Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSELUV) is a major U.S. airline headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and the world's largest low-cost carrier.

The airline was established in 1967 by Herb Kelleher[2] as Air Southwest and then adopted its current name, Southwest Airlines, in 1971 when it began operating as an intrastate airline wholly within the state of Texas.[3] The airline has more than 55,000 employees as of July 2017 and operates more than 4,000 departures a day during peak travel season.[4][5] As of 2014, it carried the most domestic passengers of any U.S. airline.[6] As of April 2018, Southwest Airlines has scheduled services to 100 destinations in the United States and ten additional countries, with services to Turks & Caicos having begun on November 5, 2017. Service to Hawaii is coming in late 2018 or early 2019 subject to FAA approval, with destination cities to be decided on and announced in the near future.

Southwest Airlines has only operated Boeing 737 jetliner models, except for a period from 1979 to 1987 when it leased and operated several Boeing 727-200s from Braniff International Airways. Since January 2016, Southwest has been the largest operator of the Boeing 737 worldwide, with over 700 in service and each aircraft averaging six flights per day.[4]


In 1966 Southwest Airlines was founded by Rollin King and Herbert Kelleher; in 1967 it was incorporated as Air Southwest Company. It was not until 1971 that the airline began scheduled flights, from Dallas Love Field. The same year the organization adopted the name Southwest Airlines. The expansion of flights started in 1975, to cities throughout Texas, and in 1978 Southwest began flying to neighboring states. Service to the East and the Southeast started in the 1990s.[7]

Corporate identity


The company has always employed humor in its advertising. Former slogans include "Love Is Still Our Field," "Just Plane Smart," "The Somebody Else Up There Who Loves You," "You're Now Free To Move About The Country," "THE Low Fare Airline," "Grab your bag, It's On!" and "Welcome Aboard." The airline's current slogan is "Low fares. Nothing to hide."[when?]

A Southwest 737-800 in the Heart livery at BWI Airport

In March 1992, shortly after Southwest started using the "Just Plane Smart" motto, Stevens Aviation, which had been using "Plane Smart" for its motto, advised Southwest that it was infringing on its trademark.[8][9]

Instead of a lawsuit, the CEOs for both companies staged an arm wrestling match. Held at the now-demolished Dallas Sportatorium (the famed wrestling facility) and set for two out of three rounds, the loser of each round was to pay $5,000 to the charity of his choice, with the winner gaining the use of the trademarked phrase. A promotional video was created showing the CEOs "training" for the bout (with CEO Herb Kelleher being helped up during a sit up where a cigarette and glass of whiskey (Wild Turkey 101) was waiting) and distributed among the employees and also as a video press release along with the video of the match itself. Herb Kelleher lost the match for Southwest, with Stevens Aviation winning the rights to the phrase. Kurt Herwald, CEO of Stevens Aviation, immediately granted the use of "Just Plane Smart" to Southwest Airlines. The net result was both companies having use of the trademark, $15,000 going to charity and good publicity for both companies.[10]

Honor Flight Network

Southwest Airlines is the official commercial airline of the Honor Flight Network.[11] Honor Flights are dedicated to bringing aging and ailing veterans to visit the national monuments in Washington, D.C., devoted to the wars in which they served.[12]

Corporate affairs


Southwest Airlines headquarters in Dallas

The Southwest Airlines headquarters is located on the grounds of Dallas Love Field in the Love Field neighborhood of Dallas, Texas.[4][13]

On September 17, 2012, Southwest broke ground on a new Training and Operational Support (TOPS) building.[14] The TOPS Building is across the street from its current headquarters building. The property includes a two-story, 100,000-square-foot operations building that can withstand an EF3 tornado. It also includes a four-story, 392,000-square-foot office and training facility with two levels devoted to each function. The new facilities house 24-hour coordination and maintenance operations, customer support and services, and training. The project was completed in late 2013, with occupancy beginning in 2014.

