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So, what route do you fly?

cadams
Not applicable
This is one of the most frequently asked questions a Flight Attendant hears (next to "May I use the restroom even though the fasten seat belt sign is on?"). I thought you might be interested in knowing how we happen to be on your particular flight. On the same day each month, a schedule of trips for the following month is posted on our crew website. We bid on the trips we would like to fly and are awarded our choice based on seniority - meaning date of hire, not date of birth! We might have the same trip each week or they may be different each week. Each month is like Christmas - we pick the "gift" we want and then anxiously wait to see what's inside the package we receive! If we are disappointed, we have the option of trading our trips IF a trade is available. If it isn't, we can put our trips on a give away list where someone else can choose to fly our trip. We can then look for another trip to pick up or stay home. How cool is that?!rtemap2.jpg I personally prefer to fly a different trip each week because I have yet to tire of seeing mountains, prairies, and oceans white with foam! Texas is my birthplace and where I have spent much of my life, but if my parents had REALLY loved me they would have birthed me in San Diego! The good news is, I can bid an overnight San Diego trip and keep my fingers crossed that I get it. If variety is the spice of life -- this job is a well- stocked spice rack.
47 Comments
Eric15
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Hi Carloe, I would have to say, you also are one of those great myriad spices we can find here at SWA, which in turn makes us such a great flavor for all. I was excited to see you will be blogging. By the way, I'm still waiting for that plate of "Steak and Eggs" on one of your flights.
Adam_Phillabaum
New Arrival
It would be interesting to see what the most bid-on routes are. The most bid-on overnight route. The least bid-on ones too...
Marc31
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very interesting. thanks for sharing the behind the scenes stories of SWA. Love this stuff. Keep it coming! Do pilots bid on their routes too?
Not applicable
Southwest Route Bidding... For some reason, I'm addicted to finding out about and reading about airlines and they way they work. I'm not really sure why, although I think the addiction started when I first started travelling frequently for business.
Eric15
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Marc, Yes, Pilots bid on routes as well. In fact i think all of our great Union Folks here bid on their schedules. this would include our Maint folks, Customer Service Agents, Operations Agents, Ramp Folks, Reservations Agents, Provisioning, Cargo, and I think Dispatchers.
Tom1
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Hi There - I hope some of SWA Pilots and FAs see this and respond. I know you all overnight many many nites during the year and I am wondering two things based on the fact that SWA flies to many smaller served cities such as spokane, columbus, el paso, albany, and jackson, birmingham, etc.... do any of you mind overnighting in these smaller cities? Do you bid for trips where you o/n in smaller cities? If you don't and you happen to end up o/n'ing in these cities, what do you do for fun the you "clock out" ?? Tommy Blog
Tom1
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I can never post a blog without having some kind of typo in it!!! My last sentence above should read "What do you do for fun when you "Clock Out" . I should go back to school !
Linda__flight_a
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Dear Tommy Blog, I am a flight attendant out in Oakland, CA. I can honestly say that overnights in smaller cities do not bug me. Some flight attendants bid their schedules around cities, hotels, workout facilities, shopping etc. It just really depends on the individual. When I bid a line I choose all commutable lines and I could care less about anything else. I live in Los Angeles, CA and work in Oakland, CA. I am considered a commuter and because I choose to commute rather than live in the city where I am based I am responsible for my own hotel expense before and after every trip. I am not complaining. I love living in Los Angeles and I would rather commute. Therefore, when I bid I look at all check in times and when the trip terminates. The last flight from Oakland to Los Angeles leaves at 10:00 p.m. every night. My ideal line/trip is one that checks in late; so, that I do not have to commute in the night before and a trip that terminates before 10:00 p.m.; so, that I can easily get home. Luckily, for the last 3 years I have been awarded trips that are very commutable and I have not had to pay for one hotel stay. So, I will happily layover in smaller cities like Midland, TX in order to hold a commutable trip.
