Member

Recent Activity:

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

By:

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

  • 469
  • 3

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

By:

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

  • 299
  • 3

Flashback Fridays: Farewell to a Friend

By:

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!

By:

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

  • 275
  • 2

Flashback Fridays: An Airline Future That Never Was

By:

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

  • 295
  • 1

Flashback Fridays: An Unremarked but Significant Event

By:

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

  • 378
  • 1

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

By:

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

  • 429
  • 3

Flashback Fridays: A Longtime Relationship with College Football

By:

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

  • 573
  • 4

Soaring a Mile High: Introducing Colorado One

By:

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

  • 634
  • 4

Flashback Fridays: More Unseen Images From Southwest’s Past

By:

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

  • 589
  • 1

“The Ticket” Takes Headquarters

By:

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

  • 573
  • 1

Flashback Fridays: The Day Love Field Was Emptied … Almost

By:

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

  • 378
  • 4

We Officially Own a 737-800!

By:

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

By:

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

  • 550
  • 4

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

By:

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

  • 340
  • 9

Broncos, and Sooners, and Mustangs, Oh My!

By:

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

  • 216
  • 1

Flashback Fridays: A Look at the Interchange Era

By:

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

  • 186
  • 1

Caption Contest: Pre-Game Warmups

By:

 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

By:

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

  • 573
  • 3

The Science behind Flight Numbers

By:

What do you call a flight with eight legs? a. SpiderRouting b. OctoFlight c. Totally Confusing Technically, both “a” and “b” are correct—spiders have eight legs, and octopi have eight tentacles.  But also correct answer, at least in this context, is “c,” totally confusing! I know many of you have wondered what Network Planning is thinking, stringing flight legs... read more

  • 23
  • 3

Lost and Found

By:

It was time to come home… back to reality. I could see the snow covered cars in the parking lot as my Southwest flight landed in Indianapolis, and knew I would soon be standing in the cold, brushing off a pile of snow from my car in a lightweight hoodie. I had managed to escape for a week long cruise in the Caribbean during one of the worst weeks this past winter. Every... read more

  • 16
  • 1

Flashback Fridays: Southwest at the Smithsonian

By:

After being kicked out of the big reservations systems in 1994, Southwest Airlines became the first major airline to offer ticketless travel, about the only way Customers travel today.  Both Morris and ValuJet had implemented similar systems, but it was a huge accomplishment for Southwest to be the first major airline to offer ticketless travel from coast to coast.  On top... read more

  • 7
  • 0

Introducing Our New Triple Crown One

By:

I’m happy to report aircraft N409WN has emerged from the paint hangar in Spokane as Southwest's new Triple Crown One specialty plane, featuring both its original #1 heart medallion, along with our new Heart branding on its tail. Originally introduced on June 9, 1997, Triple Crown One was dedicated to the Employees of Southwest Airlines responsible for achieving five annual... read more

  • 15
  • 0

Flashback Fridays: The -500

By:

One of the smallest subfleets of aircraft within our family of 737s celebrates its silver anniversary this week.  For the second time in our history, Southwest became the launch Customer for a new aircraft series when we took delivery of our first 737-500 on the last day of February, 1990. At just over 97 feet, the -500 was about 10 inches longer than the -200s that were... read more

  • 6
  • 0

More LUV at Love! New Nonstops from Dallas—added Flights—and 180 Weekday Departures!

By:

Our home at Dallas Love Field is growing again. Effective August 9, we’re adding more nonstop destinations, more flights, and more capacity to and from Love than ever before! On August 9, we’ll add one nonstop weekday roundtrip between Dallas/Love Field and: Boston/Logan Charlotte Detroit Omaha Philadelphia Pittsburgh Raleigh/Durham Salt Lake City We’ll also... read more

  • 12
  • 3

Follow Southwest’s #thecrewcouple on The Amazing Race

By:

Do we look familiar? You may have seen us on one of your recent Southwest Flights. We’re Jeff and Lyda, a Phoenix-based Pilot and Flight Attendant, respectively. Recently, we had the opportunity of a lifetime to be contestants on the 26th season of CBS’ The Amazing Race. This season features 11 teams racing around the globe for the opportunity to win the $1 million dollar... read more

  • 3
  • 0

Southwest Boarding Passes Now Available in Passbook!