On June 2, 2016, Southwest broke ground on its new training facility known as "Wings." The newest addition to the corporate campus will have more than 400,000 square feet of space and be home to more flight simulators, flight operations training centers, and much more.


As of September 30, 2017, Southwest Airlines has more than 56,000 employees.[15]

Gary C. Kelly is Chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines. Kelly replaced former CEO Jim Parker on July 15, 2004 and assumed the title of "President" on July 15, 2008, replacing former President Colleen Barrett. In July 2008, Herb Kelleher resigned his position as Chairman. Colleen Barrett left her post on the Board of Directors and as Corporate Secretary in May 2008 and as President in July 2008. Kelleher was President and CEO of Southwest from September 1981-June 2001.[16]

On January 10, 2017, Southwest announced changes to the Company's executive Leadership ranks with Thomas M. Nealon named as President and Michael G. Van de Ven named as the airline's Chief Operating Officer.[17]

Labor relations

In contrast to low-cost competitor JetBlue Airways, where most employees are non-union, Southwest employees are generally members of a union. The Southwest Airline Pilots' Association, a union not affiliated with the Air Line Pilots Association, represents the airline's pilots.[18] The Aircraft Maintenance Technicians are represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA).[19] Customer Service Agents and Reservation Agents are represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union (IAM). Flight Dispatchers, Flight Attendants, Ramp agents and Operations agents are represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU).


Southwest Airlines is the official airline for four Major League Baseball teams - the Baltimore Orioles, the Milwaukee Brewers, the San Diego Padres, and the Texas Rangers - five NBA teams - the Denver Nuggets, the Houston Rockets, the Indiana Pacers, the Orlando Magic, and the Phoenix Suns - and the NFL's Baltimore Ravens[20] in addition to being the official airline for the Super Bowl.

Southwest Airlines is the title sponsor of the annual Southwest Airlines San Francisco Chinese New Year Festival and Parade.[21][22]

There were two aircraft painted to resemble Orcas to promote SeaWorld but they were repainted to standard Southwest livery following the end of their 26-year partnership.

Impact on carriers

Southwest has been a major inspiration to other low-cost carriers, and its business model has been repeated many times around the world. The competitive strategy combines high level of employee and aircraft productivity with low unit costs by reducing aircraft turn around time particularly at the gate.[23] Europe's EasyJet and Ryanair are two of the best known airlines to follow Southwest's business strategy in that continent. Other airlines with a business model based on Southwest's system include Canada's Westjet, Malaysia's AirAsia (the first and biggest LCC in Asia), India's IndiGo, Australia's Jetstar, a subsidiary of Qantas (although Jetstar now operates two aircraft types), Philippines's Cebu Pacific, Thailand's Nok Air, Mexico's Volaris, Indonesia's Lion Air and Turkey's Pegasus Airlines. Although Southwest has been a major inspiration to many other airlines, including Ryanair, AirAsia, Lion Air and Jetstar, the management strategies, for example, of Ryanair, AirAsia, Lion Air and Jetstar differ significantly from those of Southwest.[23] All these different management strategies can be seen as means of differentiation from other competitors in order to gain competitive advantages.[24]

Lobbying Texas rail

Southwest has fought against the development of a high-speed rail system in Texas.

In 1991, a plan was made to connect the Texas Triangle (HoustonDallasFort WorthSan Antonio) with a privately financed high speed train system that would quickly take passengers from one city to the next. This was the same model Southwest Airlines used 20 years earlier to break into the Texas market where it served the same cities.

Southwest Airlines, with the help of lobbyists, created legal barriers to prohibit the consortium from moving forward and the entire project was eventually scuttled in 1994, when the State of Texas withdrew the franchise.[25] This was also aided by lobbying from hotels and fast food restaurants. [25]


As of April 2018, Southwest Airlines has scheduled flights to 100 destinations in 40 states, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.[26] It operates crew bases at the following airports: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago–Midway, Dallas–Love, Denver, Houston–Hobby, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando, and Phoenix–Sky Harbor.[27] Southwest does not use the "hub and spoke" system of other major airlines, preferring the "point-to-point" system, combined with a "rolling hub" model in its larger cities.

