In Southwest Airlines’ 50 th year, we came together with our Employees and communities across the country to inspire one million Acts of Kindness. To celebrate hitting the one million act mark – months ahead of schedule – we launched the One Million Dollars of Thanks contest. This contest gave us the opportunity to continue spreading kindness by donating Southwest travel awards to 52 organizations that champion kindness throughout their communities. The organizations selected provide support services to children, active duty military, students, and families in need.
Their work was so inspiring, we knew we needed to continue celebrating these heroic organizations. That’s why we teamed up again with our friend Leon Logothetis – The Kindness Guy – to create season two of “My Kind of News.” Each episode of “My Kind of News” features interviews with representatives from six of the selected organizations, as well as those who have been directly impacted by their programs and services. The organizations highlighted are Miracle Flights, Lincoln Hills Cares, Wheelchairs 4 Kids, Support the Enlisted Project (STEP), Port Aransas Education Foundation, and Peralta Colleges Foundation.
This series is available now on our YouTube channel and will be shared on our social media accounts throughout the month! You can also tune in to these videos by visiting Leon’s Facebook and Twitter accounts (@thekindnessguy).
"I'm truly honored to join my friends at Southwest Airlines once again to host season two of ‘My Kind Of News,’ celebrating the extraordinary winners from Southwest’s inspired 'One Million Dollars of Thanks' contest,” said Leon Logothetis. “Through this series, we're able to highlight wonderful people and organizations doing amazing work that is changing lives and uplifting communities every day. ‘My Kind of News’ serves as an incredible reminder that there is so much good news, hope, and capacity for love all around; lessons which the great team at Southwest is helping to take out into the world, hopefully leaving viewers feeling a little more kind and brightening their day. I'm very proud to play a part in sharing such heartwarming and purpose-driven messaging."
At Southwest, we are dedicated to championing communities to lead with Heart. It’s been an honor to inspire kindness globally through this series!
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Throughout Southwest Airlines’ 50 th Anniversary year, we’ve engaged our Customers, Employees, and partners to join us in completing a collective one million Acts of Kindness. There was no shortage of Heart in our challenge – everyone truly stepped up to the plate! So many of you supported your communities in impactful ways including volunteering with a nonprofit near to your heart, helping a neighbor with yard work, or donating clothes to a local shelter. Thank you for helping Southwest inspire kindness. It’s because of YOU we completed our goal of one million acts months ahead of schedule!
Our plan to inspire kindness didn’t stop with our millionth act! To keep the celebration going, last month we launched our One Million Dollars of Thanks contest. Nonprofit organizations shared how they would use 100 one-way, domestic e-passes to spread kindness throughout their communities.
We had more than 2,500 submissions, which were judged by more than 160 Southwest Employees. We’re thrilled to share the 52 recipients and highlight the impactful work they do. The recipients will all receive 100 domestic one-way Southwest travel awards; bringing the total donated travel amount to more than one million dollars. The missions of the 52 organizations selected champion groups including children, military members, students, and families in need. Using the donated travel, these organizations will be able to spread kindness in communities Southwest serves, ranging from Hawaii to Dallas to New Jersey!
One Million Dollars of Thanks Winner Canine Companions for Independence
At Southwest, we are dedicated to championing communities to lead with Heart and kindness. Whether delivering a meal to a neighbor, cleaning up a park, sending a note of encouragement, or simply a pat on the back, we believe community is more than a place; it’s at the heart of what brings it together.
