1972 to 1977




May 13, 1972

Southwest sells fourth aircraft to Frontier Airlines, making a $500,000 net profit, after a Federal District Judge rules that Southwest cannot fly charters out of state, thus the ten-minute turn is born.

May 14, 1972

Southwest transfers all Houston service to Hobby.

June 06, 1972

The Regional Airport Board and the Cities of Dallas and Fort Worth sue Southwest to force it to move to D/FW Airport.

June 18, 1972


July 07, 1972

President Nixon orders search of all carryon baggage of commuter airlines, which includes Southwest, PS Air California, and Eastern commuter flights.

July 09, 1972

Southwest introduces "Executive Class Service" fares with a fare increase and complimentary cocktails.

September 14, 1972

Antitrust grand jury is impaneled in San Antonio.

September 14, 1972

TAC intervenes in the latest Love Field case.

October 30, 1972

Saturday service resumes. Lamar Muse introduces the two-tier fare structure, one of the most important innovations in airline marketing history. "Pleasure Class" fares introduce night half-fare flights, $13 one-way, $25 roundtrip after 6:59 p.m. and all day Saturday and Sunday systemwide.

December 31, 1972

1972 Milestones Revenue passengers: 308,999 Trips flown: 10,576 Fleet: 3 aircraft Employees at yearend: 183


January 22, 1973

Southwest offers "half-fare" sale to SAT on all flights, $13 one-way, $25 roundtrip.

February 01, 1973

Braniff begins the $13 Fare War offering a $13 fare from DAL to HOU—Southwest's only profitable route. Southwest responds by offering Customers the choice of a $13 fare or a free bottle of premium liquor with every full fare ticket ($26). (Southwest becomes the largest distributor in Texas of Chivas, Crown Royal, and Smirnoff for the following two months.) The battle turns out to be the famous $13 Fare War—one of the most widely reported and publicly watched conflicts of aviation history.

March 21, 1973

Southwest consolidates reservations and the Dallas Reservations Center (DRC) opens. DRC closes on Feb. 28, 2004.

March 26, 1973

Hearings begin in Federal Judge Wm. M. Taylor, Jr.'s court over Southwest staying at Love Field.

April 24, 1973

Annual Shareholders Meeting.

April 28, 1973

Judge Wm. W. Taylor, Jr. rules Southwest can operate from Love Field as long as the airport remains open.

May 01, 1973

$13 fare becomes permanent fare between DAL-SAT.

May 01, 1973

Southwest begins accepting Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) card after receiving approval to become part of plan.

June 18, 1973

Second Anniversary

July 01, 1973

Southwest announces second quarter of 1973 was first quarter that all three months were profitable.

July 09, 1973

Southwest files application with the TAC to extend routes to the Rio Grande Valley through HRL.

October 01, 1973

First and last chili cook-off.

December 01, 1973

Fares increase to $28 Executive Class, $15 Pleasure Class.

December 31, 1973

1973 Milestones Revenue passengers: 543,407 Trips flown: 10,619 Fleet: 3 aircraft Employees at yearend: 238 First quarterly profit in Company history (2nd quarter)

December 31, 1973

Southwest ends 1973 with our first yearly profit!


January 13, 1974

Jan. 13, 1974 Southwest announces its first profitable year was 1973.

January 13, 1974

Southwest moves to American Airlines' gates (#2 and #3) at Love Field.

January 23, 1974

Southwest carries its one-millionth Customer.

February 26, 1974

Hearings begin in Austin before TAC for Valley route application.

March 04, 1974

Antitrust grand jury dismissed with no action.

March 18, 1974

Appeal on Love Field case heard in New Orleans by Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

April 01, 1974

Dallas City Council attempts to pass ordinance to close Love Field to commercial service (held for two weeks in order to attempt compromise).

April 11, 1974

Second grand jury for antitrust impaneled.

April 15, 1974

Dallas City Council passes ordinance closing Love Field to all scheduled airlines.

