Meet Elinor Otto, "America’s Longest Working Rosie the Riveter." Elinor began building aircraft in 1942 during WWII and continued working as a riveter until she retired from Boeing’s Long Beach factory at the age of 95. WWII was transformational in terms of opening the doors to greater advancement for women in the workplace and symbolized by the iconic image of "Rosie the Riveter" with her famous arm salute and the message, "We Can Do It!"ligning with Spirit of 45 Day that honors America’s WWII generation, Southwest recently welcomed the 97-year-old quintessential "Rosie" onboard for a special trip. Elinor flew from Los Angeles to New York City where she announced a national initiative honoring the women who worked alongside her during WWII.
Elinor’s presence at the airport and onboard did not go unnoticed, and she was welcomed with open arms in each Station she visited. Employees waved colorful posters, dressed in "Rosie the Riveter" ensembles, and introduced Elinor’s accomplishments inflight and in the decorated terminals. Customers got into the spirit by writing her notes of gratitude and by cheering her on as she traveled. Upon landing home at LAX, Southwest Employees showed Elinor around the Ramp, the Hangar, and other Southwest facilities where she felt very much at home.
We are honored to share this experience with Elinor, and we thank her for blazing trails in the aviation field for women and more!