Spirit Magazine - May 2014 - (Page 14)

Next month, Southwest Airlines will celebrate its 43rd anniversary. It's just remarkable to think how far the "little old airline that could" has come in the past four decades. From very humble beginnings- three airplanes, three cities (aka the Texas Triangle of Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio), and a business plan sketched out on a cocktail napkin in a San Antonio hotel bar- Southwest has grown to become the nation's largest airline in terms of passengers carried. This year, we are entering the dawn of a new era as we prepare to launch international service for the first time. As we embark on this journey, it dawned on me that this must have been what it felt like for our Founders in 1971. Back then, Southwest had its eyes set on Customer Service in Action One of our Customer Service Representatives shared about developing a pen pal relationship with a longtime Customer. When traveling for business, the Customer only flew Southwest, racking up more than 1.4 million Rapid Rewards Points on travel alone. He recently told our Employee that he was retiring and would be taking his last business trip from Chicago to Nashville, Tennessee. The Employee asked our Chicago Station if we could do something to thank the Customer for his business. Agents and Supervisors made a special gift basket, which they presented to him after making a special announcement in the gate area before his final business flight departed. A fitting tribute to a loyal Customer! growing in Texas, which understandably seemed like a daunting task given the brutally competitive landscape. Now, we've set our sights on the rest of North America. Of course, this has been a project in the works for years. We acquired AirTran Airways in May 2011. The acquisition really set the stage for launching international service, as AirTran has successfully served destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean for many years. We are in the homestretch of integrating AirTran into Southwest, which we will complete by the end of the year. Once that happens, Southwest's international footprint will resemble that of AirTran, with opportunities to grow and expand even further. Our first phase of international service will begin on July 1, when we'll officially land in the warm destinations of Aruba, the Bahamas, and Jamaica. We'll follow that up in August by adding Cancún and Los Cabos to our route map. By the end of the year, the Southwest flag will be planted in all of AirTran's international destinations (see our combined Route Map on page 174). And of course, all of this new service will fly under the Southwest brand that our Customers have come to know and LUV. We've come a long way in the past 43 years, and our Customers have been with us at every step. I hope you'll join us on our international journey and book your next trip south of the border (and beyond) on Southwest! ¡Vámonos! Gary Kelly Chairman, President, and CEO Southwest Airlines 14 SPIRIT MAY 2014 PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAN SELLERS Gary's Greeting + Expanding Beyond Our Borders

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Spirit Magazine - May 2014

Spirit Magazine - May 2014
Gary’s Greeting
Gary’s Greeting en Español
Star of the Month
Freedom Story
From the Editor
Your Words
Your Pictures
Media Center
Eat Drink Sleep
Beef up broccoli (the vegan way)
Bunk over in Kennebunkport
Encourage creativity in the workplace
Wise Guide
Strengthen your sense of humor
Lengthen locks
Learn a minty-fresh fact
Uncover indie e-books
Share with strangers
The Art of the Veer
The Carousel of Happiness
Your Adventure In Providence
Promotional Series: Spirit of California
Promotional Series: Spirit of New Mexico
Find fun on the fly
Community Outreach
Products & Services
Flight Service
Terminal Maps
Rapid Rewards and A+ Rewards Partners
Route Map
Sit down with Sarah McLachlan
The “If” List

Spirit Magazine - May 2014