A Culture of caring

People come first. We’re a Company that takes care of its People and its communities, and our People take care of each other. (We’re Cohearts, after all!)

Our unique Southwest® Culture is woven into all aspects of our business, from how we treat each other to how we provide Next-Level Hospitality to our Customers. All Employees are responsible for preserving and invigorating our Culture, regardless of position or tenure, which strengthens our Culture of caring. It’s a source of pride among Employees and at the Heart of who we are. 
"If you're crazy enough to do what you love for a living, then you're bound to create a life that matters."
- Herb Kelleher,
Southwest Airlines
® Founder

A glimpse at our history

Time flies when you’re democratizing the skies.
Southwest’s first route map started as a simple sketch drawn onto a cocktail napkin. Fondly known as “The Texas Triangle,” the airline began by serving only three major cities in Texas: Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio. However, it didn’t take long for Southwest to expand and start “spreading love all over Texas.”
When Southwest had to give up one of its four aircraft in order to keep the Company solvent, our People worked heroically to maintain the same operational schedule with fewer planes. Even when industry regulations, increased operational complexity, and security requirements made the 10-Minute Turn impossible, Southwest still maintained some of the best turn times in the industry, and continues to work on perfecting safe, quick turns well into the 21st century. 
By the early 90s, Southwest was running TV ads with the slogan “Just Plane Smart.” An aviation company in South Carolina thought it sounded a bit too close to their own slogan. What could have become an expensive legal battle instead turned into an arm wrestling competition for the use of the slogan. The 1992 event was coined “Malice in Dallas.”
Frontline Employees continued to provide legendary Hospitality and Customer Service with a smile (even behind the masks) in airports, maintenance hangars, and more.
"Every day that I drive to work, I can't believe that I work here because it doesn't feel like work. It feels like you're contributing to a bigger cause."
-Kiki G., Senior Tax Accountant
We work hard, play hard.
Celebrating is something we’re known for—we love celebrating together in the good times and supporting each other during difficult times. We make it a priority to celebrate special milestones throughout Employees’ Southwest careers. Employees also enjoy annual Companywide celebrations such as Spirit Parties, Chili Cookoffs, and the Southwest Rallies. In addition to the Companywide events, Employees enjoy participating in celebrations hosted locally with their Teams. 

Corporate Citizenship at Southwest

At Southwest Airlines, our corporate citizenship efforts focus on People, Performance, and Planet, all supported by strong corporate governance. These efforts, commonly referred to as ESG (environmental, social, and governance), support our Purpose to connect People to what’s important in their lives through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel, and our Vision to be the world’s most loved, most efficient, and most profitable airline.
Southwest employees smiling in front of a Southwest plane


We’re a Company of People, focused on serving People—including Employees, Customers, and communities. People are, and always have been, the heartbeat of Southwest Airlines, and we work to advance and protect the things that are important in their lives including celebrating diversity, equity, and inclusion and supporting our communities through our outreach efforts. Our focus on People includes giving the same concern, respect, and care to each one of our People, whoever they are.
Photo of Employees volunteering at a beach cleanup in Maui
We take pride in being the airline with Heart, which includes respecting our Planet. We’ve set a goal to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, and we've released a 10-year environmental sustainability plan to make progress this decade. See all the ways we show Heart for the Planet, from operational efficiencies and policies to community support.
[1:15 PM] Ashley Black Southwest Ramp Agent smiling at the camera through his hands that are in the shape of a heart.

 Performance and governance

We have an unmatched record of strong financial performance in the U.S. airline industry, with low fares and a robust network that supports market leadership; a strong Culture; outstanding Customer Service; and reliable, efficient, and low-cost operations. Sound governance is a fundamental principle at Southwest. We strive to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct and are proud of Southwest's history of strong corporate governance, beginning with the Company's Board of Directors.

Our Heart in action

We care for and celebrate one another—and we also put our Heart in action! Southwest Employees are encouraged and empowered to create a community wherever they are by volunteering, supporting Cohearts, and giving back.

Adopt-A-Pilot: Mentorships Take Flight
Traveling to the Happiest Place on Earth
Repurpose with Purpose: Caroline's Wallet
Empowering Human Trafficking Survivors with Flights to Freedom
Medical Transportation Grant Program: Cora's Journey