Top cities

Southwest Airlines top served cities (as of January 25, 2018)[28][29][30]
City Daily departures Number of gates Cities served nonstop Service began Ref.
Chicago–Midway 259 32 69 1985 [31]
Baltimore–Washington 227 32 64 1993 [32]
Las Vegas 219 24 57 1982 [33]
Denver 208 24 65 2006 [34]
Phoenix–Sky Harbor 188 24 53 1982 [35]
Orlando 186 20 54 1996 [36]
Dallas–Love Field 180 18 57 1971 [37]
Houston–Hobby 168 25 57 1971 [38]
Los Angeles 133 15 32 1982 [39]
Oakland 126 15 35 1989 [40]
Atlanta 125 18 39 2012 [41]
Tampa 122 13 43 1996 [42]
St. Louis 119 15 49 1985 [43]
San Diego 115 11 33 1982 [44]
Nashville 111 12 38 1986 [45]
Fort Lauderdale 96 12 45 1996 [46]
San Jose (CA) 92 8 24 1993 [47]
Sacramento 85 11 22 1991 [48]
Kansas City 80 9 31 1982 [49]
New Orleans 71 6 29 1979 [50]
Austin 70 6 34 1977 [51]
Albquerque 40 5 15 1980 [52]

Airline partnerships


Southwest does not currently partner with any other airline.


  • Icelandair: In 1997, Southwest and Icelandair entered into interline and marketing agreements allowing for joint fares, coordinated schedules, transfer of passenger luggage between the two airlines in Baltimore and a place connecting passengers between several U.S. cities and several European cities.[53] The frequent flyer programs were not included in the agreement. This arrangement lasted for several years but ended when Icelandair's service from BWI to KEF ended in January 2007.[54]
  • ATA Airlines: In a departure from its traditional "go it alone" strategy, Southwest entered into its first domestic codesharing arrangement with ATA, which enabled Southwest Airlines to serve ATA markets in Hawaii, Washington, D.C. and New York City.
At the time of ATA's demise in April 2008, the airline offered over 70 flights a week to Hawaii from Southwest's focus cities in PHX, LAS, LAX and OAK with connections available to many other cities across the United States. The ATA/Southwest codeshare was terminated when ATA filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 3, 2008. Southwest ultimately acquired the operating certificate and some of the landing rights of ATA in the ensuing proceedings.[55]
  • WestJet Airlines: On July 8, 2008, Southwest Airlines signed a codeshare agreement with WestJet of Canada, giving the two airlines the ability to sell seats on each other's flights.[56] Originally, the partnership was to be finalized by late 2009, but had been postponed due to economic conditions.[57] On April 16, 2010, Southwest and WestJet airlines amicably agreed to terminate the implementation of a codeshare agreement between the two airlines.
  • Volaris: Southwest signed its second international codeshare agreement on November 10, 2008, with Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris. The agreement allowed Southwest to sell tickets on Volaris flights.[58] However, on February 22, 2013, the connecting agreement was terminated. It was said to be mutual between the airlines. Most industry experts believe that the expansion of the subsidiary of Southwest, AirTran Airways, into more Mexican markets, as a main reason for the termination of the agreement.[59]
  • AirTran Airways: After acquiring AirTran Airways in 2011, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways took the first step in connecting their networks on January 26, 2013, by offering a small number of shared itineraries in five markets. The agreement ended after AirTran became fully integrated into Southwest on December 28, 2014.


Since its inception Southwest Airlines has almost exclusively operated Boeing 737 aircraft (except for a brief period when it leased and flew some Boeing 727-200 aircraft). Southwest is the world's largest operator of the Boeing 737, and was the launch customer of the 737-300, 737-500, and 737-700. Southwest Airlines is also poised to be the launch customer for the 737 MAX 7.

