On July 13 1995, Southwest announced daily service to Florida. They also hired me that day (but that didn’t make the news). What I didn’t know then, was how grateful I would be, 16 years later, to be able to fly to Florida for free (more on that later).
My Southwest story starts in the best airport in our system (at least in my opinion), Midland International Airport (pictured above). Having grown up in Odessa, Texas, it bothered me that the airport name did not include Odessa, since the airport sits right in between both cities, but I am grateful to all our Crews that announce our arrival into Midland- Odessa! I am so grateful to have started my career with such a wonderful group of People. I made friends for life and they taught me what Positively Outrageous Service meant, and what it meant to be part of the Southwest family. Three years after I was hired, I spread my wings and landed at our Headquarters in Dallas, Texas. Since moving to Dallas in 1998, I have worked in our People Department for all but two years, which I spent working with our outstanding Flight Operations Department. I am passionate about hiring the right people for this great family and developing great leaders to help take care of our Family in the future. I am humbled by the opportunities that working at Southwest has given me, but of all the experiences I have had, nothing compares to the experience of getting to work every day with such an amazing group of people!
I am blessed to have built relationships here that will last a lifetime. Your Coworkers really are your extended Family and walk with you through the ups and downs of life. My best friend’s husband, Major Troy Gilbert, USAF gave his life for our great country on November 27, 2006. What my Southwest family did for me and my friend who lived in Phoenix, AZ with her 5 children is impossible to detail in this blog, but I am forever grateful. To work for a Company that truly cares about you as a person is a gift, and one that I wish for all of you.
Now back to starting service to Florida in 1995. My friend currently lives in Florida with her wonderful new husband and their children and I don’t have to miss any important events in their lives because of the wonderful travel privileges I have on Southwest.
And speaking of travel privileges, my Mom would scold me if I didn’t take this opportunity to thank Southwest for all of her free flights! Because of that awesome benefit, we have been fortunate enough to be with my family and friends during all the important stuff in life, and been able to show my graduating senior parts of this amazing country of ours. I can’t wait to see where the next part of my journey with Southwest takes me, and just to put the cherry on top, the next chapter happens to include the love of my life, who also happens to be a Southwest Employee. It is the LUV airline, after all!