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Southwest Airlines Community

The Freedom to Fly--and to Have Fun!

blusk
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phl_liberty_bell1.JPGAlthough Southwest's history is miniscule compared to that of our nation, it's important to remember that Southwest was founded 36 years ago on the principle that all Americans deserve the Freedom to Fly at affordable fares.  I think we have done a pretty good job with that goal because, in 1971, the year we were born, only 15 percent of Americans had ever flown on an airline.  Today, that number is close to 80 percent.  No, not all flew on Southwest, but the low-fare revolution that we started is largely responsible. As one who flew regularly before 1971 (I am an airline brat), I can vouch that air travel was much different then.  Yes, it was more luxurious, but it was also very expensive.  The predominant passenger of the time was a white male, middle-aged businessman, and occasionally, his family on vacation-if they were very lucky.  Even today, there are some people who miss the ambiance of the time when you dressed up to fly...but, I doubt they miss the fares. Thankfully, our founders, Herb Kelleher and Rollin King, had the idea to democratize the skies.  Make fares so low that flying would be cheaper than driving, and Texans took to the skies--but America would have to wait a few more years until Congress deregulated routes and fares in 1978.  I admit I was a naysayer back then because I worked for a legacy carrier for 18½ years, beginning in 1976.  All the legacy carriers formed a letter-writing campaign to Congress to stop deregulation, and they used the fear that deregulation would destroy air travel.  Thankfully, the campaign failed because when the rest of the country got a taste of the low fares that Texans were paying that airline travel became the preferred mode of intercity travel by all Americans.  Today, Southwest carries over 98 million Customers annually on our 3,300+ daily flights. There's one other thing Southwest liberated:  And that is the idea that air travel has to be pretentious and stuffy.  While we always take Safety seriously, we don't take ourselves seriously.  (If we did, you wouldn't be reading this blog right now.)  There is absolutely no reason why our Employees can't have fun at work and to share that fun with our Customers.  After all, some of our Customers are as nutty as we are--External Blog Boy and Ding! boy come immediately to mind.  My own epiphany about Southwest came a few years before I joined Southwest when we had a long layover in the Detroit Airport between flights on my old airline.  I noticed that the Southwest Employees were the only ones smiling, talking to each other, and enjoying their work.  It had been years since I had felt like that at work.  I was envious and wished for a change.  My own liberation came a few years later, and I have never looked back. 
16 Comments
jim
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Brian writes: There is absolutely no reason why our Employees canÃ
Cindy9
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Don't forget... Free drink coupons Candy corn, oops I mean peanuts and thats for all of us economy class folks, oh yea forgot, we are all in the same class when we fly SWA!! We can book a low cost flight and get it all with a smile and sense of humor!! No better way to fly! Cindy
Francisco_Delga1
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Brian, can you guess where i am in the world? USS BLOG BOY
blusk
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Umm, USS Blog Boy, I am guessing you are on an ocean somewhere. By the way, your picture is in the July issue of Spirit magazine. Blog Boy
Francisco_Delga1
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i am actually on land... it used to be part of the common wealth until 1947... INDIAana and the temple of doom.... Can you send me the magazine??? my picture....i cannot believe it.. USS BLOG BOY
blusk
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Ah, now I get it! Sure, I'll send you the magazine. Blog Boy
FriendofBlogBoy
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Hey Joe, Did you read what Brian wrote above? "After all, some of our Customers are as nutty as we areÃ
joe-mdw-plane-d
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I see that Kim. It must be that we post so often that Brian spends 8 hours moderating our posts! Follow proper procedures when boarding aircraft. Ding! boy Joe
blusk
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Geez, Kim and Joe, it looks like you two have as many 4th of July plans as I do. Blog Boy
joe-mdw-plane-d
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Except I don't have a crackberry. I mean blackberry or is that a blueberry, strawberry, or raspberry? Off to eat dinner now cause I made myself hungry. Ding! boy Joe
FriendofBlogBoy
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Trust me, Joe, I used to have one of 'em, and they ain't all they're cracked up to be... Kim External Bursitis Thumb Boy 🙂
joe-mdw-plane-d
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KIM, Brian sent me an email and mentioned he also has one of those "et al" things in addition to his blackberry. Plus he forwarded your bumpersticker. How did you get it to stick to your wall all these years? Ding! boy who has not met most of the people on this blog! Joe
sarah_wiswall
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What are the chances of a Southwest flight from New Orleans to Northwest Mississippi ( around the casino area)? That would put you close to the gambling area and Memphis. Don't you think that is a good idea. I would like to fly into Northwest Mississippi area and then drive into Memphis. We all know how hard it is to get to Memphis from New Orleans via air and also how expensive it is.
FriendofBlogBoy
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Joe, When I was on an expense account, I used to go to those all-you-can-eat buffets and I usually did "et al", but no more! As far as the bumper sticker goes, you'd be amazed at how strong of an adhesive you can create with smushed candy corn on each corner of something. Those things are better than super glue! Kim P. S. It wasn't adhered to anything -- my wife barely puts up with all of my SWA plane models everywhere, she sure wouldn't allow something stuck to the wall. It was in a frame! 🙂
scottnearsmf
New Arrival
Well, I don't think Clarksdale Airport (CKM) is going to work? Southwest would be the first jet airline to come to "Mid-Delta Regional Airport" in Greenville, MS. But that's probably too close to Jackson (JAN) right?
Jodie2
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Wow! I am jealous of all SWA employees! I go way back--to my college days in the latter half of the 80's. I grew up 20 minutes from MDW (Mom still lives there.) I flew SWA from STL to MDW during the school year-for 5 years-why make that drive when you can fly?! I would be 1st in line to get on the plane- and the 1st off-and mom would be in the arrival lane by the time I walked thru the concourse! My how times have changed. BUT, Southwest is still GREAT! My husband is a newbie FA, so now I see things from the "inside" and I am impressed! The teamwork, and passion is incredible.. Do you have any openings for a pharmacist in the company? Getting a grip on the new life we have has been challanging, but we know it will all be worth it. A few comments I have--and I know most of you do this already--- 1- ALWAYS take the high road---you WILL "win" in the end. 2-ALWAYS treat others how you would wish to be treated~you never know their side of the story... 3- SMILE-it's contagious! Keep up the great work and share the LUV!