cadams
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Adam and Tommy, I asked a group night before last while having dinner in San Diego what they thought was our most popular overnight city. All agreed San Diego was a strong favorite. Spokane and Portland are also popular for it's scenery and seafood dinners. I had an overnight in Manchester, New Hampshire this week and the flight attendants were excited about visiting the LL Bean discount store! Our hotel also serves a great Lobster dinner. The airport McDonalds in Providence serves a lobster roll! Any city in Florida has a vacation feel about it. The size of the city doesn't matter. Since we often fly long days, we appreciate a city with a great hotel (expecially those with the special beds), good food, an up-to-date workout center, a room with a view, and my personal favorite - shopping and a movie theater. If we have family or good friends in a particular city, it's a great opportunity to visit while getting paid! Understand we often have short overnights where we become "slam clickers" - meaning we go to our rooms and order room service. While in San Diego I ran into a former Dallas flight attendant that is now Orlando based. It was great to visit with her. On longer overnights it's great fun to have several crews meet for dinner. Those with young children at home enjoy getting uninterrupted sleep!
Scott5
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Carole, a question about bidding, if you bid on a flight do you have to bid on all of the segments or do you have to work all of them. An example, LUV 1581 is a four segment flight that starts in San Jose and ends in Spokane. Can you bid on the first two (the part that go from San Jose to Las Vegas) or do have to bid on all of it (all the way to Spokane).
Scott5
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A great "way-to-go" for the crew that worked flight 1114 "the flight from Orlando to Midway that diverted to Purdue airport" they showed great professional. Knowing how flight attendents are paid, "because it on southwest.com" they show great professional in a tough situation.
Petimini_Nadela
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I'm relatively new at Southwest Airlines and I was once a International Flight Attendant based in New York Kennedy. I never had a layover in small city or town, however, I could tell you the best place on earth to go visit or my layover nights. Most international Flight attendants are usually very senior men/women, in my case, I spoke 2 languages. When I BID for trips, I usually pick a country that is 10 hours or more flight time to get my hours done for the month. Asia is usually the longest trip, followed by Europe...shortest haul are South American countries such as San Juan Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Lima Peru, Panama and etc. The best places/countries that I truly enjoyed my Layover was in PERU...mountain hiking, awesome rainforests and authentic Peruvian meals are heavenly; Philippines...beautiful islands, clear blue sky beaches, and white sands...and oh the people are so friendly. Milan...love to watch runway fashion shows that can break a bank savings and very expensive...but the layover hotels are in the middle of the hot/spot night life. I could tell you more, but I'm running out of pages to tell my 10 years stories.
Kathleen_Mahon
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I live near Harrisburg International-wouldlove it if you would fly out of there. Love your Ding and have recommended it to all my friends and family,I always fly your airlines firstabove all the others.
Scott5
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Can a flight attendant training graduate bid for and get 37,000 miles worth of work their first month? Or would would it be more than they and reasonable expect to handle that soon?
Scott_near_IAD
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I once worked as a Customer Service Agent for a regional airline at Denver Stapleton. It always amused me to see how little the general public knows about airline operations, especially in regard to crew and aircraft scheduling over the course of a day. Lots of people were convinced that we had one airplane and two pilots who did nothing but fly back and forth between Denver and Sheridan, Wyoming all day long! Since there were a few occasions when a crew and and an aircraft actually did repeat a route twice in a row, nothing could convince some people that the crew they just flew in with was now on its way to Grand Junction rather than headed back to Sheridan. Looking forward to seeing you guys at Washington Dulles this fall.
Scott5
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That is a great point Scott near IAD, I'll back up what you are talking about. Linda in Oakland bids so see can work LUV 1776 (a single segment from OAK to LAX). A couple of flights some people would assume she worked could have been LUV961 (from LAX) or LUV267 (from BUR) but these two originated on the East Coast, LUV961 started in Buffalo with stops in Baltimore and San Antonio before going to Los Angeles. LUV267 started in Hartford with a stop in Las Vegas before going to Burbank. I still have a question about how bidding works for multi-segment flights like LUV961 and LUV267. On the other hand LUV2790 from SNA (Orange County), LUV1512 from ONT(Ontario), LUV1733 from PDX (Portland) and LUV2436 from SAN (San Diego) are simple one-segment flights that would fit wonderfully in Linda bidding strategy. I look forward to more information about bidding in blogs to come. I also look forward to the IAD announcement this summer for service this fall.
