Sunday, November 4, 2007

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSELUV) is an American low-fare airline based in Dallas, Texas. It is the largest airline in the United States by number of passengers carried domestically per year and the second largest airline in the world by number of passengers carried. Its reputation for low prices and a laid-back atmosphere have made it an icon of popular culture.

In early 1971, Air Southwest changed its name to Southwest Airlines, and the first flight was on June 18, 1971. Its first flights were from Love Field in Dallas to Houston and San Antonio, short hops with no-frills service and a simple fare structure, features that became the basis for Southwest's popularity and rapid growth in the coming years.
The start of service in June 1971 was accomplished with three 737-200 aircraft; a fourth was added in September of the same year.
Over time, Southwest has added improved 737 variants but has stayed within the Boeing 737 family to hold down operating costs. Because this technique simplified training, maintenance, and ground operations, it revolutionized the industry's approach to building aircraft fleets.
In January 2005, Southwest retired its last 737-200, the oldest type in its fleet. To celebrate "putting the -200s to bed", selected employees donned Southwest pajamas for an early morning flight to celebrate the final landing at Dallas Love.

First flights
The rest of 1971 and 1972 saw operating losses. One of the four aircraft was sold to Frontier Airlines and the proceeds used to make payroll and cover other expenses. Southwest continued to operate a schedule predicated on four aircraft but using only three, and in so doing the "ten minute turn" was born, and was the standard ground time for many years.

Southwest Airlines Early losses and financial troubles
Southwest has a longtime program to hedge fuel prices. It has purchased fuel options years in advance to smooth out fluctuations in fuel costs.
In 2000, Southwest said it had "adjusted its hedging strategy" to "utilize financial derivative instruments... when it appears the Company can take advantage of market conditions." Additionally, the company hoped to "take advantage of historically low jet fuel prices." SEC statement Southwest's decision proved to be a prescient and, for a time, extremely profitable effort.
To lock in the low historical prices Southwest believed were occurring at that time, Southwest used a mixture of swaps and call options to secure fuel in future years while paying prices they believed were low. The company also stated that with this new strategy, it faced substantial risks if the oil prices continued to go down, but they did not. Previously, Southwest had been more interested in reducing volatility of oil prices. Now, they hoped to reap large gains from oil price appreciation.
In 2001, Southwest again substantially increased its hedging in response to projections of increased crude oil prices. The use of these hedges helped Southwest maintain its profitability during the oil shocks related to the Iraq War and later Hurricane Katrina.
According an annual report, here is the company's fuel hedge for forward years ("approximate" per barrel basis, as of mid-January): 2007 is 95% hedged at $50/barrel; 2008 is 65% hedged at $49/barrel; 2009 is over 50% hedged at $51/barrel; 2010 is over 25% hedged at $63/barrel; 2011 is over is 15% hedged at $64/barrel; 2012 is 15% hedged at $63/barrel.
According to its 2006 Annual Report, Southwest paid low prices for fuel thanks to the benefit of fuel hedges:
These are well below market rates, which Southwest factors into its low operating costs. However, this below-market oil cost will not continue forever; executives have said that Southwest faces increased exposure to the raw oil market every year. This is not a good sign for the airline, which is also facing tough competition from US legacy carriers that have lowered costs through bankruptcy. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly has decided to slow the airlines' growth as a response to this cost.
Risk managers find it difficult to endorse the style of profit-motivated energy trading Southwest did between 1999 and the early 2000s. Risk managers have suggested that rather than hedging business risk, (such as a hedge on weather to a farmer), Southwest was simply speculating on energy prices, without a formal rationale for doing so. As an airline company, the goal of "taking advantage" of the commodity market's flaws was quite unusual. Hedge or no hedge, the long-term speculative outcome does not lessen the marginal cost of monthly flight operations. If flights lost money at market prices, they still would be canceled to maximize shareholder value -- since, crucially, the fuel hedges could be sold for cash on the open market.
At present, Southwest has enjoyed much positive press (and a strong financial boost) from its energy trading skills. However, while most analysts agree that volatility hedges can be beneficial, speculative hedges are not widely supported as a continuing strategy for profits. The early 2000s hedges may in retrospect be an anomalous, lucky event and also a claim to fame for Southwest Airlines' reputation as a financially adept company.