Southwest Airlines was operating the following aircraft as of December 31, 2017:[60]

Southwest Airlines fleet
Aircraft Current Orders Passengers Notes
Boeing 737-700 512 143
Boeing 737-800 181 12 175 Deliveries through 2018.[61]
Boeing 737 MAX 7 30 150 Launch customer; scheduled to be delivered from 2019.[62][63] 23 aircraft deferred past 2023.[64]
Boeing 737 MAX 8 14 196 175 Entered revenue service on October 1, 2017. Received the 10,000th 737[63]
Total 707 238

Southwest added the Boeing 737-700 to its fleet on December 17, 1997. Southwest added the Boeing 737-800 to its fleet on April 11, 2012. The aircraft has 175 seats, 32 more than the former largest 737s in Southwest's fleet.[65]

After completing the purchase of AirTran Airways, Southwest Airlines acquired AirTran's existing fleet of Boeing 717 aircraft. However, Southwest elected not to integrate them into its fleet and currently leases them to Delta Air Lines.[66][67]

On December 13, 2011, Southwest placed a firm order for 150 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, becoming the launch customer for the type (although the launch customer of the 737 MAX 8 has since been switched to Malindo Air).[68][68]

On May 15, 2013, Southwest became the launch customer for the Boeing 737 MAX 7 aircraft and now has 30 MAX 7 aircraft on order. The first delivery is expected in 2019.[69]

On August 29, 2017, Southwest Airlines took delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX 8, making it the first airline in United States to do so. The airline was also the first in the United States to operate the aircraft on scheduled revenue passenger flights, which began October 1, 2017.[70] On January 2, 2018, Southwest converted 40 options into firm orders for the Boeing 737 MAX 8, bringing total orders of the variant to 210 aircraft.[71] On the same day, the airline also announced that it was deferring 23 deliveries of the Boeing 737 MAX 7 to 2023-2024 and beyond.[64]

On March 13, 2018, Southwest Airlines took delivery of the 10,000th Boeing 737, setting the Guinness World Record for Boeing which started producing the 737 in January 1967. This beat the previous record of 5,000 set back in 2006. This will be flown under tail number N8717M. There are no special markings on it at this time to commemorate it and it will fly under the standard Southwest color scheme.[72]

Historical fleet

Southwest Airlines fleet history
Aircraft Introduction Retired Replacement(s) Notes
Boeing 727-200 1979 1987 Boeing 737-300 Leased from Braniff International Airways, and People Express Airlines.
Boeing 737-200 1971 2005 Boeing 737-700 Southwest's first aircraft type.
Boeing 737-500 1990 2016 Boeing 737-700 Launch customer.
Boeing 737-300 1984 2017 Boeing 737-700/-800/MAX 8 North American launch customer.


Original Desert Gold livery, used until 2001

Southwest's original primary livery was "Desert Gold" (Gold, Red and Orange, with pinstripes of white separating each section of color). The word Southwest appeared in white on the gold portion of the tail. On the original three 737-200s, from June 1971, on the left side of the aircraft, the word Southwest was placed along the upper rear portion of the fuselage, with the word Airlines painted on the tail N21SW. On the right side, the word Southwest was on the tail, but also had the word Airlines painted on the upper rear portion of the fuselage.N20SW. This was later revised to simply include "Southwest" on both sides of the tail. The airline's Boeing 727-200s, operated briefly in the late 1970s and early 1980s, featured other variations on the livery; one was painted in a shade of ochre instead of gold with stylized titles on the forward fuselage and an "S" logo on the tail, while others bore the standard livery (albeit in metallic gold) with the word "Southwest" moved from the tail to the forward fuselage.[73][74]

