Southwest is the second-largest air carrier in Hawaii, and we offer more than 90 flights a day that touch the Hawaiian Islands. Of those, 60 operate on interisland routes. Since the onset of the crisis, Southwest has continually added service each day on routes across the Pacific and within the state to help move people, pets, and critical supplies.
Southwest initially introduced a $19 interisland fare, and we lowered our pet fare to $1 to facilitate evacuation.
We are known for our flexible policies and are offering additional flexibility for travel to the area most affected by the Maui wildfires, allowing Customers with reservations involving travel to, from, or through Kahului (Maui) to alter travel plans and rebook with no fare differences.
Supporting the Community
With hundreds of Employees in the Hawaiian Islands and standing relationships with dozens of community organizations across the Aloha State, Southwest is directing our support, and that of our Customers and Employees, to the local and national agencies coordinating in the overall, concerted, and organized effort to deliver both urgent and long-term support. In the early days of the emergency response, Southwest donated more than $100,000 in cash and air travel and transported more than $8,000 worth of goods using Southwest Cargo. Our work will continue to support long-term in the recovery.
Southwest is working with Hawaii law enforcement and local firefighting agencies, helping cycle in volunteer firefighters every two days in a continual shuttle of fresh responders on the frontline of critical relief. Local partners that Southwest supports include:
The Maui Foodbank
The Maui Relief Fund
Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement
Hawaiʻi Community Foundation Maui Strong Fund
Southwest has trusted partner organizations that provide relief for communities impacted by disasters:
The American Red Cross
First responders from FEMA take a photo prior to boarding their Southwest flight from Las Vegas to Kahului, Maui.Additionally, Southwest has sent shipments of Employee-donated crucial items that local organizations have asked for and can receive and distribute, and we are sending extra water and snacks onboard Southwest west coast flights arriving at OGG.
Shelter Animal Relief Transport
To complement this robust plan that supports our Employees, Customers, and the State of Hawaii, Southwest also has partnered with Greater Good Charities, Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, and the Maui Humane Society to operate an emergency airlift to relocate more than 130 cats and dogs that already were in Maui animal shelters to Portland, Ore. The aircraft used for this transportation was loaded with emergency pet supplies and hundreds of “Good Packs” filled with survival and comfort supplies, including t-shirts, blankets, flashlights, socks, and hygiene kits. This effort makes room for an influx of displaced pets, many arriving injured at Maui Humane Society. Once in Portland, these shelter cats and dogs will continue the journey to forever homes.
Our Hearts are with the people of Hawaii and the communities affected by the wildfires, and we have many efforts underway across the Company to offer our assistance and support in the island’s long-term recovery.
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I love the feeling of independence. As the school bus pulled up to my street corner, I stepped off with a bit of pep in my step. I let myself in the side gate and through the backdoor. I can’t forget to call my mom to tell her I’m safely in the house. But, first, a snack and cartoons. I’ve got this. As a six-year-old in kindergarten, I stayed home alone until my brother walked home from school three hours later. He was in second grade.
I’m thankful for Rachel, Nancy, and Mary, women in the neighborhood who were the neighborhood stay-at-home moms. They made themselves available to us in case of an emergency or to offer lunch or a mid-afternoon snack. Simply put, my mom could not miss work when we were sick, or she had no sitter for us throughout the summer. Over time, my mom would take on several part-time jobs, working many hours a day to make ends meet.
While every neighborhood may not have a caring group of moms who watch over the latchkey kids on the block, there are caring groups such as Texas Women’s Foundation. Over the past six years, I have served as a Board Director for the Texas Women’s Foundation, an organization that is a leading driver of meaningful social and economic change for women and girls across Texas. Powered by statewide research that reveals the economic issues that impact women in Texas, the Foundation drives innovative change through grant-making, advocacy, and solution-based leadership programming.
For example, working mothers make up more than 65% of the Texas workforce and spend a significant percentage of their income on childcare. The Foundation’s Child Care Access Fund supports early childhood and after-school educational programs to increase access to quality, affordable child care that will allow women to sustain employment. As a young person, I, too, benefitted from participating in programs similar to these. I eventually attended summer enrichment programs focused on writing, science, and engineering. These experiences over the years provided opportunities for me to learn about the greater world around me and continue to nurture that independence which fueled my desire to learn and become confident in leadership.