One Million Dollars of Thanks | Winners
1. Victory Therapy Center
2. The HUGS Foundation, Inc.
3. Friends of Madison County Child Advocacy Center
4. The Russell Home for Atypical Children
5. Support The Enlisted Project (STEP)
6. Florida Literacy Coalition
7. Jack & Jill Late Stage Cancer Foundation
8. Give Kids The World Village
9. Hearts for Homes
10. Med Center Health Foundation
11. Port Aransas Education Foundation
12. Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Foundation
13. Cornerstone Foundation, Inc.
14. Mission Centers of Houston
15. Peralta Colleges Foundation
16. Diversity Center
17. Chi Alpha at The University of Virginia
18. Open Door Sports Inc
19. Young Hearts Foundation
20. Lincoln Hills Cares
21. Colorado Orthodontic Foundation
22. SpoofDawg to the Rescue Inc.
23. Patient Airlift Services
24. United in Autism (DBA Labeled & Loved)
25. Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc.
26. Seeing Higher
27. Ed Reed Foundation
28. Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network (TIHAN)
29. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana
30. Friends Foundation
31. LIFEDesigns, Inc.
32. HELP of Southern Nevada
33. Healing Odyssey, Inc.
34. Miracle Flights
35. Wheelchairs 4 Kids, Inc
36. Neighborhood Housing Services of Southern Nevada, Inc.
37. The WunderGlo Foundation
38. Whidbey Animals' Improvement Foundation (WAIF)
39. Road Trip Home Animal Rescue, Inc.
40. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County
41. Success 1 st
42. Canine Companions for Independence
43. Connecting Point of Park Cities
44. Habitat for Humanity East Bay/Silicon Valley
45. Arnold Air Society, Silver Wings and Angel Flight Educational Fund
46. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Las Vegas
47. Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation
48. HealthRIGHT 360
49. Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters, Inc.
50. Armed Services YMCA of Honolulu
51. Children's Flight of Hope
52. Share the Care, Inc
One Million Dollars of thanks Winner Chi Alpha at The University of Virginia
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At the start of our 50th year of service, we invited our Employees, Customers, partners, and friends to join us in the call to put our Hearts in Action to inspire a kinder, more compassionate world. From something as simple as sending a Valentine’s Day card, to something as big as flying a pet across the country to find their forever home, we’ve seen so many examples of how kindness can make a lasting impression on someone’s life. We hope by watching some of the stories of kindness, you’ll be inspired to spread kindness in your community.
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve reached our one million acts goal! Thanks to each of you for the impacts you’ve made! Stay tuned next week for how our #Southwest50 could benefit an organization you care about.
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At Southwest Airlines, our Heart is to take care of people because we are more than an airline; we are your neighbor. That’s why so much of our work centers on supporting our Employees, Customers, and community partners. We believe collaboration can advance our impact, so we partner with like-minded people and organizations to promote resilience and civility, in our communities. One of those organizations is Hawaii-based partner AccessSurf.
AccessSurf is a nonprofit organization whose programs focus on building a community of inclusion by providing people with disabilities access to the beach, ocean, and adaptive water sports. They host a variety of clinics such as adaptive surfing, swimming, and Wounded Warrior Days at the Beach. With our focus on creating inclusive communities and Hawaii’s passion for surfing, a partnership with AccesSurf was a natural connection.
We’re proud to partner with AccessSurf and support their impactful work through financial and in-kind support. Last year, it was an honor to provide complimentary flights for the Hawaii Adaptive Surf Team to travel from Honolulu to San Diego for the World Adaptive Surfing Championships where several team members took home medals. Learn more about AcessSurf and its mission by visiting https://www.accessurf.org/.
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Wanna Get Away to Hawaii? Each island offers a unique experience for visitors, from beautiful locations to explore, to local cuisine to sample and enjoy. We are highlighting some of the best things to eat, see, and do in Hawaii.
Book a trip to Hawaii on southwest.com
Wherever your adventure in Hawaii takes you, remember to respect the culture, environment, and people of Hawaii. The small steps you take during your visit to the Aloha State can keep you and the environment safe. Before your trip to the state of Hawaii, Southwest Airlines encourages you to take the Pono Pledge or the Malama Maui County Pledge to learn how to safely, responsibly, and respectfully enjoy the environment. Our efforts to respect the culture, environment, and people of Hawaii can mean the conservation of the natural beauty of the islands for generations to come.
