TxAgKuwait From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1803 posts, RR: 40 Posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5359 times:
People can (and do) argue the merits of leaving Love Field open or closing it or restricting it.
People will talk until they are blue in the face over whether or not paint schemes, assigned seats, or in flight entertainment really matter.
What should not evoke much argument is that the birth and life of Southwest Airlines has had a profound impact on the air travel industry.
It was 35 years ago today, 18 June 1971, that Southwest Airlines Co first began service, 3 Boeing 737-200s (the desert gold color on the aircraft had a much more greenish tint to it then), and 36 trips a day --- 12 round trips Dallas to Houston and 6 round trips a day Dallas to San Antonio.
There weren't a whole lot of passengers on those early flights....the average load was around 15...but anyone who rode with them definitely came back. The flight attendants would do anything to help pass the flight away....kid with the passengers, pour a lot of drinks, play cards, gossip. They would introduce a lot of passengers to each other and quite often the passengers would end up working various business deals.
Reservations were very simple. No flights ever filled up, so if you called in for a reservations, chances are the res agent would just tell you that you were confirmed without ever taking your name. The "computer system" consisted of the res agent/cabin cleaner sitting in the office with a composition book. Each page had a date. On each page was a listing of the 36 flight numbers. The agent simply made a stick figure alongside each flight when someone caled in for a reservation.
A lot of what has made Southwest the most powerful airline in the country, perhaps even in the world, was learned thru trial and error. Things they did...the $10 flights.....the 10 minute turns.....in order to stay alive worked out.
It's a shame that Marilyn Monroe is no longer among the living, it would be nice to have her sing "Happy Birthday" to the company much the same way she sang to President Kennedy in a joint session of congress.
At any rate, congratulations to WN on achieving this milestone.
Lufthansi From Germany, joined May 2002, 455 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5346 times:
happy Birthday Southwest! I like your livery! The new one as well as the old one! I'm impressed on the amount of airplanes (737) you fly! And the presented teamwork on your website seems to be true as I know some employees. For example 737doctor who made many many interesting pictures that are showing milestones in your history. I always love to remember my days back at the bay area. So many of your jets over my host's house. I have to go there again to make some photos now that I have grown up and got a camera. The help foundation and the names and special logos of your fleet are patriotic. Not only to your country but to your company! You are the original of Low Cost Carriers. The McDonald's of the sky
Go on with this team spirit and always support your staff as much as they support you. The feeling within the company seems to be alright.
Utapao From Thailand, joined Jul 2005, 645 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5312 times:
Quoting TxAgKuwait (Thread starter): it would be nice to have her sing "Happy Birthday" to the company much the same way she sang to President Kennedy in a joint session of congress
Not to nitpick, but wasn't the "Happy Birthday" performance at his 45th birthday celebration in Madison Square Garden in front of something like 10,000-20,000 guests. Never realized it was anything to do with a joint session. And if she was still alive she'd be 80 years old...but would probably still look good in that dress!
While I am not a fan of Southwest, I will always be among the first to give them credit for their business model and success, up to this point. And you are right on target about their early days. I was on a lot of those DAL-HOU flights the first year or two.
LoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4028 posts, RR: 31
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 5250 times:
I remember my first Southwest flight in September, 1978. DAL-SAT roundtrip for $36.00. The flight attendants still wore hot pants but they were red instead of the original orange.
BTW, if you go here the original Southwest employees still working for the company tell some funny stories about things that have happened over the years. These were my two favorites:
Linda Pinka, Flight Attendant
A drunken passenger passed out in the rear lavatory, and when we went to "rescue" him, he had his head in the toilet. We grabbed his hair to lift his head out of the toilet, only to end up with a handful of toupee that had been stained blue from the toilet water!
Deborah Stembridge, Flight Attendant
Recently, I was on a flight from Buffalo to Las Vegas, working in the back of the aircraft. I was checking the rear lavatory supplies and found a set of false teeth in the sink. I looked around thinking this had to be a joke, but everyone was seated, and no one was paying particular attention. I scooped the teeth up in a cup and walked through the cabin to the front galley where another original flight attendant, Sandra Bogan, was working. She thought it had to be a joke. By this time I had been holding the teeth for 20 minutes. I decided to walk slowly through the cabin and give a very big smile to everyone. By the time I got three-quarters of the way through the aircraft, a man jumped up and ran to the back. I had him.
Unfortunately, that hasn't been the only set of teeth I've found over the years!
Re: Marilyn Monroe singing "Happy Birthday" Can you imagine Elthel Merman singing this?
Flying West Flying East Fly the airline that costs you the least Walk-up fares Sure to please Three checked bags No change fees On June eighteenth Let's all stand up and c-h-e-e-e-r! As our friends at South-west Air-lines Celebrate thirty-five years!
Flying East! Flying West! Fly the airline that LUV's you the best! Friendly smiles From your hosts Frequent flights Coast to coast So June eighteenth We'll all stand up and s-a-a-y - We wish all the folks at the LUV airline A Happy Birthday!
TVNWZ From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 2661 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 5182 times:
I have been flying them regularly from their arrival in PHX and later STL.
i remember them pulling up to the semi-circular Terminal One in PHX. I believe they were doing 10 minute turns in the beginning. I remember the 727's, saw them in PHX, but never flew on one.
I have NEVER had a bad flight on WN. I have never experienced a rude or upset flight attendant. And, I have sufferd many a corny joke, but could not keep from smirking no matter how early in the morning.
Hotpants, plastic boarding passes, peanuts, a FF program that was unbelievably liberal, fast taxi speeds, oil hedges and Shamu.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY everyone at Southwest!! May you hve 35 more.