Together Texas Women’s Foundation and Southwest Airlines, along with other community partners, are addressing the issues we know women face daily. Women are vital contributors to our workforce, and for our economy to flourish, it is essential that we invest in equipping and supporting women to be Leaders. Through our partnership, we support programs that build and strengthen the pipeline of women in leadership positions. Among several leadership programs, my favorite is the Young Women’s Initiative. This cross-sector effort provides resources and training to amplify the voices of young women of color, empowering them to advocate, lead, prosper economically, and realize their full potential.
Today—on International Women’s Day—I invite you to take action by investing in women and girls in your community. Olympian sprinter Allyson Felix recently spoke at a Texas Women’s Foundation luncheon, and her message was to “leave a lasting legacy by building those up around you.” The neighborhood moms encouraged and poured into me as a young kindergartner, allowing my mom to work and provide for our family. Your simple acts of kindness can create a ripple effect. So consider mentoring or championing a woman in your network. Or join the Texas Women’s Foundation’s Army of Advocates. Let’s all find ways to build up the women around us!
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Did you know that Hispanic enrollment in higher education is expected to exceed 4.18 million students by 2026, surpassing the growth rate of any other racial-ethnic group by over 10 percent? Experts on Hispanic college students believe educational attainment levels would continue to improve if students had the economic resources to travel to and from colleges suited to meet their needs. Because travel back home is often a financial barrier to achieving educational goals for Latino students, Southwest Airlines and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) are proudly supporting Hispanic college student success while keeping the students connected to family through our signature "Lanzate! / Take Off!" education travel award program.
Through this national education initiative, Southwest awards roundtrip travel to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students across the country who travel away from home to pursue higher education. We’re proud to help college students stay connected to their families while achieving their academic goals. Since 2004, Southwest has helped more than 1,500 students soar by awarding roundtrip tickets through this travel grant program and we’re excited to support 185 students for the 2022-2023 school year!
HACU, founded in 1986, represents more than 500 colleges and universities in the United States, Latin America, Spain, and school districts throughout the U.S. It is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). As longtime supporters of the Hispanic community, we know the impact family ties can have on the success of a student’s educational journey and beyond. Without the opportunity of the "Lanzate! / Take Off!" education travel award program, many may find it difficult to complete their college education.
“Many students have shared with us their personal stories and the economic barriers they face trying to visit their loved ones back home while in college,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “We are truly proud of the impact the Southwest Airlines travel awards program has had on Hispanic students across the nation. HACU congratulates the recipients and wishes them success.”
The "Lanzate! / Take Off!" program demonstrates Southwest’s commitment to champion educational attainment for all because we believe educated communities are empowered communities. us to connect college students to their families during the school-year!
Whether in the air or on the ground, Southwest believes community is more than a place—it’s at the Heart of what brings us together.
For more information on HACU and the "Lanzate! / Take Off!" education travel award program, visit https://www.hacu.net/hacu/Lanzate.asp
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For more than 50 years, Southwest Airlines Employees have proudly put their Hearts in Action in everything they do. From caring for our Customers to going the extra mile for a Coheart, our Employees are known for sharing the LUV within their communities. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Southwest and we have a number of festive opportunities in store to celebrate with our Employees and Customers—but I’m most excited to launch our one million Acts of Kindness Challenge!
To help celebrate our 50th year and to inspire a kinder, more compassionate world, we’re challenging our Employees AND Customers to complete a combined one million Acts of Kindness between now and December 2021. We know our Employees are up to the challenge, but we also want YOU, our loyal Customers, to join us in our campaign for kindness!
Throughout the year we will share different ways you can get involved but here a few Acts of Kindness ideas to get you started!
Sign our Acts of Kindness pledge today by visiting southwest50.com/actsofkindness—this automatically logs an Act in our Acts of Kindness tracker! Be sure to share it with your friends and family too!
Share on social media how you’re bringing kindness into the world or how someone’s kindness has impacted your life using the hashtag #HeartinAction
Check out the amazing stories submitted through our partnership with Wattpad through our Southwest: Storytellers On The Rise writing contest
Whether delivering a meal to a neighbor, cleaning up a park, sending a note of encouragement, or offering a pat on the back, we believe community is more than a place, it’s at the heart of what brings us together. How will you share kindness today?
