Posts: 1388
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 7:39 am

Happy Birthday, Southwest Airlines Co

Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:13 pm

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.
Posts: 416
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:26 am

RE: Happy Birthday, Southwest Airlines Co

Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:29 pm

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  Smile

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.

Life starts at take-off!
Posts: 546
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:19 pm

RE: Happy Birthday, Southwest Airlines Co

Sun Jun 18, 2006 10:59 pm

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!  Big grin

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.
Sawasdee khrab!
Posts: 1655
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2006 5:09 am

RE: Happy Birthday, Southwest Airlines Co

Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:22 pm

Happy 35th Birthday Southwest Airlines (by Luvfa Jun 18 2006 in Civil Aviation)
Bazinga punk.
Posts: 2802
Joined: Sat Jul 01, 2000 1:02 pm

RE: Happy Birthday, Southwest Airlines Co

Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:18 am

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?

(Click on the link to load the music)

WN Anniversary Song

Tune - Everything's Coming Up Roses
Ethel Merman

(Instrumental Intro)

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!


Posts: 7153
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:03 am

RE: Happy Birthday, Southwest Airlines Co

Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:29 am

Congratulations Southwest!

TA is also celebrating its birthday [75].

'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein
User avatar
Posts: 1948
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:28 am

RE: Happy Birthday, Southwest Airlines Co

Mon Jun 19, 2006 6:32 am

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.
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2005 10:55 am

RE: Happy Birthday, Southwest Airlines Co

Mon Jun 19, 2006 7:56 am

One of the best airlines out there in terms of being on time and reliable. Living here in houston allows me to fly them all the time  bigthumbsup 

Keep up the good work!
Negative ghotsrider the pattern is full!

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos