To advance our Corporate Citizenship and Outreach efforts, we focus on three principles: loving People, building resilience, and living responsibly. We bring those principles to life by investing in partnerships and programs that drive economic, social, and environmental impact. Through our investments and initiatives, we generate value for our Customers, our business, and our Communities. We put our Hearts in action by mobilizing each Employee to do well by doing good, developing programs to meet the needs of our diverse Communities, and engaging with business, civic, and Community leaders to be a globally trusted corporate citizen fostering authentic relationships that empower Communities.
Whether in the air or on the ground, we believe Community is more than a place—it’s at the Heart of what brings us together.
National & Local Giving
Southwest Airlines® cultivates relationships with more than 400 local and national organizations to generate impact across our Communities. Our giving focuses on several strategic areas including workforce development, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and environmental sustainability.
Southwest® invests in workforce development programs that introduce students to the diverse set of career opportunities in the aviation industry. From pilots to accountants and everything in between, the company is partnering with nonprofits and schools to help students soar to new heights in jobs of the future. For example, in partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Southwest helps college students stay connected to their families while pursuing higher education through the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! Travel Award Program. Since 2004, Southwest has helped more than 1,900 students reach new heights by awarding round trip tickets through this travel award program.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
Southwest has supported diverse communities for more than two decades, investing in community programs tailored to accelerate social and economic advancement. Learn more about our DEI efforts.
Southwest strives to effect meaningful change by investing in transformational programs and initiatives that complement our efforts to achieve carbon neutrality and advance environmental sustainability. This includes our signature Community Outreach environmental sustainability program: Repurpose with Purpose. This global sustainability initiative upcycles items such as leather aircraft seat coverings and transforms them into new products.
Human Trafficking Awareness
As an airline, it’s important we do our part to understand this issue, be able to identify indicators of Human Trafficking instances, and advocate for those who may be in a difficult situation. We’re proud to support multiple nonprofit organizations whose efforts help with the rescue, recovery, and restoration of Human Trafficking survivors. These organizations include Polaris, United Against Human Trafficking, Rethreaded, Ho‘ōla Nā Pua, and Ayuda.
Southwest is proud to support our Employees and Communities through the Southwest Scholarship Program. By providing educational access through our various scholarship opportunities, we aim to encourage students to soar through learning.
Southwest supports two scholarship opportunities. The Southwest Airlines Scholarship seeks to build a diverse talent pipeline, while inspiring future generations to find careers within the airline industry. The Herbert D. Kelleher and Rollin W. King Scholarship was established for eligible dependents of Southwest Airlines Employees to pursue higher education.
Repurpose with Purpose
This global sustainability initiative upcycles items such as leather aircraft seat coverings and transforms them into new products.
¡Lánzate!/Take Off! Travel Award Program
In partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), Southwest helps college students stay connected to their families while pursuing higher education. Since 2004, Southwest has helped more than 1,900 students reach new heights by awarding round trip tickets through this travel award program.
Medical Transportation Grant Program
The Medical Transportation Grant Program (MTGP) provides complimentary round trip tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations, lessening the financial burden on patients and their families requiring travel for specialized lifesaving or life-changing medical care. Southwest has distributed over $42.6 million in free transportation to 117 nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations in 28 states since the program began in 2007.
Our Adopt-A-Pilot (AAP) Program has inspired thousands of fifth-grade students across the country through fun, STEM-centered activities and experiments since 1997. The program connects Southwest Pilots with classrooms to engage students in fun, aviation-related lessons that define a plan for future success and spark an interest in careers in aviation.
Southwest Employees create community wherever they are by putting their Hearts in action through volunteerism, acts of kindness, supporting their Cohearts, and giving back.
Tickets for Time
To honor and appreciate our Employee volunteers who give their time and talents to 501(c)(3) nonprofits and schools, Southwest donates one round-trip ticket (up to six per calendar year) for every 40 hours that Employees volunteer with that organization.
Every year, hundreds of Southwest Employees go beyond their normal roles and responsibilities to serve as Volunteer Ambassadors supporting our Heart in Action Employee impact program and initiatives.
From supporting traveling Make-A-Wish families, serving dinner at Ronald McDonald Houses across the country or supporting Earth Month, our Volunteer Ambassadors play a key role in championing the causes that matter most to our Employees and Company and extending our Hearts and hands to make a positive impact in the communities in which we live and work.
Employees Catastrophic Assistance Charity
The Southwest Airlines Employees Catastrophic Assistance Charity provides Employees with a place to turn to for financial assistance during a catastrophic event in their lives. Since its founding in 1990, the Charity has awarded more than $16 million in catastrophic assistance and support. The Charity is primarily funded through Employee payroll deductions, but also receives funding from private donations, honorariums, and fundraisers.
The Southwest Airlines One Report
Explore our annual corporate social responsibility report, the Southwest Airlines One Report. This integrated citizenship report covers significant social, economic, and environmental stories, as well as data tables, and reporting frameworks, all through the lens of corporate Citizenship. Our disclosures are informed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).