Major Initiatives



1972 to 1978 - LUV Over Texas


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.

July 09, 1972

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

July 09, 1973

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

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1979 to 1981 - More than Texas


August 30, 1979

Southwest introduces Cubic-Western Data self-ticketing machines in all cities. By swiping their credit card in the machine, Customers are able to buy a ticket and go directly to the gate.

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1982 to 1984 - Winging to the Coast


March 22, 1983

A new Cargo Test Program is implemented in MCI aimed at travel agencies handling corporate accounts and if successful, will be implemented throughout Southwest's system.

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1985 to 1989 - Heartland LUV


September 23, 1985

Southwest begins Senior Citizen Fares, offering those 65 years of age or older systemwide fares of $25 each way between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

June 13, 1986

Introduces RUSH PLUS, a new same- or next-day door-to-door air express service. RUSH PLUS is an extension of the RUSH airport-to-airport express service.

May 11, 1987

Expands the full-service freight product by adding air freight to its small package RUSH service between ELP, LAS, LAX, PHX, and SAN.

June 20, 1987

Filling a void for the shorthaul business traveler, Southwest introduces "The Company Club," a frequent flyer program based on total trips flown, regardless of distance that is the simplest and fastest way to receive free roundtrip tickets.

November 16, 1987

Southwest's successful Youth Standby program has been expanded to include most nonstop destinations from DAL, offering two tiers of fares. The age restriction has also been increased to include 18 to 24 year olds.

October 04, 1988

Launches a "Killer Shipper" program to promote the company's new AIR FREIGHT service. Southwest offers general commodity freight between 25 cities across it system with competitive city-pair rates. The Killer Shipper promotion will allow volume AIR FREIGHT shippers the opportunity to receive a commemorate Shamu One model airplane.

November 02, 1988

Ticket By Mail is born.

November 27, 1988

Southwest teams up with Burger King to usher in a new travel opportunity—The "Buddy Pass" program.

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1990 to 1994 - Look West, Young Airline


November 01, 1991

Initiates service LAS-LAX with six flights daily and an everyday low fare of $59 one-way. Introduces low "Infant Fares" for parents who book reservations for and ticket infants and toddlers between the ages of 14 days and two years to travel in FAA approved carseats.

April 27, 1992

Income for the first quarter ended March 31, 1992, before the cumulative effect of a change in accounting principle, was $13.5 million ($.30 per share) compared to a net loss of $8.2 million ($.19 per share) in first quarter 1991. The increase in earnings was principally due to a 32.4% increase in passenger revenues accompanied by a 26.1% decrease in the average cost of jet fuel per gallon. The load factor for the first quarter was 62.8%, up 2.1 points from first quarter 1991. FUN FARES will undergo some changes designed to offer greater flexibility for Customers traveling on the airline's lowest fares. Under the new terms, Customers who are unable to use their FUN FARE tickets as originally scheduled are now allowed to use those same tickets toward the purchase of other FUN FARE tickets.

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1995 to 1997 - Southern Days and Southern Flights


January 31, 1995

Marking a new era in the airline industry, Southwest becomes the first major airline to offer Ticketless Travel to its Customers systemwide.

March 17, 1995

Customers are now able to log on to, the "Southwest Airlines Home Gate" -- a new site on the Internet's WWW which provides user-friendly access to a comprehensive route map of Southwest services. Southwest Airlines is the first major airline to post a web site.

June 16, 1995

Announces link from World Wide Web "Home Gate" to "TravelWeb®"--developed by The Hotel Industry Switch Company (THISCO), which allows Internet users to conveniently book their own airline travel and hotel accommodations.

April 12, 1996

Announces a new fare program designed to make travel even more affordable for the upcoming summer travel season. Southwest hires Siboney USA as its Hispanic agency of record. Siboney will advise Southwest in the development of strategic marketing programs targeting Hispanic travelers.

April 25, 1996

"Rapid Rewards" officially takes the place of "The Company Club" as the new name for our frequent flier program.

