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No Foolin' -- Pennies from Heaven!

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On a date associated with gags and practical jokes, 21 Southwest Airlines Employees are counting quite a few extra pennies this April 1st -- a million of them!

Even Ed McMahon might tip his hat to our prize patrollers who have been reaching across the Southwest system to bring sky-high joy to 21 Southwest Employees as the Grand Finale to our year-long incentive contest, Operation:  Kick Tail (OKT).

As you'll see, each winner got the news in a very surprising way before that $10,000 deposit hit their bank accounts.

The winners were drawn randomly from a pile of more than 180,000 "Kick Tail-A-Grams," commendations awarded by their fellow Employees for Positively Outrageous Customer Service and, simply, Living the Southwest Way.  In all, more than 200 Southwest Warriors received various prizes as a part of OKT after the 35,000 Employees of Southwest worked together to meet all our year-end performance goals for 2008.

Times are tough all around, but we're as proud of the fact that we're taking care of our Employees as we are proud of their accomplishments of enduring strength.  (Oh, we also took care of Uncle Sam, too.  None of our winners is having to spend their prize money on taxes!)

20 Comments
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This literally made me cry! I am so blessed to work for such an amazing company! I luv Southwest!
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Congratulations to all of you that work for such a wonderful company!
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I think it is wonderful that Southwest takes such good care of its employees. I fly your airline every other week and have been the recipient of the excellent customer service delivered by the team at Southwest. SWA is my airline of choice because of the wonderful people who work for the company. Thank you for rewarding them since they are responsible for making SWA's reputation as a friendly, customer focused company.
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That's why I've always LUVed Southwest Airlines!!! They provide excellent service to their customers and to their employees. What an incredible story!
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I love flying Southwest! You guys rock 🙂
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LOL... I am sitting here tearing up like a goober and I dont even work for SWA! I love the fact that there is still a company in this country that builds its beliefs on customer service and taking care of its employees! Because of that, they in turn show their love to the company's patrons! Bravo SWA for once again solidifying the reason why our family flies SWA and always will! You folks are a pillar of excellence! Congrats to the winners!!
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Thanks Southwest for being a Stand Up, Stand Out company! You are one of the best companies and the best airline in the industry. This is a wonderful story about a wonderful company and it's employees. Your customer, Brit Whittington
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I have admired Southwest Airlines as an airline since I was a young man, and Southwest as an employer for almost as long -- and I do not even work for SWA. Although I sure gave a lot of thought to applying for a PR position at one time, but I just had too much ink running through my veins. I am a newspaperman, a reporter for a small daily, and frankly, I've always loved newpapers. That said, I pride myself on a few observational skills. The public can see how SWA treats it in the air, on the ground, in the pocketbook; the public reacts with return business. There have been countless "feel good" stories and magazine features about the philosophy of the person at the top. And even for those who pride themselves on staying neutral, it was hard not to root for the little Goliath seeking more airline routes and airport gates. Everyone I know wanted SWA to add more cities, but still retain a small town/small airline personality. But then a great friend of mine named Alison Hoefler became a SWA employee. If what I'd heard about SWA was right, I figured Alison had made a good decision; this is a woman who always has a smile and has remained grounded and maintained a positive attitude all of the years I've known her. She loves SWA, and man, she could make anyone question their own employment decisions when she talks about the balance of professionalism and FUN expected by her company. You have to admire a company that is that community oriented, but never loses sight of its employees. Yes, I am surprised that SWA gave 21 employees $10,000 because this country is facing hard times. Just as an example, look at what is happening to the newspaper industry. On the other hand, NO, I am not surprised that SWA rewarded 21 employees because, from the eyes of an outsider, placing high value on all of its employees is something this company does every day. Sure, I had my fingers crossed, hoping my friend might have earned a $10,000 bonus. LOL. (Didn't happen.) But as gratifying as it was to see all of those people opening those valuable cases in this film, I hope everyone noticed the reactions of their fellow employees at every location. I saw no neutral expressions; no people with their arms crossed, waiting to move on. A company rewarded a few employees, and other employees were happy for those who were chosen. It's not all about the money. Young men and women consider so many aspects before choosing a career and one job over another. The older that one becomes, the more he or she realizes that one of the first things a young person in the work force should check into is how a respective employer is known to treat its work force. I apologize for writing a book here. But watching this on my computer screen just put a smile on my face. It made me feel good knowing that Business can recognize the bigger benefis of walking with, and not on top of, its people. Good for you, Southwest.
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This is one reason why I continue to fly Southwest. You guys just don't go above and beyond the world for your employees, you aim for Pluto and do it well too.
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Congratulations. It's people like the 21 winners that work for Southwest that make your airline so great and why you are my airline of choice. Many Thanks!
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This story is amazing! Congrats to SWA and its employees. Atleast there is still some good in the world and its coming from a great place. Congrats to the 21 winners.
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Absolutely amazing. I have never heard of anything like this . . . ever. Erica from Dallas

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I LUV my company! SWA rocks!
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LUV Southwest Airlines for their people! Totally awesome. Congrats to all.
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Did anyone pick the two gold passes?
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When I was editing this piece, I kept wondering what they would have done if someone had. No one picked the passes.
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Steve, I heard that they were going to get the money no matter if they chose the passes.
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This is just another reason I LOVE Southwest. I just started flying with Southwest and have already decided it is the only airline for me. Companies who appreciate their employees hard work and customer service talents are rare so hats off to Southwest!
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This is just another reason I have come to Love Southwest. I recently started flying with Southwest and quickly decided it is the only airline for me. A company who values their employees hard work and dedication to customer service will continue to have my loyalty. Way to go Southwest.
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Congrats to all of the winners! As a SWA customer, it;s good to see that the company takes good care of it's employees while at the same time everyone has a little fun! You don't find that much anymore with the legacy carriers. Cheers!