2004 - 82.8 cents
2005 - 103.3 cents
2006 - 153.0 cents Hedging fuel
On March 16, 1995, Southwest became one of the first airlines to have a web site. Originally called the "Southwest Airlines Home Gate", customers could view schedules, a route map, and company information at

Main article: Wright Amendment The Wright Amendment

Main article: Southwest Airlines destinations Destinations
Southwest does not use the more traditional "hub and spoke" flight routing system of most major airlines, preferring instead the "Point to Point" system. Currently, Southwest serves 64 cities in 32 states, with more than 3,200 flights a day. It has notably large operations in certain airports. Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport has non-stop service to almost all of Southwest's locations.
As part of its effort to control costs, Southwest tries to use secondary airports which generally have lower costs and may, or may not be, more convenient to travelers than the major airports to the same destinations. For example, Southwest flies to Midway Airport in Chicago, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in South Florida, Love Field in Dallas, Hobby Airport in Houston, Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in Manchester, New Hampshire, and T. F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island, instead of O'Hare International Airport, Miami International Airport, DFW International, IAH International in Houston, and Logan International Airport in Boston, respectively. Southwest also serves the New York Metropolitan area at Long Island MacArthur Airport.
Southwest makes exceptions to the philosophy of serving secondary airports by flying into some larger airports in major cities, such as Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Philadelphia International, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Seattle-Tacoma International and Pittsburgh International. In the Los Angeles market Southwest flies to both the major city airport, Los Angeles International, and to three of the four secondary airports, Bob Hope Airport, John Wayne Airport, and LA/Ontario International Airport (it does not serve Long Beach Airport). With the restoration of service out of San Francisco International Airport on August 26, 2007, Southwest now serves all three airports in the San Francisco Bay Area; the other two being Oakland International Airport and San Jose International Airport.
Southwest withdrew from San Francisco International and Houston George Bush Intercontinental in favor of using smaller airports with fewer operations nearby. In February 2007, Southwest announced its intent to return to San Francisco International Airport as its next city opening, and began service to SFO on August 26, 2007. The airline also once served Stapleton International Airport in Denver but withdrew in 1986 because of excessive ATC delays during poor weather exacerbated by minimal separation between the runways. Southwest returned to Denver in 2006 with service to the new Denver International Airport. Besides Houston (Intercontinental) and Denver (Stapleton International), the airline has withdrawn completely from airports in Beaumont, Texas and Detroit, Michigan (Detroit City Airport).
On October 5, 2006, Southwest Airlines started operations at Washington-Dulles Airport (IAD) with 12 daily flights from two gates in Concourse B.
Southwest is the largest intra-state airline in California, with 674 flights total in the state, 355 of which are intra-California.

Current service
Due to intense competition from near-monopoly airlines such as Delta, Northwest, Continental and others, some markets are not cost-effective for Southwest. New York City-area flights are serviced from Long Island MacArthur Airport or through Southwest's codeshare with ATA Airlines to New York-LaGuardia instead of directly through the three main New York-area airports (LaGuardia Airport, Kennedy (JFK) International, or Newark Liberty International). Other large cities without Southwest service include Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Memphis, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis/St. Paul.
With the exception of Florida, the southeastern part of the U.S. route map geographically has a large string of voids. There are only four cities in the whole region - Birmingham, Nashville, Raleigh/Durham and Jackson. Another void also persists in the mid northern part of the US stretching from Wisconsin to Montana/Wyoming and also Alaska.
For Seattle in 2005, Southwest proposed service to Boeing Field, which is a smaller airport closer to downtown than Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. However, King County leaders refused to allow a terminal to be built or service to begin.

