Take yourself back to 1985. You might remember the popular movie Back to the Future or the song “Careless Whisper.” Sr. Systems Engineer, Larry Worley, remembers what it was like to work in the Technical Services Department at Southwest Airlines in 1985. Having started his career with Southwest in 1976, Larry worked as an Aircraft Cleaner, Stock Clerk, Maintenance Coordinator, and a Technical Librarian before transitioning to the Engineering Department (then called Technical Services). At the time, the Team consisted of eight Employees including two Technical Writers who were responsible for typing up the procedures on the Team’s typewriters. That’s right, typewriters. Twenty-six years later, Larry is still in the Engineering Department. The Team is now made up of 79 Employees. The Engineering Department is just one part of the backbone that makes up the Maintenance & Engineering Department. With 16 Maintenance Locations around our system, these Southwest Warriors help maintain Safety, provide exceptional Customer Service to our Employees, and implement innovative enhancements to our aircraft to not only ensure our Customers’ flight experience is enjoyable, but our hard-working Employees, too. If you’re working a Southwest Airlines flight or you’ve flown us recently, you might notice these enhancements: For our Southwest Customers: Sitting by the window seat behind the Emergency Exit Row? If you think you’ve given up your tray table for more leg room, you might be wrong! In some aircraft, tray tables are located in the armrest! Hoping your child can maintain a clean diaper throughout the ENTIRE flight? If you’re not so lucky, don’t fret yet. After evaluating the size and space in our lavatories, our Engineers designed a changing table in the forward lavatory. The next time the seat belt sign is off and you need to change a diaper, head to the forward lavatory, if it’s available. Unexpected turbulence is never fun, especially if you are using the restroom! To prevent a major startling if the toilet seat falls down, our Engineers installed magnets in the lid to keep them up and out of the way. Who LUVs more room to stretch your legs? Our Maintenance & Engineering Team has restructured the cabin to provide more room between rows to give our Passengers additional space for carryon items, pet carriers, and leg room! For our Pilots: You might notice the tailored cup holders. Southwest Engineers designed larger cup holders that allow more beverage shapes and sizes, providing better retention. Even if you don’t have the Captain hat on—you know how frustrating it can be to order that refreshing drink through the drive thru, only to learn that cup won’t fit in your car’s cup holder. For our Flight Attendants: Do I have anything in my teeth? Check it out for yourself in the mirrors that hang strategically in the aircraft cabin so Flight Attendants can take a quick glance in it before leaving the galley. While you’re enjoying our Legendary Southwest hospitality while onboard, be sure to order one of our complimentary beverages like coffee, soda, and water, or splurge and enjoy an adult beverage. Our Maintenance folks have helped make our Inflight service even better by installing galley clips that hold drink orders to help our Flight Attendants provide our quick and efficient Inflight service. Whether you’re a Southwest Employee or Customer flying Southwest, as we always say, we invite you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight. We also hope you enjoy these enhancements the next time you fly on a LUV jet—brought to you by our hard-working Maintenance & Engineering Employees!
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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans throw away 25 percent more trash during the holidays, which amounts to 25 million tons of garbage! With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season slowing down, it’s a great time to start thinking about reusing and recycling your holiday decorations.
Before throwing away your holiday items, try this:
Approximately 33 million live Christmas trees are sold in North America every year. Did you know that Christmas trees are biodegradable and can be easily reused or recycled for mulch and other purposes? Before sending your Christmas tree to the landfill, check with your local community to find out if you can donate your tree. Too many bags, ribbons, and bows? Save your gift bags and use them next year. If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire Planet. Clip holiday cards to make gift tags for next year, or jot down your favorite recipe on the back, to include with a hostess gift. Before throwing away food from holiday festivities, put leftovers in reusable containers to share with family, friends, or the local food bank.
Let us know your ideas for reusing and recycling this holiday by commenting below. DING! You are now free to be Green.
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Dean Martin’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” might be a popular holiday song in some states; unfortunately for the majority of the U.S., it’s a reality. During the holidays, heating costs can become overwhelming. Don’t get stuck in the cold! Here are some energy efficient tips to stay warm while saving money!
Get rid of electric blankets—try using a Micro Plush or Micro Fleece. Prices range from $15 to $50 and can be purchased at stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond or Kmart. Don’t let any unwanted cold air in—make sure windows and doors are insulated. Find out more information on the Energy Star’s Do It Yourself guide. Keep your thermostat low; when extra heat is needed, use an eco-friendly space heater like Honeywell’s Digital Silent Comfort Heater. It’s eco-friendly and quiet, so you don’t have to worry about your heater competing for a voice in your living room conversation. Program your thermostat with your furnace to adjust the setting while you sleep or no one is home. According to energysavers.gov, you can save as much as 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills by simply turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 percent for eight hours. Keep your coffee and hot cocoa warm in a in a toxin-free mug. Look for “BPA-free” (free of harmful toxins) travel mugs at places like REI for about $20.
Let us know how you’re using your green filter to stay warm this winter by commenting below. DING! You are now free to be green!
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Every year, the DAL Maintenance Hangar turns into a child’s dream for the children and grandchildren of Maintenance & Engineering. Inflatable bounce houses, pony rides, crafts, and Santa’s workshop fill the hangar to provide hours of FUN and entertainment for the children. Once the party is underway, Santa arrives on a Boeing 737 direct from the North Pole. And, Mrs. Claus and Santa even listen to each child’s wish list. To incorporate our Southwest Spirit, Maintenance & Engineering decided to spruce up this year’s party. After learning about the children’s party that our Maintenance friends in Phoenix host, we decided to follow in their footsteps. Every year, Phoenix asks that each child brings one new unwrapped gift that can be donated to Toys for Tots, a nonprofit organization that distributes toys as Christmas gifts to needy children in local communities. Instead of having a registration fee and providing toys to our children, we thought the Phoenix Maintenance Employees had a great idea and that it would be a way to give back and have FUN. That is exactly what happened. As the party concluded, the children left with sugar-filled bellies, goodie bags that included holiday activities, and the memory that they donated a gift to someone in need. Our Maintenance & Engineering Department donated five oversized boxes full of new gifts for Toys for Tots. During that time our Maintenance Hangar is not only filled with tools and Mechanics, but also is filled with the Spirit of Southwest and Santa.
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