Southwest Airlines is excited to launch the Colleen C. Barrett Institute for Cultural Excellence and Customer Service (CCB Institute) as part of our 50th Anniversary celebration. Today, we are kicking the virtual doors open on the Institute created in Colleen Barrett’s honor!
Colleen’s path to President and Chief Operating Officer of Southwest Airlines began long before our official birthday on June 18, 1971. As part of the Team that fought to bring Southwest Airlines to the world in those early days in San Antonio, her role and her impact on shaping our now-famous Employee-centered Culture grew right alongside the airline itself.
Colleen has always valued Employees like Family, which is the Heart and soul of our Culture today at Southwest. The CCB Institute provides a home for the practical application of her core values—living by The Golden Rule with a Servant’s Heart, Warrior Spirit, and a Fun-LUVing Attitude—while sharing stories, memories, and examples of how that ethos shaped Southwest into the airline of today. In addition to honoring Colleen’s legacy, the Institute strives to be an ongoing resource to help others learn from her remarkable example and offer inspiration for us all to make long-lasting, positive impacts in the communities we serve.
In addition to learning more about Colleen’s life, career path, and trailblazing actions, the site is full of her wisdom and reflections. You’ll have insight into several programs she created which are the cornerstones of our Culture and recognition programs today. You’ll also get to read heart-warming stories from Employees on how she has personally impacted their lives.
The CCB Institute’s library serves up a wealth of resources including books, videos, articles, and podcasts from and about Colleen, Southwest, and more. You’ll want to save this site as a favorite and return often, as it will continue to grow. You can also opt-in to receive email updates and future opportunities to engage with the Institute and exclusive CCB Institute events.
We hope you’ll enjoy learning through these examples of Culture, excellence, learning, thought leadership, and Service with LUV. Perhaps there is not a more fitting way to invite you to visit the Institute at www.colleenbarrett.com than through the words of Colleen herself: “We hope you will stay awhile, laugh a little, and maybe learn something new about LUV®.”
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International Women’s Day is a perfect time to celebrate the incredible women in each of our lives. From family, friends, colleagues, and the incredible women who have paved the way for the next generation, I think we can each think of many wonderful women to acknowledge today and throughout Women’s History Month. One woman who comes to mind for me and all Employees at Southwest Airlines is Colleen C. Barrett. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating Colleen’s legacy and the important women in your life.
The following story about Colleen is part of how we’re celebrating our 50th Anniversary and Women’s History Month. In recognition of our 50th Anniversary, we have plans to share stories about several important Southwest moments in multiple ways throughout the year. In fact, this story about Colleen blazing a trail for women in aviation Leadership is an excerpt from a book that will be available later in 2021 to celebrate Southwest’s milestone anniversary! Stay tuned for more information about the book and be on the lookout for other compelling Southwest stories over the coming months.
In Colleen Barrett’s family, cowbells were rung to celebrate great accomplishments, and by that measure, a carillon should have sounded on March 19, 2001. That was the date Southwest announced that she would become the first woman President of Southwest Airlines, or of any major U.S. airline for that matter.
She would go on to receive a host of accolades, including winning the Outstanding Woman in Aviation Award in 2007 and landing repeatedly on a prominent list of the 100 most powerful women in business.
Born poor in rural Vermont, Colleen earned a two-year associate's degree and made her way to Texas, where in 1967 she became Herb Kelleher’s legal secretary when the Southwest Founder was still working as a lawyer in San Antonio. She followed Herb to Southwest, assuming the role of Corporate Secretary in 1978. In 1986, she became Vice President Administration and, in 1990, Executive Vice President Customers. But she was best known as the architect of Southwest’s Culture.
In many ways, Colleen was the perfect complement to Herb. He could provide the determination, competitiveness, and military lingo to rally the troops. She reminded everyone to treat others with respect and to follow the Golden Rule, which her mother had instilled in her when she was growing up. The result was a Culture that could be both fierce and kind at the same time.
Colleen’s Leadership has been an inspiration to others both inside and outside the Company and has reinforced Southwest’s efforts to promote women into Leadership positions.
As of 2019, more than 40 percent of Southwest’s Employees and about 30 percent of Executives were women.