April 30, 1996

Beginning today, Customers can purchase their flights on the Internet. Our "Home Gate" now includes an online reservations center, complimenting the carrier's Ticketless Travel program. Flight 1767 originally scheduled to depart from LAS at 1:00 p.m. PST and to arrive at BUR at 2:00 p.m. PST diverted to ONT where it landed safely at approximately 2:40 p.m. PST today. The aircraft called in with difficulty in extending one of its main landing gear. No injuries to passengers or crew were reported. The crew of flight 1767 initiated a controlled evacuation procedure using one of the aircraft's escape slides.

December 17, 1996

Southwest and Icelandair sign a marketing agreement for travel between CLE and Icelandair gateways in Europe. This joint relationship, the first between Southwest and Icelandair, is a test program representing a single-route marketing agreement providing a link between Europe and CLE only and is not a code share agreement or a systemwide interline agreement.

January 22, 1997

Our Utah Reservations Center (URC) gets a new home, and an open house is held to celebrate. Southwest begins a test program with Icelandair to link CLE with Europe through a single-route marketing agreement.

August 14, 1997

Southwest and Icelandair expand thier marketing agreement that includes MDW, SDF, and PVD. The two airlines will offer fares as low as $298 roundtrip from the Southwest cities to Europe with a connection in BWI.

August 20, 1997

Southwest and Worldview Systems Corporation, a leading publisher of online and interactive destination information, announces that travelers visiting Southwest's Web site can get instant travel/entertainment details for more than 20,000 US and worldwide destinations.

September 11, 1997

Introduces Freedom USA passes; a new product available in the United Kingdom for international travelers who want to purchase tickets on Southwest for travel in the US.

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1998 to 2000 - Southwest Flies Northeast


February 02, 1998

Announces new preboarding and carryon "Bin Hog" policy.

February 24, 1998

Introduces Special Weekly Internet Fares Available from all Southwest cities. Each week a different special will be available beginning on each Tuesday and must be purchased by that Friday.

August 16, 2000

Southwest Airlines and Talarian Corporation announces the deployment of the Southwest Integrated Flight Tracking System (SWIFT). The real-time flight management systems uses SmartSockets, Talarian's infrastructure software, as the communications platform to deliver mission-critical data for its 2,600 daily flights. The advanced SWIFT system provides Southwest data managers with a real-time snapshot status report on everything from flight tracking and fuel usage to passenger loads and crew management, gate information and weather reports.

December 01, 2000

Hertz, Budget, and Alamo launch rental cars on

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2001 to 2004 - Post 9/11, Southwest Recovers


August 07, 2001

Southwest unveils its newest Pilot and Flight Attendant Crew Bases at Orlando International Airport. AMA rolls out a new automated bag tag system. The new system showed immediate ticket counter and ramp handling improvements in efficiency and selectee procedures (a lot of minutes saved by not writing; as well as complete compliance with the FAA on selectee procedures).

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2005 to 2007 - Wright WAS Wrong


January 07, 2005

The Department of Transportation concludes its review of the code share agreement with ATA Airlines, allowing Southwest to put the agreement into service.

January 07, 2005

Southwest receives DOT approval for the ATA codeshare agreement.

March 01, 2005

Southwest launches the first-ever direct link to Customer’s computer desktops. DING! lets Customers know directly when the hottest deals are available at

May 06, 2005

To support the efforts to repeal the Wright Amendment, Southwest launches Colleen Barrett receives the 2005 George E. Haddaway Award for her contribution to aviation.

June 01, 2005

As part of The Dallas Morning News’s “World Class Headquarters DFW,” Southwest is featured in 28 issues highlighting the Dallas area’s top companies. Redefining Excellence rolls out, with PHX the first station to undergo a thorough comprehensive look at its operations. Its goal is to improve the Customer Experience, improve the quality of life for Employees, to maintain Southwest’s Low-Cost Leadership, and to improve efficiency.    

