1995 was quite the year. The DVD was invented. Kodak introduced us to the world of digital photography. eBay was founded. While these major milestones were occurring, we here at Southwest were ready to debut our own innovation that would change travel as we knew it. In 1995, southwest.com was born.
Let’s kick it old school for a bit, just for grins. Admittedly, our original site (known as the Southwest Homegate) was pretty basic. But then again, the Internet revolution was brand spankin’ new, so it still deserves some major props. The Homegate featured information on our Company, the cities that we served at the time, flight schedules, and vacation packages. The following year we turned up the dial a bit and introduced online booking, otherwise known as Ticketless Travel.
In case you were busy listening to the latest Alanis Morrisette CD on your Sony DiscMan and weren’t dialing up the Internet to book travel at the time, you weren’t alone. We were at the forefront of the online travel revolution. You may remember that our original homepage featured a Ticket Counter with flight schedules displayed exactly as they would have been at one of our airports. There’s a picture of a phone because that’s how Customers were accustomed to making their flight reservations at the time. Our Founder and Chairman Emeritus Herb Kelleher was pictured because at the time our Customers didn’t all trust the Internet, but they trusted Herb. The original southwest.com was a very literal interpretation of our booking process at the airport and over the phone, a procedure with which Customers were familiar.
Here’s a glimpse of what the Southwest Homegate looked like. Does it remind anyone else of their favorite Nintendo game? Or have I just played one too many rounds of Duck Hunt?
Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it? Lately, it seems like things have been progressing at warp speed. Over the past year we’ve made a slew of enhancements and added functionality to make southwest.com even more user friendly. As the #1 airline website in terms of sales and revenue and the #3 site (across all categories) in time spent online, we average 11 million unique visitors per month. So we’ve got to keep our appearances up! Here’s a peek at a few of our new features that were introduced this year. And we’re hard at work on even more.
Since ‘95, a lot has changed. But don’t worry, we haven’t lost sight of where we came from. The southwest.com of today is still consistently acclaimed for its simple, user-friendly design allowing you to plan and purchase all aspects of your trip with ease. And, it’s still the only place on the web where you can book our low fares. We also pride ourselves in being a one-stop shop for all things travel offering great deals on flights, hotels, rental cars, vacation packages, cruises, theme park tickets, shuttle transportation, and more.
But that’s not all. In addition to our standard site functionality, we have several handy tools to help you find our best deals in short order. The Southwest Shortcut displays our lowest fares in an easy-to-navigate calendar format and our downloadable DING! Desktop application allows you to get live updates on deeply discounted, exclusive pricing from your hometown or other airports of your choice.
You can also store preferences and frequent trips as well as view upcoming itineraries and travel history in your MySouthwest account. And I’m barely scratching the surface. I could go on for days!
Well, I think I’ve driven the point home (pardon me for rambling). Today’s web site is certainly Not Yo Mama’s southwest.com. My Mama just so happens to be an elementary school English teacher, and as you can imagine, I’ve grown up receiving lots of feedback on my writing. One of her favorite pieces of advice to students is to “put it on a bumper sticker” (translation: you’ve made your point, now sum it up!). So in honor of you Mom, I’ll do just that.
Make southwest.com your first (and only) stop for all of your travel needs. You want it, we’ve got it. And if we don’t have it yet, we will. So add us to your Favorites list today, and most importantly...BOOK NOW!