Southwest has taken other steps to promote gender diversity. In 2018, for example, the Company awarded $25,000 in scholarships to women for additional flight training and assistance in obtaining pilots’ licenses. It also awarded scholarships to women for Aviation Maintenance Professional Certification to pursue careers as aviation maintenance professionals.
Colleen retired in 2008 and was given the title President Emeritus. Gary dedicated a special airplane to her—named Heroine of the Heart—which remains a permanent member of the Southwest fleet. There was also an impromptu tribute in the Headquarters lobby that included a somewhat altered version of a famous country song—and of course, a lot of cowbells.
Stay tuned for more information about how we’re celebrating Colleen as a special part of Women’s History Month and the 50th Anniversary this year.
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Southwest Airlines is proud to congratulate our 2020 President’s Award Recipients! This award is one of the highest honors an Employee can receive and it is a tradition Southwest has had since 1979. The recipients are a snapshot of our highest performers who work hard and consistently exceed expectations while also treating others with respect and kindness. This year we recognized and celebrated with our recipients virtually. We are very proud of our honorees, who were nominated by their peers. Cheers to our outstanding Cohearts!
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Many of you heard the news that we are offering Customers the opportunity to purchase available boarding positions in our A1-A15 boarding group. We tested this option, Upgraded Boarding, in San Diego last month. Customers loved the opportunity to upgrade their boarding position on the spot. With a successful test behind us, we launched Upgraded Boarding coast to coast this week!
What is this? How does it work? Glad you asked! Our Customer Service Agents will now make an announcement beginning 45 minutes before departure that available boarding positions can be purchased via credit card for $40 per flight. These positions are only available at the gate, and Customers will not receive any of the benefits associated with Business Select Fare—meaning you won’t receive a premium drink on your day of travel or earn any extra Rapid Rewards Points, unless purchased with their Rapid Rewards Chase Visa.
This new option is not a replacement for our Business Select Fare or EarlyBird Check-In, but simply a creative way to improve Customer experience. We typically offer 15 Business Select positions per flight. Seeing that there were not always 15 Business Select Customers on certain flights, we wanted a creative way to offer those last-minute boarding opportunities. Our goal is not to dilute the Business Select Fare which offers priority boarding, extra Rapid Rewards Points, Fly By lane access and a premium drink on day of travel—so we’ll be watching the trends closely. We also know that our EarlyBird Check-In is a fan favorite because it automatically checks you in allowing our Customers the freedom to simply print their boarding pass at their leisure beginning 24 hours prior to departure. Both the Business Select Fare and EarlyBird Check-In are sure things and Upgraded Boarding will only be available in limited quantities and will vary flight by flight.
Southwest strives to offer Customers options. If boarding first is your thing, we have something for that. If you want to watch television live from your seat, we have something for that. If you want to peacefully snack on peanuts while you jet off to your next destination, we definitely have something for that. So if you are out and about on Southwest and hear the Upgraded Boarding announcement—give it a try! You might like what you find!
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Do you like summer fun, trivia, and hanging out in Midtown Manhattan under the stars? Then do we have a treat for YOU!
Beginning Wednesday, May 23, Southwest Airlines will launch its “Summer Cult Movie Trivia Festival” at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park! We’ve teamed up once again with our fine partners at Bryant Park and ‘wichcraft to bring in some folks who know a thing or two about trivia fun!
For the next several Tuesdays, Dave Oliver and his Team from www.triviaad.com will host their popular trivia beginning at 6:30 p.m. Dave hosts trivia all over the City and we’ve convinced him to bring his popular style to Bryant Park.
This week we begin the fun with “Sixteen Candles.” If you can’t join us this week, check out some of our other fun dates!
Summer Trivia Schedule:
May 23: Sixteen Candles
May 29: Dazed and Confused
June 12: The Princess Bride
June 26: Fast Times at Ridgemont High
July 10: The Big Lebowski
July 24: Wet Hot American Summer
Be sure to reserve your spot by e-mailing Trivia@wichcraftnyc.com.
So, get your best 80s (and 90s) memories in gear, and join us! “It’d be a lot cooler if you did” - Wooderson, “Dazed and Confused.”
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If you’re out and about in either Denver or New York City, you’ll see our Southwest Porches up and running. This week we are hosting opening celebrations in both locations.