November 01, 2005

MDW Chief Pilot Lou Freeman, the first African-American Chief Pilot for a U.S. airline, played a role in history as he flew the body of Rosa Parks on a Southwest airplane to memorial services in Montgomery, AL, and Washington to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. Lou flew nearly 100 people to the services, at one point circling Montgomery and dipping a wing as a tribute to the civil rights pioneer. Southwest received a full standing ovation at Ms. Parks’ memorial service when the president of the NAACP announces our gift of airline service. Southwest introduces the southwestgiftcard, available for purchase at

January 24, 2006

Southwest announces an expanded codeshare agreement with ATA to include new connecting service through HOU and OAK. The HOU service begins April 2, and will connect Customers from various Southwest cities to ATA flights to New York City’s La Guardia Airport. The OAK service starts April 28, and will connect Customers from various Southwest cities to ATA flights to Hilo, Honolulu, and Maui, Hawaii. The codeshare agreement allows Southwest and ATA to exchange passengers and their checked baggage at either HOU or OAK, with a single ticketing option through either airline. The Southwest Board of Directors declare 118th Consecutive quarterly dividend of $.0045 per share to Shareholders of record at the close of business on March 2, 2006, on all shares then issued and outstanding. Our Board also authorizes the repurchase of up to $300 million of Southwest’s common stock, or about 18 million shares out of 804 million shares outstanding.

September 19, 2007

Open seating is here to stay. Southwest announces that it will retain its famous open seating system, but at the same time, it announces enhancements to the boarding process which will begin in November. Customers will now line up by specific numbers within the A, B, and C boarding groups.

November 07, 2007

Several new boarding enhancements are introduced. The Business Select Fare, for a small additional charge, allows Customers to board the aircraft first. The A-List makes life easier for frequent Rapid Rewards travelers by automatically checking in Customers having more than 32 flown flight segments in a 12-month period.

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2008 to 2010 - Revealing the Future


January 23, 2008

In financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2007, Southwest posted a profit of $111 million for the quarter and $645 million for the year. Excluding special items, the airline posted a net profit of $87 million for the quarter and the net yearly profit was $499 million. 2007 was the airlines 35th consecutive profitable year.  Southwest also announces that it will be the first U.S. carrier to test satellite-delivered wireless broadband connections on multiple aircraft. The tests, in partnership with Row 44, are set to begin during the summer and will include four aircraft.

June 19, 2008

Avis Rent A Car becomes a Preferred Partner with Rapid Rewards. Southwest publicly addresses the benefits of using RNP (Required Navigation Performance) and the airline's intention to implement this fleetwide. Southwest applauds the FAA's Roadmap to RNP, and it will invest over $175 million during the next six years to implement RNP procedures at the airline's 64 airports.

July 08, 2008

LUV will go beyond the country as Southwest announces its first international codeshare agreement. By teaming up with Canada's WestJet, Southwest will be able to offer codeshare flights and to sell WestJet space to Canada.

December 22, 2008

Southwest Airlines submits an application to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to acquire international route authority to operate flights between the United States and Canada. The application for a certificate to provide foreign air transportation is required by law before Southwest Airlines can fully implement its previously announced codeshare agreement with Canadian carrier WestJet. The certificate, which Southwest hopes to receive in the first quarter of next year, would also allow Southwest Airlines the authority to operate flights to Canada with its own planes, although the airline does not have any plans to do so at this time. Under the planned codeshare, Southwest Airlines and WestJet will offer Customers a seamless travel experience to a wide array of destinations in both the U.S. and Canada. The airlines plan to announce codeshare flight schedules in the second half of 2009.

February 10, 2009

In conjunction with satellite communication provider Row 44, Southwest announces that it will begin testing inflight wi-fi with four aircraft. Unlike other airlines that utilize sky to ground wi-fi connections, Southwest will utilize sky to satellite connection, which according to Dave Ridlely, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Revenue Management, will offer "the most robust solution in the industry."

March 17, 2009

On St. Patrick's Day, Southwest celebrates "Green Tuesday" with a demonstration flight using RNP (Required Navigation Performance) procedures between Dallas Love Field and Houston Hobby. RNP will allow more precise, direct, and accurate flight paths, thus reducing emissions.

April 27, 2009

The flights of Mexican airline, Volaris are now available for booking on through a link to Volaris's web site.

