Thanks, Brian, for another "blast from the past" in Southwest's history...
One lesser known aspect of the start of ABQ operations (as well as our starting service to OKC and TUL) is that for the first time, Southwest took simultaneous delivery of *three* new 737-2H4 aircraft on 3/27/1980. The aircraft were:
N62SW 2H4(A) 22060/638
N63SW 2H4(A) 22061/639
N64SW 2H4(A) 22062/640
Employees were given the opportunity to get to SEA on their own (on other airlines, since this was long before Southwest would have SEA service), and if they could, they could ride back to DAL. I was lucky enough to be one that made it up there, and the Boeing folks were the usual gracious hosts, and we also got tours of the plant at Renton where the 737s are assembled.
When it was time to depart, two aircraft operated BFI-DAL (with everyone on one of the aircraft), and the third aircraft operated BFI-ABQ (so our new personnel at ABQ could get some practice handling the aircraft, before it later ferried ABQ-DAL). A couple of days later, we started out new ABQ, OKC, and TUL service.
N62SW, N63SW, and N64SW have long since been retired, but many of us "remember when they were new..." 😉
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Wow, what a blast from the past these photos are...
They were undoubtedly taken on a weekend, given the multitude of "spare" aircraft and the lack of cars in that parking lot that's sans garage.
Fuel trucks were indeed still in use, and the underground hydrant system was still installed, but not used since all the other airlines had headed to DFW. If memory serves, the entire system was refurbished and put back into use in the late-1980s or early-1990s.
I don't recall the two KC-135s still being there when I returned to SWA ijn May of 1982, but where they're sitting became an employee parking lot that was much coveted by dispatchers, crew schedulers, and pilots since our offices (and the crew room) were all in that section of the former terminal building closest to the KC-135 in the foreground. Going outward from the terminal, I recall that Jet East had some offices out at the very end. There was a door in the then Dispatch office that led down a flight of stairs (to ground level), and the entire concourse between Dispatch and Jet East was later filled with aircraft catering equipment and supplies from the original Braniff, which folded in 1982.
One minor correction: The Legend terminal didn't replace the 94th Aero Squadron site, but the Signature fixed base operator (FBO) did, and it's still there today. I know this for sure due to the embarassing late-1970s memory of my having shown up with a Valentines date there at the 94th, only to find that they had no reservation for us. It turns out I was supposed to be at Richthofen's, *another* Dallas Love restaurant with a WWI-theme, that was on the ground level underneath where "Howdy's" would eventually be. As evidenced by my having problems finding Richthofen's, so too did many others, and even with a mock-up bi-plane parked outside on the ramp, the place didn't last long. It eventually became the first site for the SWA Credit Union.
Great photos.... 😉
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Indeed, it was OO-TEM...
As far as the young lass, she looks familar and I think she might have been at HOU. The jetways look "Hobby-ish" compared with the ones at DAL. I'll show the photo to my fellow dispatchers who also are former Hobbyites, and let you know.
I think I have pix of EI-BEE and EI-ASH around somewhere, but I'll have to search..
How about something on the "Three Little Pigs?" 😉
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I'm wondering if that last picture you're curious about might be the old Piper office in the process of being converted into the offices for the Airport Police? I recall their having been there for quite awhile after the Piper office was gone.
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After reading all the comments here on this blog (and a few others), I've come to a few conclusions:
1. Southwest and Frontier must cumulatively have 34,672 senior-level executives on their respective payrolls---that seems to be about the number of people who *think* they have have all the inside facts, details, and plans as to how everything will end up.
2. If not that, the good folks over at Holiday Inn Express must be raking it in from all the apparent "experts" that are staying there.
3. Industries change. One can lament about the loss of the "Good Old Days", and how Frontier v1.0 was great, and Frontier v2.0 *is* great, and how we all miss Doctors making house calls and full-service gas stations, but it's all wasted energy and effort. In the biz world, it's adapt or cease to exist, and while adaptation is never easy or complete problem-free or stress-free, it's largely what one makes of it. Playing the hand you're dealt as best you can is not very likely to occur if once can't seem to get beyond the initial bitching/blaming stage.
