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Raising the Bar--SI One

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Hello from LaGuardia Airport in New York City!  I just witnessed one of the coolest plane events ever!  We finally, after much speculation and anticipation, revealed the beautiful SI One.  This plane, N922WN, is wrapped with a temporary decal featuring the cover model, from the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. This definitely seals the deals on Southwest Airlines’ FUN and edgy factor! 


 
The cover model stepped off the plane and posed for pictures with our Pilots and Flight Attendants!  It is an absolutely beautiful plane, and hopefully you'll get to travel on this sometime soon!   Since my "Twiddles" left people guessing all day on Twitter , maybe now I need all our Bloggers and Twitter followers to send me their pics on SI One as it flies throughout the Southwest system!  Thanks to everyone that kept up with the Twiddles, I think the best detective was definitely Mike Sloane www.twitter.com/mikesloan
 
I'm working on getting the official pics from our friends at Sports Illustrated and here are some pics that we took today.  In the meanwhile, post pictures in the comment section if you can!  See yall back in Dallas!

Be sure and follow Christi's Tweets from the airplane's next stop, Las Vegas.

551 Comments
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That is great. Looks awesome, but the woman plastered all over your airplane makes the girl you kicked off your flight look like a nun!
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Tacky. Would one be able to wear those clothes inside the plane?
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Does anyone else find this kind of trashy for Southwest? Having a woman in a bikini on the side of the plane hardly seems like the epitome of the friendly, down-home airline I've grown accustomed to. This seems like something Spirit Airlines would do. I know that Southwest does do advertising on its planes (ie Shamu 1 & 2) but at least the others are fun, whimsical, and obviously family friendly. I don't have any kids, but if I did i would be terrified at thought of my child seeing images like this while traveling. Maybe I'm just old fashioned (for a 20 year old) but I don't think that bikini models belong splashed on the side of the airplane is tasteful or right.
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That's one way to get noticed in the NYC market. Now when are you going to start service to LGA???
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Great article, Christi! Keep up the good work. And how cool that the model came to the SI event. I wonder what the residents of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Jersey City, etc thought when the plane was flying into LGA 🙂
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um that is awesome. wish i could see some clearer photos though. these are blurry on my computer
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Very tacky. I know Southwest is notorious for it's fun, but this is simply in bad taste. I'm very surprised at their decision especially in an economic time that loss of customers is crucial. I suppose it could go the other way, but how many teen-age boys are fare paying customers?
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Wonder what it will look like after it's first encounter with a flock of birds?
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I realize how those responsible saw this as appropriately tied to the history of SWA given that they used to promote flight attendants in mini-skirts. However, I would hope that thirty years later as a society, we would have a more sophisticated view. Promoting SI on a plane is fine, but how about putting an SI cover with Venus Williams holding up a Wimbeldon trophy instead?
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Just Plane BAD TASTE
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To me, the Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is as wholesome and American as apple pie. You raise that Bar Southwest! Now I wonder if all those people that were up in arms over Kyla will praise this move. Ha! Seems logical to me.
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"i would be terrified at thought of my child seeing images like this while traveling" Sacred feces, you can't be serious! "Terrified"...? Don't ever take your child to a beach. Or a pool. Or even a grocery store, since I've seen the SI Swimsuit Issue for sale there too.
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I agree with Anonymous. I don't have a problem with them promoting SI but I think someone like Venus Williams would have been much more appropriate. I am an avid Southwest patron but I must admit that I lost a little respect for them with this decision. I thought you were better than that Southwest!
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I'm with Don on his comment above... How much revenue does come from teen age boys? The airline business is rough right now. Guess they'll try anything but I'm not sure this was a smart move on SWA's part.
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Goodness sakes, you would think from some of these comments people had never seen an attractive lady in a swim suit. There is nothing wrong with SL model on this plane. As most things in this world it is a matter of who you ask. I think SWA is a classy company and their is no reason to change my mind over this being on a plane. Relax folks, after all you voted for "Change" didn't you.
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I agree with some posters, that i find this tacky and somewhat offensive. I am a twenty-something male, and I would not want to have to watch this plane pull up to the gate traveling with my young child, or mother, grandmother, etc. I know Southwest is known for its fun, laid back qualities but this is just completely inappropriate to plaster all over the side of the plane. The whole thing is in poor taste, and I'm acutally sort of let down that Southwest, a company I really admire, would stoop this low. And the great irony, as mentioned, is that Southwest would (rightfully) not permit anyone dressed this way to fly in their aircraft so as to not offend other customers. But somehow they don't seem to mind offending their passengers from the outside of the aircraft.
