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Best of Flashback Fridays: Origins of the Boeing 737, Part Two

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The subtitle for this week’s “Best of” post is “The 737-200 Advanced and Some Oddities”   The first time this was published on February 24, 2012, I remember being fascinated by an odd aircraft feature that I had not heard of before: the “Vortex Dissipator.”  Considering that this has to do with making landings on gravel runways possible, I... read more

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Best of Flashback Fridays: Intriguing Oddities from Southwest’s Past

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I selected this particular Flashback installment to be a “Best of” for a number of reasons.  As a former Braniff Flight Attendant, I flew on the 727-200 featured in the first photo more times than I can count (but not with this very unique Southwest livery). And, as a California native, I always loved the “Golden State”-shaped boarding passes that were used... read more

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Flashback Fridays: Farewell to a Friend

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In the presence of Brian Lusk, I learned a lot, and I groaned a lot. The man had a knack for knowledge, and a penchant for puns (and planes). Mr. Lusk was the unmatched combination of a human encyclopedia, almanac, and thesaurus, all wrapped into one of the worst joke-of-the-day books I’ve ever read. Often, Mr. Lusk would dispense my way one of his trademark puns, and... read more

Help Southwest DCA – HOU route take flight!

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Southwest is engaged in a new effort to acquire slots and add flights at Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and we need your help to make it happen! On Wednesday, December 5th, Southwest filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for slot exemptions that would allow Southwest to offer nonstop service between Ronald Reagan Washington... read more

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Flashback Fridays: An Airline Future That Never Was

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A week or so ago, I received an amazing book from a lifelong friend from my childhood.  The book dates to 1944, and it is printed on pulp paper because higher quality “slick” paper was in short supply during World War II.  I have to admit that the content of this book, Transport Aircraft of the World by Lester Ott, simply blew me away.  I thought I had a... read more

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Flashback Fridays: An Unremarked but Significant Event

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Every Southwest Employee knows (or should know) the story of how we began with three aircraft, and when we added a fourth one to help fly a charter schedule, we had to sell an airplane to meet a legal mandate that prevented the charter flying.  This led to the creation of the ten-minute turn to operate a schedule designed for three and a half airplanes (charters were the... read more

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Flashback Fridays: A Photo Smorgasbord for Avgeeks and Other Interested Parties

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Throughout the history of Southwest Airlines, most of our aircraft have come to us directly from the Boeing factory, but there have been times when “previously owned” aircraft have worn Southwest Airlines colors.  This has happened either during periods of rapid expansion when we acquired additional aircraft through leases or through the acquisition of another carrier... read more

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Flashback Fridays: A Longtime Relationship with College Football

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Another college football season starts this weekend in earnest, and in my browsing through still more black and white negatives, I found some photos that involve my favorite school getting together with my favorite airline.  I should note that Southwest recently became the Official Airline of the Athletic Department of the University of Texas, but before we begin, I must... read more

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Soaring a Mile High: Introducing Colorado One

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We took our “LUV” for the Mile-High State to new heights today by unveiling Colorado One, a Boeing 737-700 emblazoned with the Colorado state flag! The aircraft is a testament to our great relationship with Front Range Customers and a tribute to our Colorado-based Employees.Colorado One was unveiled at a ceremony at Denver International Airport... read more

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Flashback Fridays: More Unseen Images From Southwest’s Past

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The unifying element of the photos in this week’s installment is that all of these images came from uncut rolls of negatives that I found recently.  In this case, the negatives were large format black and white, and they appear to have been taken in late 1973 or early 1974.   We start with a photo of a dollar bill changer, and therein is a strange story of early... read more

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“The Ticket” Takes Headquarters

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Finding your muse is usually associated with writer's block, or some other state of lethargy in the creative process.  When "The Musers" from 1310 The Ticket show up at your work place, there's no shortage of creativity. And instead of finding your muse, you find yourself wondering, "Are these guys ever gonna leave?" But seriously, what went down Wednesday at... read more

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Flashback Fridays: The Day Love Field Was Emptied … Almost

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Continuing the “June is Our Birthday Month” series, we look at a pivotal day in the history of Love Field.  As we saw in earlier posts this month, Love Field in the early 1970s was a busy place.  Airlines like Delta had upgraded their operations with temporary facilities to bridge the days until the new DFW Airport opened.  That day came on Sunday, January... read more

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We Officially Own a 737-800!