* Mei Kwok is a Southwest Storyteller whose trip was paid for by Southwest Airlines.
Waimea Bay: Located on North Shore beach, Waimea Bay is a great place to have fun in the water with activities like bodyboarding, surfing, snorkeling, swimming, and fishing. Waimea Bay also has beautiful cliffs. Be sure to check out the beach conditions before you head out to know what the waves are going to be like for the day.
Diamond Head State Park: Hawaii’s best-known landmark holds historical, cultural, natural, and recreational importance to Hawaii. It was formed more than 150,000 years ago after a huge volcanic eruption and eventually became the Diamond Head that exists on the eastern edge of Waikiki. It’s a must-see for every trip and will wow anyone who sets eyes on it.
Banzai Pipeline: This beach is a surfer’s paradise and boasts perfect rolling waves and beautiful sunsets. Watch as surfers take on waves during the winter, or go snorkeling to see the reef in the summer.
Waikiki Beach: This beach is lined with luxury resorts and high-end shopping, dining, and entertainment. Historically, it was where the royals of the island would play. With views at every angle, enjoy the beach and the liveliness around it. Visit Waikiki to experience what generations of Hawaiians have enjoyed.
The Royal Hawaiian Resort, a Luxury Collection Resort: This luxury resort on Waikiki Beach was originally built in 1927. The menus at the restaurant use locally-sourced ingredients, like fresh fish and tropical fruits, and each dish is beautifully-presented.
Island of Hawaii
Paradise Copters Circle Island Experience: This experience gives you the chance to see the Island of Hawaii from above. During the tour, you can see five volcanoes on the island—three of which are active—waterfalls, valleys, lava flow, rainforests, and more.
Kokoleka Lani Farm: Here’s your chance to see how coffee and chocolate are made, from the cacao tree, to the beans we know, and finished products. Sample some culinary delights including chocolate fondue with fresh island fruit and the different forms of cacao.
Hawaii Forest & Trails Kohala Waterfalls Adventure: This tour takes you on a beautiful and relaxing adventure. Swim under the falls, have a private picnic, walk through a nature preserve, and experience an ancient Hawaiian agriculture site. Be sure to bring a camera because the views are truly awe-inspiring.
Snorkeling with Jack’s Diving Locker: There is plenty of the sea to explore; you just have to dive right in. With the clear waters that surround Hawaii, the number of species you’ll see are limitless. This includes coral reefs, tropical fish, turtles, dolphins, and mantas.
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden: Hawaii is home to plenty of beautiful flora and fauna and this natural greenhouse makes for the perfect environment for them to thrive. There are 2,000 different species that grow in this garden. Explore the 40 acres and take in the tropical backdrop to a perfect day.
Royal Kona Hotel: This hotel offers the chance to see live Hawaiian music through their Hawaiian music series. The hotel also presents Voyagers of the Pacific Luau that displays Polynesian song, dance, and a firewalk.
Waikapalae Wet Cave: Did you know that a handful of scenes in Pirates of the Caribbean were filmed in this exact cave? If the sun is shining at the right angle, the water will give off a beautiful blue glow. This is created from the reflection off of the sun and draws in visitors to stop by the cave.
Waimea Canyon: You can’t beat the views of Kauai from Waimea Canyon! Take a drive up Waimea Canyon Drive to stop at the lower point and main Waimea Canyon Overlook, which offers panoramic views of Kauai. From here, there are many hiking trails open for exploring the canyon. Admission is free and it is open daily during daylight hours.
Opeakaa Falls: Located in Wailua, this 151-foot fall spans 40 feet and flows throughout the year. Opaeka’a Falls can be viewed from an overlook off of Kuamoo Road.
Kilauea Lighthouse: The Kilauea Lighthouse offers views of the northern coastline and the deep-blue Pacific Ocean making it a great spot for photos! The lighthouse is also part of the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge which is a sanctuary for seabirds. From December through March you may also get to see the humpback whales that migrate over to the beautiful coasts of Hawaii.
