“This Company hiring me (which is a lifelong dream to work with airplanes) has not only turned my life around, but it has inspired me, and I am honestly blessed every day that I come to work for Southwest Airlines. I will ALWAYS go above and beyond for this Company or for any one of my Coworkers just as this Company took me into its Family." For me, submitting the above pledge during this year’s Message to the Field season simply made sense. I applied to Southwest eight years in a row until I finally received that phone call telling me “Welcome to Southwest,” and I haven’t looked back since. If you take care of this Company, it will take care of you—all of my gratitude of finally being a part of the Southwest Family poured into that pledge, which in return gave me the opportunity to take the trip of a lifetime to Seattle to bring back one of our brand new Boeing 737-800s. Along for the ride were seven other randomly chosen pledge winners and the winners from the 40 Hours for 40 Years Contest who gave back to their communities by volunteering more than 4,700 hours. From a dinner cruise hosted by Boeing to exploring the many things that Seattle has to offer like the famous Pike’s Market, the very first Starbucks Coffee Shop, and the Space Needle, this trip was amazing and one I will never forget. It was also so wonderful to meet other Southwest and Boeing Employees—many who turned from strangers into friends. One of the highlights for me was a tour of the Boeing factory. As a Maintenance Employee in Chicago, seeing the step-by-step assembly line process and how the Boeing factory operates was a real treat. Of course, the main highlight was the opportunity to go pick up our brand new 737-800. As I was introduced to our newest Red Belly and we prepared for takeoff, I had the chills knowing that I was living in a moment I might never get the chance to experience again. With the cockpit door open, we were able to watch the takeoff from the Pilot’s view. When I saw Community Relations & Giving Employee Michele K. who was sitting next to me burst into tears, seeing her emotion made me realize just how hard her Team worked to make this trip happen for the pledge and 40 Hours for 40 Years winners. Before we knew it, we were in Dallas, and that new -800 was going to start flying its first revenue flight not even two hours later! This experience gave me yet another reason why I LUV working for Southwest and will always go above and beyond for this Company. Here’s a big thanks to EVERYONE who made this trip possible, and, of course, a shout out to the flight crew for keeping us laughing and entertained with their humor and LUV for the job! I know this is a trip that I and many others will never forget.
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