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Inside The Magazine’s October Issue

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Every time I look at the cover of this issue, the theme song for Reading Rainbow goes through my head. Um, sorry, if I just got it stuck in your head. But that terrific show earned a whole generation of fans for its host, LeVar Burton. He’s the kind of warm celebrity you can think of as a friend; this helps explain how he broke the Kickstarter record, raising $1 million... read more

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Introducing Southwest: The Magazine

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Southwest Airlines new look has a lot of moving parts—literally. One of them is its inflight magazine. Not only did our name change from Spirit to Southwest: The Magazine, but hundreds of thousands of a special, celebratory September issue were switched out on planes beginning September 8 and 9.  (Click here to read more about the first version of our September issue.)... read more

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Inside Southwest: The Magazine’s September Issue

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At Southwest’s inflight magazine, we don’t shove just any celebrity on the cover.  We generally feature real people with real stories to tell. This month, though, we couldn’t resist featuring Mindy Kaling—writer, director, actress, comedian, and star.  The issue focuses on ways to show your heart, getting people to like and trust you.  We were trying to think of... read more

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Inside Southwest Spirit’s August Issue

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What do you think of the phrase, “really hard to get to?” Do you instantly want to go, without even knowing where? If you do, you may be a true hardcore traveler. People who work for travel magazines like Southwest’s definitely fall in this category. And I definitely include former Spirit's Executive Editor John McAlley. He visited Bandon Dunes Golf Resort for this... read more

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Inside Spirit’s June 2014 Issue

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While Southwest Airline’s inflight magazine is famous for doing great storytelling features, we’re still a travel magazine at heart. You’d think the job would be easy. Fly someplace amazing, go home, tell people how amazing it was. And we do that. But the hard part is bringing out all the incredible variety of experiences you can have anywhere Southwest flies. So... read more

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Inside Spirit’s May 2014 Issue

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One of the best things about working Southwest’s inflight magazine is the writers. We consider them friends, and we’re kind of in awe of some of them. Take Tracy Ross, the author of this month’s big story, “The Carousel of Happiness.” She happens to be in Nepal as I write this. The author of a remarkable memoir, The Source of All Things, she’s now reporting... read more

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Inside Spirit’s April 2014 Issue

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The coolest thing about working with the inflight magazine for Southwest, believe it or not, isn’t the travel. Well, okay, it’s the travel.  But the second coolest thing, for me, is getting to meet smart, curious people and to collaborate on meaningful stories.  One of those people is Warren Burger. A mutual friend introduced us a while back, because Warren was working... read more

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Inside Spirit’s March 2014 Issue

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We at Southwest’s inflight magazine, Spirit, like to follow the trends. But we’re not interested in the flightier trends that involve cats or planking.  We look for ways that society is changing, and focus on the ways it just might be changing for the better. That’s why our latest cover story has to do with the Etsy Generation—the creative entrepreneurs who are... read more

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Inside Spirit’s February Issue

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One of the hardest things to do in a magazine is what insiders call a “concept” cover.  It’s the “Seinfeld” of graphic art: pictures and text about nothing. Most magazines show models or celebrities. Those count as people covers, not concepts. Others mags, including ours, often show places. But what do you do if you have a terrific story about Legos? Well, duh.... read more

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Inside Spirit’s January Issue

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Got your New Year’s resolution? Not me. I’ve never been much for resolutions. We can achieve a lot more with habits. The one little thing we do every day can, potentially, change the world. Or get us in shape at least. Robert “The Raven” Kraft sure knows this. He runs 8 miles a day. Every day. And I do mean every day. He has not missed a run in 39 years. This... read more

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Inside Spirit’s December Issue

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We at Southwest’s inflight magazine, Spirit, take our name very seriously.  Almost every issue contains a “big read” intended to lift every reader’s spirit.  Last month, for instance, we ran Gabbi Chee’s great profile of Alex Sheen, a great spirit who has taught thousands of people how to keep their promises.  Check out becauseisaidiwould.com and read the story in... read more

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Inside Spirit’s November Issue

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How cool is this: Just as I was booking excursions for a Caribbean cruise my wife and I are going on in a couple of weeks, it started snowing. I got more excited about the snow (just a dusting) than the cruise. That shows you where I lie on the winter love-hate spectrum. But I like the contrast more than anything. Beaches and palm trees are that much better when you have... read more

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Inside Spirit’s October Issue—Let It Grow

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If I told you that Southwest takes you places, you might reply with something appropriate like, “Well, duh.” But what if I asked you to define “place” exactly.  Is it something more than a name or map coordinates or an airport code?  What (besides friends and family) makes you want to go there?  And, once you go there, is there an exact spot you most want to... read more

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Inside Spirit’s September 2013 Issue—Hello Cookie!

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Yeah I’m prejudiced, but one of of the things I love about Southwest Airlines’ inflight magazine is how far we go and how deep we drill down.  Take this month’s issue, about the humble cookie.  We don’t just publish recipes (though we certainly do that), we publish recipes you will absolutely have to try.  Which the editors did, of course.  But they also covered... read more

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Behind Spirit’s August 2013 Issue: New School

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This month’s cover story in Spirit has to do with technology in education.  Teachers across the land are experimenting with “upside down” classrooms, in which the kids watch the lecture stuff—videos—online, and then do the exercises during class hours.  Teachers can spot the struggling students and intervene quickly. For those like me who took their last math... read more

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Behind July’s Spirit Magazine: Spacious Skies

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Putting together a magazine means talking to talented professionals who have become your friends over the years. It’s like a party, usually without the hangover. Plus you get to do it every month. Plus, in the case of Southwest’s Spirit magazine, there’s travel. Yeah, we know we’re lucky.Take this issue, for instance. It started with a phone call from Bruce Anderson, a... read more

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Inside Spirit’s February 2013 Issue

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Do you surf? I just learned, inspired to try after reading this month’s cover story in Southwest’s inflight magazine, Spirit. Alex Hannaford, a British-born writer who contributes to GQ and the Atlantic, did the story. It’s not just about surfing. It’s about how surfing can save your life. The girl on the cover, 13-year-old Taylor Cottrell, has a rare primary immune... read more

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Inside Spirit’s January Issue

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I don’t know that I’ve ever seen magazine editors have more fun than they did in making this issue--which, in a travel magazine for Southwest Airlines, is saying a lot. The main topic was “Learn New Tricks,” and some of the staff decided that they would take on the assignment themselves. That’s why you see Associate Editor Noah Bunn kicking a football on the cover.... read more

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Inside Spirit’s November Issue

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We at Southwest’s inflight magazine, Spirit, like to think our stories have at least as much heart as any other. This issue is no exception. It’s chock full of heart, starting with the cover story: “The Heart of Darkness.” We flew Megan Feldman, a Denver-based journalist, to Los Angeles to meet a pair of remarkable men. Seventeen years ago, Ples Felix’s only grandson... read more

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Inside Spirit’s August Issue

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One of the many cool things about watching the Olympics is pretending to be an Olympian. Or am I the only grownup who actually does that? I love going outside and tearing around after watching runners break the tape. Or I’ll watch tennis and throw a tennis ball onto the roof and try to catch it, pretending I’m Roger Federer (without the racket or movie-star looks). In this... read more

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