Just in time for April Fools’ Day, it’s an exciting announcement from Southwest Airlines! From the People who brought you the television shows Airline and On the Fly, Southwest is proud to introduce Cash Lav, a thrilling inflight game show that is sure to get Customers and Employees on the edge of their seats, competing for cold hard cash.
Here’s how it flows: when the lavatory door is switched to “Occupied”—at random—the party lights come on and it’s time for one lucky contestant to get down to business. Our inflight host then reads each contestant as many trivia questions as possible while the seatbelt sign is turned off. Each question is worth $50. Get a question incorrect, and the contestant’s chances are flushed down the toilet (figuratively, of course), and the contestant’s gotta go.
Again, Happy April Fools’ Day and thanks for playing along!
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From Boston to Boise, you’ll be green with envy if you miss out on these ultimate St. Paddy’s Day celebrations held in various Southwest cities. Share your plans in the comments—and be safe out there.
Boston (BOS) – Boston reigns supreme as the country's most Irish-American city, with the highest percentage of people of Irish descent, according to findings from the U.S. Census Bureau. Roughly one million people, yes you read the correctly, flock to Beantown to take part in the annual parade. The city truly goes all out with an Irish film festival and a six-day concert series in addition to the parade fun.
Chicago (MDW) – The Windy City's annual dyeing of the Chicago River has become one of the world's most recognized St. Patrick's Day traditions. The annual ritual dates back to 1961 when Stephen Bailey, the manager of Chicago's local plumbers union, saw a plumber's white overalls stained the perfect shade of green while pouring dye into the river to detect sanitation leaks. After making this discovery, Bailey suggested using the dye for future St. Paddy's Day celebrations. Childhood friend and former Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley agreed, sparking an annual tradition that continues to this day. In fact, this practice is so celebrated that the city's river dye formula is a closely guarded secret. This year, the river was dyed on March 12, but you may see remnants of fluorescent green for days to come.
Kansas City (MCI) – Though North Kansas City's annual celebration goes by the name of Snake Saturday (in honor of an Irish legend about St. Patrick driving pagans, or snakes, out of Ireland), no snakes are involved. Instead, revelers participate in a variety of St. Patrick's Day activities, including a charity cook-off, a lad and lassie contest for kids, and a two-day carnival.
Shamrock, Texas (AMA) – A little over an hour from Amarillo, Shamrock plays host to the Official St. Patrick’s Celebration for Texas. Shamrock’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration was the idea of Glenn Truax, a Shamrock bandmaster. He envisioned the town of Shamrock capitalizing on its Irish name and producing an annual one-day celebration to draw thousands of visitors to the Irish City. With the help of the Shamrock Boosters Club, the first St. Patrick’s Day Festival was reeled off in successful fashion in 1938. Don’t miss this town’s Big Dance, Motorcycle Rally & Poker Run, Parade, Miss Irish Rose Pageant, and more!
Boise (BOI) – Ranked number 21 on WalletHub’s list of Best Cities for St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, Boise is not one to be overlooked. For those on a health kick, there’s Idaho’s Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Run/Walk, the Shamrock Shuffle. After the race, participants join the after-party to celebrate in style with a complimentary Sockeye green beer in a custom Shamrock Shuffle glass until the awards ceremony where you might find you’ve won an age group award ribbon to take home to show off!
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Southwest-- this story is a perfect example of the superior customer service you provide. As a loyal Southwest customer myself, I continue to be amazed by the time (rather than money) you put forth in supplying flyers with small and personal acts of kindness. All airlines should focus more on putting a smile on their customers' faces like you have obviously done for this boy's 14th birthday.
Georgiana Wright, anticipated graduation May 2017
Freeman School of Business/ Tulane University
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As a former brewmaster, Peter Hoey spent nearly 12 years learning to decipher which ingredients yield the right amount of froth. He honed his skills at Sacramento Brewing, as well as the iconic Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. (which is credited as one of the leaders of the craft beer revolution).
Whether he’s sourcing ingredients for his full-time gig at Brewers Supply Group or guest teaching “brewing science” at a local university, beer is infused throughout Peter’s life. Keeping up in the booming business of brewing isn’t easy, but Peter is thankful he can count on Southwest Airlines to get him everywhere he needs to be in order to succeed.
