An awe5ome adventure.

Time flies when you’re democratizing the skies. Since 1971, Southwest’s purpose has been to connect People to what’s important in their lives and give them the freedom to fly through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel. Join us as we look back on 50 years of upholding that purpose, and visit this page often to find out how you can be a part of our year-long celebration.

Although our 50th year may look different, we’re still celebrating it with a deep pride and an unwavering joy.”
Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman and CEO
50 years. One heart.

Moments in time.

1967 – 1971

Herb & Rollin: The Birth of Southwest Airlines®.

When two transplanted Yankees, bonded in the belief that air travel could be more affordable and more democratic, met at St. Anthony’s in San Antonio, they hatched a plan to revolutionize the industry with nothing but a few stiff drinks, a cocktail napkin and one outrageous idea that ticked off existing airlines.

More on this moment

Courting Success: Early Southwest Legal Battles.

After rivals tied up Southwest in a host of legal battles, Herb Kelleher jumped on a plane to Austin, Texas, in 1971 and crashed a party, hoping to plead his case to a few Texas Supreme Court justices. The next day, wearing the same suit, he made a persuasive argument before the Texas Supreme Court.

More on this moment

Be on the lookout for more of Southwest’s iconic stories.

Check back for more moments that will be added throughout our 50th year!

The Heart of our People.

The Heart of our People.

Our Heart is to take care of People because we are more than an airline, we’re your neighbor.

Since 2008 we’ve contributed…

1.5 million hours of volunteer work by our Employees.

Over $222 million dollars toward local communities.

Nearly 480 thousand flights for those in need.

In honor of our 50th year, we’re inviting our Customers, communities, partners, and friends to join us in the call to put Hearts in Action and spark kindness and compassion around the world. Stay tuned for how you can join, and click below to learn more about our current Community Programs.

Learn about our community efforts

Source: Southwest Airlines One Report.

Our Founder’s Philosophy.

Our Founder’s Philosophy.

Herb Kelleher, Founder of Southwest Airlines.
More quotes from Herb Herb’s legendary Laugh


Celebrate 50 years with us by sharing your stories and photos using #Southwest50.

Celebrate with us!

Showcase your Heart with stylish swag commemorating our 50th.

Shop 50th merchandise

Our memorable runway looks.

Our planes have been instantly recognizable for decades. Take a look at some of our high-flying fashions from the past.

Feeling inspired?

Make your own history with us! Book your next adventure today at

Book now