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Southwest: The Magazine’s February Freedom Story … Mathew Jenkins

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As a Southwest Airlines A-List Rapid Rewards Member, Mathew Jenkins knows all about the LUV airline. In his business travels as director of sales for Veracity, a video-surveillance technology firm, he enjoys the airline’s amazing Customer Service, availability of flights, and Frequent Flyer program. “I travel with a lot of demo equipment, and not having to pay to check my case saves Veracity thousands of dollars,” he says. But it’s Southwest’s open seating policy that’s had the biggest impact on his life to date. MathewJenkinsIn September 2013, Mathew was waiting to board a flight home to Los Angeles from Chicago when he saw a beautiful woman. “We made eye contact and smiled at each other,” Mathew says. Much to his surprise, she proceeded to sit next to him on the plane. Her name was Kristen, and she was a freelance makeup artist from Rochester, New York. The two chatted for the entire flight. “It was like we were old friends,” Mathew says. “After hours of talking, we arrived in Los Angeles and decided we would go on a date the following day.” Like a real-life romantic comedy, Mathew and Kristen fell for each other and spent nearly a year flying Southwest between coasts. “Thanks to Southwest’s convenient schedule and easy-to-use Rapid Rewards Award Seats, Kristen and I were able to grow our relationship.” Last June, the cross-country treks ended as Kristen and her two children moved to California to be with Mathew and his three children. “By way of introducing us, Southwest has created a modern-day Brady Bunch,” Mathew says. “Thank you for your open seating policy. Southwest is truly all about the LUV.” Mathew and Kristen are now planning their June wedding. Thank you, Mathew, for giving Southwest your LUV for more than five years. We’re ecstatic that we played a part in bringing you and Kristen together. Photo courtesy of Melissa Valladares