“The No. 1 reason I fly Southwest is the People,” he says. “Being in a social industry, I can tell immediately whether someone likes their job—Southwest Employees love what they do!”
Peter travels weekly from his home base of Sacramento, where he’s become good friends with some of the Crew Members on his regular routes—not uncommon for members of the Rapid Rewards frequent flier program. In addition to great Customer Service, the ability to easily redeem points and the flexibility to change his plans really comes in handy as he covers territory from Seattle to Santa Fe.
Peter finds many ways to redeem his points, both for business and pleasure. He recently treated his 7-year-old daughter to a trip to San Diego. “She wanted to go on an airplane like I do,” he says.
Peter, we appreciate the love you’ve shown us. We’re happy to help you keep the “crafty” beverages on tap!
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From Seattle to Salem, Southwest Employees shared their favorite spooky destinations to visit on All Hallows’ Eve.
Underground Streets of Seattle (SEA)—The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 burned the city to the ground. The townspeople rebuilt the streets one story higher than the old, making hidden hallow tunnels and passageways that played host to a red light district of mischief. A portion of the underground city had been restored for you to tour.
–Jennifer Lemón, Customer Service Specialist, Customer Support & Services
Alcatraz on San Francisco Bay (SFO, OAK, SJC, SMF)—Alcatraz, on San Francisco Bay, offers night tours for visitors looking to make an evening of stepping back in history. Experience the place that some of America’s most notorious criminals once called home and keep an eye out for the occasional reported ghost sightings. Alcatraz Cruises call it “An inescapable experience,” so enter at your own risk! –Hollye Gaman, Specialist, Culture & Communications
Superstition Mountains of Phoenix (PHX)—Whether it’s the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine or the perilous cliff faces, there’s a rich history behind the beautiful Superstition Mountains in the East Valley of the Phoenix Metro area. A short 30-mile drive from the airport will get you not only some gorgeous scenery but a sight that might send shivers down your spine. The Red Cliffs of Sedona may get a lot of the mystical credit in Arizona, but it’s the Superstition Mountains that have always caught my eye as far as that feeling that you may not be alone. The Mountains have had numerous reports of missing people, plane crashes, and even mysterious lights that keep people coming back for more. Largely unexplored and very dangerous, they are draped in an eerie energy that keeps me in awe of the majesty of this landmark.
–David Weck, Center Operations Associate, Customer Support & Services
The Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City (OKC)—The Skirvin Hotel is a beautiful hotel located in downtown Oklahoma City. It is located in Bricktown, close to restaurants, shopping, and the Chesapeake Center, where the Oklahoma City Thunder play. It was built in 1910, closed in 1988, and after renovation was reopened in 2007. The legend is that the ghost of Effie, Mr. Skirvin's mistress, haunts the 10th floor. It has been reported as haunted by four NBA teams, and most recently, an ESPN commentator. The teams reported trouble sleeping because of slamming doors, moving objects, and a baby crying. Maybe the ghosts are just Thunder fans!
–Krista Crow, Customer Representative, Customer Support & Services
Spirits of Charleston (CHS)—Considered America's Holy City, Charleston, SC, boasts a spectacularly spooky, storied past. This SWA destination is home to the spirits of America's first female serial killer, Lavinia Fisher; Revolutionary- and Civil War-era soldiers; notorious "Gentleman Pirate, Stede Bonnet, who was brought to justice on Charleston's White Point; and even the pup, Poogan, is said to brush against the legs of guests enjoying dinner in his former home, Poogan’s Porch.
–Virginia Anne Ivey, Project Manager, Marketing Sales & Distribution
Caddo Lake (DAL)—Two and a half hours east of Dallas Love Field lies the beautiful town of Jefferson, which is next to the headwaters of Caddo Lake (the only natural lake in Texas)—and it’s haunted. Many spirits wander through the in-town hotels and the bed-and-breakfasts (I’ve heard them!), including the ghost of “Diamond Bessie,” who was a 1870s flamboyant lady of ill repute who was murdered. Ghost walk tours are offered, but a sunrise walk through the East Texas mist to see Diamond Bessie’s grave marker in the main cemetery is certain to make your hair stand on end.
