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Southwest: The Magazine's March Freedom Story ... Thomas Bakewell

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ThomasBakewellWhen Thomas Bakewell started Bakewell Consulting in 1990, Southwest immediately became his carrier of choice. Much like the airline, he has since expanded his company with service in cities across the nation. Today, Thomas’ business is thriving. He travels at least twice a week to visit clients from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., and he recently authored his first book, Claiming Your Place at the Boardroom Table: The Essential Handbook for Excellence in Governance and Effective Directorship. Thomas is often needed when it’s not business as usual, which means he frequently takes last-minute trips. “The greatest thing about Southwest is that it’s easy: Great flights, great schedules, great prices, and no change fees,” he says. The airline’s flexibility works well for his ever-changing schedule, but he has an even greater appreciation for Southwest’s Employees. From the Customer Service Agents and Operations Agents to the Flight Attendants and Pilots, Thomas sees Southwest as one well-choreographed Team striving to make his travel easier and to ensure he arrives ontime. He says the positivity of the Southwest experience helps him arrive in the right frame of mind, which is crucial since he often heads directly to a boardroom or executive suite after stepping off the plane. As a Rapid Rewards A-List Preferred Member and a Companion Pass holder, Thomas takes full advantage of his perks by bringing his wife and kids along for trips whenever possible. The family was onboard for one of Southwest’s first flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and another memorable experience came during a trip to New York in July 2011, when Thomas and his son scored tickets to a Yankees game. In order to attend, they had to stay an extra day. Because they were able to switch their Southwest flight without a change fee, they got to witness from the front row as Derek Jeter scored a home run with his 3,000th hit. Thank you, Thomas, for your steadfast loyalty. We’re honored you’ve trusted Southwest through the years to get you where you need to be, when you need to be there—with a little fun along the way, of course! Photo courtesy of Wesley Law