Queen_of_Sky
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THe only thing missing at SWA is INTERNATIONAL!!! I hear you all are trying to move in that direction, though. -Q of S
Stir_Crazy
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I promise not to mention the "K" word - however, due to circumstances aroung here in New Orleans, SWA flyers are sure missing the old flight schedules. In particular, I am ready to reinstitute the Direct flight from NO to Birmingham. New Orleans was not even a city listed on the cities available for specials in June - very sad...
Ruth_Berry
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I too am lucky enough to be working for Southwest Airlines and have to agree with Carole, San Diego is one of my very favorite overnights. as well. Small cities don't bother me at all, love Manchester, Omaha, Kansas City,and the folks in Buffalo are very nice as well. If ya'll are lucky enough you'll be a passenger on one of Carole's flights, you'd be in for a real treat (she's one of the funniest lady's I've ever met). But since she can't be everywhere I would love to see you on one of our flights, as would all our other hardworking, funloving flight attendants.
Scott5
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MSY to BHM, I would love to see Southwest be the first airline in this country to resume non-stop service between New Orleans and Birmingham. I was surprised that NOBODY is offering this service when I checked Flightaware. Makes me wonder, is there some federal law that is prohibiting this level of service that was included in some strange disaster aid package that hasn't expired yet or is something else going on regarding what seems at first glance as a great short-haul route for Southwest.
Scott5
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Flight Crews, do you really want how your customers are seated change from an on-plane point-of-view?
Matt29
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I'm a Baltimore-based flight attendant and my favorite overnights are as follows (and yes, I bid based on these places): San Diego: GREAT hotel (though, we're leaving it), absolutely amazing buffet breakfast. Great to have your crew join you and chew the (hehe) bacon. LA: Again, amazing hotel, very swank, and great breakfast too! The rooms are cush and soooo comfortable. Spokane: Amazingly beautiful area. Great to walk around in the downtown area, albeit summer only...too cold for me in the winter! Louisville: Wow...what an amazing city. SOOO much to do there! The hotel we stay at is supposed to be haunted, so that's fun too. One of the best overnights I've ever had. and one more though I could go on and on...ok two more... Tampa: One of our hotels sits right on the water...we have a view of the bay/ocean and from the even numbered rooms you can see that view...absolutely tranquil. Sitting at the pool, sipping a margarita (not less than 8 hours before we fly though...gotta be responsible)! Kansas City: One word... BARBEQUE! LUV, Matt
Matt29
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Oh, I forgot my hometown...Portland, OR. Um, can you say TAX FREE SHOPPING?! 😄
Darlene2
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I interviewed with SWA, got invited to training (YES!) and anxiously waiting for a date to start! Did I mention anxious, excited, can't wait any longer, happy and most importantly, getting through it! Any words of encouragement will be greatly appreciated. Can't wait to work for the best company with the best people on the planet!!