Markets lacking Southwest service
The following airports, as of July 20, 2007, are the top ten most served by Southwest Airlines:

Top ten airports
On June 27, 2007, Southwest Airlines announced substantial additions to their route schedule, adding new nonstop flights (mainly out of Denver) which are slated to begin November 4, 2007.
On February 9, 2007, Southwest Airlines announced internally that it was planning to restart operations at San Francisco International Airport, a station the airline closed in 2001.
Daily nonstop service between Raleigh/Durham, NC (RDU) and Fort Lauderdale, FL (FLL) begins. New service
Effective October 4, 2007
Effective November 4, 2007

Daily nonstop service between Cleveland, OH (CLE) and Phoenix, AZ (PHX) ends.
Daily nonstop service between Santa Ana/Orange County, CA (SNA) and Chicago, IL (MDW) ends.
Daily nonstop service between Los Angeles, CA (LAX) and Baltimore, MD (BWI) ends.
Daily nonstop service between Oakland, CA (OAK) and Baltimore, MD (BWI) ends.
Daily nonstop service between Los Angeles, CA (LAX) and Philadelphia, PA (PHL) ends.
Daily nonstop service between Oakland, CA (OAK) and Philadelphia, PA (PHL) ends.
Daily nonstop service between Midland/Odessa, TX (MAF) and El Paso, TX (ELP) ends. Discontinued service
Southwest Airlines has set a goal to begin international services or ticket international flights in 2009. Services are likely to be operated by ATA. Destinations may include Canada, the Caribbean, and Mexico. In 2010, plans to partner with other carriers for transatlantic and transpacific flights. European service may be operated by Southwest.

International service

Main article: The Southwest effect The Southwest Effect
One airline influenced by Southwest was Morris Air, founded by June Morris and David Neeleman, based in Utah and operating in the northwestern U.S. Southwest Airlines purchased Morris Air and absorbed the capital and routes into its inventory and service. David Neeleman worked with Southwest for a short period. When his non-compete agreement expired, Neeleman founded JetBlue Airways, a competing airline that also incorporates many principles and practices pioneered by Southwest, including building a positive, warm employee culture and operating a simple fleet.

Morris Air
Southwest Airlines has mostly pursued a strategy of internal growth, rather than by acquisition of other airlines as commonly occurs. However, in addition to acquisition of Morris Air Transport (see above), Southwest did acquire competitor Muse Air in 1985, which operated McDonnell Douglas MD-80s. Muse Air was renamed TranStar Airlines.

TranStar Airlines
In 1997, Southwest and Icelandair entered into interline and marketing agreements allowing for joint fares, coordinated schedules, and transfer of passenger luggage between the two airlines at Baltimore. Icelandair operated flights between Baltimore and Keflavik Airport in Iceland. Connecting service between several U.S. cities and several European cities appeared in the Southwest timetable The frequent flyer programs were not included in the agreement. This arrangement lasted for several years but is no longer in existence.

ATA Airlines, one of Southwest Airlines main competitors in the Chicago market, historically operated out of Midway Airport alongside Southwest. ATA declared bankruptcy, and in 2004, Southwest injected capital into ATA that (among other things) would have resulted in Southwest's 27.5% ownership stake in ATA upon their exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
In a departure from its traditional "go it alone" strategy, Southwest entered into its first domestic codesharing arrangement with ATA, which enabled Southwest Airlines to serve ATA markets in Hawaii, Washington D.C., and New York City.
In late 2005, ATA secured $100 million in additional financing from the firm of Matlin Patterson, and Southwest's original deal with ATA was modified such that Southwest no longer retained the 27.5% stake (or any other financial interest) in ATA. The codeshare arrangement, however, continues to remain in place and has expanded, with some internal controversy, to include all of ATA's 17 destinations and all of Southwest's 63 destinations. In 2006, Southwest's pilot union approved a codeshare sideletter to their contract with limitations on the growth of this and other codeshare agreements. While these restrictions today are minor, outsourcing remains a growing concern in the unions current contract negotiations.
During 2006, Southwest Airlines began marketing ATA only flights. ATA's dependence on the Southwest network continued to grow in 2006, and today ATA offers over 70 flights a week to Hawaii from Southwest's hubs in PHX, LAS, LAX, ONT, and OAK. Additional connecting service is available to many other cities across the United States. Plans have been announced for ATA to offer exclusive international service for Southwest by 2010. Southwest today has taken over all ground operations for ATA at MDW, OAK, PHX, LAX, and LAS. These contracts provide that Southwest ramp personnel will now handle all ground operations (loading of aircraft, ground servicing, etc.) for ATA. The details of these contracts have not been made public but represent Southwest's and ATA's growing mutually beneficial codeshare relationship. Presently, there is no plan to open the ATA/Southwest codeshare to ATA's sister carriers; North American Airlines or World Airways, even though they are co-owned by the same corporate entity created from ATA Holdings.
Beginning in February 2005, ATA was run by John Denison, Southwest's former Chief Financial Officer. Effective January 1, 2007, Denison turned things over to Subodh Karnik, who is now President and Chief Executive Officer. Denison remains ATA's Chairman and Chairman of Global Aero Logistics Inc., the new name of ATA Holdings.

