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Southwest Airlines Community

Mystery About SW / WN Solved

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Do you know why Southwest's official airline code is WN and not SW? 

Someone on USAToday's Today in the Sky Forum thinks they have the answer...

http://www.usatoday.com/community/forums.aspx?plckForumPage=ForumDiscussion&plckDiscussionId=Cat%3a2...

10 Comments
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Colleen has confirmed that WN does not stand for Willie Nelson.
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is this story true?
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Which part, munna82? We are trying to verify the conversations, but it is true that both SW and SA were taken by other airlines.
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I would like to know the inside scoop on the "MN" not USA today's idea. I prefer reading inside -nuts about Southwest- instead of their blog. Maybe a good www.redbellyradio.com podcast!!
New Arrival
I thought it stood for WHY NOT fly SOUTHWEST. For the longest I thought the HK used for holds confirmed stood for HERB KELLEHER>
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Well, that blows our book keepers explanation of why its WN. Her belief was Southwest took over the old desination of Airline Wein Air Alaska. What ever happened to Wein I don't know, merger or bankruptcy or something on that order. It almost seemed plausible.
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NW- Northwest Airlines, WN-Southwest Airlines, what so hard people? Southwest establish after NW, so legacy carrier get their prefer name and then Southwest-low cost airlines. not legacy carrier... like US,DL,AA,CO,NW..... which sometime better than WN.
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WN=WiN
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I have no way to verify the USA Today story. But Wien Air Alaska f/k/a Wien Consolidated operated from approximately 1927 through 1984, more than a decade after Southwest got started. Wien's airline code was WC.
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Prior to deregulation airlines needed a federal certificate of public convenience and necessity. When they had plans to expand beyond the state of Texas, Southwest bought the ceftificate from another carrier that I think was Western. In the Government system each carrier had a two letter identifier so when Southwest bought Western's certificate, they became WN.