Southwest Airlines Making Itself At Home In Houston

16 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Gary Kelly: We don’t have room for Delta Air Lines flights at Love Field (and it’s not our problem).

A Wisconsin woman says that Southwest Airlines flight attendants kept her from making an emergency phone call that could have saved her husband’s life. Southwest Airlines will switch all 31 pending aircraft orders for 2016 to larger versions of the Boeing 737 as the carrier expands within the U.S. and adds new international markets.In case there was any doubt, Southwest Airlines Co. chairman and chief executive Gary Kelly made it emphatically clear: Southwest won’t have room to accommodate Delta Air Lines Inc.’s flights at Dallas Love Field much longer.At its annual meeting Wednesday, Southwest announced a new $1.5 billion share-buyback program and an increase in the quarterly dividend to 7.5 cents per share from 6 cents per share.

DALLAS, May 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Southwest Airlines and the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU) 550, which represents the Company’s Meteorologists, announce they have reached a tentative agreement on the group’s first-ever contract. The move to the larger -800 reflects Southwest’s plan to focus on roomier planes as it expands the number of flights to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Terms of the four-year deal include adjusted wage-scale step increases, as well as opportunities for bonuses that are linked to individual and Company performances. “Hats-off to TWU 550 for working so hard, and so quickly, to strike a fair balance between the needs of their members and the needs of the Company,” said Senior Director Labor Relations Gerry Anderson. “It is an exciting time for TWU Local 550 as this is our first foray into organizing,” said TWU 550 President Mike Connor. “For our Company to embrace our Meteorologists as a collective bargaining unit tied to the Dispatchers opens a new frontier of collaboration in planning our flights safely and efficiently with more concise weather knowledge.

She texted back to tell him no, she says, but was prevented from calling him by a flight attendant. “The steward slapped the phone down and said you need to go on airplane mode now,” Momsen-Evers told local television station WTMJ. The -800s will add 32 seats per plane, a 22 percent increase from the -700s. “We schedule those airplanes on the proper routes and fill them up and it drives really nice economic benefits,” Chief Executive Officer Gary Kelly said following Southwest’s annual shareholder meeting Wednesday in Houston. “We think we have more that we can grow.” Southwest will evaluate its needs before deciding whether to take 25 of the larger version in 2017 and 2018 instead of the -700s on order, he said. Some of the airline’s ground workers picketed outside the meeting in Houston to protest the lack of a new contract despite four years of negotiations.

This will prove to be a major asset to our Customers, our Company, and our operations, especially with our new direction into International service.” In its 44th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 47,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest has 18 of the 20 gates at Love Field, and an agreement to provide space to Delta for its flights through July 6. (Virgin America has the other two Love gates.) Kelly: “We have our 18 gates, 16 leased and two subleased. She says she tried once again after the flight was at cruising altitude, asking to make an emergency call, but was rebuffed by another flight attendant. “We are unable to share details surrounding this event but are saddened to learn of Mrs. We will use every ounce of time and space at those 18 gates and it will be up to the city to deal with whatever other requests it has.” Kelly: “It’s no different that any other situation. Southwest service to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, begins in June 2015; and subject to government approvals, service to Belize City, Belize, begins in October 2015.

Regarding Momsen-Evers’ accusation that the crew slapped her phone down, the spokesperson said that the airline’s reports indicate the flight attendant “verbally requested that the passenger discontinue the use of her phone,” adding: “Our flight attendants are responsible for executing Safety procedures to prepare a flight for departure and arrival, in accordance with FAA regulations, while assisting the up to 100 plus passengers onboard. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. In each situation, our Employees utilize their training to handle a wide variety of situations to the best of their ability.” “I go to sleep at night thinking what could I have done, what should I have done,” Momsen-Evers said. “The pain of knowing something could have been done, it breaks my heart.” The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity while over the United States.

Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply) to everyone, and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. The new aircraft livery, airport experience, and logo, showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees to connect Customers with what’s important in their lives.

Kelly also announced that Southwest will launch service Nov. 1 from Hobby to the Costa Rican city of Liberia, joining a number of destinations that will get Houston flights. Department of Transportation as “The Southwest Effect,” a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets.

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit: Kelly said Southwest is changing its pending aircraft order and in 2016 will buy only the Boeing 737-800, with 175 seats, rather than 143-seat Boeing 737-700s that make up the bulk of its fleet.

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