At Southwest Airlines, we think flying should be fun—and we’re glad these first-time flyers thought so too! Whether in the cockpit aspiring to be a Pilot or in the cabin just along for the ride, our younger Passengers’ excitement and curiosity is what inspires us every day.
Read more to see stories of our younger Customers’ memorable first flights!
I just wanted to share some positive feedback about the amount of LUV that is felt from Southwest, even for its youngest Passengers. My four-year-old son truly enjoyed his experience on our flight from BWI to RDU. He smiled as the Flight Attendants welcomed him onto the plane, making him feel like a “big boy.” He was so excited to sit in the cockpit, and the Pilot talked to him about studying hard so that one day he can become a Pilot himself. Every time my son sees a plane in the sky he asks, “Is that the one I was ‘flying?’”—as if he was the Pilot that day. I respond, "Yes. Do as the Pilot told you about school, and one day that will be you navigating the airplane!” —Angie Martin Cauley
My Son’s First Flight
Oh, the innocence of curiosity! My son is two and a half years old and had never flown. He was so curious and excited to know about everything flying entailed.
In life, I often I find myself moving so fast I forget to stop and see the beauty in things. This little guy just really makes me pause and stay in awe of life! —Tanya Lewis
A recent family trip to ATL was my four-year-old son’s first flight. Cecil Jr., “Deuce” for short, had always wanted to come along on one of Dad's business trips to ride in the plane. Deuce was so excited when he discovered that on the trip, he would actually get to ride in a plane — not only with his dad, but all seven members of the Sloley Family.
Deuce walked through the airport like a pro, almost like he’d done it before. He had no problem getting through security and hauled his Thomas Roller Bag around all by himself, refusing help. On the plane, he was fascinated by the cockpit, and the Flight Attendants gave him punch out airplanes to play with. As the plane took off, he uttered, “Woah, I am so excited!”
We love Southwest Airlines and are proud to fly, as I call it, “on the wings of LUV.” Thanks for making his first experience flying and our Family get away a memorable one! —The Sloley Family
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“Try to have a focus on the needs of others and not yourself.”
—Timothy P. White, Chancellor, California State University
Photo by Melissa Valladares
As chancellor for California State University’s 23-campus system, the largest four-year institution of higher education in the U.S., Timothy P. White is always on the move. Thanks to Southwest’s convenient intra-Cal schedule, he can travel quickly around the Golden State to advocate for the 479,000-plus students who make up the CSU student body. Timothy uses his flights for informal networking sessions with fellow business leaders, which allows him to discuss how to help more Californians earn a degree, as well as how to create opportunities for graduates to thrive in business, government, and beyond. Thank you, Chancellor, for your loyalty and your commitment to California’s future leaders! —Lidia S. Martinez, Community Affairs & Grassroots
Family Fun “Rapid Rewards points are a great way to get Family together. My son can fly to Sacramento and spend a week with his aunt, uncle, and cousin.”
Make Waves “I like boating and kayaking in the ocean or fresh water. Water demands respect, which is a reason I appreciate it.”
Listen Up “Humility plays a big role in learning how to listen. It’s more than just waiting to speak—it’s about genuinely listening and being respectful of views you might not agree with.”
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“Every day is interesting and fun. I like that excitement of the job.” —Ryan Shone, Ramp Agent
Since Ryan Shone joined the Southwest Airlines Family in December 2014, he has enjoyed the excitement of being a Ramp Agent every single day. Ryan is known for his work ethic and positive attitude, and he always has a smile on his face. Ryan’s Coworkers view him as the go-to guy when it comes to getting tasks done safely and correctly. While his work on the ground is important, Ryan’s connections with Buffalo Niagara International Airport go beyond just his job. With help from his supervisor, Ryan pulled off a surprise proposal at the airport to his fiancée, a Flight Attendant also in the Southwest Family. Ryan truly exemplifies what it means to have a Fun-LUVing Attitude and Warrior Spirit. —Melanie Tobiasz, Communication & Outreach
Bay Watch “My fiancée and I love to visit Tampa. It’s nice to get away and relax, and I like sun, sand, and umbrella drinks.”
Now Playing “I’m a classic guy—I like older movies like The Sandlot.”
Role Model “My mom has always been an inspiration to me. I think I get most of my drive from her.”
Photo by Mary Beth Koeth
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“Every Employee has gone above and beyond to help me and my family every time we fly.”
—Chris Kain, Area Technical Manager, HB Fuller Construction Products
Photo by Carl Costas Chris Kain feels right at home onboard a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737. An area technical manager for HB Fuller Construction Products, he flies Southwest weekly to consult with his customers, and in doing so, has amassed more than 2 million lifetime Rapid Rewards points and reached A-List Preferred status. While Chris enjoys traveling for his job, his true passion is exploring the outdoors with his two special-needs daughters and a little assistance from his Rapid Rewards Companion Pass. In April 2017, Chris helped his oldest daughter celebrate her 18th birthday by taking the whole family on eight consecutive Southwest flights—that’s more than 21 hours of flying! There was nothing “plane” about that day, Chris, and we’re glad to have been part of it! —Lindsey Duncan, Communication & Outreach
Great Outdoors “We love hiking trails as a way to see the wildest places in our country. We’ve hiked at least one trail in all 50 states.”
Tried and True “I started to fly Southwest for the low fares, but now, the main reason I’m so loyal is the Customer Service toward me and my daughters.”
Meat Cute “I travel back to my hometown of Chicago for work and to visit family. I try to visit Portillo’s at least once every trip for their Italian beef sandwich.”
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Year/semester of internship: Summer 2011
Department/Team interned for: Ground Operations Standards, Safety, & Regulatory Compliance
Department/Team and current job title: Lead Analyst in Safety & Security/Safety Information Management System (SIMS) Analytics
Years at Southwest: Six
Favorite Southwest city: Seattle
Most memorable Southwest moment/event: There are many, but if I had to pick one, it has to be flying to Oklahoma City with 40+ other Southwest Employees (more Employees joined us by cars) to volunteer to clean the debris from the 2013 tornadoes.
First ever job: Visual Basic freelancer
Proudest Southwest moment: I had the honor of being featured as Our Star on Southwest: The Magazine for the May 2017 edition.
Words to live by: “A company is stronger if it is bound by love rather than by fear.” by Herb Kelleher
Reasons other people should intern at Southwest: You get a chance to be you and be the best of you.
Ultimate Travel Tip: Plan, but be flexible.
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