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Modified & Updated: 07 Sep 2023

Source: Npr.org

Southwest Airlines is one of the most widely recognized and popular companies in the airline industry. Operating since 1967, Southwest has become known for its unique business model, excellent customer service, and iconic heart-shaped logo. With a fleet of over 700 aircraft, Southwest serves more than 100 destinations across the United States and beyond.

In this article, we will delve into 18 fascinating facts about Southwest Airlines that highlight its success, innovation, and impact on the aviation industry. From its humble beginnings as a regional carrier to becoming the largest domestic airline in the United States, Southwest has left an indelible mark on travelers and aviation enthusiasts alike. So, let’s take a closer look at some intriguing elements of Southwest Airlines’ history, operations, and beloved corporate culture.

Table of Contents

Southwest Airlines was founded in 1967.

Southwest Airlines, established in 1967, has a rich history spanning over five decades.

It is the largest low-cost carrier in the world.

With its extensive network and affordable fares, Southwest Airlines holds the title of being the largest low-cost carrier globally.

Southwest Airlines operates over 4,000 flights per day.

The airline boasts an impressive flight schedule, with over 4,000 daily departures to various destinations.

The company has a unique seating arrangement.

Southwest Airlines follows an open seating policy, allowing passengers to choose their seats upon boarding the aircraft.

Southwest Airlines is known for its excellent customer service.

Passengers often praise the airline for its friendly and helpful customer service representatives, contributing to its reputation in the industry.

The airline operates a fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.

Southwest Airlines solely relies on Boeing 737 planes for its operations, ensuring consistency and efficiency across its fleet.

Southwest Airlines offers free checked bags.

Passengers flying with Southwest Airlines can enjoy the convenience of free checked baggage, setting it apart from many other airlines.

The company has a unique boarding process.

Southwest Airlines utilizes a boarding system that assigns passengers a boarding group and a position within that group, promoting quicker and more organized boarding.

Southwest Airlines has a frequent flyer program called Rapid Rewards.

Rapid Rewards rewards loyal customers with points that can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.

Southwest Airlines has a strong commitment to sustainability.

The company actively promotes environmentally friendly practices and has implemented various initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint.

Southwest Airlines has never laid off employees in its history.

Despite various economic challenges, Southwest Airlines has managed to preserve jobs and maintain a strong company culture.

It operates flights to over 100 destinations across the United States and international locations.

Southwest Airlines connects passengers to a wide range of destinations, both within the United States and internationally.

Southwest Airlines has a distinctive livery.

The airline’s planes are easily recognizable with their bold and colorful liveries, often featuring unique designs and patterns.

The company has a dedicated Southwest University for training its employees.

Southwest Airlines invests in the development of its employees through Southwest University, ensuring high-quality service and professionalism.

Southwest Airlines was the first major airline to offer a website for online booking.

The airline was an industry pioneer in making online booking accessible to its customers, revolutionizing the way people plan their trips.

Southwest Airlines has a strong focus on community involvement.

The company actively engages with local communities through various charitable initiatives and volunteer programs.

Southwest Airlines has a low employee turnover rate.

Thanks to its positive work culture and employee benefits, Southwest Airlines boasts one of the lowest employee turnover rates in the industry.

Southwest Airlines has been recognized numerous times for its outstanding performance.

The airline has received numerous industry awards and accolades, highlighting its commitment to excellence in the aviation sector.


Southwest Airlines is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and influential airlines in the industry. With a rich history, unique business model, and unparalleled customer service, it has managed to carve a niche for itself.

From its humble beginnings operating only in Texas to becoming the largest low-cost carrier in the world, Southwest Airlines has achieved remarkable success. Its focus on providing affordable fares, extensive route network, and dedication to customer satisfaction have made it a top choice for travelers.

With a strong commitment to innovation and a renowned corporate culture, Southwest Airlines continues to shape the future of the aviation industry. Its exceptional performance, commitment to safety, and emphasis on employee empowerment have earned it a loyal customer base.

As Southwest Airlines continues to expand its services and enhance its offerings, it will undoubtedly remain a force to be reckoned with in the aviation industry for years to come.


1. How did Southwest Airlines start?

Southwest Airlines was founded in 1967 by Herb Kelleher and Rollin King. It started as a small airline operating solely in Texas.

2. What is the business model of Southwest Airlines?

Southwest Airlines follows a low-cost carrier model, offering affordable fares, no assigned seating, and minimal in-flight amenities.

3. How many destinations does Southwest Airlines serve?

Southwest Airlines serves over 100 destinations in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

4. What sets Southwest Airlines apart from other airlines?

Southwest Airlines is known for its exceptional customer service, fun-loving attitude, and dedication to employee empowerment.

5. Does Southwest Airlines charge for checked baggage?

No, Southwest Airlines allows passengers to check up to two bags for free within certain size and weight limits.

6. What is Southwest Airlines’ cancellation and change policy?

Southwest Airlines offers flexibility with its cancellation and change policy, allowing passengers to modify or cancel their flights without incurring hefty fees.

7. How does Southwest Airlines prioritize safety?

Safety is a top priority for Southwest Airlines. It has a rigorous maintenance program, well-trained flight crew, and a strong safety record.

8. Can I earn frequent flyer miles with Southwest Airlines?

Yes, Southwest Airlines has a Rapid Rewards program through which passengers can earn and redeem frequent flyer miles.

9. Does Southwest Airlines offer inflight entertainment?

Yes, Southwest Airlines offers Wi-Fi on select flights, and passengers can stream movies, TV shows, and music directly on their personal devices.

10. What amenities are provided on Southwest Airlines flights?

While Southwest Airlines does not provide traditional in-flight amenities like meals or seatback screens, it offers a comfortable seating arrangement and friendly crew.