In my four years as a Southwest Employee, I’ve seen a lot of zany things that most people don’t experience in a corporate setting. From singing telegrams to Chewbacca impression competitions, the People of Southwest Airlines are no strangers to coloring outside the lines. When it comes to things like this, I doubt the first work group that comes to mind is our Corporate Sales Team. Because our Team is responsible for the relationships between Southwest and our corporate partners, it’s imperative that we act professional in front of our Customers. Fortunately, my Team has creatively found a balance between showing our Fun-LUVing Attitudes and staying professional.
Every year, the Corporate Sales Team represents Southwest at the Global Business Travel Association conference. We have a booth highlighting our products and services and meet face to face with corporate travel decision makers. In 2008, the travel industry was dealing with the financial effects of ancillary fees. We addressed the issue by dressing up like superheroes. While suits are de rigueur at the convention, our Corporate Sales Team let everyone know we were there to save corporate America from fees by donning tights and capes. It was hilarious and inspiring to watch my Leaders dressed as Captain America and Wolverine discuss travel policies with procurement directors of Corporate Travel 100 companies. Wonder Woman, Super Man, Batman, Bat Girl, Robin, Robin Girl, Iron Man, and others were there, touting our commitment to our Customers by providing outstanding Customer Service and everyday low fares without any surprise fees tagged on at the time of purchase.
Our attire caused quite a stir, and when we weren’t working with our Customers, we were posing for photos with convention attendees. Superhero costumes were a perfect fit for our Team and I can’t think of a better way to symbolize our Warrior Spirits to our Customers. Up, up, and away!
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Emily, how fun! And great list. I look forward to hearing more about your experiences. My adventurous spirit is currently in hibernation so maybe reading your blog posts will energize it!
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The sounds of LUV could be heard through the halls of Southwest Airlines’ Headquarters on Valentine’s Day this year, thanks to the voices of our nine Marketing Interns, better known as the SWAmazing SWAlentines! For a small fee, Southwest Employees could send a singing telegram to croon to an unsuspecting cubicle, meeting, or even Gary Kelly! The SWAlentines dressed the part wearing pink tutus, red suspenders, and winglets, of course.
Our talented Interns wrote parody songs themselves, including “Love Field” (sounds sort of like the B52’s “Love Shack”), “L-O-V-E” (similar to the Nat King Cole classic), and "Tearin’ up the Skies” (an NSYNC-sounding mash-up). On Monday morning, the entire Corporate Sales Team (including 13 virtual Employees who were listening via speaker phone) was serenaded with an exuberant “Love Field” during our monthly conference call. It was a great way to send some LUV and Culture to our Coworkers’ in their home offices!
Now, I will leave you with the lyrics from my personal favorite SWAlentine song… Enjoy!
L is for the way we LUV no fees
O is for only two bags fly free
V is very very extra SWArdinary
E is even more than all the EarlyBird Checkins cause
LUV is all that I can give to you
And LUV is more than just our stock symbol
Herb and Gary can make it
Take our Company and please don’t break it
LUV was made for flying too!
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