4. The emotional and negative flailing of some here with worst-case pre-dispositions on things is counterproductive. Despite misinformation out there, there are *plenty* of folks that used to work for Muse/Transtar, and Morris Air out there that went on to work at SWA, with many still there. Did SWA take *everybody* along? Of course not, but given *some* of the folks whose comments reflect the intellect and emotional bent of a rabid Rhino, it shouldn't be all that much of a surprise that SWA *wouldn't* want *everyone*, just the rational ones.
The cat's only been out of the bag on the potential acquisition for a little over 24 hours now, and I think many people could return their blood pressures to healthy levels by just keeping calm, and keeping things in perspective until such time that more-detailed info becomes available in the next few weeks.
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>>>AND GIVEN MY EXPERIENCE AS A FLIGHT ATTENDANCE FOR A MAJOR LEGACY CARRIER, THAT WILL BE VERY, VERY SOON
Your post might have had more credibility if that "major legacy carrier" had ensured that you knew how to spell the name of your very own position.. 😉 Geez....
Can somebody turn the "troll filter" on please...
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Amen to the personal responsibility suggestion! If someone is so allergy sensitive that they have to be worried about the airline (any airline) providing them with an Epi-pen, they damn sure ought to be carrying one around for themselves.
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>>>Our stock hit the single digit mark today. 9 bucks. Keep announcing code-shares!
More disingenous information, as if the $9 LUV price was a direct result of the codeshare news. It's funny, but the AP story I'm looking at opens with:
"NEW YORK – A disheartened Wall Street fell for the third straight session Wednesday as investors absorbed another series of dismal corporate reports **and news that the government won't buy banks' soured mortgage assets after all.**" [My **]
As I said earlier, I fully understand the frustration that the pilot contract negotiations have run 2 years, and also that your 401K and PS accounts have taken hits (Our have too, you know), and that the pilot group feels the need to do "something" rather than sit idly by and watch flat 2009 growth. Did it ever occur to anyone that another reason (unmentioned by SWA) for the codeshare might be to retain operational flexibility on the domestic side should, say the new DL/NW combo decide to close or drawdown hubs at MEM or CVG, ala' the way USAirways gutted PIT? Maybe another carrier shutting down? Have any of the armchair CEOs here considered these (or other) possibilities?
As many of you may know, Circuit City recently announced the closure of 100+ stores, and a couple of days later filed for Chapter 11 bancruptcy. Meanwhile, their arch rival Best Buy continues to do well. The Consumerist.com got a copy of an email from Best Buy's head dudes to all their employees, and although it's a different industry, there are obvious lessons here that are just as applicable to SWA. Circuit City made some bonehead moves over the years, while Best Buy didn't. I think everyone can agree that SWA management has made similar good moves that have kept us out of the situations that most airlines find themselves in. What SWA folks need to be doing (ALL of us) is focusing on the Customer, instead of this "The Sky Is Falling" and "SWA is doomed" crap, and let management do their jobs while each employee does theirs (and nobody else's).
The Best Buy memo:
Best Buy says:
A Message from Brad Anderson, Brian Dunn and Bob Willett
To all employees:
This morning, we announced that we've seen a sudden change in consumer spending, in our comparable store sales, and in our expectations for this year's earnings. We'd like to provide more context around these changes and their impact on our business.
The year started off well, with total company comparable store sales (sales at stores open more than 14 months) growing 4 percent for the first half of our fiscal year, a period that runs March through August. Our results were fairly consistent until September, when our comparable store sales turned negative, declining by 1 percent. Then our comparable store sales softened further in October, declining by nearly 8 percent, amid unprecedented changes in the financial markets, a deteriorating economy and weakening consumer sentiment. From where we stand today, we could see total company comparable store sales for the rest of the fiscal year decline by 5 percent to 15 percent.
