation at war. All we ask is that for one day out of the year we can all reflect on those who have given their lives all so that we may live in total freedom. I think of my good friend Dennis who left his wife and kids one cold morning and headed to Iraq not once but twice. I think of my two friends from our division who volunteered to go to Iraq to assist the Marines. I think about the parents of the fallen and what they must be going through when they recieve word that their loved one has died. I think about the people on our ship who have left loved ones back home, who won't get to see the birth of their first child, who recieve a red cross message that says they have lost a loved one, or perhaps we can think about those sailors who were barely waking up that one December morning at Pearl Harbor, their lives were gone in an instant. I think about our troops on the ground who continue to give it their all and do it without complaining. We need to all realize what we have in this Country. I want to personally thank all of those that continue to pray for us and our safe return. May God bless this great country of ours... USS BLOG BOY
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faux pas (i hope I used this phrase correctly here). My apology for posting at the wrong blog. As a foreigner (hopefully my name gives u a hint) I have yet to know the origin nor the meaning of Memorial day and I thought this is a blog related to memorial day travel. Apparently I did not read all the previous posts before posting mine. Thanks for those folks who responded with the appropriate links and suggestions. Francisco, nobody is "DECIDED" to use the blog to post irrelevant msgs (i would not presume the job seeker did it on purpuse). And most importantly since you might fight in a foreign country, don't "predetermine'" or you may post more danger to innocent civilians than your enemies.
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Amen to my brother Francisco's comments. And ditto to Jim's remarks, but most of all, thank you to Brian for writing this blog entry. Like my near-namesake, USS Blog Boy, I too have reserved my response to this for a few days out of an attempt to avoid saying something rude. To each of you who blogged here about something other than honoring the many brave men and women who have given their lives for your freedom to blog about something else, please go back and re-read the title of this blog story. If you want a job, want to gripe, want to compliment or want to express your opinions, good or bad, about Southwest Airlines, there are a zillion other blog topics at www.blogsouthwest.com that are the appropriate places to enter your comments. This is NOT the place. This is the place to reflect on the sacrifices made that have created so many beautifully landscaped fields lined with precisely placed white marble markers across this country. While none of my relatives died during a war, I have relatives who have served in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I and World War II. I know people who have served in the Korean War, the Viet Nam War and the various Desert Storm versions. I am proud of their service and grateful for the service of so many others who did give their lives. Please think about those folks on this particular blog and please remember that "freedom is not free". As Lee Greenwood sang so eloquently, I'm proud to be an American!!! Kim External Blog Boy 🙂
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Mr. Zhao, Thank you for the followup comments, and as you can see Memorial Day is an emotional time for many. Of course, we always want you to enjoy your Southwest flights, and we hope you will continue posting on the blog, as there are many topics of interest (we hope) to our readers. Brian
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Mr. Zaho, I am not sure what you mean when you say don't "predetermine" or we might pose a bigger threat to civilians than our enemies. No one likes war, especially me. But if you look back at our countries history we started out fighting for our freedom. This is why many of us joined the military so that we as a country can continue to live in freedom and hopefully other people in this world can enjoy the same freedoms that we have. uss blog boy
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Memorial Day Sonnet If Liberty means anything to me, I will remember what my freedom cost, By those who gave their all to keep me free, Whose lives were sacrificed, but never lost. I will remind myself of what they did, And keep them dearly cherished in my heart; Their honor never from me shall be hid And I will know they always did their part To save our nation and its people here, To pledge their lives in defense of our ways, To show that freedom always outlives fear, And sacrifice is hallowed all our days. If Liberty means anything to me, I will remember those who kept me free. © John Stuart 2008 Pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church, Knoxville, Tennessee