StakesAlive325
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I'm also a new-be, a FA wann'a-be, a training invitee very soon. I am actually so looking forward to Dallas in August. (I know, that's Nuts!) Nuts enough to Luv working for the best company around, let alone in this great industry. The 100/100 not withstanding, I'm excited to earn and learn, gain the first hand knowledge to bid lines that make sense, commute with Grace (even if she doesn't want to go), gain enough representative experience to know that the even numbered rooms in Tampa have the tranquil view, and, oh, to be a Slam-Clicker. Is it true? Do I really long for that day? Yep, fraid' I do. Knowing it will be real work, some serious long days with tired puppies all around, still being the guy with the captive audience and a microphone, where I am encouraged to be ... well, be myself. I am going to have fun, working with you, promoting our company, and finding out what is behind those odd numbered room doors in Tampa as well. If you have the time to share insider knowledge and stories about your new-be FA experience and tricks, we'd love to hear more. Can't wait to join you at 35,000 feet. StakesAlive325
cadams
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Scott, I've been car shopping and it has totally taken up my free time! I pick up my new car at 10:30 am tomorrow morning, so my life will get back to normal. My son is in Dallas on business. When we got home from dinner he had a phone message from a friend of mine that said, "Glen, don't let your mother change her mind before 10:30 in the morning!" I will attempt to give you some answers to your questions. You asked if we could hop off at the city of our choice. No. When we receive our schedules we are locked in to flying our sequence as stated EXCEPT when we stop in our domicile (the city at which we are based ). We can put the remaining legs of our trip in trip trade/give away on the computer and someone else can fly them for pay. We sometimes add $$ to our give away request as incentive. Our segments are called legs. We can also break up our trips so we fly it to "the sip" (domicile) and part of our trip is placed in trip trade/giveaway. However, there are restrictions on when this can be done. I will write a description of how our schedules are built soon. Can a new hire fly 37,000 miles their first month? We don't count how many miles we fly. We look at legs and hours we are on duty. We can be scheduled for 10 1/2 hours. However, during an irregular operation (weather, mechanical, etc.) we are on duty as long as it takes. I recently sat six hours in Midland due to weather in Chicago. The aircraft went Chicago Nashville, Houston, Austin, Midland. We were then the last fligtht to Albuquerque. We had already flown and had two scheduled hours ground time. Our duty day ended up being 14 1/2 hours, we had illegal crew rest (less than 10 hours) so we received double time the next day - until we received adequate crew rest. Back to new hires. Their first month on line they have a set schedule. Then, they are on Reserve (no set schedule) for the first five months. While on Reserve they are guaranteed 93.5 trips for pay. Maybe they will fly that many trips and maybe they won't. But, they do get paid for that many. I will go into more about pay later. Seating change? It remains to be seen how this will work for us. My only concern is that it doesn't hurt our turn time and our on time performance. It's in the future and I trust when the time comes we will have a plan that works.
Scott5
Not applicable
Hi Carole, before I compose my reply I want to thank you for take the time out of your hectic schedule to replay when you actually did. I hope that you got a great car. I'm going to have some "if I understand you right" questions in an upcoming post. I also wanted to thank either RD2 or the moderators at Southwest who haven't closed this topic yet. Carole, since you said that you guys look at "legs and hours" and not miles, I will convert the question to trips not miles. Instead of 37,000 miles, at least 152.3 trips, on their set schedules, you did say they are guaranteed 93.5 or more trips. I wanted to also wish Darlene and SakesAlive325 well in their upcoming training. Talk to you later and again thank you again for your reply more to come.
Leah3
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Darlene & StakesAlive325, I resubmitted my resumÃ
Leah3
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One of the many SWA items I have is the video, "The Just Plane Fun Shuffle, " which I seriously have memorized! I read in my book Nuts! (which I know was written several years ago) that they show that video to new hires. I've been wondering if they still do. If so, someone will have to tie me down to a chair & tape my mouth shut because if not, I will be up dancing & mouthing the lines the whole time; I do that at home, but live alone so my parents obviously don't see me! That may sound silly, but it's hard for me just to sit & watch it, & not mouth the lines & dance! "Greeted with a smile, and we give them the facts!" "Serve em drinks and pass out the snacks!" "We show them what's safe and what to do if it's bumpy," "Have pillows and blankets to help em get comfy!" "After we arrive, we leave them with a smile, come back for more fun, Southwest style!" "Yow!" That's from the video. **I meant to say I just have to prove to the airline I can!