Revenue gains are important to our business model because the majority of our costs ─ such as rent and store operating costs ─ are fixed. Typically, when comparable store sales increase by 3 percent or better, revenue growth outstrips expense growth (including merit increases, rising health care costs and the like), and our earnings rise. Currently, due to comparable store sales declines as well as spending increases, we have expenses rising faster than revenue. That's why we're now anticipating an earnings decrease for the year.
Specifically, today we also announced a new range for our earnings expectations: $2.30 to $2.90 per diluted share. The midpoint of our range is a 17-percent earnings decline compared with the $3.12 per share we earned last fiscal year.
Let us be very clear. These reduced earnings expectations reflect the unprecedented tumult in the financial services industry, which has reduced consumer spending across the board in retail. The outstanding work of our 165,000 employees doesn't make us immune to our environment. We can't change the overall level of consumer spending, but we can focus on deepening our relationships with customers wherever we interact with them: in our stores, on our Web sites and through our call centers.
While our comps have been negative, we gained market share in September and October. So we're getting a bigger piece of a business that is currently shrinking. Customer satisfaction remains at all-time highs. Employee turnover is at historic lows. We firmly believe that our strategy of customer centricity is of great value in driving our performance versus the industry, and that's the strategy we plan to pursue to continue to strengthen our position in the marketplace.
We must find ways to win with the customers who are coming to us today. Serving our customers better than anyone else is the best way to create value for customers, employees and shareholders alike. We need every employee engaged in serving customers better, and more efficiently. We want your unique perspective on what we should do differently in this market, based on what you see and touch, and using the talents you have.
**We could let today's turmoil distract us from serving customers. Other retailers might do that. But we will not. Instead, we will use these circumstances to redouble our efforts and deepen our commitment to each other, to our company, to our strategy and to the customers we serve. In so doing, we will strengthen and fortify ourselves as a team. A winning team. That's who we are, and that's Best Buy.**
Brad Anderson, vice chairman and chief executive officer
Brian Dunn, president and chief operating officer
Bob Willett, chief executive officer of International and chief information officer
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>>>Any of you koolaid drinking employees care to explain how Westjet and Volaris can make oodles of money and grow double digit proportions doing the cross boarder thing yet according to Gary we cannot? I didn't think so...
You didn't think hard enough. Westjet and Volaris haven't been around all that long (especially Volaris) so do you suppose that their *not* having 20+ year employees on the payroll (with their higher wage rates) just might have something to do with their overall cost structure?
Look, I can understand the fact that pilot contract negotiations have been going on for 2 years and that many are frustrated because of it (I would be too), but the spaming of this board (and others) with what amounts to be electronic informational picketing rhetoric might feel good as a venting mechanism, but it's counterproductive in many ways.
I'd submit that Gary Kelly et. al. know what they're doing, and have facts, figures, and other information (that rank-and-file employees do not) on which to predicate decisions upon. Am I a Kool-aid drinker? Hardly---I'm not at all shy about voicing contrarian opinions, but I'm also not dellusional in thinking that I'm the guy charged with the responsibility of running the Company. Overnighting at a Holiday In Express qualify anyone either.
(..and no, I'm not in management, I'm a union member just like most SWA employees.)
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>>>Somebody should send a transcript of this blog to Wall Street and the press, so they know how we really feel about this crap!
Brilliant idea. Notwithstanding the fact that the relative handful of negative comments here do not automatically translate into being the opinions of 30,000 employees, the media will assume they do and report that. When the stock declines due to reports of "labor discord", everyone here will act surprised, and blame that decline on Gary too....
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>>>So because they are leased they must not provided a job for you in the GO
Has nothing to do with it. The poster I was responding to linked the retired -300 now sitting on the MX ramp to the supposed job losses that will supposedly result from the latest international codeshare (which, BTW, won't start until at least 2010), and the linkage is flawed--one has nothing to do with the other, which your very own next question confirms:
>>>What has Gary said our net growth might be next year? That's right 0%. So instead of taking our new deliveries and extending the leases on the -300 providing jobs for many people, we are going to return aircraft and grow our route structure through different companies.
