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CSA training (so far!)

Adventurer A

Started Federal Week: 5/16/22

Completed: 5/20/22

Hours: 8 - 430

Passed airport code test: 100%

Things I wish I had known: 

-You're going to meet a LOT of people on your first day 🙂 and get a LOT of swag 🙂

-You can't move freely if you don't yet have your SW badge, or (like in my case) you get it with your welcome folder, but it doesn't work for the first day. 

-You probably won't be able to access anything in SWAlife for a few days, and that's okay.

-Your trainers are there to set you up for success. Breathe. It'll be okay. Those codes will be tattooed on your brain by Friday.

-You'll get Saturday off and will have your first official day at the station on that Sunday. But, it's a super cool tour of E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!

- !!! Do NOT waste your money buying business/business casual clothing for training. Buy charcoal grey slacks that fit well, a black belt, and red or blue polo shirts/dress shirts that fit well (not too loose, not too tight), black socks and all black (COMFORTABLE) shoes/sneakers !!!


Station training week one 5/23 - 5/29: Ticket counter

- You are on your trainers schedule. Be flexible and open to this. 

- The employee parking lot / transit system is not the burning hellscape you heard it would be ... it's actually super convenient and very reliable. You'll be okay. Do NOT pay for parking at some random park and fly. By your second day at your station, you'll be an employee parking lot/transit pro!

- Enjoy those two days off in a row each week, don't stress upcoming training. Look how quickly you caught on to ticket counter!

- Introduce yourself to everyone and greet everyone, every day ... it makes the day better for everyone and will come in handy when you want to schedule trade or buddy bid!

- Stop worrying about when you'll go to Dallas. Be present in the moment!

- Get to know your supervisors (but especially their names, there's just so many of them 🙂 )

- Never mind any  travel / airline experience you've had elsewhere, this is SW and boy oh boy do they do things differently (AND IT'S AMAZING!).

- Check your email! No, seriously, check your email! There are so many emails!


Week two 5/30 - present: Gate

- Whoah! This is how SW does gates? Have I died and gone to heaven?

- You know so many cohearts now. 

- Everyone hugs each other, and means it!

- Everyone, apparently, also met their spouses here :).

- Everyone actually socializes with their cohearts here, wow, this is so amazing!

- You have now exchanged phone numbers with so many people. Put SW in front of their names and their positions in your phone, so you know who is who!

- You can grab a drink from the planes, and they also make for a great team photo op!

- You checked your email today, and WHAM! There's your flight itinerary for Dallas.

- You fly out Sunday (6/12/22). Orientation/welcome on  Monday, all day, wear sneakers there's a lot of walking.

- Training Tues - Fri, fly back on Friday night.


Y'all, I am 51 years old. I can say with confidence, that I have never been more happy with my career than I am now. My station is MCO (the retirement station). Every CSA here has 30+ years seniority, so I'll never be senior in the shift bids and that doesn't bother me one bit. It's just such an amazing work environment and the cohearts make all the difference. It really does feel like family already! 


Bonus info: 

You'll earn one day off per month from January to October for a total of 10 days off per year. These are granted in recognition of holidays through the year, as the only holidays paid at time and a half are thanksgiving and xmas. You can use them or cash them out at the end of the year. 

You'll get 20 hours pto for your first 60 days, and will earn an additional 10 hours of pto every month following after your 61st day.

Mandatory overtime is double time, automatically, regardless of hours worked. 

Don't be late. Don't be late. Don't be late. Give yourself enough travel buffer to arrive a half  hour early for your shift. Not required, but I suggest doing so. 

Communicate!!! A closed mouth doesn't get fed. 

Ask your trainer to take you to the crew lounge. Once there, let the person know you're new and waiting on uniforms. They always have uniforms/jackets/sweaters for sale there donated by employees and sold for $5 - $10, the money is used for all the cool extra things SW does for their employees - but if you're new, you can pick things out for free the first time - including  lanyards, id protectors, belts, et c. From MCO with LUVFrom MCO with LUV

Finally ... welcome to the best and last job you'll ever have! This place is phenomenal! I'm so glad I took the leap of faith, changing my career path at this age. The reward has been worth the risk a million times over! 


Re: CSA training (so far!)

Frequent Flyer B

You had me before, but you got me with

"Y'all I'm 51 yes old!" 

So am I!  My start date 6/6. Thank you for the info, especially about parking and not able to access SWA Sometimes info on the things "not to look for" is just as important. 

Now....1 question regarding dress for training. Be 100, can I wear comfortable, cute, fashion sneaks DAY 1? I ask only because I broke some toes a bit back and I sticking my bread loaf of a foot in heel, pump, or even flat dress shoes is touchy. Again thank you for info, good luck on your journey, keep us posted! 

Re: CSA training (so far!)

Adventurer A

The flight itinerary for Dallas actually tells you to wear comfortable shoes specifically for Monday. I know tennis sneakers are allowed as part of our uniform, so I'm going to say yes to fashionable sneakers for Dallas, since you're not required to be in uniform while there. My trainer told me she wore sneakers, nice jeans and a cute top for her time in Dallas (just don't show midriffs or décolletage, or have any rips in your jeans.  


Welcome aboard, coheart!

Re: CSA training (so far!)

Adventurer A

Just re-read your question - 

So training at SWA U (Federal week) is super casual. Just be presentable, sneakers are a-okay! Good news, regarding your toe(s) ... Federal week is spent sitting, in it's entirety. 

Re: CSA training (so far!)

Adventurer B

I am 51 also. I fly out on July 10th heading to Dallas.

Re: CSA training (so far!)

Explorer C

Hi there, hope you are well. I know you said you left for Dallas July 10, how did it go and for how long were you there? My email says 11 days including weekend but some post said they were only there Sun to Friday. Thank you and congrats

Re: CSA training (so far!)

Adventurer B

I flew in in the 10th and I fly back home Friday the 22

Re: CSA training (so far!)

Adventurer B

I’m not even a CSA but you make me wanna be one 😂😂😂😂 this is some very detailed info Thank You and yes I love the fact that you threw your age out there I am older as well but I know this change is for the better and my LAST ONE!!!!! 

Re: CSA training (so far!)

Frequent Flyer B

About age, I would NEVER make banana, zucchini, or strawberry bread with new and young fruit. The older the fruit the sweeter the outcome 😏🥮

Re: CSA training (so far!)

Adventurer C

Thanks for the play by play, very helpful!!  Question, what is “Federal” week?  I had my VI on 5/25, offered the job of CSA on the spot, so currently being an email stalker.  I did complete my submission of C19 status and info for background check.  What was your trainers schedule like, since we are on their schedule for training.


And what state are you based out of?