About Southwest

"Our people are our single greatest strength and most enduring longterm competitive advantage."

Gary Kelly, CEO Southwest Airlines


Our Purpose

To connect People to what's important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel.

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Hospitality, Southwest Style


One of my favorite sayings from Southwest Airlines’ President Emeritus Colleen Barrett is, “We’re in the Customer Service business—we just happen to fly airplanes.” That perspective is a fitting way to sum up how we serve our Customers. We call it Hospitality, but it really comes down to treating Employees like Family and Customers like guests in our home. Let me show you what we mean.

I received a note from a Customer who flew with us from Columbus, Ohio, to Tampa, Florida. He was sitting next to a woman who asked Bill, one of our Flight Attendants, if she could get a blanket because she was cold. We don’t have blankets onboard, so Bill apologized that he couldn’t accommodate the request. A little later in the flight, though, he came back, took his jacket off, and covered her with it while she was sleeping. Her seat mate told us how impressed he was with Bill’s friendly gesture (to read the Customer’s letter, turn to page 20). This simple act of kindness didn’t cost a penny but clearly made a lasting impression. That’s Hospitality.

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The Mission of Southwest Airlines

The mission of Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit.

To Our Employees

We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth. Creativity and innovation are encouraged for improving the effectiveness of Southwest Airlines. Above all, Employees will be provided the same concern, respect, and caring attitude within the organization that they are expected to share externally with every Southwest Customer.

January 1988

We Weren't Just Airborne Yesterday - Time flies when you're having fun!

More than 38 years ago, Rollin King and Herb Kelleher got together and decided to start a different kind of airline. They began with one simple notion: If you get your passengers to their destinations when they want to get there, on time, at the lowest possible fares, and make darn sure they have a good time doing it, people will fly your airline. And you know what? They were right.

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What's LUV?

Southwest has been in LUV with our Customers from the very beginning. Therefore, it's fitting that we began service to San Antonio and Houston from Love Field in Dallas on June 18, 1971. As our Company and Customers grew, our LUV grew too! With the prettiest Flight Attendants serving "Love Bites" on our planes, and determined Employees issuing tickets from our "Love Machines," we changed the face of the airline industry throughout the 1970s. Then in 1977, our stock was listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "LUV." Over the ensuing years, our LUV has spread from coast to coast and border to border thanks to our hardworking Employees and their LUV for Customer Service.

Our Commitments

We don't take our commitments lightly. We are dedicated to doing the right thing, we take great strides to ensure your safety, and fostering trusting relationships between our Employees, our Customer, our Suppliers, and our Planet.

Southwest Contract Of Carriage (English)

Southwest Contract Of Carriage (Spanish)

Southwest Customer Service Commitment (English)

Southwest Customer Service Commitment (Spanish)

Southwest Tarmac Delay Contingency Plan (English)

Southwest Tarmac Delay Contingency Plan (Spanish)

Safety Commitment

Environmental Commitments

Supplier Diversity Program

For earlier versions of the Contract of Carriage, please contact us and specify the effective date you would like to receive.

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