May 04, 2009

Southwest gives its onboard coffee a LIFT ™ with a rich, dark-roasted 100-percent Arabica blend of coffees from South and Central America. The new coffee service also features liquid creamers and environment-friendly cups made with recycled materials.

May 29, 2009

Starting June 17, Southwest Customers will be able to bring their pet dog or cat in the cabin with them for a one-way charge of $75. Pets must travel in a carrier that will fit underneath the seat in front of the Customer.

June 19, 2009

Southwest Airlines opens the Southwest Porch at Bryant Park, a brand new al fresco lounge that will provide New Yorkers and visitors alike with a fun seasonal venue to enjoy summer evenings in the center of one of New York City's most beloved public parks. The Porch--complete with porch swings, rocking chairs and Adirondack chairs--is part of the airline's campaign to celebrate its new service into and out of LaGuardia Airport beginning June 28th.

August 21, 2009

Beginning this fall, Southwest will be moving to the next step of certifying Southwest's full fleet with plans to begin fleetwide rollout of the Row 44 satellite service in the first quarter of 2010. The airline has been testing the service on four aircraft since Feb. 2009 and has received fantastic Customer feedback on the product

September 02, 2009

Southwest announces its newest product, EarlyBird Check-in, which gives Customers the option to score an early boarding position by adding an additional $10 to the price of a one-way fare. The low-cost service automatically reserves a boarding position for Customers prior to general checkin, allowing EarlyBird Customers to begin boarding the plane after Southwest's Business Select and Rapid Rewards A-List Customers.

October 21, 2009

At its annual Media Day, Southwest unveils a "Green Plane" that will serve as a test environment for new environmentally responsible materials and Customer comfort products. All of the initiatives being tested on the Green Plane, when combined, will equate to a weight savings of almost five pounds per seat, thus saving fuel and reducing emissions, along with adding recyclable elements to the cabin interior and reducing waste.

May 10, 2010

Southwest Airlines adds a new beer offering onboard, Corona Extra with a lime. Corona Extra is the #1 selling imported beer in the U.S.  The additional beverage option is another way Southwest is improving the Customer experience onboard.

August 10, 2010

Southwest Airlines announces it has developed a mobile site for its popular corporate travel tool, At one glance, on-the-go corporate travelers can check air reservations and flight status, check in online, consult flight schedules, view their traveler account, and access the full options available on the main swabiz site; all while allowing their companies to benefit from the reporting features delivered through

September 27, 2010

Southwest Airlines announces today that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AAI), the parent company of AirTran Airways (AirTran), for a combination of cash and Southwest Airlines' common stock.  Including the existing AirTran net indebtedness and capitalized aircraft operating leases, the transaction value is approximately $3.4 billion.  The agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each company, and its closing is subject to the approval of AirTran Stockholders, receipt of certain regulatory clearances, and fulfillment of customary closing conditions.  "Today is an exciting day for our Employees, our Customers, the communities we serve, and our Shareholders," said Gary C. Kelly, Chairman, President, and CEO of Southwest Airlines. "As we approach our 40th Anniversary of providing exceptional Customer Service at everyday low fares, the acquisition of AirTran represents a unique opportunity to grow Southwest Airlines' presence in key markets we don't yet serve and takes a significant step towards positioning us for future growth.”

October 14, 2010

The decision to bring the Boeing 737-800 into the Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) fleet moves another step closer to reality as the Board of Directors for the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA), representing more than 5,800 Pilots, unanimously approves a tentative agreement reached with the Company. The tentative agreement will now be presented to the full SWAPA membership for a ratification vote.  In September, the Executive Board of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, representing more than 9,700 Southwest Flight Attendants, unanimously approved a tentative agreement reached with the Company.  That tentative agreement is currently being presented to all members of TWU 556 for a ratification vote.

October 28, 2010

Southwest Airlines launches a new product that allows Customers to book international flights by connecting with Volaris, Mexico's second-largest airline.  Starting Nov. 12, Customers can book service from 20 Southwest cities to five Volaris Mexican destinations (Cancun, Guadalajara, Morelia, Toluca/Mexico City, andZacatecas), for travel starting Dec. 1. The new service will connect through Los Angeles International Airport, Oakland International Airport, and San Jose International Airport and will create up to 85 additional flight itineraries.

