If you’ve ever stayed at the Sheraton in Albuquerque, New Mexico, it’s likely you’ve come across Mr. Earl Richards: a 92-year-old Southwest super fan and the ultimate brand ambassador.
As a WWII Navy Pilot, aviation is one of Mr. Richards’ many passions, but it is specifically the love he feels from our Southwest Cohearts that keeps Mr. Richards flying. Every Thursday, he goes to the Albuquerque Sheraton to meet and thank our Crew Members staying there. When he travels, he has a special song he sings onboard about spreading love and happiness.
Earlier this month, we brought Mr. Richards to outhwest's Dallas Headquarters to express our appreciation with a VIP experience. Upon his departure in Albuquerque, the Station threw him a send-off party to commemorate his journey.
Mr. Richards is welcomed to the Southwest Airlines Flight Operations Training CenterAfter arriving in Dallas, Mr. Richards was taken to our Flight Operations building, where he was greeted with a standing ovation from our Employees at a welcome reception. He was even able to get back in the flight deck and fly in the simulator with another Southwest Pilot. This was especially significant for Mr. Richards, who first learned to fly during his military training at Love Field 73 years ago.
Other highlights of his day included a visit to the TOPS building, a tour of the NOC, and meeting with other Southwest Employees. Although Mr. Richards was a little tired at the end of his whirlwind day, he had a blast and never stopped smiling and singing along the way!