Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines nixes peanuts starting August 1

Giving way to the concerns of passengers who have peanut allergies, Southwest Airlines has announced that, as of August 1, it will stop serving those tiny little packets of peanuts during flights.
“Peanuts forever will be part of Southwest’s history and DNA,” the airline said in a statement, “However, to ensure the best on-board experience for everyone, especially for customers with peanut-related allergies, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue serving peanuts on all flights beginning August 1.”
On its website, Southwest has told passengers with peanut allergies that if they made a note in their reservation, an effort would be made to make sure no peanuts would be served on their flights. But that didn’t always work out.
Other airlines stopped serving peanuts long ago, but for Southwest peanuts are part of the company’s branding. The airline is often “nuts” about this or that and has a quarterly newsletter called “In a Nutshell.”
Starting next month, the airline hopes passengers will pleased with the pretzels that continue to be served on flights, along with the other free snacks distributed on longer flights.

“Our ultimate goal is to create an environment where all customers—including those with peanut-related allergies—feel safe and welcome on every Southwest flight,” Southwest said in its statement.

Souvenir Sunday at Frankfurt & Austin Bergstrom Int’l Airports

Today is Souvenir Sunday – a day to look at some of the fun things you can buy – or just look at – when you’re stuck at the airport.

This week’s treats come from Frankfurt Airport, where I ended up spending the night on my way home from a visit to Florence, Italy, where I spotted these champagne cork-shaped seats at a bar in the Amerigo Vespucci Airport (FLR).

At the Frankfurt Airport, I came across plenty of Christmas-themed souvenirs, including nutcrackers and ornaments shaped like pickles. Why pickles? Evidently the tradition of hiding a pickle-shaped ornament in your Christmas tree and giving an extra present to the first person who finds it orginated in Germany.

And lucky travelers on one special Southwest Airlines flight from Austin Bergstrom International Airport to Chicago last Thursday got some great souvenirs.

The airline teamed up with Austin-based jeweler Kendra Scott and gave all passengers on the flight a free drink, goodie bags and gift boxes filled with – you guessed it – jewelry! – at baggage claim delivered by a yellow-clad Santa.

If you see a great souvenir when you’re stuck at the airport, please take a photo and send it along. If your photo is featured on Souvenir Sunday I’ll send you an aviation-themed souvenir.

 

Southwest Airlines celebrates Shark Week

Shark Week is coming to the Discovery Channel July 23 – July 30 and, once again, Southwest Airlines is jumping in with a shark-themed 737-700 featuring five shark species on the fuselage.

 

The shark plane will fly through Aug. 31, 2017, but on all WiFi-equipped Southwest planes passengers will be able to watch a pre-premiere episode of African Shark Safari on the on demand Shark Week channel.

During Shark Week, passengers can watch the programming live on the Discovery Channel.

And to kick off Shark Week, Southwest and Discovery are planning to do a surprise takeover of a special flight.

Shark fan or not, you might want to enter the Dare to Dive sweepstakes to  Grand Cayman.
The prize includes round trip travel for the winner and three guests,  a $2,000 Ritz Carlton gift card, and a $1,000 Visa gift card for an aquatic adventure. Enter by July 31, 2017. Good luck!

 

Hard hat tour of Southwest’s Houston Hobby terminal

Houston Hobby Airport - hat keychains

In October, 2015, Houston’s Hobby Airport will celebrate the opening of its international terminal, featuring a new concourse with 5 gates (but space for up to 12), a Federal Inspection Services (FIS) facility, a new parking garage with more than 3000 spaces and assorted roadway modifications and improvements.

The $156 million project is a joint effort between HOU and Southwest Airlines, currently the airport’s largest carrier, which will initially operate four of the five gates in the new terminal with plans to add flights to and from several cities in Mexico, Costa Rica and Belize. Southwest currently serves Aruba from HOU.

Here are some pictures from a recent hard hat tour of the terminal:

Houston Hobby - shovelHouston Hobby - stiltsP1010371 (2)

houston Hobby Airport - Southwest Terminal - escalator

Souvenir Sunday: bags made of Southwest Airlines seats

Southwest Airlines duffle

When Southwest Airlines did a cabin design that included, among other things, 80,000 lighter seats, they were left with 43 acres of leftover leather.

That leather ended up in Portland, Oregon with Looptworks, a company that takes high-quality excess material and upcycles it into limited edition, high-quality goods.

In this case, Looptworks has taken the leather from those old Southwest Airlines seats and turned it into a line of fashionable and functional bags that include a convertible tote ($150), a duffle ($225) and a backpack ($250). In addition to keeping the leather out of the garbage, the company partnered with a non-profit to employ disabled adults to deconstruct and clean the repurposed material.

Southwest LUV SEAT

The duffle and the tote are available on a 4 week turnaround time and Looptwork is about to launch the backpack and a toiletry bag.