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The SI plane is just plain AWESOME! Southwest Airlines never ceases to amaze me. Southwest is so edgy and fun with their advertising and marketing and this just brings it to a whole new level! I love it!
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I think this will shock everyone and then they will get over it. I am sure, in person, this really looks better then a posted snap shot. I think it has good taste and can not be compared to the young girl that was asked to de-plane. That is like comparing Sports Illustrated to Hustler. Way to go Southwest. Your getting noticed.
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Hey (another) Kevin, You are not making equal comparisons with your comment about the beach, pool and grocery store copies (although I agree "terrified" is a little strong!). Anyway, you can't compare these things to a justa bout nude person the size of a 737! It really is in bad taste on SW's part.
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Tacky or not, I like this Stimulus Package a lot better than the one from Washington.
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I saw the flight for it last night, it was interesting that it came from Amarillo to LaGuardia. Did it already have the decals in Amarillo or did it get them after landing in LaGuardia? Have a great weekend.
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To all the offended puritans out there --- GET A LIFE YOU HYPOCRITES ! if you seriously have problems seeing the great portrait of a great model you have to have your head examined. Seriously. Like you would date the ugliest male/female in town. Bunch of hypocrites!
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Another example of how behind the times SWA is....Tits & Ass are in poor taste and not acceptable for the general public. It may have worked in 1970 but hardly acceptable in todays society. In an ege when carriers are draping Brest Cancer Ribbons over their aircraft what a slap in the face to women that SWA would embrace this type of publicity. A little class might do the carrier well walking into the diverse market of NYC.....its not Nascar country HERB. How embarassing for the hard working employees of SWA.
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This ranks right up there with Burton's Love and Self-Mutilation line of snowboards. I think the title of this post should be "Lowering the Bar..." This should have been left for the cover of SI not the "face" of Southwest.
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Southwest never claimed to have first class but I've never thought of them as low class either (UNTIL NOW). They may be getting noticed, but it's in a negative manner. Guess bad attention is better than no attention at all.
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Are you kidding me?!? This looks like a flying porn ad! I'm a longtime fan of SWA, this is one reason for me to change airlines. Jim Dawson's post was right-on, "Southwest would (rightfully) not permit anyone dressed this way to fly in their aircraft so as to not offend other customers. But somehow they don't seem to mind offending their passengers from the outside of the aircraft."
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I naturally wonder what the terms of this deal are. It's well-known that magazines are in trouble right now, and SI is probably getting hurt just as much. My guess is that SI is paying SWA some good money for this. It won't influence me one way or another. I fly an airline because of the service and the price I get. I couldn't care a less what their planes look like. It really amazes how silly people can be in the face of human sexuality. Here is a woman showing her best on the side of a plane, and people on this board are having seizures about it. It's frightening to think that these people actually vote.
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This is certainly surprising, and disappointing. While I'm not offended by the site of a woman in a bikini, I don't see how a larger than life picture of her belongs on the side of an airplane. Not a smart move for a "family friendly" airline.
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they don't let great whales travel inside the aircraft either, but no one had a problem with that being painted on the outside.
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Wow. The SWA haters really came out of the woodwork on this one. Look folks, this is nothing other than an outstanding publicity effort to open a new market. This is Southwest being Southwest....having fun, not taking themselves too seriously, willing to take risks. You guys don't like it? Don't fly Southwest. I will. And I'll take my family with me. Go SWA Go!!! Bring the SWA effect to the Big Apple. Pay no attention to the haters.
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This is clearly a marketing stunt to get publicity...every savvy company does it. Just look at the Super Bowl commercials. Every year people get up in arms over some commercial being too risque or innappropriate for a family audince. And then the media talks about it for the next couple of weeks and the ad goes down in history as one of the most talked about of the year. And then it gets mentioned again, and again, everytime the subject of memorable commericals comes up. Good or bad, you're all talking about it, so mission accomplished. Nice work Southwest. Now you're playing with the big boys. I agree with the commentor who said "To me, the Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is as wholesome and American as apple pie." This is downright wholesome compared to European standards.
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It's funny to read all the conservative comments about the plane seeing as how it will be 30k+ feet above the earth most of its 2 month lifetime. Not to mention ANYONE sees this on the cover of the magazine in the store or delivered to their own homes! So think about that for just a minute, how many families have this magazine delivered to them anyway? Southwest is doing a great thing and has always been ahead of the curve, so what if they are partnering with another sucessful company and not taking government money and blowing it on needless things.