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A lot of you have been wondering about the status of our first 737-800 since it took its initial flight back on February 23.  Well, today, we took delivery of our brand new aircraft in Seattle.  However, don’t look for it at one of our airports right away because the hard work isn’t done yet, and over the next few weeks, the airplane has a very busy... read more

Flash Forward—Part Three: The Continued Progress of our First 737-800

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If you have ever made a model airplane, you know the process involves making various subassemblies, then gluing them together to make an airplane.  As these photos show, the process of making a real airplane is very similar. In our last batch of photos, the fuselage had moved inside the assembly building to the fuselage make-ready station.  With this group of... read more

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THE 4-1-1 ON TWO NEW EQUIPMENT TYPES IN THE SWA FLEET

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A milestone event happened today at Southwest!  Today, we changed our schedule by introducing aircraft with the new “Evolve” interior that we unveiled on Jan. 17, and the 737-800.  The new equipment types were planned in advance, so these are equipment changes on existing flights with no “net-new” flying.  This particular milestone comes from a... read more

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Broncos, and Sooners, and Mustangs, Oh My!

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The Southwest Charter Department was busy again this year transporting football teams, alumni, and fans to college bowl games around the country.  We flew a total of 64 charter flights, with our busiest days on December 31 with 15 flights and January 3 with 17 flights! We flew three teams to their college bowls: Boise State to the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas; OU to the... read more

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Flashback Fridays: A Look at the Interchange Era

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I think many folks, including a lot of our Employees, have no idea of what airline regulation used to be like.  The airline world into which Southwest Airlines was born in 1971 was very much different than the industry today.  Our success has been a result of deregulation, but it could be argued that our birth as an intrastate airline was because of the economic... read more

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Caption Contest: Pre-Game Warmups

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 To me, Halloween means trick-or-treating, costumes, and playoff baseball.  And at Headquarters in Dallas, things are buzzing.  I know Southwest serves 72 great cities, but at home base, we're all pumped for our Texas Rangers. In the summer, several Rangers players traded places with our Employees in the Field (our field).  Mitch Moreland was one... read more

Flashback Fridays: Extreme Change in the Airline Industry

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In last week’s Flashback Fridays, we talked about how the jet engine and the new jet airliners contributed to Southwest’s uniqueness.  This week, let’s look at the sudden and complete change they brought to the airline industry.  For those of use around the last ten years or so, the “aught” years have brought incredible, widespread, and unheard of... read more

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Texas Independence Day Trivia with TexasHumor!

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The Lone Star (One) at night is big and bright High in the sky of Texas Texas holds a special place in Southwest Airlines’ heart. More than 40 years ago, SWA began flying out of Dallas Love Field to San Antonio and Houston. Like any good Texan rooted in the Lone Star State, SWA LUVs to celebrate Texas Independence Day. This past Sunday, to celebrate Texas Independence... read more

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August 2014 Schedule Now Available

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Happy Monday, Southwest Airlines Customers!  This morning we extended our schedule out through Halloween—October 31, 2014—and it contains some REALLY great stuff. International conversion from AirTran to Southwest is marching right along!  We’re adding our first two cities in Mexico, completely converting service at San Jose Del Cabo to canyon blue airplanes with... read more

Spot Lone Star One Contest!

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Happy Texas Independence Day, y’all! The stars are big and bright deep in the heart of Texas and so is our Lone Star One aircraft! Southwest Airlines LUVs the Lone Star State and wants to celebrate in a big Texas way. Snap and share an original picture of Lone Star One anywhere in the US this week; tag us on Instagram or Twitter using @SouthwestAir, and use the hashtag... read more

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Flashback Fridays: Name That Plane

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As any avgeek will tell you, the easiest way to identify an aircraft is its official FAA registration, or its “tail number.”  In absence of an official name, it’s the second most unique identifier for any bird, other than serial number assigned to it by the manufacturer. The numbers may look small and sometimes hard to read, but the foot-tall letters and numbers can be... read more

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Southwest Airlines Introduces Mobile Boarding Pass to Two More Cities: Dallas and Houston

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At the end of 2013 we launched Mobile Boarding Pass for single passengers traveling on nonstop and direct Southwest Airlines-operated flights originating out of Austin, TX (AUS) as part of a pilot program.  We are excited to announce that we are moving forward and rolling this program out to two more cities, Dallas (DAL—Love Field) and Houston (HOU—Hobby) beginning... read more

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Five Signs That You’re An Avgeek

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Many times in my past posts I’ve referenced the term “avgeek.”  This is a term that describes us airline, airplane, aviation fans who love anything and everything to do with this fascinating industry.  The avgeek population is very diverse, but we all seem to have similar traits when it comes to aviation.  I’ve listed a few signs below that may indicate you are an... read more

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Flashback Fridays: The Most Important Single Location at Love Field

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While today is primarily remembered for the tragedy which unfolded in Dealey Plaza in Dallas, it also marks the 50th anniversary of several firsts which have not occurred since. Only feet away from our new terminal here at Love Field, a simple orange square spray-painted onto the concrete marks the exact location where the only presidential inauguration west of the... read more

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Baby on Board: Collin’s First Flight

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As a first-time mom, in the beginning I was (and sometimes still am) nervous to take my new baby to the grocery store, out to a restaurant, or really anywhere in public where I ran the risk of forgetting a crucial item from his diaper bag or coping with a crying and upset baby in front of strangers.  Apparently, these are all super normal new-mom feelings!   Thankfully, as... read more

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WORTH THE WAIT!