In New York, we are celebrating a couple of new things this season. Our fabulous food partner, ‘wichcraft, created a fresh new menu for the Porch and they added in a weekly cookout. We tested it out this week, and from the looks of the line, the hamburgers and pork belly sandwiches are going to be very popular! We’ll also have live music each week at the Porch, and we’ve updated the furniture and our uniforms. Our very popular speaker series has evolved this season, too. Fast Company magazine is sponsoring our speaker series. They are bringing in speakers monthly from companies like HBO to give free breakfast seminars to business folks. Pretty exciting stuff going on in the City, and Southwest is keeping our brand fresh in Midtown.
In Denver, we’re still rocking and rolling at Skyline Park. On Monday, we will officially celebrate the return of warmer weather and Mile High residents back to the Southwest Porch with a free party open to the public, featuring live music from a popular, local band Air Dubai, free food served up by Brava Pizzeria, and free beer and wine. We’ll be giving away roundtrip tickets on Southwest and letting folks know all about the fabulous events we have planned throughout the summer at our Denver Porch. The opening party is Monday, from 5pm - 7pm, so stop on by if you’re in the neighborhood. Throughout the summer, the Porch will feature daily happy hours, live music every Thursday evening, game nights every Friday night, including giant Jenga. So if you live in Denver or happen to be visiting the Mile High City, stop by the Southwest Porch at Skyline Park enjoy some Southwest-style hospitality!
Our favorite outdoor locations are ready to go! If you get the chance, swing by—we’ve got a snack with your name on it!
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What do you get when you combine a fabulous location, perfect weather, and incredible new music? For me, you get a mental picture of green grass, and a warm summer night at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park where, in August, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals rocked the night away as part of our fantastic relationship with The Artists Den. Check out the video for a sneak peek!
Southwest Airlines worked with The Artists Den in 2010 to film concerts and give music lovers the chance to see some of their favorite bands up close and personal. The incredible part of this relationship is not only the excitement folks get in person, but how that experience is broadcast to millions through The Artists Den series, Live from the Artists Den, which airs weekly on PBS.
Cue the Grace Potter show, which premieres tomorrow, April 15! Southwest and a few hundred of The Artists Den’s closest friends rocked the night away and we can’t wait to relive it! To get a taste of the show, visit www.artistsden.com and watch the preview.
We’ll be highlighting our concerts over the next several weeks as they begin to air across the country, here on the blog. Additionally, keep your twittering eyes on @SouthwestAir as we would love to tweet with you all during these television shows. Our Ray LaMontagne show airs tonight in Dallas at 10pm central on KERA. Check out the lineup in your city and let us know when you tune in!
In the meantime, set your recording, and get prepared to rock the night away with some really cool bands!
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UPDATE: The winner of this contest has been selected and notified! Thanks to everyone that participated! We’re excited to announce the latest secret show from Southwest’s partner The Artists Den! Next Wednesday, Feb. 9, Robert Plant will rock a very intimate concert in Nashville for some very lucky fans. As you all know, Southwest has a Whole Lotta LUV for our Customers and online fans and that’s why we want to send one lucky winner and a guest to this very exclusive concert! For a taste of how awesome these events are visit www.theartistsden.com. The Artists Den has an amazing knack for finding one-of-a-kind locations for these secret shows. Robert Plant, the “Golden God,” will be performing at a famous location in Nashville. Lucky for all of you, Southwest has a backstage pass to the show and wants to get you in on it. To win a trip to this amazing gig, we’re asking all you fans out there to create a caption for this photo which is from a past Artists Den concert and has a connection with this show. You can post your caption in the comments section below (make sure you are a registered blog user so we can email you if you win!), or you can tweet us your caption and use the hashtag #WholeLottaLUV. All blog comments must be approved by a moderator, so don't get discouraged if your comment doesn't show up right away. So, ready, set, caption. We can’t promise you that you’ll find the stairway to heaven, but we do promise the winner that you’ll have “Kashmir” to keep you warm and you’ll get the chance to see a little “angel dance”! Be sure to read the rules below for the judging criteria. The winner will be notified by Monday 2/7/2011 by 6:30 pm CST. OFFICIAL RULES Southwest Airlines - The Artists Den Whole Lotta LUV Contest 1. To Enter: No purchase or obligation necessary. Contest runs February 6, 2011 from 8:00 am CST – February 7, 2011 5:30 pm CST. To enter without purchase or obligation, comments must be submitted on Nuts About Southwest or sent to the @southwestair Twitter account using the hashtag #wholelottaluv. All entries become property of the sponsor and will not be returned. Entries limited to one (1) per person. Anonymous entries will be considered invalid. You warrant your comment will not be sexually explicit, unnecessarily violent or derogatory. It cannot promote drugs, alcohol, or firearms. It cannot contain trademarks, logos or copyrighted materials owned by others. 