April 17, 1974

Judge Wm. M. Taylor, Jr. issues a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of the City Council's ordinance.

April 30, 1974

Annual Shareholder's Meeting.

May 17, 1974

Judge Wm. M. Taylor, Jr. has a "conference" with all interested parties in the Love Field/Regional Airport controversy and sets up a June 13 meeting for all parties to try to reach settlements on various issues.

May 31, 1974

Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upholds the 1973 ruling of Judge Wm. M. Taylor, Jr.

June 13, 1974

Jun. 13, 1974 Judge Taylor holds third meeting with all interested parties on Love Field

June 18, 1974

Third Anniversary.

October 01, 1974

Lowers fares to $25 Executive Class, one-way, and $15 Pleasure Class, one-way.

October 01, 1974

A new Flight Attendant uniform is introduced—the Company's third -- a play of white polka dots on orange for blouse with rust shade of orange hot pants and aviator jacket – to become effective October 1, 1974.

October 01, 1974

Southwest places our fourth Boeing 737 into service.

December 08, 1974

Southwest moves to new facilities in original terminal at Hobby, remodeled at cost of $400,000 by Southwest. The new facilities will include two jetway-equipped boarding gates and two 2500-square-foot departure lounges.

December 10, 1974

Texas International Airlines files suit in 200th District Court, Austin, seeking among other items to "relitigate" the Love Field case in state court.

December 16, 1974

Supreme Court lets stand the decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals against the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth.

December 31, 1974

1974 Milestones Revenue passengers: 759,721 Trips flown: 12,382 Fleet: 4 aircraft Employees at yearend: 323


January 27, 1975

U.S. Supreme Court denies petition for rehearing Love Field case.

February 11, 1975

Southwest begins service to Rio Grande Valley through Harlingen Airport (HRL) with four roundtrip flights each business day after the TAC grants authority to expand service on February 6.

February 19, 1975

Texas International files suit against the TAC and Southwest contesting the granting of Valley authority to Southwest.

March 21, 1975

Southwest asks Judge Wm. M. Taylor, Jr. (U.S. District Court) to enjoin the portion of TIA suit (Dec.10, 1974) regarding Love Field state suit.

April 19, 1975

Annual Shareholder's Meeting.

June 15, 1975

Judge Taylor issues preliminary injunction prohibiting CAB carriers from "relitigating" Southwest's right to serve Dallas Love Field.

June 18, 1975

Four year anniversary

July 01, 1975

Southwest places fifth Boeing 737 into service.

October 24, 1975

Southwest Airlines common stock is listed for trading on the American Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "LUV".

December 31, 1975

1975 Milestones Revenue passengers: 1,136,318 Trips flown: 17,552 Fleet: 5 aircraft Employees at yearend: 392 Cities opened: HRL


February 11, 1976

Southwest carries its three millionth Customer--Bob Pianta of San Antonio.

March 24, 1976

Southwest files application with the TAC to extend service to AUS, CRP, ELP, LBB, and MAF

April 27, 1976

Annual Shareholder's Meeting.

May 12, 1976

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments on preliminary injunction issued by Judge Taylor regarding Texas International suit on Southwest using Love Field.

June 06, 1976

Southwest opens, expands, and remodels gate and lounge area at SAT.

June 15, 1976

Southwest places order with Boeing for four additional aircraft–scheduled for delivery in June, October, November, and December 1977–valued in excess of $32 million. The delivery dates are later moved up to May, June, July, and September 1977.

June 18, 1976

Southwest celebrates fifth anniversary with parties in DAL, HOU, SAT, HRL, and a banquet for five-year Employees.

August 10, 1976

Southwest's Board of Directors declares the Company's first ever quarterly dividend to shareholders of record at close of business October 8, 1976, payable October 22, 1976, in the amount of $6.25.

August 17, 1976

Seven Southwest Airlines' Sales Representatives shock Texas travelers as they drive in the Company's newest fleet of American Motors Gremlins and Pacers, complete in every detail—from the colors to the Southwest logo on the hatchback—to resemble a Southwest plane.

