DALLAS — Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) celebrates earning 2023 recognition by Fortune as one of America’s Most Innovative Companies. Fortune conducted a survey among innovation experts, human resources executives, and Employees to determine the most innovative companies in the U.S.
The ranking is built on three innovation pillars – product, process, and culture as described below.
- Product Innovation: a deep look and evaluation of a Company’s products and services such as attractiveness and usability
- Process Innovation: the internal workflow of improvements through new tools and techniques
- Innovation Culture: how well a Company fosters a spirit of creativity and entrepreneurship
“At Southwest, we know the needs of our Customers and Employees are ever-evolving, and we strive to keep up with those needs,” said Tony Roach, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Customer Experience. “Our history is rich with innovation—we were the first airline to issue a paperless ticket—and we continue to find ways today to innovate and remove friction from the travel experience. Of course, in all that we do, we are mindful to stay true to our roots as the airline with Heart.”
A few examples of the innovative work at Southwest Airlines® include:
- Bringing enhanced WiFi1 connectivity onboard, installing in-seat power onboard new aircraft deliveries, offering larger overhead bins, introducing more entertainment options, and offering a wider selection of refreshments in the cabin.2
- Introducing a first-of-its kind policy among major U.S. airlines that eliminates expiration dates for all Southwest flight credits, allowing Customers to retain their invested flight credits to use toward future travel. This enhancement adds to Southwest’s flexible industry differentiators of two bags fly free, no change fees, and free same-day standby for all fares.3
- Enabling more new self-service digital capabilities, including the ability for Customers to purchase Upgraded Boarding for A1-A15 positions (when available) on the Southwest app and website, add a lap child at the time of booking, and modify both bounds of a flight via the Southwest app.
- Launching on-demand notifications for Customers during weather events to proactively provide additional context and rebooking options via text message and email.
- Making it easier to navigate airport lobbies with new airport signage that directs Customers to exactly where they need to go.
- Setting up Innovation Stations at airports where Employees are actively engaging in the process to identify challenges and find solutions to provide a better, more consistent Customer and Employee Experience.
- Integrating the Teams responsible for flight scheduling and day-to-day operations into one department, fostering a more resilient and reliable network.
- Reinforcing airport infrastructure by increasing available equipment and adding new tools providing real-time insight into the operational environment.
- Offering a unique Culture in all aspects of our business from how we celebrate our Employees to how we provide Next-Level Hospitality to our Customers.
- Where available. Available only on WiFi-enabled aircraft.
- On flights less than 175 miles, food and beverage service will be limited to water only.
- First and second checked bags. Weight and size limits apply. Fare difference may apply. Failure to cancel a reservation at least 10 minutes prior to scheduled departure may result in forfeited travel funds. Flight credits for non-refundable fares will be issued as long as the flight is cancelled more than 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure. You can list for same-day standby via a Southwest Customer Service Agent at the airport or the Southwest app or mobile web. You will receive a message based on the contact preference selected during booking if you are cleared on the flight. For both same-day change and same-day standby, you must change your flight or request to be added to the same-day standby list at least 10 minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your original flight or the no-show policy will apply. If using the app or mobile web for standby, you must list your name 30 minutes ahead of scheduled departure. Government taxes and fees may apply but you will be refunded. Your original boarding position is not guaranteed. See Southwest.com/standby for more details.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world’s most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline4. Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its more than 71,0005 people to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among more than 126 million Customers carried in 2022. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years6 of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship. As the airline with Heart, Southwest has set a goal to work toward achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Southwest has also set near-term targets and a four-pillar strategy to achieve its environmental goals. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/planet.
Visit the Southwest Newsroom at swamedia.com for multimedia assets and other Company news.
Media Relations Team: (214) 792-4847, option 1
- Based on US Dept. of Transportation quarterly Airline Origin & Destination Survey since Q1 2021
- Fulltime-equivalent active Employees
- 1973-2019 annual profitability
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