Matt29
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StakesAlive325 & Darlene: Some advice on training: GET SLEEP, caffiene is your friend, be humble and remember that you're not hired until you get your wings. We started with 132 applicants and graduated with 111. Several of those lost were for inappropirate behavior in the hotel as well as attitudes with the training staff. When you walk into Headquarters every morning to start training all of the instructors are standing there smiling. They're looking at you head to toe, to see how you look, to see if you're smiling, and making eye contact. They can form an opinion quickly about who isn't going to work out so make sure to smile. We call it "Barbie Boot Camp" and its true. Your face will hurt from smiling but its totally worth it. All the stress, the hard hours of studying, the tests, the anxious feeling before the test results come out...all totally worth it when they call your name at graduation! 🙂 Oh, and make sure you know your PAs from the study book they send you...we lost people the first day that hadn't even bothered to study...and they had a 2-week head start and they had no clue when they got there. :) Good luck, keep your chin up, and you'll be at 37,000 soon enough ;) LUV, Matt
Leah3
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Don't (future) flight attendants for SWA do their IOE's before they get their wings?
StakesAlive325
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Thank you Matt, for sharing your experience. We all appreciate your insight. I feel privileged to be selected to attend training, and do not want to do anything to squander the opportunity. There are so many who want the chance to join SWA. (Best wishes and best of luck to you, Leah J. Keep trying. I agree with you, this is a great and fun company, and I have always had my deep desires of being a part of the team.) Matt, I understand the importance of being prepared for and during training. The business of achieving our goals is a priority. I am confident in my ability to work, focus and produce, and I have desire to do it. But I am not over-confident, since mistakes can be costly. I shall be as ready as I can be. I am hopeful and determined. "Barbie Boot Camp" sounds humorous, albeit serious fun with a point. I understand, at least I think I do anyway, finding those who are one with the Southwest spirit at heart. It seems that the old axiom is true: Attitude is Altitude, and Altitude is Prospective. In our case, Attitude can bring altitude quite literally. Lol. I am studying the airport codes now, and wonder if there is a source for me to get the PA's in advance of my packet. I would appreciate having the study materials well in advance of training. Training will be a pleasant challenge, but a challenge no less. It is one I am determined to successfully complete. I am anxious, excited, and grateful. You guys are all so great. I can't wait to be "winged." Lol. Kindest regards, ........ Steve S. (I posted earlier as StakesAlive325, not familiar with first name protocol.)
Scott5
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Sorry Steve that was supposed to be StakesAlive 325.
Scott5
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Some tricky airport codes for you guys SDF-Louisville ORF-Norfolk DTW-Detroit BNA-Nashville CMH-Columbus ISP-Long Island/Islip I look forward to your IAD (Washington-Dulles) service.
Darlene3
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I too have been studying my airport codes. I flew previously with another major airline several years ago and I know how hard some of these codes can be. They just make "no sense!" Here are a few of my favorites that are a little difficult unless you have a way to remember them. MCO = Mickey & Co. = Orlando BDL = Babies do love = Hartford, CT/Springfield, MA (get it, heart, love) MCI = City = Kansas City (Ci beginning of city) RSW = Really Sunny Weather = Ft. Myers SMF = Smerfs = Sacramento = Smerfs live in Sacramento (not intended to offend anyone) and my favorite!!! SDF = Sluggers Do Fly = Louisville (get it, Louisville Sluggers, the bat!) Hope this helps......it comes in handy when taking the test! If anyone has any others, please share! Thanks and I can't wait to go to training!!!!!!!!!!!! Darlene
Darlene3
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Hoooooraaaayyy!!! I am going to training, finally!!!! Can't wait for July 31st. and to begin what will be a really exciting experience. I know I will be among the nicest people and we will accomplish this "great feat" together. I'll let you all know how it turns out! I am so excited I can't believe it's really going to start! If anyone else is starting class then, we'll see you in Dallas!
Leah3
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Congratulations, Darlene! I received a letter today inviting me to attend a Group Information Session for Flight Attendant position July 13th in Dallas! I seriously don't know how I can sleep tonight, I'm so excited! I interviewed with SWA in 1999 & had both group & one-on-one interviews; unfortunately, I didn't do well enough with the second one to be asked back for training. If you have any helpful tips for m, please share them. Again, congratulations! Maybe we'll work together someday!