Uncle’s Shave Ice: Uncle’s Shave Ice offers more than 25 shave ice flavors as well as smoothies to their customers! Its proximity to the beach makes it a must-visit spot for visitors to cool off and grab a sweet treat.
Old Lahaina Luau: Experience the most authentic Hawaiian luau hosted nightly at the Old Lahaina Luau. E komo mai, come, and be immersed in all its beauty and charm through great food, skillful dancing, and sincere hospitality.
Sail Trilogy Snorkel Cruise: Dive and see honu (Hawaiian sea turtles) and schools of exotic fish. The crystal clear water of Honolua Bay and Maui’s marine life is sure to take you to a whole new world.
Maui Pineapple Tour : Learn more about the process to cultivate the fruit. Each tour comes with an airport-ready pineapple, with the option to purchase additional pineapples.
Road to Hana: This famous and beautiful road has beauty and possibility around every corner. Stops include towns, surfing lookouts, trails through tall trees, opportunities to see waterfalls, and dozens of other adventures waiting at each mile marker.
Waianapanapa State Park: Located off Hana highway, this is home to one of Hawaii’s volcanic-sand beaches. The black sand, white waves, caves, and arches are all part of this unique park. Plenty of folklore and history makes for a special place to camp, fish, hike, and sightsee.
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The following was written by Ho'ōla Nā Pua
“He told me to keep a secret. It was really, really difficult, trying to please my dad, trying to please my mom, trying to stay out of trouble, trying to go to school…there was a lot of sexual abuse. When I went into foster care, things were tough. The trauma from my sexual abuse at home was never addressed. One day I was partying in Waikiki [Honolulu] and I didn’t go home that night. There was no one looking for me. It was really easy for that trafficker to catch me- and I say that because I was already damaged. I was already broken. I got “turned out” in Waikiki when I was 15-years-old. I came back with money and he offered for me to go to Alaska.” – Tammy
Photo courtesy of HNP Facebook page
Following this horrific experience, Tammy was able to escape the world of trafficking and is now an advocate and community outreach coordinator at Ho'ōla Nā Pua (HNP). Ho'ōla Nā Pua (meaning ‘new life for our children’) was founded to shine light on the dark criminal enterprise of sex trafficking. HNP places the health of Hawaii’s youth at the center of our mission and vision for our community. We are committed to the prevention of sex trafficking and work to provide care for children who have been exploited in an effort to create a community where children are safe and have the ability to embrace their bright futures. Not only does HNP offer integrated programming that reach thousands of youth, community members, and stakeholders across the state of Hawaii annually, but we’re also considered a national partner and a rising advocate in the global effort to eliminate sex trafficking, permanently. We encourage you to learn more about how we are Looking Back and Looking Forward together by visiting our YouTube Channel.
HNP is proud to have a partnership with Southwest Airlines and we appreciate the support and desire to work together to end human trafficking. To learn more about how you can support our mission and stay up to date on our first residential treatment facility for girls coming later this year, visit our website.
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As the world continues to respond to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Southwest Airlines remains steadfast in its commitment to support the health and well-being of our People and our communities. Since March, Southwest has put our Heart in Action by responding to the crisis in meaningful and authentic ways. From donating our unused inflight snacks and beverages to Feeding America food banks to supporting over 100 charities across the country through the LUV Classic, and even engaging our Customers in a giving campaign—we’ve been able to show our LUV through several COVID-19 response initiatives.
Over the summer, Southwest had an opportunity to partner with the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency by providing transportation to Hawaii for more than 120 nurses. These courageous medical professionals traveled to Hawaii to relieve local hospital employees. This relief effort is an important component of the state’s COVID-19 response plan to ensure hospitals can continue to provide high-quality care to patients.
