The Thanksgiving travel week is now officially behind us, and we want to take a moment to thank every Customer who chose Southwest Airlines for their holiday travel. We always take great pride in delivering our legendary Southwest Hospitality; however, we especially enjoy delivering upon our promise to Customers during the holidays when so many are traveling to see family and loved ones.
I am very proud of the Southwest Team for working together to deliver outstanding operational performance to our Customers this Thanksgiving season. From Monday, November 22 through Sunday, November 28:
We welcomed over 2 million Customers onboard Southwest aircraft last week, and it was a pleasure for us to see so many individuals and families choosing to travel this year.
We operated more than 23,500 flights, completing more than 99.9% of our scheduled flights, with only 12 cancellations the entire holiday week.
Our DOT on-time performance rate for the week was a solid 88.3%— demonstrating the Southwest Team’s focus on transporting our Customers safely and reliably to and from their Thanksgiving destinations as scheduled.
The entire Southwest Team appreciated the opportunity to serve those traveling with us over the Thanksgiving period. If you weren’t flying with us last week, we certainly look forward to welcoming you onboard your next flight with Southwest—especially during this special time of year.
On behalf of all of us, thanks for your continued support of Southwest Airlines.
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This week, Southwest Airlines began operating domestic charter flights for the Department of Defense to transport evacuees arriving into the United States from Afghanistan. We are proud to support our military’s critical humanitarian airlift mission, and we are grateful to our Employees for demonstrating an eagerness to help, once again displaying their true Southwest Heart.
We are operating each of these flights with the utmost levels of Safety, while ensuring we offer the evacuees the compassion and care they need. We do not anticipate any disruptions to our normal operations from these domestic charter flight operations, and we appreciate our Customers’ and Employees’ support of these efforts.
As always, the Southwest Team is honored to serve when needed, especially as we assist our military with this important humanitarian effort.
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We know many have experienced disruptions to travel plans and that Customer Service wait times are higher than usual. If your plans were affected, please visit https://swa.is/ChangeFlight to explore self-service solutions.
We have heard from many of you who are frustrated with our flight schedule reliability and irregular operations. And we owe you a better understanding of what’s causing these disruptions and how we are working through them to offer you a better product. We’ve been experiencing relentless summer storms across many parts of our country, including some of our busier airports, which has introduced a greater amount of delay than we traditionally see this time of year. This has impacted the entire airline industry.
Once our schedule is disrupted with irregular operations, we move quickly to recover our service and get Customers to their destinations. As we continue rebuilding our network to pre-pandemic levels, we currently have fewer frequencies between cities than in previous summer schedules. With fewer flight options between cities and high load factors, it’s more difficult to reschedule Customers and to reposition Crews when things don’t go as planned.
We were prepared for an increase in travel demand for the summer; however, irregular operations can disrupt even the best-laid plans. We have Teams across our organization working together with a continuous focus on serving you and our People. Here are some of the steps we are taking to improve your travel experience:
Our Network Operations Control (NOC) is closely monitoring our operations 24/7. The Team is focused on being as proactive as possible when we are forced to adjust our flight schedule based on weather or other conditions that might impact travel, so Customers have time to make alternate travel plans.
Our in-house Meteorology Team, which resides within the NOC, continues to provide real-time weather updates to help us proactively navigate any revisions to our service and allow us to get information to our Customers as quickly as possible.
Our Tech Ops Team is laser-focused on safely and efficiently making every possible aircraft available so we have extra aircraft that can help us recover our flight schedule.
We’ve updated our Customer communication to emphasize the importance of arriving at the airport early during this busy travel time.
We want you to have as much confidence in your travel plans as we can possibly give you, and we are working to ensure we deliver the experience you expect from Southwest. Thank you, once again, to our Customers and to our Southwest Employees, as we take to the sky this holiday weekend to celebrate Independence Day together. We are committed to continuing to keep everyone informed on specific actions we’re taking to make sure we get you to your travel destinations this summer.
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It’s a point of pride at Southwest Airlines that for nearly five decades, we’ve democratized the skies, making air travel affordable and not nickel and diming our Customers. Today, we’re democratizing the skies in a new way—launching an exciting career program called Destination 225° , which provides pathways to becoming a competitively qualified candidate for future Southwest First Officer positions. On a compass rose, 225° is the southwest directional heading; therefore, Destination 225° was developed to lead aspiring pilots to Southwest. Could that be you?
Destination 225° provides several pathways designed to meet future pilots where they are and create opportunities to take them to the right seat of a Southwest aircraft. We’re bringing qualified Pilots to Southwest directly, in lieu of routing candidates through regional carriers. Our program is designed to develop highly talented pilots with the experience and competency-based training necessary to be successful as a First Officer, and providing a direct path to a Southwest jet.
Be sure to ask that friend or family member (or is it you?!) who’s always had their head in the clouds: “Where is your navigation leading you?”
For more information, please visit https://careers.southwestair.com/D225.
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