Bruce11
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Leah, it's hard to really say that there's anything specific when you ask about tips. During the interview process, be yourself, be honest and be genuine. It doesn't hurt to let them know that you have a passion for this job. By this I mean you don't have to get up and lead a cheer or anything but if your passion to do this type of work is a true passion, it will come from the heart and be kind of hard to miss. Get a good nights sleep, make good eye contact, and above all have fun! Don't forget to smile! Nobody there wants to see you not make it. It's a great company to work for. Good luck!
Leah3
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Thanks for the tips, Robert. That helps. I heard that after the group interviews, they'll be doing one-on-one interviews, too; even if I'm not asked to stay then, it doesn't mean that I won't be called back. I was told it could be 2-4 weeks. I've thought it would be neat if I got a letter or call on my 30th birthday, which is July 26th, asking me back for a second interview. That would be a nice birthday present! It will be nice, though, if I get asked to stay that day, too. 🙂
Barbara_K1
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How come you never fly from Denver to Manchester, NH????
Dave_Hopper
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My wife is in the Flight Attendant class this month in Dallas. We live in Salt Lake City and she has been assigned to Oakland base starting in December. She would like to connect to some other flight attendants who are Oakland based to discuss things to do in the Oakland area and places to stay. She is most concerned about how to handle her time on reserve. If you have suggestions for her, please correspond with me at dave.hopper@slcc.edu. Thank you for any suggestions to help her through this transition. If there is a better forum for this kind of request, please direct me to it. Thanks.
Lisa_Marovich
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Can anyone at all be so kind as to give me advice on being granted an interview for the flight attendant's position with Southwest? I first noticed it posted in March and quite frankly, have submitted my resume more than a couple times. I have over fifteen years of customer service related experience, and meet all general requirements, so that aspect shouldn't be an issue. Does it typically take this long for a call back? Or do you need to know someone who works for Southwest? They are, by far, my favorite airline. When I lived in San Diego , (I live in a Chicago suburb now), I was bummed because the only non-stops were with United and American. I was THRILLED to say the least when Southwest picked up the non-stop route! With everyday that passes, my heart breaks because I'm so concerned I won't even get a call for an interview. =( I've gotten four letters from customers to my managers just this past year, thanking me for my exceptional customer service, so I know I'd fit right in with the great people there. Can anyone give me some advice?
Phillip3
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I am considering becomming a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines. Does anyone know how much you make a month? I need to know specifics. I am worried that I will not be earning enough to survive. I have a 1500 dollar mortgage. Help! Thanks to anyone who responds. Phillip!
carli_stephens
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Hello-Hello, I am a 9 year FA with AA and have thought about leaving them and going to SWA. My mother is a FA with AA as well and has suffered numerous brain surgeries keeping her off the line until she retires this year. This family set back has caused me to move to MCO to be closer to family. I LOVE MY JOB but hate having to commute. If anyone could drop me a line and let me know what king of base openings are usually given to new hires and what is the lock in time. I love living in MCO even with all the LIFE TIME MOVIE FAMILY DRAMA and I was just wondering what time frame it might take to get to MCO. Thanks for your time. Have fun and fly safe!!!! --Carli metters75@hotmail.com
Linda11
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I am retiring from the army (Don't want to return to the sand box a third time) and wish to persue a flight attendant position with SouthWest. am concerned about the training though. At 58 should I just throw in the towel and leave this sort of position to the under 25 model types? I am active, outstanding shape, LTC retired soon, airborne and air assault qualified, cute and intelligent. BUT can I handle back to back (two tests per day perhaps) FAA tests, equipment identity, emergency competency drills, first aid, immigration data, airport city codes, location of various emergency equipment equipment confiurations, etc? Guidance anyone? Respectfully, Linda
Gina1
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I've been invited to a group interview for FA in Alameda, but I'm not sure if I will attend. I need more information regarding bases. I don't live in a base city and I don't want to relocate. I wouldn't want to turn down an exciting job due to this issue. So, is it common or uncommon to live in one city and be assigned to another?
Mary4
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Have you heard if Southwest will be going to the new Panama City, FL airport?