Canyon Blue livery used from 2001 - 2014

Southwest introduced the canyon blue livery on January 16, 2001, the first primary livery change in Southwest's then-30-year history. Spirit One was the first aircraft painted in the canyon blue fleet color scheme. The second livery replaces the former primary color, "Desert Gold", with "Canyon Blue" and changes the Southwest text and pinstripes to gold. The orange and red stripes continued to be used. The pinstripe along the aircraft was drawn in a more curved pattern instead of the straight horizontal line separating the colors in the original. For aircraft equipped with blended winglets, the blended winglets were painted to include the text Southwest.com. Southwest completed repainting its entire fleet with the new "Canyon Blue" livery in early 2010; however, The Colleen Barrett Classic (N714CB), The Herbert D. Kelleher One (N711HK) and The Metallic Gold One (N792SW, now repainted to Heart livery), which are Boeing 737–700 aircraft, retained a simplified version of the original "Desert Gold" livery.

Heart livery used 2014–present

A new livery, named "Heart One" and developed with firms GSD&M, Lippincott, VML, Razorfish, and Camelot Communications, was unveiled on September 8, 2014.[75] The new livery uses a darker shade of blue. The orange stripe on the tail is changed to yellow; both the red and yellow stripes are now enlarged in reverse pattern; and the belly of the aircraft is now in blue and features a heart, which has been a symbol for Southwest during its 43-year history. Additionally, the pinstripes are changed to a silver-gray; and the Southwest text, now white, has been moved to the front of the fuselage.Lettering is in a font custom designed by Monotype, Southwest Sans. The web address was moved from the winglets to the engines.

Special Liveries And Decals

Some Southwest aircraft feature special liveries or are named with special decals. Southwest gives these aircraft special names, usually ending in "One." All special liveries painted prior to Spirit One originally wore the standard Desert Gold, red and orange colors on the vertical stabilizer and rudder. Subsequent special liveries featured tails painted with the canyon blue livery, with all earlier specials repainted with the Spirit livery tail. Aircraft painted in special liveries have white painted blended winglets with two exceptions: Warrior One, which added the split scimitar winglet in May 2014, and Missouri One. Missouri One was the first special livery to feature a modified version of the Heart tail design, with the red and yellow ribbons shrunk in order to fit the Southwest wordmark as it is too large to be used on the fuselage as on other aircraft. Previous special livery aircraft are currently being repainted with the new tail design.[4]

Passenger experience

Southwest operates using a unique boarding process.
Southwest Airlines spirit interior introduced in 2001, succeeded by the evolve interior

Southwest offers free in-flight non-alcoholic beverages and offers alcoholic beverages for sale at a flat rate of $5/beverage, with Rapid Rewards members eligible to receive drinks vouchers with their tickets. Free alcoholic drinks are offered on popular holidays such as New Year's Day, Valentine's Day and Mardi Gras, provided the passenger is at least 21. Southwest has complimentary peanuts or pretzels on all flights, and most flights have free Nabisco snacks. Southwest is known for colorful boarding announcements and crews that burst out in song, which is quite popular among passengers.[101][102][103][104]

Southwest maintains excellent customer satisfaction ratings; according to the Department of Transportation (DOT) Southwest ranks number one (lowest number of complaints) of all U.S. airlines for customer complaints. Southwest Airlines has consistently received the fewest ratio of complaints per passengers boarded of all major U.S. carriers that have been reporting statistics to the DOT since 1987, which is when the DOT began tracking customer satisfaction statistics and publishing its Air Travel Consumer Report.