ATA Airlines
Intertwined with Southwest's innovative business model has been a consistent emphasis on the value of people, both customers and employees. From the beginning of its operations, Southwest urged employees to have fun doing their work, and to make the experience of flying Southwest not only convenient but enjoyable.

Corporate culture
The experience of flying on Southwest is quite different from that of most other U.S. airlines from beginning to end.
Tickets cannot be purchased through common online venues like Orbitz or Travelocity, although a minority are booked through travel agents. However, most of Southwest tickets are issued directly by the airline over the phone or online at the company's website which features Web-only fare discounts.
Unlike other major airlines, Southwest allows passengers to change reservations without penalty (save the potentially additional cost of the new ticket). While this provides flexibility to customers, Southwest does not allow same-day standby travel on a different flight (usually a free service at other airlines) without upgrading to maximum fare.
Customers are not assigned seats; rather, they are assigned to one of three "boarding groups" depending on their check-in time (earlier check-ins get to board earlier), and are left to choose their own seats on the plane, which helps the airline to board passengers faster. At the May 2006 shareholders meeting, Southwest management announced a study of potentially adopting an assigned-seating system in 2008, as part of a reservations-technology overhaul now under way. In Q4 of 2007, Southwest will announce a new boarding/seating method.
For all the leanness in comforts, which helped it pass through the post-9/11 travel slump as one of the few profitable major American airlines, Southwest manages to maintain excellent customer satisfaction ratings. In 2006, according to the Department of Transportation December year end operating statistics, Southwest ranked number one (lowest number of complaints) of all U.S. airlines for customer complaints, with 0.18 per 100,000 customers enplaned. Southwest Airlines has consistently received the fewest ratio of complaints per passengers boarded of all major U.S. carriers that have been reporting statistics to the Department of Transportation (DOT) since September 1987, which is when the DOT began tracking Customer Satisfaction statistics and publishing its Air Travel Consumer Report.

Southwest experience
Southwest's frequent flier program is called Rapid Rewards. Currently, customers receive one credit for each one-way trip (even though the flight may have stopovers). A free ticket, expiring after 11 months, is automatically issued when a member accumulates 16 credits in a 24-month period. Double Rapid Rewards credits used to be awarded for online booking, but this policy was modified at the end of 2003. At that time the bonus was reduced to .5 credit for each segment booked online, (i.e., each round-trip ticket booked online received a total of 3 Rapid Rewards credits). This was discontinued in April 2005. In addition, one-half credit is also earned for using a Southwest partner to book any car rental and/or hotel stay, regardless of whether a Southwest flight is involved. This arrangement has won numerous Freddy Awards over the years.
In February 2006, Southwest instituted capacity controls to redeeming its free tickets. This means that the airline limits the seats offered to frequent travelers using free certificates on each flight, whereas previously if there was a seat available, one could use the award, provided the passenger was not flying on one of the five blackout dates.
In early 2006, Southwest expanded its codeshare agreement with ATA Airlines and now allows redemption of award tickets on Hawaii flights at the rate of two awards per round trip flight. Southwest and ATA stress that reward availability to Hawaii will be very limited. Travelers can also earn twice the normal number of credits when they purchase airfare on Hawaii-bound flights.