November 9, 2010

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Holdings announce that each received a request yesterday for additional information from the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with Southwest's previously announced proposed acquisition of AirTran.  This action, often referred to as a "second request," is a common part of the regulatory approval process under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.  Both parties are in the process of gathering information to respond to the second request and will continue to work cooperatively with the DOJ as it reviews the transaction.

November 18, 2010

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants, represented by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local 556, voted to ratify a tentative agreement reached with the Company in September to add the Boeing 737-800 to the current collective bargaining agreement. With this positive vote, the Flight Attendants' current contract will also be extended by one year, becoming amendable May 31, 2013, and will include the potential for wage rate increases based on the Company's financial performance. TWU 556 is made up of more than 9,700 Flight Attendants.

December 1, 2010

The Southwest Airlines' Pilots' Association (SWAPA), ratifies a tentative agreement reached with the Company in October to add the Boeing 737-800 to the current collective bargaining agreement.  With this positive vote, the Pilots' current contract will also be extended by one year, becoming amendable August, 2012, and will include the potential for wage rate increases based on the Company's financial performance. SWAPA is made up of more than 5,600 Southwest Pilots.

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2011 to Present - One LUV


January 5, 2011

Southwest Airlines unveils the details of the All-New Rapid Rewards program, the carrier’s frequent flyer program, which will officially launch on March 1, 2011.  In the enhanced program, Members can redeem their points for every seat, every day, on every flight with no blackout dates or seat restrictions, and points won’t expire with any earning activity in a 24-month time period.  Members will earn points for every dollar spent on Southwest flights.  The amount of points earned is based on the fare and fare product purchased, and the same is true for redeeming points. 

January 11, 2011

Required Navigation Performance (RNP) efficient flight procedures begin for Southwest Airlines' Pilots at 11 airports nationwide.  This major milestone to reduce environmental impact with a more efficient operation and to assist the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on NextGen initiatives is the culmination of a four-year project with partners Boeing, GE, and Honeywell.  RNP is satellite-based navigation that brings together the accuracy of GPS (Global Positioning System), the capabilities of advanced aircraft avionics, and new flight procedures.

February 24, 2011

Southwest Airlines reaches an agreement with its Pilots, represented by the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA), on an initial Transition Agreement that establishes a procedural framework for eventually integrating the Pilots of AirTran Airways into Southwest.  The integration addressed by the agreement would follow the official legal closing of Southwest's acquisition of AirTran's parent company, AirTran Holdings, Inc.

February 24, 2011

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) accepts Southwest Airlines’ transition plan to combine the operations of Southwest and AirTran Airways, following the financial close of its transaction to acquire AirTran.

March 23, 2011

Southwest Airlines confirms that shareholders of AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent company of AirTran Airways (AirTran), have overwhelmingly approved the proposed acquisition of AirTran by Southwest Airlines. More than 98.6 percent of votes cast and 77.5 percent of shares outstanding were voted in favor of the acquisition.
The transaction remains under review by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and is subject to certain other regulatory clearances. Southwest and AirTran continue to operate as two independent companies pending those clearances.

April 14, 2011

The respective Unions representing Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) and AirTran Airways Pilots, as well as both Companies sign a Four-Party Process Agreement that provides for the two pilot groups to begin their seniority integration discussions prior to legal closing of the AirTran acquisition. It also outlines provisions of an implementation schedule in the event an agreement is reached on an integrated seniority list (ISL).

April 21, 2011

Southwest Airlines announces that it intends to close on its transaction to acquire AirTran Holdings, Inc. on May 2, 2011. Upon close, Southwest also said it anticipates that Bob Jordan, Southwest's Executive Vice President Strategy and Planning, will be appointed as President of AirTran Airways to help guide AirTran through its integration with Southwest.

April 26, 2011

Southwest Airlines Co. and AirTran Holdings, Inc., the parent company of AirTran Airways (AirTran), announce that they have been notified by the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) of the termination of its Hart-Scott-Rodino Act review and the closing of its investigation of the airlines' pending merger.