Prior to 2007, Southwest boarded passengers by grouping the passengers into three groups, labeled A, B and C. Passengers would line up at their specified letter and board.[105]

In 2007, Southwest modified their boarding procedure by introducing a number. Each passenger receives a letter (A, B or C) and a number 1 through 60. Passengers line up in numerical order within each letter group and choose any open seat on the aircraft as part of Southwest's open seating policy.[105] According to a 2012 study by Mythbusters, this is the fastest method currently in use for non-first class passengers to board a plane; on average, it is 10 minutes faster than the standard method used by most airlines of boarding from the back frontward.[106]

In-flight entertainment

A Southwest 737-800 with the evolve interior and old branding, succeeded by the heart interior

All 737 Next Generation and 737 MAX aircraft are equipped with Wi-Fi, free streaming live television, and movies on demand for a fee. After completing a testing phase that began in February 2009, Southwest announced on August 21, 2009 that it would begin rolling out in-flight Wi-Fi Internet connectivity via Global Eagle Entertainment's satellite-broadband based product. Southwest began adding Wi-Fi to its aircraft in the first quarter of 2010. The airline began testing streaming live television in the summer of 2012 and video on demand in January 2013.[107][108] As of 2017, live in-flight video and realtime flight tracking information via Wi-Fi are available for free to all passengers, with full Internet access available at a fee for regular passengers and free to A-List Preferred Rapid Rewards members.

Evolve interior

On January 17, 2012, Southwest introduced a plan to retrofit its fleet with a new interior. Improvements include a modern cabin design, lighter and more comfortable seats made of eco-friendly products, increased under-seat space, new netted seatback pockets to provide more knee room, a new fixed-wing headrest and improved ergonomics. All Boeing 737-700s, 115 -800s and 30 737-300s have the Evolve Interior.[109] Though not originally planned, because of space saved, Southwest was able to fit an extra row of seats on its planes. All Boeing 737-800s have the Boeing Sky Interior, which features sculpted sidewalls and redesigned window housings, along with increased headroom and LED mood lighting.

Heart interior

On June 20, 2016, Southwest introduced its newest interior, called the Heart Interior. It includes the widest seat to fit a Boeing 737 that provides additional space for passengers and also includes a new galley.[110] The seat is being delivered on all new 737-800s and 737 MAX aircraft.[111] All current evolve equipped 737s will be retrofitted with new bulkheads and bold blue seat cushions to match the look of the heart interior.

Rapid Rewards

Southwest first began to offer a frequent-flyer program on June 20, 1987, calling it The Company Club. Unlike some competitors' programs that were based on miles flown (but not Northwest Airlines), The Company Club credited for trips flown regardless of distance.[112] Southwest Airlines renamed its frequent flyer program Rapid Rewards on April 25, 1996.[113]

The original Rapid Rewards program offered one credit per one-way flight from an origin to a destination including any stops or connections on Southwest Airlines. When 16 credits were accumulated in a 24-month period, Southwest awarded one free round-trip ticket that was valid for 12 months.[114]

On March 1, 2011, Rapid Rewards changed to a points system based on ticket cost. Members earn and redeem points based on a three-tier fare scale multiplier and the cost of the ticket. Changes also included no blackout dates, seat restrictions or expiring credits. It also adds more options to use points.[115][116][117]

Southwest Vacations

Southwest Vacations is the vacation package provider for Southwest Airlines. Southwest Vacations was founded May 14, 1989, and has since been operated by The Mark Travel Corporation (TMTC). The parent company of TMTC is La Macchia Enterprises, which was founded in 1983. Southwest Vacations’ products primarily focus on flight and hotel vacation packages to destinations within the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America.[118][119]


Southwest Airlines incidents include 2 deaths (1 non-passenger death on the ground, 1 accidental passenger death in the air) and 7 accidents (including 2 aircraft hull losses). The airline was considered among the 10 safest in the world in 2012.[120]