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Reality TV has been all the rage for quite some time now, but truth be told, I never was a fan. That was until Dancing With The Stars began airing. Every Monday and Tuesday night, my 4-year old daughter and I watch closely as the “stars” transform themselves into ballroom dancers each week as they get closer to claiming the coveted disco ball trophy. We love to gaze at their beautiful costumes, tap our feet to the live music, and of course at the end of the show, cast votes for our favorite dancers. So, when the opportunity came up to participate in the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) 40th Anniversary Gala as a Community “star” I couldn’t pass it up. You see, Southwest Airlines is the official airline of CPRD and supports its many education programs serving diversity and at risk youth. They themed their gala “Dancing with the Denver Stars” and invited 12 corporate and community partners to participate in an evening of celebration and dance. In true Southwest Spirit, I was thrilled to roll up my sleeves (or shall I say put on my dancing shoes) and represent Southwest Airlines at this star-studded event. I committed each Saturday leading up to the big night to learn choreography, get into shape, practice my moves, and prepare for my performance debut. So, let’s just be clear, I’m not a professional dancer. In fact, aside from experience on my high school cheer squad (where the majority of our routines were simple eight counts) my dance training was non-existent. However, I figured what I lacked in skill I could make up in showmanship...yeah, right... I learned it takes a lot more than that! As a matter of fact, when I went to my first dress rehearsal, I was simply amazed at all the dancers and how much they had progressed with their routines. On the big night, I was so excited to step into my dancing shoes. For a brief 90 seconds of lights, camera, and dance, I transformed into a ballroom dancer with “performance” make-up, costuming, and all the courage I could muster up in front of an audience of over 600 people. I ended the performance to much applause and hundreds of gold stars waving in the audience. Fortunately, the event was an exhibition, not a competition, and at the end of the night, we were all dancing to celebrate 40 years of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. Five, six, seven, eight…it is Cleo Parker Robinson Dance we celebrate! What a fun and creative way to experience dance and raise awareness for CPRD education programs. Many thanks to Cecelia Jones, my choreographer, who had the energy and patience to train me. Cleo Parker Robinson Dance, YOU are our Denver Star!
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This is the fifth of a series of future posts about our new 2009 Southwest One Report ™—a single report on our triple bottomline of Performance, People, and Planet adhering to Global Reporting Initiative standards. Question: What do the following have in common? -Congressional Art Competition -GLAAD Media Awards -Latino Leaders Network -Jenesse Center -Tuskegee Airmen Answer: Southwest Airlines proudly supports these organizations, events, and countless other activities in the cities we serve as we work hand in hand with community partners across the country. Southwest Airlines proudly partners with those who are helping shape our communities all across America. Each city is unique with a robust blend of neighborhood qualities that make it a fun, diverse, and distinct American city. As an airline, we have the opportunity to become part of the fabric of the communities we serve by supporting the organizations, events, and issues that are important to that city. Southwest Airlines recently introduced our 2009 Southwest One Report™—a “year in review” report that focuses on our triple bottomline of Performance, People, and Planet. The One Report is just that—a single document that combines a report on our financial performance along with our corporate responsibility and environmental efforts. Southwest Airlines has always believed that giving back to the community is part of our responsibility, and it is our People who keep our Servant’s Heart beating strongly. One group dedicated to building relationships in our communities is the Community Affairs & Grassroots Team. The Team cultivates community/non-profit, business, and grassroots relationships at a national, state, and local level and positions Southwest Airlines as a citizen of the community and Hometown Carrier. Focusing on community passion points such as education, Leadership, culture & arts, business, and advocacy, Southwest Airlines strives to win the hearts and minds of the people we serve. In addition, our Team and hundreds of Employees from cities across the country lend their time and talent by serving our communities as mentors, Ambassadors, advocates, and community leaders. For example, each year we host our Key Contact training, Days on the Hill, which will take place next week in Washington D.C. This allows our Team to train Employees from all over our system to be effective grassroots advocates for Southwest Airlines. In short, we teach our People to build strong relationships with their local Congressional Members in order to effectively position Southwest Airlines when future legislative efforts are needed. In the past, these efforts have been a tremendous help to Southwest Airlines. When making strides to repeal the Wright Amendment, we were able to rely on our Key Contacts and their existing relationships resulting in a great success for our Company. “Doing the right thing” is a natural and organic expression of who we are. Meeting our obligations as good corporate citizens and doing well for the business are both important—each driving our reputation and business results. Each good deed, when coupled with another can truly make a difference in our daily lives. Southwest Airlines is committed to our communities and will continue to invest in them with our People and our HEART!
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