May 2, 2011

Southwest Airlines closes its purchase of all of the outstanding common stock of AirTran Holdings, Inc., the former parent company of AirTran Airways (AirTran).  "The successful closing of this transaction is a significant accomplishment and marks a great day in the history of Southwest Airlines.  I want to thank the People from both Southwest and AirTran who helped us achieve this important milestone," said Gary Kelly, CEO, Chairman, and President of Southwest Airlines.  "Our first order of business is to welcome our new friends from AirTran to the family in a truly Southwest Airlines way.”

May 5, 2011

Southwest Airlines doubles the number of Southwest markets able to connect to Mexico, through both Chicago Midway and Las Vegas.  26 Southwest cities, primarily in the Northeast and Midwest, now connect to Volaris flights between Chicago Midway and Guadalajara, Mexico.  These new markets include New York LaGuardia, Boston Logan, Detroit Metro, Newark Liberty International, Baltimore/Washington International, Philadelphia International, Pittsburg International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, Nashville International, Indianapolis International, Lambert-St. Louis International, and Louisville International, among others.

May 12, 2011

Southwest Airlines will partner with EAA’s AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh the last week of July for the second year in a row and will be a sponsor of the "World's Greatest Aviation Celebration" to honor 40 Years of Southwest history.  Southwest's participation will include a recognition and honor of military veterans, educational opportunities for young aviators, a chance to view a Southwest aircraft as few have seen one, and will build to a "Super Saturday" presented by Southwest Airlines, featuring a nighttime air show, fireworks, and concert.

July 16, 2011

An agreement in principle is reached between the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA), the union representing Southwest Airlines Pilots and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the union representing the pilots of AirTran Airways. This agreement in principle, subject to the respective unions' board approval and membership ratification, would integrate the two groups' seniority lists.

July 25, 2011

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways each release flight schedules for January 8, 2012, through March 9, 2012, that reflect the first effort by the two airlines to coordinate published schedules.  While the airlines' networks are not connected at this point, both airlines are working together to publish the best flight schedules to the places Customers want to go.

September 22, 2011

A tentative agreement is reached between the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA), the union representing Southwest Airlines Pilots, and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the union representing the pilots of AirTran Airways. This tentative agreement would integrate the two groups' seniority lists.  SWAPA's Board of Directors and ALPA's Master Executive Council both approved the agreement, allowing the membership of each Pilot's Union to review the proposed agreement and ultimately put it to a ratification vote.  

November 7, 2011

A seniority integration agreement is ratified between the Southwest Airlines Pilots' Association (SWAPA), the union representing Southwest Airlines Pilots, and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the union representing the pilots of AirTran Airways. This agreement integrates the two groups' seniority lists. SWAPA's Board of Directors and ALPA's Master Executive Council both approved the agreement in September, allowing the membership of each Pilot's Union to review the proposed agreement and ultimately ratify.

November 17, 2011

Production begins on a new series giving viewers a behind-the-scenes look at modern air travel, sharing the large-scale operations and personal Customer and Employee stories at Southwest Airlines.  The series will air on TLC, and the network has ordered 13 half-hour episodes, which are being produced by ITV Studios America. A title and premiere date have not yet been set.

December 13, 2011

Southwest Airlines will team with longtime partner Boeing to become the launch Customer of Boeing's new 737 MAX aircraft.  Southwest is the first Customer to place firm orders for the new, more fuel-efficient 737 MAX, and the Company also will become the first airline to accept delivery of the new aircraft in 2017.  As the launch Customer of the 737 MAX, Southwest extends its legacy with Boeing as the 737 launch Customer for the -300, -500, and -700.  The 737 MAX is the new-engine variant of the world's best-selling airplane and is powered by CFM International LEAP-1B engines.

December 22, 2011

Both the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), the union representing Southwest Airlines aircraft Mechanics, and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the union representing the Mechanics of AirTran Airways, vote to send a negotiated Seniority Integration Proposal to their respective memberships for a ratification vote.  This proposal would integrate the two groups' seniority lists, and also create a single labor agreement.  The Executive Boards of each Union agreed to forward the negotiated proposal to the membership of both AMFA and the Teamsters to review the proposed agreement and ultimately put it to a ratification vote.

