While many things have remained constant over the decades—such as our Southwest Spirit and our commitment to Legendary Customer Service—a lot has changed too. Customers’ needs have evolved, Employee expectations have shifted, and our airline has grown. In the face of constant change, our continued focus on innovation and improvement is one of the reasons we’ve been able to remain successful.
Our dedication to innovation can be seen in the way we approach partnerships. We recognize the need to connect with our Customers and Employees’ passions, both in the air and on the ground—which is why we dedicate time and energy developing partnerships that make a difference.
Celebrating National Teddy Bear Day In Style
We serve Customers of all ages and love to find opportunities that allow us to give back, which was why we were excited to partner with Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. in September 2018 to celebrate National Teddy Bear Day. Our partnership with Build-A-Bear allowed us to donate 20,000 Build-A-Bear teddy bears to children’s hospitals and charitable partners, Make-A-Wish®, and Ronald McDonald House Charities®.
At Southwest, we are committed to giving back in the communities where our Customers and Employees live and work. Through this partnership with Build-A-Bear, we are honored to lend a hand in donating these 20,000 teddy bears to deserving recipients at Ronald McDonald House Charities, Make-A-Wish, and children's hospitals that are part of the Southwest Medical Transportation Grant Program.
To further celebrate National Teddy Bear Day, Southwest Employees and Build-A-Bear associates surprised Customers on flights in 10 airports across the country with special Southwest and Build-A-Bear co-branded teddy bears.
Taking A Bite Out of Shark Week
Shark Week is one of our favorite weeks of the year, and thanks to a partnership with Discovery Channel, our Customers get to enjoy it as much as we do. In July 2018, we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Shark Week and the fifth year of our partnership with the launch of a special Shark Week fleet. The five aircraft in the Shark Week fleet each featured artwork based on shark species highlighted in Shark Week episodes: the Great White Shark, Hammerhead Shark, Tiger Shark, Bull Shark, and Mako Shark. The fleet flew throughout the Southwest system in the months of July and August 2018.
Customers and Employees interacted with our Shark Week fleet in a variety of ways. FlightAware, a Southwest vendor, replaced traditional airplane icons with custom shark symbols for our Shark Week fleet, giving visitors to their site a fun way to track the movement of our shark-themed aircraft. We also encouraged Customers to share plane-spotting photos of our Shark Week fleet on social media using the hashtag #SharksTakeFlight.
But the fun of Shark Week wasn’t limited to just a handful of planes. Customers throughout our network were able to enjoy “jaw-some” content on our inflight Entertainment Portal’s custom Shark Week TV Series Channel. Programming included one never-before-seen Shark Week episode, made available to our Customers two weeks ahead of its worldwide Shark Week release. And on one of our flights, we invited Luke Tipple, marine biologist and TV personality, to host inflight shark trivia and share a few stories from his research.
Even though sharks aren’t exactly “ground” animals (they prefer the water), our Ground Operations Employees got into the spirit of Shark Week as well. With the help of our onboard snack provider Mondelēz, Employees were able to give out Swedish Fish and other shark-themed goodies to hungry Customers at airports throughout California during the month of July.
Connecting With Our Customers is Music to Our Ears
For many of our Customers, music is an important part of their lives. Since we’re in the business of connecting People to what is important in their lives, it’s natural that we’d seek to connect with our Customers’ passion for music through music-related partnerships.
We proudly sponsor several key music events, such as Live In The Vineyard and Luck Reunion. We also partner with music-focused charitable organizations like Musicians On Call, a nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities across the country. And we support events and experiences that are important to the communities we serve through national partnerships with The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver. We are always looking for new ways to connect with our Customers through the power of music.