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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.

Learn about our approach
in each of these areas:

Key Accomplishments

  • 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

Key Topic

Employees

Over the years, we’ve seen how treating our Employees well does good things for the rest of our business. We provide them with great jobs and benefits, and a world-famous Culture where they are encouraged to draw on their unique perspectives, skills, and experiences in their day-to-day jobs. Because authentic, empowered Employees make great ambassadors, and that positively affects Customers, the world around us, and the success of our business. It’s no wonder we’ve always said Employees are the Heart of Southwest.

Key Topic

Customers

At Southwest, we take a different approach to Customer Service compared with most companies. We view each Customer as a valued, unique individual—and when you’re serving real People with varying needs and wants, a one-size-fits-all approach just doesn’t work. We strive to always serve our Customers from the Heart, with respect, compassion, and Southwest Hospitality. And as we look into the future, we believe our approach will help us continue to enact our Vision: to be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.1313) 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.

Key Topic

Communities

Our focus on communities is a natural extension of Southwest’s People-centric approach to citizenship. We seek to connect People to what’s important in their lives—and the communities where we live, work, and play are an essential part of what brings us together. We believe that cooperation can advance our impact, so we partner with like-minded people and organizations to promote resilience, civility, and peace in our communities.

People Data Table

Five Year Summary
Employees

 20202019201820172016
Active, full-time equivalent Employees at year-end1616) Active, full-time equivalent Employees as of Dec. 31 for specific calendar year. Included 10,421 Employees participating in the Extended Emergency Time Off program as of Dec. 31, 2020.56,53760,76758,80356,11053,536

Employees By Gender

 20202019201820172016
Active, full-time equivalent Employees at year-end, by gender1717) Active, full-time equivalent Employees as of Dec. 31 for specific calendar year. Included 10,421 Employees participating in the Extended Emergency Time Off program as of Dec. 31, 2020.58 % Male
42 % Female
57 % Male
43 % Female
57 % Male
43 % Female
58 % Male
42 % Female
57 % Male
43 % Female
New Hires during the reporting period, by age and gender: under 30 years old215 Male
133 Female
1,093 Male
787 Female
1,450 Male
1,038 Female
1,223 Male
940 Female
NR
New Hires during the reporting period, by age and gender: 30-50 years old254 Male
235 Female
1,530 Male
1,014 Female
1,871 Male
1,092 Female
1,831 Male
996 Female
NR
New Hires during the reporting period, by age and gender: over 50 years old67 Male
73 Female
379 Male
422 Female
444 Male
439 Female
405 Male
448 Female
NR

Employees by Ethnicity/Race1818) Based on Employees' voluntary self-disclosure. 2020 is our first year reporting Employees by ethnicity and race.

 20202019201820172016
American Indian or Alaska Native0.7 %NRNRNRNR
Asian3.9 %NRNRNRNR
Black or African American16.3 %NRNRNRNR
Hispanic or Latino14.8 %NRNRNRNR
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander1.5 %NRNRNRNR
Two or More Races2.6 %NRNRNRNR
White60.2 %NRNRNRNR

Employees By Division1919) Flight includes Cabin Service Support, Inflight, and Flight Operations. Ground, Customer, and Fleet Services includes Provisioning, Customer Services, Ground Operations, and Network Operations Center.

 20202019201820172016
Flight24,568
44 %
25,864
43 %
24,924
42 %
23,561
42 %
22,133
41 %
Maintenance3,012
5 %
3,233
5 %
3,021
5 %
2,960
5 %
2,951
6 %
Ground, Customer, and Fleet Services19,457
34 %
21,013
35 %
20,800
36 %
20,175
36 %
19,497
36 %
Administrative (Technology, Management, Finance, Marketing, Clerical Personnel)9,500
17 %
10,657
17 %
10,058
17 %
9,414
17 %
8,955
17 %

Benefits

 20202019201820172016
Active and inactive Employees who participate in benefits programMore than 59,700More than 64,800More than 62,800More than 58,900More than 56,300
Employee benefit programs excluding 401(k) and ProfitSharing Plans and share-based compensation (accrued)2020) Includes Southwest’s contributions to Employee health and welfare plans, workers’ compensation insurance, and employer payroll taxes. 2020 includes a one-time accrual for Employees participating in voluntary separation programs.More than
$ 1.3 billion
More than
$ 1.3 billion
More than
$ 1.2 billion
More than
$ 1.1 billion
More than
$ 1.0 billion
401(k) savings plan participation92 %91 %91 %91 %92 %
ProfitSharing Plan participationAll eligible EmployeesAll eligible EmployeesAll eligible EmployeesAll eligible EmployeesAll eligible Employees
Company contributions to 401(k) and ProfitSharing Plans$ 561 million$ 1.2 billion$ 1.0 billion$ 1.0 billion$ 937 million

Training

 20202019201820172016
Pilot hours252,030482,473543,360582,535457,563
Flight Attendant hours263,811427,705442,807354,942443,295
Maintenance hours185,148165,630166,324140,068147,312
Customer Support and Services hours63,841134,783181,670255,106175,447
Ground Operations hours507,164887,627737,256740,285730,088
Safety and Security hours (all Employees)More than 320,000More than 780,000More than 820,000More than 660,000More than 811,000

Customers

 20202019201820172016
External Customer commendationsMore than 34,000More than 88,000More than 96,000More than 107,000More than 105,000
Ratio of External Customer commendations to personnel complaints3:13:13:14:13:1
American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)7979808080
U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Customer Satisfaction rating (consumer complaints per 100,000 enplanements)2121) U.S. Department of Transportation. (2021, February). Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR). A Product of the Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, Aviation Consumer Protection Division. Washington, D.C. 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.2.640.330.360.470.47
Percentage of reported flight operations arriving ontime86.080.279.278.780.8
Number of mishandled bags reported per 1,000 enplaned bags2.684.404.684.50NR
Passengers denied boarding per 10,000 Passengers0.060.190.150.530.99

Communities

 20202019201820172016
Donation requests received Companywide5,87218,45617,24317,03215,237
Tickets donated20,00845,30150,06050,58653,291
Total monetary donations$ 707,672$ 5,843,946$ 4,581,579$ 13,390,938$ 3,280,307
Total corporate monetary, in-kind, and ticket donations$ 10,190,071$ 24,306,076$ 25,235,753$ 37,043,294$ 25,324,794
Monies raised through official Southwest fundraising efforts$ 1,300,000$ 800,000$ 950,000$ 500,000$ 675,000
Employee volunteer hoursNearly
75,000
More than
200,000
Nearly
190,000
More than
180,000
Nearly
150,000
Value of Employee volunteer hours2222) Independent Sector (2020, July). Independent Sector Releases New Value of Volunteer Time of $27.20 Per Hour. https://independentsector.org/value-of-volunteer-time-2020/ More than
$ 2,000,000
More than
$ 5,800,000
More than
$ 4,800,000
More than
$ 4,300,000
More than
$ 3,500,000

Social Management Approach

 20202019201820172016
Employees represented by unionsApproximately
83 %
Approximately
83 %
Approximately
83 %
Approximately
83 %
Approximately
83 %
Employee human rights training hours More than 61,000More than 53,500More than 44,000More than 39,000More than 51,000
Employees trained on human rights56.2 %48.9 %43.9 %40.4 %44.4 %
Employees and business associates who acknowledged the Code of EthicsMore than 63,000More than 64,000More than 64,000More than 63,000More than 59,000