Rapid Rewards
The company, from inception, employed humor in its advertising. Examples include "Just Plane Smart," "The Somebody Else Up There Who Loves You" and "THE Low Fare Airline". The airline's current slogan is "A Symbol of Freedom". A select history of print and video ads are available on the company website[1].
Since the 1990s, Southwest has been running a television ad campaign based on the phrase "Wanna get away?" The commercials present comical, embarrassing situations in which people find themselves wanting to "get away". Most ads are accompanied by the sound clip "[ding] You are now free to move about the country"; self-parody of the in-flight announcement that "you are now free to move about the cabin".
The PA "ding" has become synonymous with Southwest Airlines, and inspired the name of an online ticket offer program, Ding!.
The Southwest Airlines television commercial, "Flight Attendant," was named in Adweek's 'Best Spots' in August 2006.

Playful, effective advertising
Shortly after Southwest started using the "Just Plane Smart" motto, Stevens Aviation, who had been using "Plane Smart" for their motto, threatened a trademark lawsuit.
Instead of a lawsuit, the CEOs for both companies staged an arm wrestling match. Held at the now demolished Dallas Sportatorium (the famed wrestling facility) and set for two out of three rounds, the loser of each round was to pay $5,000 to the charity of their choice, with the winner gaining the use of the trademarked phrase. A promotional video was created showing the CEOs "training" for the bout (with CEO Herb Kelleher being helped up during a sit up where a cigarette and glass of whiskey (Wild Turkey 101) was waiting) and distributed among the employees and as a video press release along with the video of the match itself. Herb Kelleher lost the match for Southwest, with Stevens Aviation winning the rights to the phrase. Kurt Herwald, CEO of Stevens Aviation, immediately granted the use of "Just Plane Smart" to Southwest Airlines. The net result was both companies having use of the trademark, $15,000 going to charity and a healthy dose of goodwill publicity for both companies.

"Just Plane Smart"
Southwest employees are generally well-known for friendliness, (for example, one pilot is known to greet passengers while playing the banjo); this is often attributed to a unique "love-based" corporate atmosphere that made chairman and founder Herb Kelleher a celebrity in the business world. The President of Southwest is corporate secretary Colleen Barrett, who has been with the company since day one. Southwest's CFO is Laura Wright. In July 2007, it was announced that Herb Kelleher will resign his position as Chairman effective May 2008. Colleen Barrett will leave her post on the Board of Directors and Corporate Secretary in May 2008 and President in July 2008. Both will remain active employees of Southwest Airlines.
Southwest has 1,133 married couples. In other words, 2,266 Southwest Employees have spouses who also work for the company.
Concerns attributed to labor unrest and complaints by the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) representing Southwest flight attendants were reportedly a factor in the recent resignation of Kelleher's hand-picked replacement as CEO. Jim Parker resigned in July 2004 and was replaced by Chief Financial Officer Gary Kelly.

Colorful personalities
Although Southwest is considered a "low fare" airline, it is heavily unionized compared with other airlines.


Southwest Airlines Fleet
The Southwest Airlines fleet consists of the following aircraft as of September 2007:
The airline operates more Boeing 737s in its fleet than any other airline in the world; Southwest is often cited as an example of an airline streamlining operations by having only one type of aircraft. However, Southwest operated leased 727-200 aircraft during the late-1970s and again in the mid-1980s and subsidiary TranStar Airlines operated DC-9s and MD-80s during the mid-1980s. Southwest has been a launch customer for all three of the Boeing 737 variants it currently operates, and was the first airline to put both the Model 500 and next-generation Model 700 into service. Southwest has a mix of old and new aircraft with both its "classic" and "next generation" 737 aircraft.
Southwest's 737-300 and 737-500 aircraft are not equipped with glass cockpit technology, as the 737-300s, 737-400s, and 737-500s of some other airlines are. Instead, the flight decks are fitted with analog gauges, more similar to those of the earlier 737-100 and 737-200 variants. Note the analog attitude deviation indicator (ADI) and horizontal situation indicator (HSI) (the blue-colored instrument and one below it) in this Southwest 737-3H4 and note the electronic versions of the same instruments (EADI and EHSI) in this United Airlines 737-322. There are electronic displays throughout the cockpit of the 737-700 and other "Next Generation" 737 variants, and Southwest has programmed their 737-7H4 models to emulate the appearance of the 737-300 and 737-500 for standardization purposes.
Since production of the 737-300 and 737-500 has ended, recent Southwest orders have been exclusively for the 737-700 model.
Southwest is the world's largest operator of the 737. Their current active fleet is over 500 aircraft. In terms of total 737 production (all models in history), deliveries of new aircraft from Boeing to Southwest accounts for approximately 9% of total production. Southwest has one of the largest fleets in North America.

