Reminder: The only way to apply for a job at Southwest Airlines® is through this site.
Fees don’t fly here -- we will never ask for any form of payment for your application or training.*

*Destination 225° is a program of Southwest Airlines and there is no cost to apply; however, candidates advancing through the selection process will be responsible for all costs incurred. Read more.

La única forma de solicitar un trabajo en Southwest Airlines es a través de este sitio web.
Las tarifas no vuelan aquí: nunca solicitaremos ninguna forma de pago para su solicitud o capacitación*

*Destination 225° es un programa de Southwest Airlines y no hay costo para aplicar; sin embargo, los candidatos que avancen a través del proceso de selección serán responsables de todos los costos incurridos. Lee mas.

A Southwest Ramp Agent waves in a plane

ELDP | Emerging Leader Development Program

ELDP Rotations

Participants generally rotate through three areas of our Operation:
Above the Wing
Our Leaders “Above the Wing” interact directly with Southwest Customers. Our Agents at the gates, throughout the airports, and at our Customer Service Desks assist Customers with everything from checking a bag to boarding their flight … and everything in between.
Below the Wing
Our Leaders “Below the Wing” directly impact on time performance and Customer satisfaction while serving on the Ramp or in Provisioning. These Warriors provide care and attention to things that matter to our Customers while working efficiently to keep costs low and aircrafts on time. They also have an impact on our Customers’ inflight experience. Those snacks don’t stock themselves! An appropriately stocked plane ensures Customers receive our legendary Hospitality 30,000 feet in the air.
Customer Support & Services
Our Leaders within our Call Centers support our Employees who have a Heart for Customer Service. Providing legendary Hospitality to our Customers who contact us is very important to keep Customers happy and flying Southwest. Leaders in CS&S are able to serve our Agents by coaching, developing, and mentoring … ultimately, improving our Customer experience.

What to expect as a participant:

  • During the program, ELDP participants are placed in a host location where they have a host lead and a coach who helps to develop their operational job knowledge and leadership skills.
  • Participants are paired with a mentor who has completed the Southwest Airlines Manager in Training program, receive time with Southwest Leaders and department sponsors, as well as enjoy dinner events with Senior Leadership. 
  • Training during the program includes Agent and Supervisor training facilitated by Southwest Airlines University, as well as spending four weeks in Dallas where participants receive additional leadership training and exposure to Southwest operating departments.
A Southwest Employee helps a Customer with his luggage

"Applying for ELDP has been the best choice I have made as a Leader, and it has helped me grow tremendously within a short, 18-month period. What you learn as an ELDP participant will be applicable not only at work, but also in life."

Image of Joseph Grant

Joseph Grant

ELDP Graduate and current Manager of Ramp and Operations in Oakland
Read more about Joseph's story.
Frequently asked questions
What should I expect if I’m selected to be an ELDP participant?
  • Expect to be on the go! Frequent travel is required, both to Dallas as well as other locations, for training.
  • You will have to relocate to a location that is based on Company need and not participant preference.
  • Think of the program as a two-and-a-half year commitment (18-month program + a required one year of work wherever you’re placed).
  • Passion for Customer Service and frontline Leadership.

Is relocation assistance provided to participants?
  • Participants are eligible for relocation assistance when accepted to the program and at the end of their 18-month rotation when they are placed in their permanent Leadership position.
  • Upon entering the program, participants may choose between the standard Visa card relocation package to cover their moving expenses or a living expense stipend of $1,200 per month (less applicable taxes) for the duration of the program.
  • If the participant has to complete a six month Customer Services & Support rotation in a city outside of the host location, they are responsible for securing their own housing. 
  • Upon successful completion of the program and placement in a permanent Leadership position, the participant will again be eligible for relocation assistance, but only the standard relocation option.

Is this a union position?
  • This position is considered Noncontract and is not covered by any union bargaining agreement.

Are participants eligible for overtime?
  • Airport rotations for Above and Below the Wing roles are overtime eligible. Overtime will be based on business need.
  • Customer Support & Services rotations are not overtime eligible, as CS&S Leadership positions are salaried and not hourly.

Can I be a participant while I am still completing my education?
  • We encourage candidates to complete their schooling prior to entering the program as we will not be able to work around any school schedules. Participants must report to their host location upon entering the program. No exceptions can be made. 

If you have additional questions, please check out our Southwest Careers Discussion Forum.