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We are very excited to offer Customers the ability to stay connected longer while onboard a Southwest flight! You may have heard about the recent FAA ruling allowing Customers to use small portable electronic devices (PEDs) during an entire trip. That’s right, no more stowing smartphones, tablets, e-readers, or handheld computer games for takeoff or landing! Well, effective... read more

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Flashback Fridays: The Unknown Flyer

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Southwest Airlines became part of the TSA’s PreCheck program this week, which provides Customers a Known Traveler Number to include in their reservation in order to help expedite their journey through the security checkpoint at the airport.  While we now offer the service to these known flyers, it was the unknown flyer that we were appealing to 25 years ago this week with... read more

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Airport Lingo: What Does It All Really Mean?

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Considering the amount of time many of us have spent in airports throughout our lives, we should all be pretty fluent in the language of ‘airport lingo’ by now. However, if you’re like me, you might only consider yourself to have a working knowledge of airport lingo, rather than fluency. Between flight decks and jet bridges; terminals and concourses; and nonstop flights... read more

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Flashback Friday: Flagship Series, Part I

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A few weeks ago we took a look at our Signature Series specialty planes which are dedicated to individuals who have left their mark at Southwest.  This week we will start a three-part series that showcases our planes with State Flag liveries, which we call our Flagship Series.Southwest takes pride in the many states we fly to, so to show our gratitude to the loyal... read more

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Best of Flashback Fridays—A 39-Year SWA Conundrum Solved?

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Occasionally, I run across one of Brian’s previous Flashback posts that I consider to be a “true gem.”  Last week, when I was doing some research for the Wayback Moment, I came across this post and felt that it simply needed to see the light of day one more time.  Since this post was originally published on June 18, 2010 and focuses on the days surrounding our... read more

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Penguin One Makes its Debut Splash

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It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … both!Today marks a historic day in our 25-year-partnership with SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment as we unveiled our newest SeaWorld-themed aircraft into our fleet—Penguin One! Penguin One, a Boeing 737-700 emblazoned with an artist’s rendition of gentoo penguins joins 12 other 737s in the Southwest fleet that boast a unique paint... read more

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Flashback Fridays: Signature Series, Part 1

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Specialty planes decorated as State Flags, painted in Classic colors, or painted like a giant killer whale are common here at Southwest Airlines.  I always love seeing one come in for a landing. The Flagship planes are, of course, the easiest to spot, but there are a few planes that simply have a name signed on the sides of the planes’ noses.  These are part of the... read more

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Best of Flashback Fridays: Origins of the Boeing 737, Part Three

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This week’s “Best of” post focuses on the Boeing 737 “Classics” family—specifically, the -300, -400, and -500 series—and the role that Southwest played in the development of the 300s and 500s. This continuation of Brian’s “Origins of the Boeing 737” series originally ran in March, 2012, and it’s always interesting to look at all that has changed in the... read more

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Best of Flashback Fridays: Origins of the Boeing 737, Part Two

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The subtitle for this week’s “Best of” post is “The 737-200 Advanced and Some Oddities”   The first time this was published on February 24, 2012, I remember being fascinated by an odd aircraft feature that I had not heard of before: the “Vortex Dissipator.”  Considering that this has to do with making landings on gravel runways possible, I... read more

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Best of Flashback Fridays: Origins of the Boeing 737—Part One

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Brian subtitled this post “The “Originals: The 737-100 and 737-200” as the first installment of a four-part series that originally began on February 17, 2012.  Brian gives us an interesting view (as always) of the beginnings of the legacy that is the 737.  Let me know in the comments section if you would like to see Brian’s remaining chapters appear if... read more

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Operation Boomerang: Jett’s Jaunt

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When I first started my job on the Southwest Airlines Social Media Team, my Coworker, Brooks, told us that every tweet is a story – and he is right. One week in early March this year, I saw a tweet from one of our Customers, Steven Frischling (@flyingwithfish). He and his family recently adopted a nine-week-old Weimaraner puppy from a breeder in Longmont, Colorado. Another... read more

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