December 23, 2011

A tentative Seniority Integration Agreement is reached between the Transport Workers Union (TWU) 557, the union representing Southwest Airlines Flight Instructors, and the Flight Instructors of AirTran Airways.  This tentative agreement would integrate the two groups' seniority lists.  The TWU 557 Executive Committee and the Employee Committee representing the AirTran Flight Instructors voted to pass this tentative agreement forward to their respective members, which allows each group to review the proposed agreement and ultimately put it to a ratification vote.

December 26, 2011

A tentative Seniority Integration Agreement is reached between the Company, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) 556, the union representing Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants, and the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) Council 57, the union representing the Flight Attendants of AirTran Airways.  This tentative agreement would integrate the two groups' seniority lists.  TWU 556's Executive Board and AFA's Master Executive Council both approved the agreement, which will allow the membership of each Union to review the proposed agreement and ultimately put it to a ratification vote.

January 17, 2012

Southwest Airlines introduces a new sleek cabin experience to enhance Customer comfort, improve fleet efficiency, and give back to the environment.  Dubbed Evolve: The New Southwest Interior, the cabin update utilizes durable and environmentally responsible products to reduce waste and create weight savings onboard the aircraft, while enhancing comfort for Customers.  The cabin refresh features recyclable carpet, a brighter color-scheme, and a more durable, eco-friendly, and comfortable low-profile seat that weighs less than the current seat. The new interior design also provides the unique opportunity of greater revenue potential by increasing the number of seats onboard from 137 to 143, without sacrificing Customer comfort and personal space but, at the same time, increasing under-seat room for carryon luggage.

April 03, 2012

Southwest Airlines announces a new national partnership with the most respected editorial voice in golf – The Sports Illustrated Golf Group (SIGG). The relationship will center around creating fun and unique experiences for golf fans tailored to the four largest U.S.-based championships of 2012 (the Masters, U.S. Open, PGA Championship and Ryder Cup) entitled Sports Illustrated at the Majors.

June 28, 2012

Southwest Airlines, in conjunction with Row 44, is taking the next step in wireless inflight entertainment with a preview of live TV on five of the carrier's aircraft, with plans to expand to 20 aircraft by mid-July. Customers on these select planes will now have the option to purchase live TV consisting of seven sports and news channels, and view on their personal devices.

October 25, 2012

Southwest introduces, a translated, Spanish version of was specifically designed to provide Southwest's Spanish-speaking Customers the best online experience in the language of their choice.

January 21, 2013

Southwest Airlines offers Customers the opportunity to purchase one of the earliest boarding positions at the gate for $40 per flight, when available.  This new boarding option is only offered at the gate on the day of travel, beginning 45 minutes before the flight departs. The airline successfully tested this new boarding option in San Diego in December 2012 and received positive feedback.

February 19, 2013

Southwest announces that movies on demand are now available on all WiFi-equipped Southwest aircraft for only $5 per movie, per device.  The airline also announces an upgrade to their television package.  Now, in addition to eight channels of live news and sports, Customers can also select on-demand episodes of popular television shows.

March 07, 2013

Southwest announces that more than 90 nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations from across the nation are selected for Southwest's 2013 Medical Transportation Grant Program.  By connecting the airline's service with the hospital's care, this program alleviates the financial burden of air travel for families who are facing serious illness by providing complimentary, roundtrip airline tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations.

March 26, 2013

As the "Official Airline of Golf Lovers," Southwest teed off a series of initiatives building on its commitment to those who love the game of golf.  In addition to a new and exciting partnership with Adams Golf, maker of the #1 Hybrids on the PGA Tour, Southwest, the airline where golf bags fly free, launched, making it the only airline with a dedicated golf landing page, featuring great fares to popular golf destinations, golf vacation packages, the ability to book tee times at more than 5,000 courses nationwide, and the opportunity to purchase golf merchandise and unique golf experiences using Rapid Rewards points.