By:

We're happy to announce an exciting new mobile convenience for our travelers: Beginning today, Customers may now store their mobile boarding passes in a convenient and easy-to-use location on their mobile devices. Mobile boarding passes can be downloaded directly to Passbook which operates on Apple devices running iOS6 or later. Mobile boarding passes can be saved in the... read more

  • 11
  • 2

Flashback Fridays: The Bin Hog

By:

In addition to a famous marmot from the western half of Pennsylvania emerging from his burrow on the second day of February in search of his shadow, there is another four-legged creature in our Company’s history that also shares the special day.  Back in 1998, a committee of Frontline Employees, along with Colleen, renamed Groundhog Day as Bin Hog Day to help kick off a... read more

  • 5
  • 0

Flashback Fridays: Saying Goodnight to the 737-200s

By:

When Southwest's Founder Herb Kelleher was in search for an aircraft to start an airline with back in 1971, Boeing offered him a deal that was hard to pass up – a handsome discount off the list price along with 90 percent financing on one of their relatively newest aircraft line, the 737-200.  And for the next 34 years, that series of aircraft would go on to not only help... read more

  • 4
  • 0

Flashback Fridays: Rudolph the Radome Reindeer

By:

One of my favorite Southwest holiday images is that of an odd-looking 737 with “a nose that glows.”  Back in the fall of 1981, a rather strange looking -200 had recently joined the fleet as a short-term lease from Belgium’s Trans European Airways. The standard “Southwest” name was affixed to the vertical stabilizer, but otherwise the aircraft retained the... read more

  • 2
  • 0

Flashback Fridays: 30 Years of -300s

By:

As we commemorate the 111th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ first powered flight over Kitty Hawk, our very own Kitty Hawk will also celebrate an anniversary of its own.  Thirty years ago this week, N300SW, the first Boeing 737-300 to enter revenue service, was welcomed to the Southwest Family with a star-studded event. When explaining how the timing and name for the... read more

  • 1
  • 0

Flashback Fridays: Final AirTran 737

By:

Last Sunday, the final AirTran 737 revenue flight took place between Baltimore and Las Vegas as flight 1003. It marked the conclusion of 10 years of service aboard the aircraft that provided the range for AirTran to expand service from a predominantly East Coast network to one that could travel to the West and beyond. Although the original AirTran Airways that began... read more

  • 4
  • 0

Flashback Fridays: Connecting the Coasts

By:

Based on our original establishment as a shorthaul, high frequency, intrastate airline, most of our flights in our first 25 years of service were usually no more than an hour or two long, which fit perfectly within the capabilities of our 737-200s and -300s.  As the launch Customer for Boeing’s -700 series aircraft, an opportunity presented itself to take our average trip... read more

  • 5
  • 0

Southwest Airline’s January 2015 Schedule Now Open For Sale!

By:

This morning, we opened the Southwest Airlines schedule out for sale through Friday, March 6, 2015.  There are some interesting changes to tell you about, of course—but this schedule represents a huge event in the evolution, so let’s start with a paragraph of celebration! Since shortly after the legal close of Southwest’s acquisition of AirTran, Network Planning has... read more

Flashback Friday: Splitting the Town

By:

Since 1987, Southwest has served Michigan when our first service to Detroit Metro airport commenced.  And, for a brief period of time, we even had service to two Detroit area airports. Twenty-five years ago this summer, Southwest launched a multi-million dollar campaign to promote our service to the city, particularly Detroit’s City (DET) Airport, now commonly known as the... read more

  • 2
  • 0

Flashback Fridays: A 500 with Scimitars?

By:

A few months ago our Name That Plane Flashback covered a few aircraft in our fleet with special registrations.  For many years, most of our -300 series aircraft registrations started with a 3, the -500s started with a 5, the -700s started with a 7, and usually ended with a SW or WN. The majority of our specialty registrations (outside of the traditional SWs and WNs) honor... read more

  • 3
  • 0

Q&A: Which Type of Southwest Aircraft is This?

By:

Our Q&A blog series answers common questions about aviation and Southwest Airlines.  Our next question about our Fleet is answered by Editorial Team Intern Erin Boren.  Have a question of your own?  Leave us a comment! At Southwest we believe in variety: Peanuts or pretzels?  Aisle or window seat?  Gray or red Flap-track fairings?  Wait—what are fairings? I’ve... read more

  • 4
  • 2

Best of Flashback Fridays: Assorted Early Southwest Photos

By:

This week, we're bringing you a “golden oldie” as a fun, Fourth of July Flashback gift.  This post originally appeared in January 2013 and was authored by our then Corporate Historian, Brian Lusk.  Given all the achievements Southwest has made over the years, and that the AirTran acquisition provided us the opportunity to achieve our most recent milestone of... read more

  • 5
  • 0

November Schedule Now Available—Pick a Milestone—Any Milestone!

By:

Today, we opened our schedule for booking from November 2 through January 4.  In a word: WOW!  In my 36 years in this business, I’ve never seen a schedule release that was packed with more incredible, long-time-coming corporate milestones.  Any single one of them would be a game-changer for any other airline, but we’re not just any airline.  We’re SOUTHWEST—and... read more

  • 14
  • 6