Current fleet

Retired fleet
Southwest's original primary livery was beige and red, with orange on the tail end, and pinstripes of white separating each section of color. The word Southwest appears in white on the beige portion of the tail. (Although, on the original three 737-200s, from June of 1971, on the left side of the plane, the word Southwest was placed along the upper rear portion of the fuselage, with the word Airlines painted on the tail where Southwest is today N21SW. On the right side, the word Southwest was in the same place as today, but also had the word Airlines painted on the upper rear portion of the fuselage.N20SW.
Southwest introduced the Canyon Blue Fleet in 2001, its first primary livery change in its 30-year history. Spirit One was the first plane painted in the color scheme. The new livery replaces the primary beige color with canyon blue and changes the Southwest text and pinstripes to gold. The pinstripe along the plane is drawn in a more curved pattern instead of the straight horizontal line separating the colors in the original. The original livery is gradually being phased out, but three aircraft will remain in the original livery to commemorate Southwest's original three cities.
Almost all of Southwest's 737-700s have blended winglets, with a few exceptions, such as aircraft purchased from other carriers or corporations. The first planes to be fitted with the winglets remain in the plain colored winglet (matching the stripes on the fuselage), but later aircraft to be fitted have winglets with "SOUTHWEST.COM" written on them. All aircraft will eventually be repainted to the ".com" winglets. Special livery aircraft with winglets, such as Shamu, have plain white winglets.
Additionally, Southwest will install blended winglets on up to 90 of its 737-300 aircraft beginning in mid-January 2007, with AAR of Indianapolis, Indiana, accomplishing the work. The first modified aircraft, N368SW, resumed service on February 22, 2007.
Some Southwest planes feature special themes, rather than the normal livery. These theme planes have been given special names, usually ending in "One". Some of the most well-known examples are:
All special planes prior to Spirit One originally wore the standard beige, red and orange livery colors on the vertical stabilizer and rudder. Subsequent special editions—Maryland One and Slam Dunk One, so far—feature tails with the canyon blue color scheme, and all earlier specials, with the exception of Triple Crown One have been repainted to match.

Shamu: The three aircraft are painted to look like an Orca, with advertisements for SeaWorld. (N334SW), (N713SW), (N715SW)