2. Selection of Winner: On or about February 7 at 5pm CST, members of the Southwest Airlines Emerging Media Team will review all eligible entries received and choose a winner. The judges will be judging on the following qualities: • Creativity and Originality: 20% • Entertaining: 25% • Southwest Appeal: 35% - entry should reflect our Culture and Fun-LUVing Attitude. • Rules: 20% Read and complied with the official rules. Prizes are guaranteed to be awarded. Odds of winning will depend on the total number of eligible entries received. 3. Prize: One (1) Grand Prize to consist of two (2) roundtrip tickets on Southwest Airlines from the closest airport to winner's residence served by Southwest Airlines (subject to Southwest Airlines terms and conditions; certain restrictions may apply), and two (2) tickets to the Artists Den: Robert Plant. (APV – all Artist’s Den tickets are invitation only and free. APV for Southwest Airlines tickets is $800) Grand Prize tickets are non-transferable, and winner and their guest will be required to arrive at the Artist Den event at the same time, each with a valid photo I.D. 4. Eligibility: Contest open to all legal US residents, 21 years and older as of February 4, 2010. Employees of Southwest Airlines Co., the Artists Den, and their advertising and promotions agencies, and their immediate families (spouse and parents, children and siblings and their spouses) and individuals living in the same households of such employees are ineligible. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Contest subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations. By participating, entrants agree to these official rules and accept decisions of the Sponsor as final. Void in Puerto Rico and where prohibited by law. The promotion is offered in the United States only and shall only be construed and evaluated according to United States law. Do not proceed in this site if you are not located in the United States. 5. To Claim Prize: Winner only will be notified by Southwest Airlines via e-mail, and winner must arrange for travel to The Artists Den venue. Unclaimed or undeliverable prize will be forfeited and awarded to an alternate winner. Prize is not transferable or redeemable for cash. Prize is guaranteed to be awarded. Acceptance of prize constitutes permission (except where prohibited) to use winner's name, hometown and likeness for purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity in any media without additional compensation. Winner and their guest must execute and return any required affidavit of eligibility and/or liability/publicity release within one (1) day of notification attempt or prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner may be chosen. If a potential winner cannot be contacted, fails to sign and return the required affidavit of eligibility and liability/publicity release within the required time period, or if a prize or prize notification is returned as undeliverable, potential winner forfeits prize. 6. Limitation of Liability: Neither Sponsor, the Artist's Den, nor their affiliated entities, are responsible for printing or typographical errors in any related materials; stolen, fraudulent, entries or mail; or transactions that are processed or lost due to computer or electronic malfunction. Winner is solely responsible for payment of all federal, state, and local taxes on prize and for any travel or other expenses not specifically mentioned in prize description. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel or modify Contest if fraud or technical failure compromise the integrity of the Contest as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. This Contest offer is being made exclusively by Sponsor. Sponsor not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections or fraud, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmission whether caused by Sponsor, user, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the promotion or by any technical or human error which may occur in the process of submissions which may limit a participants ability to participate in this promotion. 7. Winner's List: To request a Winner's Name List, send a self addressed stamped return envelope, after February 6, 2011, to Southwest Airlines Emerging Media. All requests must be received by February 28, 2011. Utah and Washington residents may omit return postage. 8. Sponsor: Southwest Airlines Co., P.O. Box 36611, Dallas, TX. 75235-1611
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I’m a sucker for holiday traditions. I love to hear all about what other families do at the holidays. I love to cook and love to eat, so each story gives me a new idea to add to my own holiday menu. Earlier this month, I was attending a work function, and the subject of holiday traditions came up. I was surrounded by folks from places in Texas further south than my East Texas upbringing, and one of my favorite traditions came up—holiday tamales. Ask anyone who hails from a Texas town west of Fort Worth and south of Austin and you’ll hear stories of holiday tamales. EVP Corporate Services & Corporate Secretary Ron Ricks, a Texas border native, grew up eating tamales at the holidays. This year, his wife, Eileen, had a tamale-making party with her friends, and things turned out so well they are turning it into a yearly event. Community Affairs & Grassroots Senior Manager Laura Nieto, a San Antonio native, filled me in on authentic tamale preparation which involves burying the pig’s entire head! Sounded incredible, but I may leave that part out of my tamale party! Even our Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly, another San Antonio native, piped in with his favorite place to get tamales for the holidays here in Dallas, a great place called La Popular. Gary shared that he’d found it based on an Employee suggestion! Curious, I did a little digging, and this tradition was adopted by Texas from Mexico. Over the years, families in Mexico all got together and made tamales together. The process is fairly involved, so it provided a great chance for large families to catch up and bond while making great food. Count me in! So, writing this is making me hungry, I’m going to head out to La Popular’s booth at the Dallas Farmer’s Market. If you have a family tradition or recipe you’d like to share, feel free to post it! Happy Holidays!