April 10, 2013

Southwest Airlines, in conjunction with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), announces that they are accepting applications for their annual "Lanzate! / Take Off!" education travel award program. The program is geared toward Hispanic college students with economic need who travel away from home to pursue higher education.

April 26, 2013

Southwest Airlines, in partnership with The Trinity Trust Foundation and the City of Dallas, announces a three-year, $150,000 grant for the creation of the Trinity River Conservation Corps to clean and conserve Dallas' Trinity River Corridor. At the inaugural event were hundreds of Southwest Airlines volunteers who cleaned and cleared the Cedar Creek Overlook, giving their time from the heart. The group helped restore this riparian area by planting 400 love (or LUV) grass plants and 100 native blooming and non-blooming species provided by the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility.

June 04, 2013

Southwest Airlines partners with Points International Ltd., announcing that members can now buy, gift, and transfer Rapid Rewards Points to friends and family through the Rapid Rewards Points Center.

August 08, 2013

Southwest invites nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations to apply for the airline's 2014 Medical Transportation Grant Program. The program is designed to ease the financial burden on families confronting serious medical problems that require travel for treatment. Southwest donates roundtrip airline tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations in the program, and empowers the organization to distribute the tickets to patients as they see best based on the individuals' needs. In 2013 alone, Southwest donated more than $2.8 million in complimentary airfare through the program.

August 28, 2013

The People of Southwest Airlines kick off a new chapter in a four-decade LUV affair with college football by announcing a multi-year sponsorship and long-term support of the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta.  A number of inductees in the Hall's 2013 Enshrinement Class shared some of their moves with the carrier's all-star Employees as they flew to Atlanta for this week's enshrinement ceremony.

November 14, 2013

Just in time for the busy holiday season, Southwest Airlines announces that the airline will officially join the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) expedited screening program known as TSA Pre Check.  Beginning immediately, select Rapid Rewards Customers will be able to use dedicated security checkpoint lanes for TSA Pre Check benefits. The expedited screening process allows Customers to leave on shoes, light outerwear, and belts as well as keep laptops and 3-1-1 compliant liquids in their bags.

November 20, 2013

All Southwest Customers may now use small portable electronic devices (PEDs) in "airplane mode" from gate to gate – this means the Customers may use the airline's onboard WiFi, which is available on the majority of the airline's fleet. As Customers get ready to head out for Thanksgiving travel, they will now have the ability to stay connected from the time they step onboard a Southwest plane to the time they exit. Southwest is the only airline that offers a gate-to-gate connectivity on the majority of our fleet.

February 06, 2014

Southwest announces that 73 nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations from across the nation have been selected for the Southwest Airlines 2014 Medical Transportation Grant Program, with the total impact touching 99 facilities. Through the program, participating nonprofit hospitals and medical programs can provide complimentary, roundtrip airline tickets to families who are facing serious illness and need to travel for specialized medical care. Being able to fly for free to receive the best medical treatment available eases the financial burden on families, giving those who are already facing so much one less thing to worry about. In 2014, Southwest will provide more than $2.8 million in free transportation to caregivers and patients seeking medical treatment.

February 13, 2014

Southwest kicks off its 2014 Adopt-A-Pilot (AAP) program by celebrating aviation careers in a whole new way at Discovery World in Milwaukee. Through a relationship with Discovery World, Southwest AAP Pilots will address dozens of Milwaukee Public Schools students on Thursday, Feb.13th about careers in aviation and the math and science that go into every flight. The students also will take part in Discovery World aviation curriculum and have an opportunity to experience the Discovery World flight simulator. Through the unique AAP volunteer program, Southwest Airlines and AirTran Pilots across the country donate their time from February through May to educate students via fun aviation-themed activities relating to their core subjects.

April 03, 2014

Southwest Airlines announces a multi-year commitment to Placemaking – a movement that reimagines public spaces as the heart of every community. Through the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community program, the airline will revitalize and activate public spaces in the hearts of American cities in partnership with the pioneering nonprofit organization behind Placemaking, Project for Public Spaces (PPS).

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