The Airline with Heart
The fight for what’s right that began in the early 2000s continued into the 2010s with the introduction of Transfarency®: No hidden fees, ever. A renewed emphasis on Hospitality and Heart was also introduced in 2014, as Southwest dramatically refreshed its brand look and feel for the first time in decades. With this new look, including a beautiful tri-colored Heart emblazoned on its planes and at its work locations, Southwest reminded the world what its Employees and loyal Customers had known for years: Southwest is the airline with Heart.
International and Hawaii Expansion
In 2011, Southwest officially acquired AirTran Airways. This acquisition offered the airline several strategic new destinations, including some south of the U.S. border. Southwest launched its own international service to Mexico and the Caribbean in July 2014. A few short years later, Southwest expanded again, offering much-awaited service to the Hawaiian islands from California cities in 2019.
In addition, the Wright Amendment was repealed in 2014, finally “setting Love free” and allowing much more growth from the Company’s hometown airport—Dallas Love Field. And, in 2017, Southwest completed the single largest technology initiative in its history when it implemented a $250 million integrated reservation system.
A Bold New Look
All of that change and expansion warranted a visual refresh! In 2014, Southwest revealed a bold new look that included a new logo, aircraft paint scheme, and renewed focus on Heart. The love airline stayed true to its roots and kept love, freedom, and Hospitality as the focal points of the brand.
Improvements for the Customer
In 2011, Southwest unveiled an enhanced frequent flyer program called All-New Rapid Rewards. The program touted no blackout dates or seat restrictions, and points that didn’t expire with any earning activity in a 24-month period. In 2014, Southwest took its Customer commitment to the next level by creating a new word: Transfarency®. Transfarency is a philosophy in which Customers are treated honestly and fairly, and low fares actually stay low—no hidden fees.
The 2010s were a critical period of technological modernization for Southwest, including several updates to the Company’s mobile app and digital experience.
Our Heart is Growing
In 2020, the airline industry was dealt a huge blow by the COVID-19 global pandemic. And while the public health and economic effects of the pandemic wear on, Southwest remains committed to Customer comfort. In spring of 2020, the Southwest Promise was introduced, outlining actions the Company has taken to support the well-being of Employees and Customers. As Southwest continues to evaluate policies in an ever-changing environment, one thing remains constant: Southwest’s Heart.
That Heart is also growing! Since March 2020, Southwest has announced or launched service to 18 new cities to connect Customers to what’s important in their lives.
2010 – TODAY
by the numbers
Throughout the 2010s, Southwest experienced an exciting period of growth. But, as Founder Herb Kelleher always advised, it’s critical to prepare in good times for the bad times. When the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Southwest was prepared to face the unprecedented challenges.