Southwest Airlines

More Holiday Fun from Airports & Airlines

It is so encouraging to see airlines and airports having fun celebrating the holiday season this year. Here is another batch of actions and activities we spotted.

SFO Holiday Giveaway

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and the award-winning Grand Hyatt at SFO are hosting a holiday giveaway contest. Enter by December 21 for a chance to win the Grand Prize: a night at the hotel and a cool SFO Travel Bag.

First Prize is up to $200 worth of parking in the airport garage + an SFO travel bag. And five additional winners will get BART tickets and swag and an SFO Bag.

Vote for the Best Holiday Wreath at O’Hare Airport

Concessionaires at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport have created themed wreaths for the holidays. Now the airport is inviting the public to vote for their favorites in the Wreath Decorating Contest through December 25.

We like the pretzel-adorned wreath from Auntie Anne’s and the popcorn canister encrusted wreath from Nuts on Clark. But we must admit to being partial to the shoe happy wreath with the boot-wearing elf made by the airport’s Shoe Hospital.

And Look: a Southwest Airlines-branded Zamboni

Southwest Airlines is the sponsor of the Downtown Denver Rink, where ice-skating is complimentary through the season if you bring your own skates. Skate rentals are available ($9/adults & $7/kids), but earlier this week, during Colorado Gives Day, Southwest Airlines picked up all the skate rental fees and handed out holiday treats and surprises.

Our favorite part? Just the fact that there’s a Southwest Airlines-branded Zamboni!

Travel Tidbits from airports, airlines, and museums near you

Changes at Denver International Airport Checkpoints

Denver International Airport (DEN) is making some big changes at several of its security checkpoint lanes this week, with the goal of making traveling through the airport easier.

You can read all the details about DEN’s TSA Checkpoint shuffle here, but one new feature that caught our attention is the Travel-Lite Lane that TSA will be offering at the North Security Checkpoint. This express lane is set aside for ravelers with only one item, such as a backpack, briefcase, or purse. A great idea for those who have checked their suitcases and/or are traveling light.

Zip it! Check out the Zipper Dress made by a Southwest Airlines Ramp Agent

Places We’d Go: John Soane’s Museum in London

Throughout the pandemic, Viking Cruises’ Viking.TV has been providing lectures and behind-the-scenes visits to wonderful places all over the world. We’re big fans of Museum Mondays and this week’s offering is a documentary about restoring one of our favorite places in London, Sir John Soane’s Museum, to its original state.

Take a look.

Yes, Southwest Airlines will check your pool noodle.

The world – and a young woman named Sydney Fowls – now knows that Southwest Airlines stands by its promise to allow passengers to check two bags for free.

Even if one of those bags happens to be a pool noodle.

Fowles recently traveled from Ohio to Tampa for a vacation. And, budgets being tight, she decided to bring her own foam pool noodle along.

Rather than bring the pool noodle on the plane and try to put it in the overhead bin, Fowls decided to check the pool noodle as her second free ‘bag.’ To her delight, and now ours, no one at Southwest Airlines said no to checked noodle.

The noodle was tagged and sent out to be loaded onto the plane.

The modern world being what it is, Fowles documented the noodles journey on Tik Tok. She even caught the bemused reaction of the bag handlers who were tasked with loading the noodle onto the plane.

@sydneyfowls05

My pool noodle traveled from Ohio —-> Florida

♬ Vacation – Dirty Heads

The internet loved Fowls’ first pool noodle Tik Tok. To the tune of 11 million views (so far).

Did the noodle make it to Tampa?

Spoiler alert: Yes it did. Did the noodle make it back home to Ohio? Yes it did.

Did Southwest Airlines join in the fun? Yes they did.

When Fowls returned from her trip, there was a pool noodle performance waiting for her.

There was a bag carousel filled with pool noodles.

Fowls got a photo op with the bag handlers who were featured in her first Tik Tok post.

And she got her own Southwest Airlines-branded pool noodle.

@sydneyfowls05

My pool noodle made it back home to Ohio! Thank you Southwest Airlines for everything you did for me! @flysouthwest @junebug2433 #viral

♬ SexyBack (feat. Timbaland) – Justin Timberlake

Giveaways for Southwest Airlines’ 50th Anniversary

June 18 marks 50 years since Southwest Airlines flew its first commercial flight and to celebrate the airline is giving away prizes through June 18 and celebrating all month long.

The Southwest Airlines Sweepstakes

Through June 18, anyone can enter the sweepstakes here for a chance to win prizes that include 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, or 50,000 Rapid Rewards bonus points.

We’ve been entering everyday, but so far we’re not a winner.

Be sure to enter the sweepstakes on June 18. That’s the day Southwest has dubbed “Wanna Get Away Day,” when the prizes – and the number of prizes awarded – balloon considerably.

On that day, you could win up to a million rapid rewards points, a $500 Southwest Airlines gift card, and a Companion Pass that lets you take someone with you every time you fly on Southwest Airlines.

The Party Goes On All Month

In addition to the sweepstakes, Southwest Airlines is hosting pop-up photo opportunities in 24 airport gate areas and rolling out Heart Carts full of swag and giveaways in more than 40 of its locations.

Southwest Airlines fans who want to celebrate with some swag can shop the Southwest Airlines online store for retro merchandise that includes a Retro Build-A-Bear wearing the airline’s original hotpants uniform.

Travel Tidbits: Hawaii, Amtrak, Comic Book Art

Travel Tidbits from airports and airlines near you

Southwest expands Hawaii flights from California

Southwest Airlines announced new nonstop flights from Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) to both Kona (KOA), on the island of Hawaii, and Lihue, Kauai (LIH) will begin flying in January 2020.

Once these flights begin, you’ll be able to fly to all four main Hawaiian Islands nonstop from SJC.

Southwest will start flights between SJC and Lihue four days per week (Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun) starting January 19, 2020. Flights to Kona will be three times a week (Tue/Thu/Sat) beginning January 21.

These new flights will be in addition to Southwest’s existing daily, nonstop flights between SJC and both Honolulu and Kahului (Maui), which began in May.

Take the Train – half off

You can’t take the train to Hawaii, but you can take it lots of other places – for half price.

Amtrak just kicked off its September Sale, offering 50% off tickets nationwide. The sale runs Friday, August 16 through Saturday, August 17, 2019 and covers travel anywhere between September 1 and September 30, 2019. Even better: no blackout dates.

Comic art at John Wayne Airport

Like comic books? Then you’ll love this comic book art.

Mixed Media Collage artist Fernando Del Rosario brings his “Real Heroes” collection of inspiring quotes and original composed art – made from comic books – to John Wayne Airport (JWA).

“My Real Heroes collection is meant to grab you, lose yourself within each piece and come out inspired, motivated, and creatively recharged,” said Del Rosario. “Every one of these comic book pages is from my collection as a kid. And this is my way of sharing my story and my inspiration with the public.”

Del Rosario’s artwork is on display in the JWA Community Focus Space from August 15 – September 17, 2019.