In true Southwest fashion, our Employees didn’t disappoint in welcoming and honoring these amazing heroes. Our Teams at Oakland International Airport (OAK) and Daniel K. Inouye (HNL) created a unique gate experience for the nurses as they boarded and landed. They also broadcasted a special message at the gate celebrating the nurses, even creating signs with well wishes. We’re proud to support those on the frontlines of this health crisis who share in our mission to build thriving and resilient communities across the country. Whether in the air or on the ground, we believe community is more than a place—it’s at the Heart of what brings us together.
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It’s been more than a year since Southwest Airlines' service to Hawaii began. Since that historic first flight, Southwest has continued to expand our service and we’re thrilled to serve the Aloha State. Southwest flies to and between the Honolulu (HNL), Lihue (LIH), Kahului (OGG), Kona (KOA), and Hilo (ITO) airports. Each island has unique landmarks and attractions to explore. On the flight to or between islands, take a look out your window to admire the glittering blue of the ocean or your bird’s-eye view of the colorful flora and fauna. Between the beautiful beaches and the lush green parks dotting the islands, experiencing the rich cultural and environmental landscape of Hawaii is an unforgettable experience.
Hawaii makes for a beautiful vacation getaway, but more than one million people call the Aloha State home. They are experts at making sure guests of Hawaii know how to respect the land and understand the potential danger the natural beauty of the islands can cause if not approached with safety in mind. To make the most of your trip while being mindful of the culture and environment, check out some helpful tips below!
Health & Safety during COVID Times
As of Oct. 15, 2020, all passengers age five and older who show proof of a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test from a State of Hawaii approved Trusted Testing Partner taken within 72 hours of boarding the last flight of their journey to Hawaii will not be subject to the State of Hawaii’s 10-day traveler quarantine rule. As well, please remember to always be a good visitor and adhere to mask and social distancing guidelines. For more information on traveling to Hawaii, visit Southwest.com.
Land Safety and Cultural Respect Tips
The state of Hawaii has a diverse environment that includes active volcanoes, white-sand beaches, expansive state and national parks, and more. There are actions you can take to keep both you and the environment safe during your visit to the islands. From spending a day sunbathing on the beach to hiking through a national park, dressing for the weather and activity is important! Land Safety Video
A central custom for the people of Hawaii and visitors is asking permission before entering a space. By hiking or exploring only public, established paths, you can show cultural respect and do your part to maintain the beauty of Hawaii. Follow the mantra, “take only photos, leave only footprints,” during your visit to respect the plants and animals that call Hawaii home. Culture Video
Ocean Safety Tips
Pictures can’t do justice to the beauty and majesty of the beaches of Hawaii. As entertaining as the beaches can be, it is important to acknowledge ocean conditions and remember to stay safe during your trip to the shore. Look out for potentially dangerous ocean conditions, like rip currents, shore breaks, and rocks. Pay attention to posted signs about ocean conditions and refrain from swimming or surfing on days when the water is unsafe. When you’re in the water swim with a partner or stay within eye-sight of a lifeguard. Ocean Safety Video
Take the Pledge
Your trip to Hawaii is sure to be a great one, full of beauty, relaxation, and fun. The small steps you take during your visit to the Aloha State can keep you and the environment safe. Before your trip to the state of Hawaii, Southwest encourages you to take the Pono Pledge to learn how to safely, responsibly, and respectfully enjoy the environment. Our efforts to respect the culture, environment, and people of Hawaii can mean the conservation of the natural beauty of the islands for generations to come.
**Videos shot prior to March 2020
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As you may recall, last week Southwest announced our initial four airports in the Hawaiian Islands: Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu (HNL), Kahului Airport on Maui (OGG), Lihue Airport on Kauai (LIH), and Ellison Onizuka International Airport on the leeward side of The Island of Hawaii (KOA). Today, we have more news about Southwest’s intended service plans for Hawaii.