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Southwest Airlines Chairman of the Board, President & Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly shares his thoughts on Leadership, Growth, and the Future of the Southwest Brand. Gary Kelly addressed today a room full of aviation executives at the Wings Club in New York City and shared what the future looks holds for Southwest, as it enters its 40th year. Among many topics, Gary announced ten more flights from the Newark Liberty International (EWR) to destinations like Baltimore/Washington International (BWI) with three daily nonstop flights, Houston Hobby (HOU) with two daily nonstop flights, Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport (PHX) with two daily nonstop flights, and Denver International (DEN) with three daily nonstop flights. These cities join the previously announced nonstops to Chicago Midway (MDW) and St. Louis (STL), giving Newark a total of 18 new daily nonstops and will connect Newark Liberty to our vast network. To celebrate this new service, Southwest is offering for a limited time fares as low as $49 one way between BWI and EWR to travel during the Summer of 2011. To see a complete list of special fares and fare rules, visit southwest.com. Gary also announced that our fleet will be enhanced with the addition of the Boeing 737-800. Gary shared today we will substitute 20 of our future 737-700 orders for -800s, with the first delivery scheduled for March 2012. With both the Pilots’ and Flight Attendants’ Unions ratifying their contracts to add the -800 to their current collective bargaining agreements, Southwest is continuing to finalize discussions with the Boeing Company regarding substitutions of the -800s for the -700 positions and configuration and equipage options. Gary told the Wings Club audience, “We are looking to the future and the -800 sets the stage to bring more destinations into the realm of possibilities for Southwest, to operate a more economical aircraft, and to offer better scheduling flexibility in high-demand, slot-controlled, or gate-restricted markets.” The current plan is to deliver these 20, 737-800 aircraft in full Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards (ETOPS) configuration. The current configuration also includes the Boeing Company’s Sky Interior that offers a quieter cabin, improved operational security features, and LED reading and ceiling lighting.
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And we’re back with the next edition of what in the wild world of wonder is going on at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park in New York City. Over the past year, we’ve partnered with everyone from ourselves to the California Travel and Tourism Commission for events on the Porch, and each event has been incredible. Today, we embark on an entirely new adventure at the Porch with our first event with our newest partner, the Artists Den. What’s the Artists Den? Glad you asked. It’s 2004; you love music; you love music even more in cool, intimate settings; and you have the connections to make something awesome like that accessible to anyone who’s interested. Cue Mark Lieberman, founder of The Artists Den. Mark had the incredible idea to offer folks the chance to see outstanding live music in non-traditional settings. He began by having concerts in his home in San Francisco, and then thought he would love to expand the setting and stage unforgettable concerts in truly unique settings to a larger group than could fit in his living room. Think the Black Crowes in a silent movie theatre in Mississippi or Ringo Starr and Ben Harper in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Incredible idea, right?! Now you are thinking, this must cost a fortune and only be for high rollers and insiders. Well, no. The coolest thing about this is that the concerts are free. Yes, you heard me right, free. Anyone interested in joining the Artists Den’s mailing list has a chance to have their name drawn in a lottery to receive tickets to an event. Mark and his Artists Den crew have criss-crossed the country filming concerts and turning those into a nationally televised, hit public television series—Live from the Artists Den. Luckily for Southwest we know someone who knows someone and bam, they’ve landed at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park. Over the next three months, the Artists Den is filming a series of three concerts at our precious Porch and will compile those for online and television broadcast of Live from the Artists Den. Our first concert is tonight and the band is Squeeze! The response to the concert has been phenomenal, and we have a few hundred folks who were lucky enough to be selected joining us tonight at the Porch to enjoy live music in the setting of Bryant Park. And of course, we anticipate everyone noshing before and after the event on the delectable sips and snacks from ‘wichcraft. So visit www.theartistsden.com for the scoop on this great organization and keep your eyes peeled for the next concert in Bryant Park. And in between all of that, tune into your local PBS station and check out Live from the Artists Den. We’re so proud to be working with an organization who, like Southwest, is taking an experience that can sometimes seem unattainable and making it accessible for anyone who has the time to register.
