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Southwest Airlines Community

Write Your Own Caption Is Back--Kind of

Aviator C

One of our favorite posts in the past has been our Write Your Own Caption series.  With this post, we want to do something similar but a bit different.  This wonderfully evocative photo was graciously sent to us by Alicia Shaffer.  

The photo of her son, Campbell, was taken by his father, Demetrious.  Given the subject, please share with us your favorite travel story from when you were a child or a story from traveling with your own kids.  Emily Kaufman, our Travel Mom from starts off the comments for us with this:

I am at that crossroads for a parent where it is time to let go of their baby and send him or her off to college.  I am incredibly excited for my son’s future and very nostalgic about our past.  When I reflect on some of my favorite memories as a family, travel is always a big part of the great stuff that I remember.

We live in a very busy world with moms, dads and kids that are overscheduled.  We race around with jobs, schoolwork, sports practices, SAT classes and workouts.  We squeeze as much as we can into each day.  Our world is high tech with cell phones and texting and instant messages.  Vacation provides that outlet for families to slow down and reconnect with each other.

I know times are challenging economically.  I understand that gas is a small fortune.  I also “get” that folks are intimidated by air travel right now.  However, as a mom, I want to encourage everyone to try and make a vacation memory this summer.  I promise that when the time comes to look back on some of your favorite reflections as your baby leaves the nest, you will not be sorry that you figured out how to make one work this summer.

Now let's hear your travel memory.

Explorer C
I was 12 years old, and on my first flight alone to visit my grandparents in Florida. At that age it can be a daunting task to travel the big blue skies by yourself. But being the tough warrior that I convinced myself to be, I hid the fear well. Deep down, I was scared though, and remember the flight attendants and other passengers trying to help, but it is something that ultimately comes from the inside. Then it happened. Looking down on a cloud, there was a big rainbow surrounding the plane's shadow. I flew the rest of the way with confidence knowing that a protective rainbow was around our plane. As a pilot by profession now, I know the science behind the rainbow phenomena and that it actually occurs more often then one might think. But as a scared boy traveling alone it was priceless protection. Bradley
Explorer C
When I was a bit younger, my family and I were taking a Southwest Flight down to Alabama. I remember stepping through the cabin door and the First Officer asking me if I wanted to take a look into the cockpit. I was apprehensive at first and I wanted my two siblings to come with me. They agreed to and I went in and sat in the captains seat and looked over the panel. I always think of that now when I'm going on a trip and taking Southwest. I think this has spurred my interest in aviation and my burning desire to be an airline pilot. Southwest junkie for life, Tucker
Explorer C
While I don't remember exactly where we were going, or if my parents were just looking to keep me occupied and quiet for a few minutes, one of my most vivid memories from my childhood was pulling into the Grand Junction, CO airport and seeing a big shiny plane fly overhead. I must have been about four years old and the fascination of watching that plane gracefully lift into the air was the most exciting thing I had ever witnessed. My dad pulled into the observation area and we watched a few more planes take off and land. I was absolutely fascinated and I recall looking at my mom and telling her that someday I would work there, so that I could see the planes everyday! The memory of that day faded into the background of life for a long time, but it all came rushing back on a bright spring morning in 2002. I had just completed my six month probationary period with SWA, and was on my way into work at Love Field. Just as I turned off Mockingbird onto Cedar Springs, a Southwest plane lifted into the air and it took my breath away! The memory of that day so many years before was crystal clear and I realized that my career with Southwest is really the fulfillment of my childhood dream. While I am no longer at the airport, I still get my daily dose of inspiration on my way into Headquarters every morning... and the four year old inside jumps for joy!
Frequent Flyer C
One of my funniest travel memories actually comes from a roadtrip I took with my family when I was about 12. dad worked at Southwest, but sometimes it was difficult to fly standby with 3 little kids, so they would opt to drive. It made for LOTS of quality time and crazy adventures such as this one... On this particular roadtrip to Red River, NM to go skiing, the roads were under construction. Being the jokester he is, Dad thought it would be hilarious to try to knock all the orange road cones off the road with the minivan. We played this game for about five miles, then we pulled over to a rest stop. We got out of the van to discover Dad had sprayed tar all over the side of our white van. The mood quickly changed from pranks and FUN to oh wow, we have a mess to clean up. My parents were awesome and always did everything they could to entertain us, including spraying sticky road tar all over the van! Haha....sorry to share that one dad.
Adventurer B
Whenever I see "mouse ears," I think of my first, and only, trip to Disneyland. It was the summer of 1963, and I had saved up my money to go on a "James Luck Tour." James Luck was a school teacher in a nearby town and just happened to have been one of my father's roommates back in college. Every summer, James and some of his school-teacher friends hosted a two-week bus trip for about eighty 13/14-year-old kids. It was their way to make extra money in the summer, but can you image anyone having the courage to do something like that these days? Anyway, the tour I took started in Magnolia, AR, (where James was from) but they picked me up in my home town of Lewisville, AR, about 25 miles away. In two weeks, we went to Six Flags (in Dallas), the Grand Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and lots or interesting little places in between. We stayed in small, inexpensive motels most of the time, but also spent a few nights in college dorms that were unoccupied for the summer. What a way to spend your first extended time away from home and "on your own." It was a true "coming of age" experience. But here's the thing that will blow you away. How much do you think it cost? For the two weeks, including lodging, transportation, and basic admission to all the sites I mentioned, I paid ... drum roll ... $250. And from that $250, we were given back a dollar at each meal. Don't laugh!! McDonalds burgers were 15 cents back then, and fries were 12 cents.
Explorer C
i was flying from CLE to chicago, to meet my grandpa and drive up to Madison, WI, his alma mater, for the first time he had been back i nearly 50 years. I was 10, flying by myself. When the plane landed, I was escorted to him (he had flown in himself), and he ran over and gave me a big hug. The person who was escorting me said to him, "I know this sounds dumb, but I need to see your ID." I looked right at her and said "I've never seen this man before in my my life!" They both stopped dead in their tracks, and then I told them, "Just kidding!"
Explorer C
I vividly remember my fist Southwest flight. OK, so I don't actually recall when it was or where I was going, but it was something like 20 years ago. What I do remember with crystal clarity, is sitting in the back of the aircraft watching the Flight Attendants while passengers were boarding and the thought that went through my head was, "Wow, these people really enjoy their jobs, this must be a great place to work". I grew up in a family where air travel was not a luxury we could afford before the days of Southwest and this was one of only a very few flights I had taken. At the time, an aviation career was not even a blip on the radar. Now, 20 years later, I am celebrating my sixth anniversary working for Southwest Airlines and proud to report, my initial observation was right on target! This is a great place to work. Thanks to my Southwest Family, our Customers and especially those Flight Attendants on that flight so long ago, I am enjoying a career I could not have imagined.
Explorer C
Caption for this picture: Minnie Mouse waiting for Mickey's plane to arrive.
Explorer C
I was 6 or 7 the first time I flew. I will always have a warm spot in my heart for Delta Airlines because that was the airline (obviously before Southwest was a twinkle in anyone's eye - back when carriers like Eastern and Piedmont existed). I was thrilled to be served a Coca Cola on the flight from Atlanta to DFW, and when the stewardess (now known as flight attendants) awarded me a "wings" pin, I felt like I had contributed to the flight's success. This may be why flying remains my favorite way to travel. Terry Given all the recent developments, for me the caption should be: "With so many airlines charging extra when you board the plane, Mickey Mouse now flies Southwest where the skies remain the happiest place on earth!
Explorer C
how do i make my own story?