The initial gateway cities that will offer nonstop service (pending required regulatory approvals) to Hawaii are:
Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC)
Oakland Metropolitan Airport (OAK)
Sacramento International Airport (SMF)
San Diego International Airport (SAN)
While we aren’t yet ready to share specific nonstop routes or other flight details, please know those details will be reflected in the flight schedule that would publish following our ETOPS authorization from the FAA to operate Hawaii service.
Southwest President Tom Nealon made these announcements this morning at a community meeting with Hawaiian tourism, civic, and government leaders. He shared Southwest’s eventual interisland flights would come following the initial ramp-up of operations across the state’s four principal airports.
“Our plan for Hawaii requires us to share these initial details now so that our facilities in the airports will be ready for all that we intend to offer,” Nealon told a gathering at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki.
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Today, Southwest Airlines announces our intent to serve Honolulu, HI (Oahu); Kahului, HI (Maui); Kona, HI (Island of Hawaii); Lihue, HI (Kauai). While we do not yet have details to share on exact dates or routes, they do represent our initial footprints and top priorities for the soonest service in the State of Hawaii. Fun fact: did you know each island has its own personality? Oahu can energize, Maui will captivate, Island of Hawaii inspires, and Kauai just might rejuvenate you. There’s so much beauty to discover on each of the destinations—which island are you the most excited to explore? Or, for those Hawaii regulars, which location is calling you back? Additional details will be coming soon, so continue to check back for announcements on mainland gateways, future schedules, and more! Mahalo!
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More than 350 children are getting a Christmas that many thought would never happen thanks to the kindness of Southwest Airlines, Love Field, and other airport tenants as they got a chance to be part of the first ever Wings Over Wishes event.
We recently hosted nearly 100 families at TOPS where the Runway Café was transformed into a scene straight out of a holiday movie. Kids and their families had a special opportunity to have breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus, dance to some fun Christmas music, playing games, and much more. But, what made this event so special was the incredible donations that helped make sure our Love Field neighbors were not forgotten this year.
Southwest, as well as the City of Dallas Department of Aviation, and various Love Field tenants donated thousands of dollars to buy Christmas gifts ensuring children received the Christmas they dreamed about. “Santa’s Workshop” was filled with every Christmas wish imaginable. From baby dolls and remote control cars to bicycles and skateboards, Employees across Dallas Love Field joined together to ensure families who would have otherwise gone without had a tree full of presents.
While the event took months of hard work and planning, it was truly an example of the magic that can happen when we all work together for a common cause. We know the holiday season is one of the times the Southwest Servant’s Heart shines the brightest so we’d love to hear your comments below with how your work group is impacting your local community by spreading holiday cheer.
Wings Over Wishes was made possible thanks to the Love Field Centennial Committee. This group, made up of tenants of Love Field, is counting down to our home airport’s 100th birthday. Every month until October 2017, the group will host an event helping the city celebrate the incredible benefit Love Field provides the City of Dallas and the region.
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Southwest is engaged in an exciting campaign to secure authority to provide nonstop service between several Florida cities and Cuba. We need YOUR help to make it happen!
On Wednesday, March 2, Southwest filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for approval to serve Cuba with nonstop flights from Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, and Tampa.
Our 45-year history of lowering average ticket prices and stimulating travel in the markets we enter speaks for itself, but we still need YOUR help to win approval for our flights. While we aren’t the only airline vying for these routes, we carry more Florida travelers every day than any other airline and we are the only low cost airline with nationwide reach and a coast-to-coast domestic network. With our high-frequency service to a total of 86 domestic cities across our network, we have the ability to provide numerous cities in our system with convenient, one-stop service to Cuba, all with the legendary Customer Service only Southwest can provide.
As part of the effort to bring low-fare competition and Customer-friendly travel options to Cuba, Southwest is asking Customers to take action and initiate their personal Countdown to Cuba by visiting Southwest.com/Cuba. The site provides additional information on our application and an opportunity to sign a petition in support of Southwest's proposed Cuba service.
Let the Countdown to Cuba begin!
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