  • The first aircraft to be painted in the "Shamu" scheme was N334SW (1988), a 737-300, and it was later followed by N507SW (Shamu II) and N501SW (Shamu III), both 737-500s. Subsequent to the retirement of Southwest's 737-200s, the 737-500s began to stay within a smaller geographic area formerly operated by the 737-200s, and as such, Sea World was no longer getting the optimal national exposure from these two aircraft. Two 737-700 aircraft, N713SW and N715SW, were repainted as the new Shamu aircraft, and both N501SW and N507SW were eventually repainted in Canyon Blue colors. All three current Shamu aircraft are no longer referred to as Shamu I, II, or III. The artwork on the nose of each aircraft simply states "Shamu". The overhead bins of these aircraft display ads for Sea World, except towards the front and back of the airplane, where the bins get smaller and are no longer uniform.
    The Spirit of Kitty Hawk: (1984) Livery and title introduced the Boeing 737-300 aircraft to the Southwest Airlines fleet. This plane is the oldest in Southwest's fleet. (N300SW)
    Lone Star One: (1990) The flag of the state of Texas applied across the aircraft. (N352SW)
    Arizona One: (1994) The flag of the state of Arizona applied across the aircraft. (N383SW)
    The June M. Morris: (1994) In honor of June Morris, Signature and Morris Air logo on the nose. Logo removed for Canyon Blue repaint. (N607SW, Original, Canyon Blue)
    California One: (1995) The flag of the state of California applied across the aircraft. (N609SW)
    Silver One: (1996) 25th Anniversary aircraft. Originally polished bare metal, it was later painted silver for easier maintenance. It was then re-painted with a silver metallic paint. This aircraft also featured silver seats, which were replaced to conform with the rest of the fleet for simplicity. Silver One also featured silver heart shaped drink stirrers.(N629SW, Original, Silver Paint, Canyon Blue)
    Triple Crown One: (1997) Livery dedicated to the employees of Southwest, in recognition of Southwest receiving five Triple Crown airline industry awards (best on-time record, best baggage handling, and fewest customer complaints). The overhead bins in Triple Crown One one are inscribed with the names of all employees that worked for Southwest at the time, in honor of their part in winning the award.(N647SW)
    Nolan Ryan Express: (1998) Commerative sticker dedicated to famous Texas pitcher Nolan Ryan who is MLB's all-time strikeout leader with 5,714 strikeouts. (N742SW)
    Nevada One: (1999) The flag of the state of Nevada applied across the aircraft. (N727SW)
    New Mexico One: (2000) The flag of the state of New Mexico applied across the aircraft. (N781WN)
    Spirit One: (2001) 30th Anniversary aircraft. (First Aircraft in New Canyon Blue paint scheme) (N793SA)
    The Spirit of Hope: (2004) Dedicated to the Ronald McDonald House. Overhead bins are covered in artwork from kids at a Ronald McDonald House in Washington State. (N443WN), (The overhead bins)
    Maryland One: (2005) The flag of the state of Maryland applied across the aircraft. (N214WN)
    Slam Dunk One: (2005) Basketball superimposed on side of aircraft and a different NBA team logo on each overhead bin in the cabin, recognizing Southwest's partnership with the National Basketball Association. (N224WN)
    Southwest received both the 5,000 737 on June 28, 2007. This aircraft is marked to honor this milestone. (N281WN) Incidents and accidents

    The American Brand Excellence Awards recognize leading national brands that best serve the needs of small- and medium-sized businesses. For 2007, Southwest Airlines came out tops in the Travel segment, based on a City Business Journals Network nationwide survey of 1,000 business decision-makers who evaluated 251 brands.
    Southwest Airlines' Rapid Rewards program was honored in InsideFlyer magazine's 2006 annual Freddie Awards for Best Program of the Year, Best Award Redemption, Best Award, Best Web Site, and Best Bonus Promotion Honors.
    For 2007, the eighth year in a row, Business Ethics magazine lists Southwest Airlines in its "100 Best Corporate Citizens," a list that ranks public companies based on their corporate service to various stakeholder groups. Southwest is one of only 11 repeat winners that have made the list all eight years
    In 2005, The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) recognized Southwest Airlines as leading the industry in customer satisfaction. The ACSI, conducted by the University of Michigan, independently tracks customer satisfaction levels by measuring the household consumption experience.
    Since 2000, HISPANIC magazine has listed Southwest Airlines as Corporate 100 for leadership in providing opportunities for Hispanics and for supporting recruitment, scholarships, and minority vendor programs.
    The Express Delivery & Logistics Association honored Southwest Airlines as the "2006 Airline of the Year."
    In 2005, American Small Business Travelers Alliance ranked Southwest Airlines as the "Best Airline Among Small Business Travelers."
    Southwest president Colleen Barrett was chosen as 2007's Tony Jannus Award winner, becoming the first woman to be honored in the 44-year history of the respected aviation award.
    Professional Women's magazine included Southwest Airlines in their 2006 ranking of the "Most Admired Companies Among Women."
    According to Institutional Investor magazine, Southwest Airlines ranked number one in the Consumer category among all airlines as the "Most Shareholder Friendly Company" based on the effectiveness of Southwest's governance and investor relations as part of their overall efforts to maximize share holder value.
    Southwest Airlines took top honors in the ninth Business Travel News Annual Airlines Survey.
    In 2006, Southwest ranked in GIjobs.nets list of 50 military friendly employers. At number 37, Southwest was the only major commercial airline to make the list.
    In its January 2006 issue, Institutional Investor ranked Southwest CEO Gary Kelly as one of America's top CEO's. He was ranked best CEO in the airline sector.

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