–Bill Owen, Senior Business Consultant, Network Planning
Stranahan House of Fort Lauderdale (FLL)—Built in 1901, the Stranahan House is the oldest standing building in Fort Lauderdale. Built by Frank Stranahan, who was Fort Lauderdale’s first postmaster, the home has long been known for its creepy, haunted vibe. It’s now run as a museum. Reports of Frank’s ghost haunting the home surfaced after his death. One report says a clock that had not worked began ticking and chiming on its own a week after his death. It is in a beautiful part of town—visit if you dare!
–Ally Harrington, CSA Supervisor, Ground Ops
Salem (BOS)—Roughly 40 minutes outside of Boston is the home of the Salem witch trials: the hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts in 1692. The trials resulted in the executions of 20 people, most of them women. Visitors to the Salem Witch Trial Museum experience the drama of that dark time though 13 life-size stage sets, figures, lighting, and a stirring narration as they are witness to the web of lies and intrigue of the Salem Witch Hunt. You can even see if you’re a descendant of one of the accused—I found out I was related to John Proctor, a farmer and tavern keeper who was hanged for witchcraft.
–Sydney Leonard, Editorial Communication Specialist, Culture & Communications
Share your favorite haunted hangouts in the comments. And remember to have a safe and fun Halloween weekend!
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You could watch your hometown’s fireworks this Fourth of July... or you could take advantage of the incredible fanfare at one of these Independence Day celebrations.
Lights on the Lake
Touted as the biggest fireworks display in Southern California. Watch the show from Big Bear Lake’s public parks or from a boat! Make sure to bring a blanket—it can get chilly! Fly into: LAX, OAK, SMF.
Philadelphia proudly presents America's largest free outdoor concert in celebration of Independence Day. On your way to the show, check out the six-story tall rubber duck at The Delaware River Waterfront… because it will quack you up! Fly into: PHL.
A Night in NOLA
This free event features two barges launching dueling fireworks on the Mississippi River—the best display in New Orleans. Of course, the show is choreographed to stirring patriotic classics such as “Proud to be an American!” Fly into: MSY.
Freedom Over Texas
Houston hosts the country's largest land-based fireworks show. This event is truly “Texas-sized,” boasting well-known musical acts and lots of family fun. Fly into: HOU.
Share your favorite places to watch fireworks in the comments. And remember to have a safe and fun Independence Day weekend!
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“You should work for an airline!” That’s what Diane Fajardo’s mother always told her. But it didn’t become a possibility until 2007, when Diane received an invitation to interview with Southwest Airlines. The only problem? Diane hadn’t applied for a job at Southwest.
It turns out Diane’s sister had submitted an application on her behalf without her knowledge. “I think she just saw my heart and knew the position would be the perfect fit for me,” Diane says. “I immediately quit my job as an accountant and never looked back.”
Diane has jumped at every opportunity given to her at Southwest, including moving to Atlanta for two months to serve as a Class Coordinator at the Company’s newest Customer Support and Services Center. Her LUV of Southwest and her peers was plain to see, which is why she was nominated to be Our Star.
Even in her spare time, Diane enjoys the company of her Coworkers, often playing tour guide to those who invite her along on their vacations. “I love traveling,” she says. “Los Angeles and New York City are my favorites.” Diane is a pro at the planning and strategy needed to travel standby successfully. (Southwest Employees can fly for free on any flight if there is a seat available.)
But she doesn’t just use her flight benefits for fun: She’s also used them to help the person who first supported her career choice. A few years ago, Diane’s mother, Della, began experiencing neurological difficulties. “We tried every specialist in Albuquerque. No one could help her,” Diane says. The family finally turned to Phoenix’s Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, where Della was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Diane’s flight privileges let her and Della travel to and from the clinic whenever they needed.
After finding out she would be featured in this month’s issue, Diane’s only request was for a few extra copies for her mom to take to friends at Bible study. We’re more than happy to oblige and help celebrate you, Diane!
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