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Southwest Airlines Gratitude (SWAG)

At Southwest Airlines, gratitude is a way of life, and it’s exhibited in a multitude of ways—from a Leader or peer saying “great job,” to receiving an award like Winning Spirit, to attending the Annual Awards Banquet.

What is SWAG?

Each Southwest Airlines Employee has a SWAG Account.  It’s the place to create recognition, keep track of all of the recognition you’ve received, and it’s the place to go to spend any SWAG Points that you earn.

SWAG Points give you the Freedom to Choose Your Reward!  You’ll have the opportunity to receive SWAG Points through some of our recognition and incentive programs.

trade SWAG for Guest Passes, Rapid Rewards Points, Merchandise, Gift Cards


Travel Privileges

Take advantage of great travel perks! As a Southwest Airlines Employee, you are eligible for free standby travel for your spouse, dependent children (up to age 19, fulltime students up to 23), and parents. You even have an option to receive companion passes and earn guest passes! 

These may take up to 30 days to become eligible. As a result of the IRS ruling in regards to same-sex marriages, Federal tax will be omitted for your spouse, however some taxes may apply in accordance to your states’ tax laws.

At Southwest, we believe that our People are our greatest asset.  We are committed to providing the best opportunities for our Employees to prepare for their future—and share in the success of Southwest.  We offer the following industry-leading programs to all Employees:

401(k) Plan: This Company-sponsored retirement plan allows Employees to contribute a portion of their pay on a pre-tax or post-tax basis to build up savings for retirement. Currently, we have a $1 for $1 match on Employee contributions up to a specified percent of your eligible salary, which can vary depending on your workgroup. Remarkably, we currently offer a match between 8.3 and 9.3 percent of eligible salary!

ProfitSharing Plan: Without our great Employees, we wouldn't be profitable.  Southwest established the ProfitSharing Plan to share a percentage of the Company's profits with our Employees in acknowledgement of their hard work and tremendous effort.  Each year, the Board of Directors determines if a ProfitSharing contribution will be granted based on our profitability and prosperity. In 2012, Southwest contributed 3.4 percent of our Employees' eligible salaries into their individual ProfitSharing accounts.  We are very proud to have 40 consecutive years of profitability in which we have contributed over $2.2 billion to our Employees’ ProfitSharing accounts.

Employee Stock Purchase Plan:  This plan allows Employees to buy shares of Southwest stock at a 10% discount. What better way to think like an owner, if you are an owner!

In the ever-changing world of healthcare, you can rest easy knowing that Southwest has you and your Family covered with high quality and affordable healthcare coverage.  For medical coverage, you can pay as little as $7 a month for Employee Only coverage!  We are proud to offer a diverse line-up of benefits for our fulltime and parttime Employees, including a robust Wellness Program. We believe that if we take care of our Employees, they will take care of our Customers!


  • Medical
  • Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life Insurance
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account
  • Healthcare Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Savings Account
  • Healthcare Concierge Service
  • TeleMedicine service
  • Adoption Assistance Reimbursement Benefit
  • Mental Health Chemical Dependency
  • Supplemental Hospital Insurance
  • Auto and Home Insurance
  • Pet Insurance
  • Commuter Benefits
  • Will Preparation
  • Travel Assistance
  • Family and Medical Leave Act Employee Rights and Responsibilities


  • Wellness Rewards
  • Onsite Vaccinations
  • Metabolic Syndrome Program
  • Tobacco Cessation Program
  • Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
  • Live and Work Well and Employee Assistance Program

Southwest Airlines values our People and their goals. Here are some opportunities our Employees have to learn and grow:

Training and Development

SWA U: The Southwest Airlines University (SWA U) supports our Operational Departments with technical training as well as professional and personal development for Employees including:

  • Leadership Training: Want to be a Leader? Classes like Leadership 101 and Leadership Southwest Style will show you how!
  • Personal Development: We offer classes on interviewing, public speaking, and everything in between.
  • Job Training: Southwest ensures that each and every Employee receives thorough training for their position.

Manager in Training (MIT) Program: Our MIT Program was created to develop our high-potential Leaders.

Emerging Leadership Development Program (ELDP): ELDP is a recruiting and development Program designed to create a diverse pipeline of skilled Emerging Leaders who are experienced in multiple job duties, Lead the Southwest Way, and are prepared to take on Leadership roles at Southwest.

Moving around the Company: We encourage movement in new roles to increase job skills.

Days in the Field: We encourage spending time in another person's shoes to learn about their jobs.

Make a Positive Difference

We're not known as the LUV airline for nothing! Making a positive difference is part of what keeps our Culture alive. Employees are encouraged to give back From the Heart through programs like these:

  • Employee Catastrophic Fund: Employees have the option of making payroll deducted donations to this fund supporting our own Employees in times of trouble. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Employees donated $543,300 to Fellow Employees in need.
  • LUV Classic Golf Tournaments: Southwest sponsors annual golf tournaments in Dallas and Phoenix. Since the tradition started, Southwest raised over $9.7 million for Ronald McDonald Houses.
  • Adopt-A-Pilot: Many of our Pilots volunteer their time visiting fifth grade classes and corresponding with students throughout the year. The program allows students to see the importance of education in reaching personal goals.

Work Hard, Play Hard

Happy Employees = Happy Customers. Happy Customers keep Southwest flying. Our one of a kind culture includes FUN events like these that keep our Employees motivated and make it worthwhile to work hard for the Company they love!

  • Haunted Headquarters:  Halloween is more spectacular than spooky at this annual event. Skits, costumes, and activities provide FUN for our Employees, families, and friends.
  • Culture Committees: These Employee-led groups volunteer time to celebrate life events, plan FUN events, and make Southwest a FUN place to work.
  • Chili Cookoff: Our annual event featuring food, talent, prizes, and of course, chili!
  • Spirit Parties: Events hosted by our field locations which help promote cross-country FUN!

Being a Southwest Employee makes you part of the Southwest family! As our Company grows, we know how important it is to keep those family ties. We have many communication methods in place to do just that.

  • Today@SWA: Our daily newsletter that provides late-breaking news, Company announcements, messages from Leaders, industry news, Employee recognition, and more.
  • Employee Communications: An entire Team dedicated to keeping us informed and in touch.
  • LUVLines: Our Employee magazine published monthly features in-depth articles on Company and industry news.
  • Message to the Field: Our traveling annual meeting offers Employees the opportunity to hear a Company update from our CEO and other Executive Leaders.
  • SWALife: Our secure Employee web site that provides important Company News and Information, Culture Updates, Employee Benefits, Travel Tools, and other business-critical content.
  • SWA Blog:  Nuts About Southwest is a blog all about our Employees, Customers, airplanes, and airports. We really are Nuts about Southwest and we hope that our Readers are too.
  • Employee News Line:  Gary Kelly and other Southwest Officers record a recap of what's important at Southwest on this toll-free hotline.
Rapid Rewards Last Activity Date

Rapid Rewards accounts will remain active and points won’t expire as long as you earn Rapid Rewards Points from flights or Partners every 24 months.

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