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Southwest Airlines History

Southwest Airlines, founded in 1967, is one of the largest low-cost carriers in the United States. The airline was established by Herb Kelleher and Rollin King with the goal of providing affordable air travel options to the masses. Since its inception, Southwest Airlines has revolutionized the industry with its innovative business model and customer-centric approach.

Southwest Airlines began its operations on June 18, 1971, with three Boeing 737 aircraft serving three Texas cities: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. The airline quickly gained popularity among travelers due to its low fares and friendly service. Despite facing challenges and competition from other established carriers, Southwest Airlines managed to expand its route network and increase its fleet size.

Throughout the years, Southwest Airlines has remained committed to its core values of providing excellent customer service, maintaining a strong corporate culture, and offering low fares. The airline's unique approach, known as the "Southwest Effect," has disrupted the traditional airline industry by stimulating air travel demand and forcing competitors to lower their prices.

More Airline Insights & Tips

Here are a few of helpful resources & tips that can further enhance your knowledge of Southwest airlines and how to best be prepared for your trip:

  • Delays are an unfortunate fact of the life of an air traveler. Arm yourself against surprises by knowing the flight status of your WN Southwest flight before heading to the airport, as this could save you a lot of time, or even your trip to the airport if your flight is canceled.
  • Info can be found here on Southwest Airlines’s company structure, headquarters, etc.
  • See which partnerships and alliances Southwest has here. This is useful if you want to build up your frequent flyer points on partner airlines.
  • Want to know which plane types are in service? Check out WN’s fleet list here.
  • When considering a flight booking on Southwest Airlines, be aware that third-party travel sites might require you to use their customer service instead of Southwest 's, which may be less than ideal in certain situations.

Beyond the history presented here for Southwest , if you’re wanting more aviation history, read about the history of commercial flight here, or the history of the airline industry here.

Over the decades, Southwest Airlines has grown exponentially. Today, it operates flights to more than 100 destinations in the United States and several international destinations. The airline has a fleet of over 700 Boeing 737 aircraft, making it the largest operator of this aircraft type globally.

Southwest Airlines has received numerous accolades for its exceptional performance and customer satisfaction. It has consistently ranked among the top airlines for on-time performance and baggage handling. The airline's commitment to safety, reliability, and affordability has earned it a loyal customer base.

For more information about this airline, check out our comprehensive Southwest Airlines Guide.

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