2020 One Report

“We are not simply a Company of planes—we are a Company of People. And it is the Heart of the People of Southwest Airlines that makes us who we are—yesterday, today, and forever.”

—Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer

30,000-Foot View

People are, and always have been, the Heartbeat of Southwest Airlines, and we work to advance and protect the things that are important in their lives. In 2020, the global coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, resulting economic impacts, and widespread social unrest that occurred deeply affected the lives of many, and we sought to do right by our Employees, Customers, and communities in the face of these difficult circumstances. On the following pages, you can read more about our citizenship activities during 2020, and see how we sought to align our efforts with our Heart for People. Welcome to this year’s One Report.

Putting People First

As you read through this section of the One Report, you might notice that we talk a lot about “our People.” When we say “our People,” we mean more than our Employees. Of course we love our Employees (they’re members of our Southwest Family!), but we also believe that our Customers and communities are “our People” too. So we treat them with the same concern, respect, and caring attitude that they’d experience as part of the Southwest Team. So when we say “our People,” you’ll know what we mean: we’re a Company of our People, focused on serving our People.

  • Enhanced DEI Commitment

    Evolved our hiring and development practices to support newly established diversity objectives

  • Southwest Promise

    Successfully launched the Southwest Promise, supporting the health and well-being of our Customers and Employees during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • $3 million

    Helped provide more than $3 million in support to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic

Financial Preparedness—Our Enduring Strength

We achieved our 47th consecutive year of profitability in 2019—a record unmatched in U.S. aviation history. By managing in the good times to be prepared for the bad times, we entered the COVID-19 pandemic prepared with the U.S. airline industry’s strongest balance sheet and most successful business model. We have a robust network of point-to-point service, with a strong presence across top leisure and business markets. While the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic presented an unprecedented challenge, we believe that we are well-positioned to effectively manage through the challenging environment and thrive post-pandemic.

  • #1 in Customer Satisfaction

    Maintained #1 Marketing Carrier in Customer Satisfaction per the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) data2323) The Department of Transportation (DOT) ranks all U.S. carriers based on the lowest ratio of complaints per 100,000 passengers enplaned, as published in the DOT Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR). Southwest earned the best Customer Satisfaction ranking among U.S. Marketing Carriers with the lowest ratio of complaints to the DOT per 100,000 enplaned passengers for 2020. A Marketing Carrier is an airline that advertises under a common brand name, sells reservations, manages frequent flyer programs, and is ultimately responsible for the airline’s consumer policies. Operating Carriers only handle the flight operations, passenger check-in/boarding, and baggage handling for the respective Marketing Carriers they serve—Operating Carriers are not responsible for DOT complaints related to policies, procedures, and advertising associated with the Marketing Carrier’s brand.

  • Global Distribution System

    Launched global distribution system (GDS) access for business travelers through partnerships with Travelport and Amadeus; entered into an agreement with Sabre

  • New Destinations

    in 2020, and have, to-date, opened or announced our intention to serve an additional 13 airports in 20212424) The 2020 Southwest Airlines One Report contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Specific forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements related to (i) the Company’s environmental sustainability beliefs, plans, and expectations; (ii) the Company’s plans, goals, objectives, and initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion; (iii) the Company’s plans and expectations with respect to Employee training, development, benefits, (including post-retirement benefits) pay, and staffing (including with respect to avoiding furloughs or pay cuts); (iv) the Company’s Vision; (v) the Company’s network plans, expectations, and opportunities, including factors and assumptions underlying the Company’s plans and expectations; (vi) the Company’s initiatives and related goals with respect to global distribution system access and related alliances and capabilities; (vii) the Company’s financial position, outlook, plans, strategies, goals, targets, and projected results of operations; (viii) the Company’s fleet plans and expectations; and (ix) the Company’s initiatives and expectations with respect to fuel efficiency and emissions. These statements involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those expressed in or indicated by them. Factors include, among others, (i) the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the duration, spread, severity, and any recurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic, including through any new variant strains of the underlying virus; the effectiveness and availability of vaccines; the duration and scope of related government orders and restrictions; the duration and scope of the Company’s actions to address Customer and Employee health concerns; the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on overall demand for air travel and the Company’s related business plans and decisions; and any negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s access to capital; (ii) the impact of fears or actual outbreaks of other diseases, economic conditions, fuel prices, extreme or severe weather and natural disasters, fears of terrorism or war, actions of competitors, consumer perception, and other factors beyond the Company's control, on consumer behavior and the Company's results of operations and business decisions, plans, strategies, and results; (iii) the impact of governmental actions and governmental regulations on the Company’s plans, strategies, and operations; (iv) the Company's dependence on Boeing with respect to the Company's fleet order book and delivery schedule; (v) the Company’s dependence on other third parties for products and services, in particular with respect to global distributions systems and related alliances and capabilities, and the impact on the Company’s operations and results of operations of any third party delays or non-performance; (vi) the Company’s ability to timely and effectively implement, transition, and maintain the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its operations and initiatives; (vii) the impact of labor matters on the Company’s result of operations, business decisions, plans, and strategies; and (viii) other factors, as described in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the detailed factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2020.

Attending to the Planet

The size and scale of our operation presents us with an exciting opportunity. The COVID-19 pandemic reduced our operations during 2020, but during 2019’s peak travel season, Southwest operated more than 4,000 weekday departures. Even small, incremental improvements in energy efficiency, waste reduction, or conservation are multiplied thousands of times—so small changes add up quickly! By acting as good environmental stewards across our entire operation, we can take meaningful steps to reduce our environmental impact and preserve the Planet—one flight at a time.

  • Nearly 140,000 pounds Repurposed

    In 2020, we repurposed nearly 140,000 pounds of leather seat covers

  • More than $630 million in Smart Investments

    Southwest has invested more than $630 million in fuel efficiency improvements since 2002

  • Reduced CO2e

    In 2020, 1.29M gallons were saved for a 12,632MT reduction in CO2e by using our Central Monitoring System

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Supporting the Global Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a set of 17 interlinked global goals that offer a blueprint for a better, more sustainable future. Southwest has identified seven SDGs that align with our business where we can most directly support economic, social, and environmental progress.

Our Stories

On these pages, you’ll find stories about our People, and the way our citizenship efforts impact them. It’s a different approach to citizenship reporting—but we’re a different kind of company. And putting People first has always worked for us.

Awards