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For all you NBA fans, especially fans of the Lakers and Celtics, this is your week! The NBA Finals tip off on Thursday, and Southwest Airlines is taking part in the action! As the official airline of the NBA, Southwest Airlines has the proud opportunity to deliver the coveted Larry O’Brien trophy to the Finals' cities. Today, the trophy landed at LAX aboard Slam Dunk One! Southwest Airlines Captain Dave Rigby (R) and First Officer John Degroot (C), delivered the trophy to Lakers’ great Michael Cooper. The trophy will make the journey to the Staples Center and will take the stage for Game 1 and 2. Early next week, the trophy will board yet another Southwest flight and head east, landing in Boston aboard Slam Dunk One—all you Bostonians keep your eye out for Slam Dunk One—the Larry O’Brien trophy may be onboard! So, whether your Teams are in the Finals, or you’re just a fan of the game, know Southwest Airlines is playing our part to deliver the trophy (and the many NBA fans traveling to the games) safe and sound!
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Karen, you're post is so inspiring! What a great day and great month to open your mind to inspiration. Everything you say here reminds me of one of my favorite quotes which I saw on a billboard outside a little church one day: "It's never crowded on the extra mile." Sounds cheesy, but when you're questioning should I keep working so hard, trying, pushing then the answer is yes....few people do it. Thanks for making my day!
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So, by now I’m sure you’ve seen the awesome cover of SkyMall that is currently onboard our airplanes. If you haven’t, stop reading this and get on a Southwest flight pronto. You don’t know what you’re missing. If this is not possible immediately, you’ll have to just be temped with the photo of the cover. What’s on the cover you say ? Well, that’s right, it’s the beloved Slanket! We have several folks in and around the Southwest Communications Department vouching for how super warm and snuggly these awesome Slankets truly are. Where’s this going you ask, and why are we discussing this ? It's because we want you to join us this week at the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park, Southwest’s little home away from home in the Big Apple. Today, tomorrow, and Thursday, Southwest is partnering with SkyMall and giving away branded Slankets, SkyMall gift cards, and a Yeti! That’s right, each night we’ll be raffling off tremendous gifts, treating the attendees to drinks on us, and even passing a bit of the famous Porch popcorn around for tasting. Come on out if you can, the air is cold, but the Southwest Porch is warm! We’ll have fun loving Southwest Employees and SkyMall Employees at the Porch to greet you between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. each night. We’ve got a Slanket with your name on it (well it’s our name, but you get the point). To RSVP for the Southwest Porch event, please visit our online invitation.
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Who’s ready to sip hot toddies, snuggle in a Slanket, and toast ‘smores? That’s right, you are! This week we opened up the winterized Southwest Porch at Bryant Park in New York City. Many of you were with us when we opened the Porch in June. It was so popular that we added some heaters, a fire pit, and even created a new menu so the summer fun could continue into the winter! This time of year Bryant Park (behind the New York Public Library in the heart of midtown between 5th and 6th Avenues, and between 42nd and 44th Streets) is full of the holiday spirit with an ice skating rink and holiday shops. How perfect is it to have the Southwest Porch tucked away in the winter wonderland, where folks can cool their heels and warm their bones?! Our partners at ‘wichcraft added some incredible new creations to the menu at the Porch. We’re serving flavored popcorn, savory chili, and ‘smores—just to name a few items! The Porch also offers spiked cider, tipsy hot chocolate, and Irish coffee--just the ticket to warm the soul after a hard day at work or a long day of sightseeing! The Porch is open from noon-9pm daily and we’ll have our “winter look” going through March 2010. Next time you’re in NYC, pay us a visit! We have a Slanket with your name on it, and we’ll keep the fire lit for you!
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That’s right, many of you remember the fantastic little project Southwest did as a part of our entrance into LaGuardia this summer, correct? As many of you nod your heads, I’ll help out a few of those who are scratching theirs. Southwest opened the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park this summer as a way to introduce New Yorkers to the fabulous Southwest brand! See my June blog post to jog the ole' memory. As a part of the experience we began a speaker series called Southwest Executive Chats. The idea was to have a casual atmosphere where our corporate clients, partners, and interested parties could learn a bit more about how Southwest achieves business success. We were lucky enough to have Ginger Hardage at the Porch in August chatting about Southwest’s Culture and the secrets to keeping that Culture strong. Last week, we featured Kevin Krone, Southwest’s Vice President of Marketing, Sales, and Distribution. The fall season is perfect timing for Southwest to chat with folks about our Bags Fly Free philosophy and to explain that keeping things simple at Southwest creates Customer loyalty (and increases loads—little shout-out to finance). So, if you’re in New York City in the coming months stop by and cool your heels at Bryant Park. We have some cool fall weather and an Adirondack chair with your name on it.
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This week marks the completion of Southwest’s first full month operating from New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA). Over the past month, we’ve had the pleasure of serving many long time Southwest Airlines Customers who are now enjoying Southwest’s service from their preferred airport. And service is not the only thing Southwest has to celebrate in the Big Apple! As many of you know by now, Southwest also opened the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park. Instead of investing in the traditional advertising means, Southwest chose to, once again, step outside the lines and try something a little different. We opened the Southwest Porch in mid-June with our partners ‘wichcraft and Bryant Park and just ask anyone—the place is rocking! The Porch hours have been extended, the restaurant reviews are raving, and New Yorkers can’t get enough of our Southwest Airlines hospitality. Each week we have Southwest Airlines Employees cleverly disguised as brand ambassadors (their real jobs are in places like Marketing, Finance, and Communications) chatting with Customers, educating folks on the Southwest brand, and even raffling off a very valuable Southwest ticket or two. And as you can see from the photos, everyone is surrounded by the Southwest Airlines logo and our token yellow! So many folks have raved to our brand ambassadors about Southwest Airlines and are so happy to have low fare, nonstop service from LGA to Baltimore/Washington and Chicago Midway. We’ve even gotten a few pointers on how to improve our service (no one’s afraid to share an opinion in NYC!). Weekly the snack, sip, and get to know more about Southwest Airlines happens in the most talked about outdoor eating venue right smack dab in the middle of Manhattan. Tonight, we’re hosting a group of our Twitter fans who promise to be a great time. If you’re not already, follow us at www.twitter.com/southwestair, and get a front row seat to all the action. For more about the Southwest Porch click here. And if you’re in Manhattan, please stop by and say hi! We’re ready to meet ya!
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On June 24, Southwest will begin a new testing phase for Inflight Wi-Fi on the four aircraft that are currently equipped with wi-fi technology. In order to match the price of our product with what the market is willing to pay, we will be testing a variety of price points. The connection cost will range from $2 to $12 and will be determined by the distance Customers are traveling and the device they are using to connect. The cost to get online will be displayed when a Customer launches his or her Internet browser and will be applicable to Employees as well as Customers. Let us know what you think.
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We are super pumped! Today, we are unveiling the Southwest Porch in Bryant Park. New York is a unique market, and it’s so exciting to introduce the Southwest brand to the Big City in a unique, FUN way. We are spreading the news of our upcoming LaGuardia service by launching a porch-style hang out for New Yorkers to enjoy a tasty treat created by Tom Colicchio’s restaurant ‘wichcraft. Once Customers step onto our Southwest Porch, they can take in the scenery, lounge in our comfy seats, and of course, order a beverage of their choice – including Southwest’s own branded beer, Southwest Summer Ale. (Check out the pdf file attached below for the menu.) Our CEO Gary Kelly will officially open the doors for business tonight by jumping behind the bar and serving up the first drink to our New York friends. The Southwest Porch will offer New Yorkers a beautiful place to relax from 5pm--9pm, Mondays through Thursdays and 12pm--4pm on Fridays. If you find yourself in the Big Apple this summer, please stop by and enjoy a taste of our SOUTHWEST SPIRIT.