I assume that you know how to read a calendar, but if not, that net 0% growth is for next year, 2009 (due to the economy) and not the year after, 2010, when the codeshare starts.
It amazes me how some of you folks can't help but keep comparing apples to oranges, and then wondering why folks disagree with your conclusions, and then have resort to name-calling with those who do disagree.
As I've stated before, I think international code sharing is a smart, cost-effective way for SWA to mitigate the cost risk compared with flying our own metal to these places from Day-1. Codesharing agreements aren't eternal, they can (and do) lapse/expire. That said, if the really wild rumor about Republic taking over some existing domestic short-haul flying ala' what happened at Midwest Express actually does end up coming true, that's a completely different kettle of fish, and I'm right there with you. (Personally, I doubt that rumor will happen). Unlike the angry mobs with pitchforks and burning torches that seem to be ready to storm the castle based on rumors, misinformation, misconceptions, emotions, and fear, I'll wait to see adverse actions have actually taken before I react.
Oh yeah, Gary Kelly indeed isn't Herb, but isn't that the epitome of being a tough act to follow? He's got my support, and why the 5-10 year plan (whatever it is) isn't common knowledge to all employees should be able to be figured out by anyone with a bit of common sense.
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>>>For those of you who work in DAL, just look at the aircraft with the white painted over the tail. Those are airplanes that we are getting rid of while announcing that we are going to us a different company to do flying WE could do. Those airplanes equal JOBS.
That's one of several leased -300s SWA are being returned to their lessors. With new -700s arriving, the net fleet growth is flat. All of this has been in response to slowing economy, and has been openly and previously dicussed, and you'll note that there haven't been any layoffs.
If you're going to cite facts, how about doing so in the proper context instead of the disingenuous way that you have?
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After wading through 100+ post’s worth of the same apparent union talking points trashing the codeshare, it’s clear that most of the people protesting here don’t have a solid grasp of the realities of today’s airline environment.
To be sure, SWA could operate its own metal to Canadian and Mexican destinations, but as with most choices, there are pros and cons. International ops are not the same as domestic ops, and anyone who truly knows anything about SWA history knows that our operations are predicated open the ability to efficiently turn aircraft around, which is something that international ops are not especially conducive to.
The fear-mongering claims of out-sourcing aside, the desire by employees to “grow” the airline to international destinations with SWA metal and personnel is understandable, but there is a time and a place for everything. There are still plenty of domestic destinations and routes as yet unserved that provide that advancement path for personnel, so it’s not an either/or situation with respect to international ops. If anything, the Westjet/Volaris codesharing is actually risk-sharing, and also allows for the concurrent development of both international and domestic markets, presuming that the economy doesn’t tank any further and recovers. As we saw with the two previous codeshares, they’re not forever, and when it’s deemed to be in SWA’s best corporate interest to serve international destinations ourselves, we undoubtedly will. Until then, codesharing is a viable option.
Perhaps all the armchair CEOs posting here could focus their efforts on doing their own jobs and serving the Customers, and leave the executive decisions of the airline to Gary Kelly (and it boggles me that some here can’t even spell his name correctly) and our other leaders.
Call me a mindless drone or Kool-aid drinker if you must to make yourself feel better, but doing so doesn’t change the underlying fundamentals of the economy and industry today, nor how SWA must deal with them.
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After just over one week's worth of construction, so far it appears the more likely days for traffic-related congestion and ATC delays are Fridays and Sundays. The overall traffic count (of all aircraft) increases due to weekend trips to/from Las Vegas by non-airline aircraft, even though some of this traffic eschewing LAS in favor of airports in North Las Vegas and Henderson.
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As one of the folks at Southwest Dispatch, thanks for penning such a detailed and accurate description of the process. The media and movies have promulgated so many erroneous myths over the years (and "Diehard-2" about takes the cake) about this process and others, that it's important for passengers to see the true story, and to know (with absolute certainty) that pilots and dispatchers are working as a team to enure flight safety, just as all employees are.
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