Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot® Volunteer Program Takes Off in Schools Nationwide Inspiring More Than 412,000 Students Since Program’s Inception

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today announced the official kickoff of its award-winning Adopt-A-Pilot® program where thousands of fifth-grade students "adopt" Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways Pilots.  Through this unique volunteer program, Pilots commit their resources and time from February through May to educate students through aviation-themed activities related to math, science, and other core subjects as well as inspire them to stay in school, set goals, and dream big dreams for the future.  Now in its 16th year, more than 900 Pilots are visiting and inspiring students across the country.

"We hear countless stories from participating Pilots about how much they get back personally by helping students learn and inspiring them to dream big dreams," said Chuck Magill, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Flight Operations.  "We may be an airline, and we also do extraordinary work on the ground.  The Adopt-A-Pilot® program is a prime example of our dedication to community and commitment to bringing future leaders unique learning opportunities."

During the four-week long curriculum, Pilots volunteer their time in participating classrooms and correspond from the "road" via e-mail and postcards. Beyond the program's core mentorship and curriculum-based activities, participating Pilots often take it one step further and seek mentors for their students.  To learn more about the Adopt-A-Pilot program, visit the NUTS About Southwest blog. To watch a video highlighting how one Pilot took his student's dream on the dance floor to 30,000 feet, please visit

Created in 1997, Adopt-A-Pilot® started as a community outreach program in just 50 classrooms in Southwest's destination cities, and has grown to reach more than 412,000 students nationwide. Southwest Airlines developed the program in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the Smithsonian Institution of National Air and Space Museum. National leaders such as Gen. Colin Powell, President Bill Clinton, and First Lady Laura Bush have recognized the excellence that the Adopt-A-Pilot program offers students.

In its 42nd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by nearly 46,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating passengers boarded, and including wholly-owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways, operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 97 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and six near-international countries. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line thinking that takes into account the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of the People who work there and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the Planet.  The 2011 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at

Stay Connected

For Reporters Seeking
Answers to Questions

Phone 214-792-4847, Opt. 1


Additional Contacts