Southwest Airlines incidents and accidents
Flight Date Aircraft Location Description Injuries
1455 March 5, 2000 Boeing 737-300 Burbank, California The aircraft overran the runway upon landing at Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, now called Hollywood Burbank Airport, Burbank, California, injuring 43.[121] The incident resulted in the dismissal of the Captain. The aircraft was damaged beyond repair. 43 injuries
1763 August 11, 2000 Boeing 737-700 In flight Passenger Jonathan Burton broke through the cockpit door aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1763 while in route from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City. In self-defense, the other passengers restrained Burton, who later died of the resulting injuries.[122] 1 death
1248 December 8, 2005 Boeing 737-700 Chicago, Illinois The aircraft overran the runway during landing at Chicago Midway International Airport in heavy snow conditions. A six-year-old boy died in a car struck by the plane after it slid into a street. Passengers on board the aircraft and on the ground reported several minor injuries. The aircraft involved, N471WN, became N286WN after repairs. 1 death (on ground); Several injuries
2294 July 13, 2009 Boeing 737-300 Charleston, West Virginia The flight from Nashville International Airport to Baltimore-Washington International Airport was forced to divert to Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia, after a hole formed on the top of the plane's fuselage near the tail, resulting in depressurization of the cabin and deployment of the oxygen masks. The aircraft landed safely.[123] None
812 April 1, 2011 Boeing 737-300 Yuma, Arizona The flight from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to Sacramento International Airport operated with a Boeing 737–300 aircraft registered N632SW, was forced to declare an emergency and divert to Yuma International Airport after a hole appeared in the top of the aircraft fuselage. The aircraft landed approximately 40 minutes after takeoff from Phoenix.[124] 2 minor injuries
345 July 22, 2013 Boeing 737-700 Queens, New York The flight from Nashville International Airport crash-landed at New York's LaGuardia Airport after touching down hard, nose-gear first. "[T]he nose gear gave away so violently that the jet's electronics bay was penetrated by the landing gear with only the right axle still attached."[125] The Boeing 737 traveled 633 metres (2,077 ft) down the runway with its nose scraping, generating a shower of sparks, coming to rest slightly off the runway.[126][127] Damage to the 13-year-old aircraft, registered N753SW, was substantial.[128] The captain of Flight WN345 was fired, and the aircraft was ultimately removed by barge for scrapping in Albany, New York.[129] 10 minor injuries
3472 August 27, 2016 Boeing 737-700 Pensacola, Florida The flight from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to Orlando International Airport suffered an uncontained engine failure while at cruising altitude. The engine cowling suffered major damage, with the inlet being completely torn off. Fragments from the engine also caused a gash in the fuselage. The 16-year-old Boeing 737-700 diverted and landed without incident at Pensacola International Airport. Passengers say that they "heard a loud boom and smoke trailing from the left engine, and saw metal flapping after the smoke cleared."[130] The NTSB is currently investigating the incident as an "uncontained engine failure" event. None

Controversies and passenger incidents

On June 22, 2011, a March 25 recording of an in-flight transmission of Southwest pilot Captain James Taylor apparently unintentionally broadcasting a conversation with his first officer was released to the press. The conversation was peppered with foul language directed at gay, overweight, and older flight attendants. According to Southwest, the pilot was reprimanded and temporarily suspended without pay and received diversity education before being reinstated. Captain Taylor also sent an e-mail apology to all of Southwest's employees, especially the crew members who were criticized.[131][132][133]

On September 26, 2017, a woman was removed from a Southwest flight after claiming to have a life-threatening allergy to dogs, two of which were present on the aircraft, and having to be removed by law enforcement after failing to follow the instructions of airline staff. The two dogs present were service animals. After learning about the woman's allergy, Southwest employees requested that she prove her condition with the correct documentation. When she failed to do so, staff asked her to exit the aircraft multiple times. She refused, which prompted law enforcement to step in and remove the passenger. The interactions between the woman and the officers were recorded and posted online to many social media platforms, and gained much attention.[134][135]

On December 29, 2017, a family was kicked off a flight from Chicago Midway Airport to Santa Ana, California because of unconfirmed lice accusation. The family did not have lice after all, and was rebooked on the next flight.[136]