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Christi, Congratulations on a great post -- you have tackled a topic that is controversial with your usual style and professionalism! While I respect people's right to have an opinion, I have to wonder why it is that in this thread, just like some of Bill Owens' threads, so many of the most offended and vocal critics share the same first name? How many parents out there have named their children "Anonymous"??? When all of this hubbub dies down, I think I need to go chat with our CEO and my fellow college alum about our NEXT special livery aircraft, Bevo One. Kim Customer Relations Blog Boy
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I personally have NO problem with women in swimsuits but as an employee of SWA I am very embarrassed about this. Yes, you can see the SI issue at the grocery store and women in bikinis at the beach...but parents have the CHOICE to avoid those locations during the times that swimsuit issue is out and avoid going to the beach. Now, what if you're at the airport and this plane rolls up to the gate and your kids are plastered-eyed to the window staring. Is SWA going to offer re-accommodation on the next flight for free if you don't want to fly on this airplane? After the whole Kyla debacle this makes our company look hypocritical and as soon as I heard we were doing this I just rolled my eyes and thought "What are the comments on the Blog going to be?". I was right...mostly in the negative. I PRAY I do not work on this aircraft any time during its wrapped in that decal.
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A true sign of marketing genuis, most anticipated magazine of the year and a bold move into a future market. Those people know how to garner attention.
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Kudos to Southwest for being savvy in its marketing.
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I think it looks great and it will get a bunch of attention, Good Job on the Marketing. Welcome to NYC. It's about time.
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Looks like a Las Vegas Strip taxi cab! I am not offended (as I don't think is the point with most of the opinions above), I just think it looks cheap and tasteless. What makes it even more ill-choosen is that it has nothing at all to do with flying or aviation as the other Southwest themed planes do, bringing me back to my first thought that it looks like an tawdry advertisement on a Las Vegas taxi.
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Great Job on the new airplane. It's a great move for the LUV airline. At least now we will have a good fun airline in the Big Apple.
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I wish they would keep this plane for longer then 60 days! It is certainly a beautiful plane! Does anyone know if the interior will have any decals?
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"they don't let great whales travel inside the aircraft either, but no one had a problem with that being painted on the outside." I LOVE this comment. BRILLIANT! 🙂
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Very Hot airplane SWA, It's very refreshing to see you with the clever marketing again. Beats the whale airplanes all day.
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N922- Yes there are decals on the overhead bin space for now. I will post a pic of the interior later this evening when we are headed to LAS. We will be removing the decals before the A/C goes back into service. Have a good one! Christi
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Very nice job Southwest, it is already generating a great buzz, and is sure to be great hit.
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Dear N922WN, Don't get too excited about the interior, I'm sure it is just about as "glamorous" as the insides of the Shamu planes. The typical view that you'd have from the inside looking out...ribs, lungs, various internal organs, etc... LOL Kim CRBB 🙂
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I would like to say I am suprised about the new plane. However, SWA has become a company of hypocrites, in the last 6 years at least. The "nuts" theory is an urban legend anymore, the way they treat employees is disgusting.......why woudln't they treat their passengers one way and promote a plane another.....HYPOCRITES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Great JOB on SI ONE!!! Everyone has opinions and like the song says "you can't please everyone". Southwest Airlines once again jumps to the front of the industry! Everyone in NYC will know the name SOUTHWEST AIRLINES! That's the idea! I'm from there and can assure you that at least a million people from New York or North Jersey never heard of Southwest Airlines prior to this stroke of genius. Keep up the good work!!!
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You should try to land this plane on the USS NIMITZ. The sailors would LUV you guys forever..
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Francisco, Hey buddy! Good to see you back on the Blog! Your idea is great except for one problem -- we'll need to get Ding! Boy to install a tail hook on good ole N922WN, because the arresting cables on the Nimitz will tear up the landing gear and probably blow some good tires, too. Of course, there's the technical issue of whether the nose gear on a B737 can handle the stress of a steam-powered catapult launch when SI One is ready to depart and return to our regular route system. Given the potential for complications, do you suppose your former shipmates would settle for a couple of subsonic fly-bys instead? Come see us some time! Kim CRBB
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Its about time the Airline that brought us Hot Pants, (I bet most of the folks leaving comments don't know this) Luv bites, Luv potions, calls Love Field home, gives us a pretty girl on the side of the plane! In the 70's SWA Flight Attendants wore hot pants, as did plenty of Agents! The Airline is still "Nuts" but in the "PC" haze we seem to be living in, we are shocked by a pretty girl on the side of a 737. Relax, for a moment, don't worry about the banks, the war, the mortgage crisis, the credit card intrest....lets just enjoy the magazine, the plane, and the low fares! Good job Christi on the post, looks fun!