Keeping the Culture alive is on the minds of many during any integration or merger of two Companies. Are both companies' employees going to jive? For the Culture Services Team at Southwest Airlines, this particular topic is not only our passion, but our full-time jobs! Our Team was given the opportunity to be a part of the One LUV Tour, alongside other various Southwest Departments, to get out in the field and visit face-to-face with some of the AirTran Employees. We went into this assignment with the notion we were going boost morale and answer some questions. Truth be known, this tour boosted OUR morale! Southwest Employees from the People Department, Communications, Pass Bureau, and Culture Services visited more than 15 different locations, day and night, to reach the maximum amount of Employees. The mix of Departments from Southwest, much like the Traveling Wilburys, banded together as one, but shared information as opposed to song. Employees were inquisitive about changes to their benefits and travel privileges; finding out the identity of their WingMate; and an array of other life-changing subjects. The participation on the One LUV Tour was remarkable! We met a Flight Attendant who took a 3-hour train ride to be in attendance; a Reservation Agent who brought us a cake; and a Gate Agent who drove an hour into Baltimore to hear more about a Company they were thrilled to join. Additionally, the AirTran Employees who helped facilitate these events provided V.I.P. treatment to the Southwest panel and went above and beyond the call of duty, just like our Southwest Family does for one another. The panel felt the excitement from AirTran Employees and heard numerous comments about feeling part of something greater. Many Employees were eager to find out more ways to jump in immediately with our legendary Southwest Culture! Sitting in the Baltimore AirTran Breakroom, visiting with these Employees, felt no different than being in a Southwest Baltimore Breakroom. Alas! Culture Services could take a breath and rejoice that, indeed, these two Cultures can mesh. The One LUV Tour visited each city hoping to teach the Employees of AirTran a little bit about Southwest. In actuality, we did this and a whole lot more. In addition to meeting some wonderful people, we learned a heck of a lot about our own Company. Thanks to all the wonderful "band members" on the tour who helped this production happen and to the hundreds of AirTran Employees. Get ready for the main set to start!
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Southwest celebrates 20 years of service from Sacramento International Airport (SMF), but we have already begun ringing in the occasion. To show our appreciation to the Customers, Southwest Airlines catered Panera Bread coffee, bagels, and pastries in the morning and lemonade and cookies, as an afternoon treat. Like many birthday celebrations, there were cheerful, SWA-colored balloons everywhere and music to liven the Customers' spirits. The kids and parents both enthusiastically enjoyed the balloon artist, Twistin' Tim! Our Companywide Culture Committee Members flew in from all over the system to help support the event, and laminated personalized bag tags for the Customers. To appreciate the 281 Employees here at the SMF Station, BBQ was catered, prizes were randomly drawn, and Employees played the Nintendo Wii in a competitive tournament in the breakroom! A small presentation was held at Gate 10 by Bill Showalter, Ground Ops Regional Director, to present a model airplane and plaque to our three Original Employees: Becky and Charlie Reyes, a Southwest LUV couple, and Lynn Caroll. The consistent compliments we received from Customers and Employees was a sure sign that the event was a huge success! More than 2,000 Customers were served treats throughout the day!
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