See also


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  2. ^ "Southwest Airlines – A Brief History". southwest.com. Southwest Airlines Co. 2009. Archived from the original on August 18, 2010. Retrieved January 6, 2011. More than 38 years ago, Rollin King and Herb Kelleher got together to start a different kind of airline. 
  3. ^ "1966 to 1971". swamedia.com. Southwest Airlines Co. 2011. Retrieved June 1, 2011. March 15, 1967 Air Southwest Co. is incorporated. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Fact Sheet". swamedia.com. Southwest Airlines Co. 2016. Archived from the original on May 3, 2011. Retrieved May 2, 2011. 
  5. ^ "April 2016 Schedule is Here! No Foolin'! - Nuts About Southwest". Nuts About Southwest. 
  6. ^ "The world's largest airlines". The Economist. 
  7. ^ "Southwest Airlines Co. - American corporation". britannica.com. Retrieved November 15, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Malice in Dallas part 1" "Youtube" Retrieved on October 8, 2009
  9. ^ "Malice in Dallas Kevin & Jackie Freiberg". Freibergs.com. 1992-03-23. Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  10. ^ "Malice in Dallas (Round 3 and results)" "Youtube" Retrieved on October 8, 2009
  11. ^ The Honor Flight Network (22 May 2009). "SOUTHWEST AIRLINES : Named Official Commercial Airline of the Honor Flight Network" (Press release). Dallas, Texas: PRNewswire. 
  12. ^ "Mission & Goals". Honor Flight Network. Archived from the original on October 3, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Southwest Airlines Corporate Headquarters, Love Field, Dallas." Southwest Airlines. Retrieved on February 18, 2010.
  14. ^ "Southwest Airlines breaks ground on $100M HQ expansion in Dallas, plans to add 1,000 employees – Dallas Business Journal". Bizjournals.com. September 17, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Southwest Reports Third Quarter Profit". investorroom.com. September 30, 2017. Retrieved December 27, 2017. 
  16. ^ "Herbert D. Kelleher – Officer Biographies – Southwest Airlines Newsroom". swamedia.com. Retrieved April 3, 2015. 
  17. ^ "Southwest Airlines Announces Executive Promotions". swamedia.com. Retrieved January 10, 2017. 
  18. ^ "SWAPA". SWAPA. March 27, 2008. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  19. ^ "AMFA Home". Amfanatl.org. Retrieved August 22, 2011. 
  20. ^ https://www.southwest.com/html/southwest-difference/community-involvement/sponsorships.html
  21. ^ "Chinese New Year Festival & Parade". Chinese New Year Festival & Parade. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Southwest". Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines Co. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  23. ^ a b Bamber, G.J., Gittell, J.H., Kochan, T.A. & von Nordenflytch, A. (2009). "Up in the Air: How Airlines Can Improve Performance by Engaging their Employees". Cornell University Press, Ithaca. 
  24. ^ Strauss, Michael (2010): Value Creation in Travel Distribution, https://www.amazon.com/dp/0557612462
  25. ^ a b "Track 2–Corridor Programs of the Federal Railroad Administration's High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) Program, Application Form" 2009; see ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/stimulus/t_bone.pdf
  26. ^ https://www.swamedia.com/channels/Corporate-Fact-Sheet/pages/corporate-fact-sheet#dailydepartures
  27. ^ "Flight attendants". Southwest Airlines. Retrieved August 7, 2017. 
  28. ^ "City Fact Sheets – City Fact Sheets". Southwest Airlines Co. 
  29. ^ https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/htcpi66732/attachments/htcpi66732/stories/46285/1/Summer2017SkedFreqs.pdf
  30. ^ https://www.southwest.com/html/air/airport-information.html?clk=GFOOTER-FLY-AIRPORTINFO
  31. ^ "Chicago (Midway)" (PDF). Swamedia.com. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  32. ^ "Baltimore" (PDF). Swamedia.com. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  33. ^ "Las Vegas" (PDF). Swamedia.com. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  34. ^ "Denver" (PDF). Swamedia.com. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  35. ^ "Phoenix" (PDF). Swamedia.com. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
  36. ^ "Orlando" (PDF). Swamedia.com. Retrieved 2016-08-28. 
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