September 13, 1976

Southwest places sixth Boeing 737 into service.

September 30, 1976

Public issue of 461,242 shares of Southwest common stock from original 2 million authorized. (366,242 shares were sold by Southwest and 95,000 shares for the account of certain warrant holders.) As of January 1, 1977, there are 1,590,000 shares outstanding. E. F. Hutton, Dallas, is the principal underwriter.

October 28, 1976

Judge Wm. R. Meyer, 200th District Court, Travis County, announces that the Court had concluded that the TAC order granting Southwest authority to serve the HRL was sustained.

November 01, 1976

TAC examiner John Soule recommends Southwest be allowed to extend service to five new points.

December 01, 1976

TAC grants Southwest right to expand service to AUS, CRP, ELP, LBB, and MAF.

December 14, 1976

Fort Worth and Braniff request re-hearing by TAC of case for Southwest's five new points.

December 22, 1976

Southwest enters into new $50 million loan agreement with Mercantile National at Dallas (lead bank), Republic National Bank (Dallas), First City National (Houston), and Texas Commerce Bank National Association (Houston).

December 28, 1976

TAC denies re-hearing requests of Fort Worth and Braniff.

December 31, 1976

1976 Milestones Revenue passengers: 1,539,113 Trips flown: 22,311 Fleet: 6 aircraft Employees at yearend: 517


January 17, 1977

Deadline for Texas International to file on Valley case of December 10, 1974. This ends litigation on the Valley case.

January 25, 1977

Fort Worth files suit in 200th District Court seeking to block extension of Southwest's service to five additional points.

January 26, 1977

Southwest's Board of Directors declares 5-for-4 stock split for shareholders of record at the close of business February 23, 1977, payable on March 16, 1977. They also declare second quarterly cash dividend payable on February 21, 1977 to shareholders of record at close of business February 7, 1977.

January 28, 1977

Plaintiffs appeal to the Supreme Court; the Court concurs when it denies an application to hear the case.

January 28, 1977

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds Judge Taylor's preliminary injunction; upholding the eight times in three years the federal courts have upheld the right of Southwest to use Love Field.

March 01, 1977

Southwest begins service to CRP with four roundtrip flights each business day between DAL, HOU, and SAT.

May 03, 1977

Southwest flies its five millionth Customer—Bud Halbert.

May 15, 1977

Flight Attendants sport a new look for "spreading LUV all over Texas." The new uniforms feature a 1977 version of hot pants—noncuffed, front zippered, and fitted at the waist for a sleek look. For summer, Southwest is introducing an overalls-styled outfit combining a miniskirt or bib-like top of denim satin polyester.

May 20, 1977

Southwest begins service to LBB and MAF with four roundtrip flights each business day between DAL, HOU, SAT, CRP, and HRL.

June 18, 1977

Sixth Anniversary

June 27, 1977

Southwest common stock is listed for trading on the New York Stock exchange under the ticker symbol "LUV."

June 30, 1977

Southwest begins service to ELP with up to six roundtrip flights each business day between DAL, HOU, SAT, CRP, HRL, LBB, and MAF.

August 15, 1977

Braniff International and Texas International are indicted for anti-trust violations by the Justice Department (they were previously indicted February 14, 1975 and the charges were dismissed February 22, 1977).

September 15, 1977

Southwest's fifth city in one year opens! Service to AUS begins with six roundtrip flights each business day between DAL, CRP, ELP, MAF, and LBB.

October 25, 1977

Southwest's Board of Directors announces a quarterly dividend of $ .07 per share to be paid on November 15, 1977 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Tuesday, November 8, 1977.

December 31, 1977

1977 Milestones Revenue passengers: 2,339,524 Trips flown: 35,415 Fleet: 10 aircraft Employees at yearend: 892 Cities opened: CRP, LBB, MAF, ELP, AUS

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