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Southwest now has four aircraft up and running with Wi-Fi service—and so far, the testing is going really well. Southwest has operated the service on more than 500 flights and more than 9,000 Customers have logged on. Folks are utilizing Wi-Fi for anything from e-mail to surfing the net to Facebook and the feedback so far has been great. Comments we are hearing from Customers are that the service is fast and they’re pleased with the quality of streaming media. Our service provider, Row 44, is entering the final stages of securing permanent FCC licensing which is obviously important for Southwest Airlines! We're excited about the possibility of offering Wi-Fi for our Customers and will continue to survey those using the service through the spring. Let us know if you've used the service, and tell us what you think! (For you airline geeks out there who want to see if you might be flying these planes, here are the tail numbers of the Wi-Fi equipped planes: N901WN, N902WN, N906WN, and N907WN.)
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Well, well...you continue to dazzle me! I would love to try your desserts and yes, I agree that anything less than the best recipes for the holidays is a felony (please see my Vanilla Ice reference in there).
Let me know if the bread pudding works out. Sounds like a an awesome treat!
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As a member of the PR Team, I do have the chance to work with several different groups in the Company. One of those groups just happens to be Provisioning! Now, what is exciting about that you ask, well…I get the chance to taste energy drinks (we went with Monster), look at all different kinds of coffee cups, taste snacks that might go into our snack trays, and discuss the most important thing of all on board—our peanuts! It’s such a fun group to work with and you can imagine my excitement when they invited me to tour King Nut, our peanut packaging and distribution company. I couldn’t wait to take the trip (never been to Ohio!) and I was dying to see what goes on at the factory. Our group of eight headed to Cleveland to meet with the top management of King Nut and get a full tour of the factory. I had never been to a factory before, so I was making tons of mistakes right off the bat. After I put on my tennis shoes (had on open toe shoes!), put all of my jewelry in my purse, and donned a hairnet, I was ready for my tour. We walked into the first warehouse and all I can say is…WOW! The smell of peanuts was so thick that I think I was coated in thin coating of “eau de peanut.” We were greeted with King Nut employees wearing “I Love SWA” t-shirts! What a welcome. They were working hard, making sure our Hispanic Heritage peanuts were getting packed and ready to ship (I was very jealous of their tape gun machine—our events would rock with that thing!). It was amazing watching all of those tiny packages being stuffed with peanuts and sealed in their little orange sacks—mesmerizing in fact! We ventured on to view the roasting room, the giant one ton bags of peanuts that were waiting to be roasted, and to the shipping area where our Hispanic Heritage peanuts were awaiting their departure to a Southwest city! It was amazing! Later, as we were enjoying a Cleveland Indians baseball game with Marty Kanan, King Nut’s President and Chief Executive Officer and his family, I dug a little deeper into the story. King Nut was started by Marty’s dad, Michael Kanan. He was living in Detroit when one of his friends brought him the opportunity to purchase the factory. Mr. Kanan sat his family down and asked what they would think of moving to Cleveland and running a nut company! After the shock wore off and they realized he was serious, they made the move and Mr. Kanan began King Nut. It was a while before King Nut began servicing airlines, but once they did…the company “took off.” King Nut now employs more than 175 folks and ships out 400-450 million bags of product per year! The company produces 1,600 cases of peanuts a day for Southwest which breaks down to 720,000 bags of peanuts (a DAY) for Southwest. And we’re not their only airline Customer! Whoa! So think about it next time you crack open your peanut bag on board a Southwest flight. That little fella took a long trip from Solon, Ohio to be in your hands and there’s lots of love and care that go into packaging them just for you! Thanks to King Nut and thanks to our Provisioning Team! It was an adventure!
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Okay, Michael Phelps is hilarious, but the outfit is a bit questionable!!!! I'm telling you, with the hat, the work appropriate whip, and the leather jacket...Gary Indiana Jones would be the best! Gillian, Shelley, and Nan could be his adoring students. Dr. Jones!!
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