The Southwest Airlines Deck Bar dedicated to its original founder
It is a Monday, your first day on the job with Southwest Airlines. You are nervous and want to make a good impression. You know that whatever you do on your first day, you want to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself, ensuring a second day. That sounds like something that would be going through a new hire’s head right?
ell, the thing is, every Monday all new hires at Southwest Airlines have the best first day introduction to the airline – the Southwest Deck Party.
View of Love Field from the Southwest HQ deck
Every Monday, Southwest Airlines has a “Deck Party” at their Dallas Love Field Headquarters. Located on the 3rd Floor, the deck overlooks the runways and the terminal at the airport and is a large open area that is ideal for a bit of a party.
To introduce new hires to the company’s culture, and more than likely to help all company employees relax, Southwest hosts this party with drinks and snacks provided. Not just things to eat or drink either; their are sometimes themed events, but there is always some kind of music.
If Southwest wanted to keep their full low-fare personality, I think I could get behind the new livery a bit more. But with going after more business travelers, the design says more “party,” than “all business.”
The first Boeing 737 (Heart One – N8642E) in Southwest’s new livery – Photo: Mal Muir
On a sunny Texas Monday morning, Southwest gathered hundreds of its employees, along with media from all over the country, to reveal a mystery that had been partially hinted at in previous days. Hints, rumors, and gossip pointed to a new livery and new branding, with huge feedback from not only passengers but Southwest staff wanting to make their feelings known.
But as everyone gathered in the hangar, it was almost a party-like atmosphere. CEO Gary Kelly got into the spirit and was among the staff, greeting folks and posing for photos.
More than just the planes are being updated – Photo: Mal Muir
When Kelly took the stage, he told the crowd how proud they should be. The airline employees have worked hard over the last 12 months for this special moment. “The one constant thing in the company is heart,” he said.
This gave a giant hint into what was to come. As the lights went down, a video played showing a transformation. The old livery shed its skin to a blank canvas. The new heart branding then slowly appeared onto the 737 on screen. Soon after, the doors opened, and there was the 737 in a new livery was waiting outside.
Are these the new liveries of Frontier and Southwest?
Today might go down as “Airline Livery Leak Day.” It appears that the new liveries of both Frontier and Southwest Airlines have leaked on the internet today, which shows that it is hard to hide things from social media.
The Frontier Airlines’ image shows an evolution of their livery with a retro “F,” but keeping the familiar animals on the tail. Whereas the Southwest livery maintains the same colors, but is more revolutionary in its design.
Turning leather seat covers into soccer balls; part of Southwest’s new LUV Seat program – Photo: Southwest Airlines
When you think about recycling in the aviation industry, most folks think of the aircraft that are scrapped and recycled. Some airlines will recycle the cans and cups onboard that get used, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. However, what about something on a different scale? Two programs have been launched this year that take different approaches to using up leftover materials and recycling them into something useful – something that will help people, not just the company’s bottom line.
In July of this year, Southwest Airlines launched their “LUV Seat” program, or as the motto puts it “Repurpose with a Purpose”. Labeled more as “re-purposing” than “recycling”, the program is designed to take the leftover leather from Southwest seat refurbishments and turn them into usable goods.
The first of those materials is heading to Africa, where seat leather will be turned into soccer balls, shoes, and other items. They don’t call it “recycling” – they call it “up-cycling”. Turning unwanted items into higher value products.