Southwest Airlines named on Fortune’s ‘World’s Most Admired’ list

A line of Southwest Airlines aircraft parked at the terminal.
Photo Credit: Southwest Airlines

~ by Len Varley

Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has once again secured its position on the prestigious Fortune World’s Most Admired Companies™ 2024 list, coming in at No. 39.

This recognition furthers a consistent presence for the airline on this esteemed list since 2009. We take a deeper look into what makes Southwest Airlines a standout in the industry.

A Legacy of Care and Excellence

Since its inception in 1971, Southwest Airlines has been renowned for its exceptional care for its people, customers, and communities.

Bob Jordan, the President & CEO of Southwest Airlines, expresses gratitude for the company’s inclusion on the list, highlighting the dedication of its employees.

 “Our Employees are so deserving of this recognition. Southwest is a unique Company that dared to believe in thinking differently and hiring the best People—and trusting that they, devoted to the cause, can do anything,” remarked Jordan.

Southwest’s ethos of thinking differently and prioritizing the recruitment of top talent has been instrumental in its success.

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Southwest To Make Huge Investment in Passenger Experience

The Selection Process

Fortune, in collaboration with Korn Ferry, undertakes a rigorous selection process involving 15,000 senior executives, outside directors, and industry analysts.

This extensive survey aims to identify companies with the strongest reputations within and across industries. Key attributes evaluated include innovation, people management, social responsibility, and financial soundness.

Notable Achievements

Southwest Airlines has achieved significant milestones in the past year, which demonstrating its commitment to enhancing customer and employee experiences. In summary, those notable highlights included:

1. Technological Advancements

Completed fleetwide upgrades of WiFi equipment, enhancing the inflight browsing experience.

Installed USB-A and USB-C power ports and larger overhead bins on all new 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

Introduced new onboard offerings and digital enhancements for customers, including Digital Bag Tracking and Online Baggage Check-In.

Southwest Airlines Orders 108 Boeing 737 MAX 7s
Southwest Airlines Max 7 – 737 Artwork K65810-02

2. Customer-Centric Initiatives

Removed expiration dates from flight credits, a pioneering move in the industry.

Launched free same-day standby for all customers, enhancing flexibility.

Enhanced the Southwest Rapid Rewards™ program, simplifying tier status earning and introducing premium drink benefits.

3. Commitment to Sustainability

Updated sustainability strategy, aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Enabled corporate customers to support the purchase of sustainable aviation fuel through Southwest Business Assist™.

Established partnerships and initiatives to promote environmental sustainability and transparency in the supply chain.

4. Education and Community Engagement

Awarded scholarships and forged partnerships with universities to support education and career development.

Continued investment in pilot development and recruitment programs, such as Destination 225º.

Southwest Airlines custom Trolls themed aircraft.
Photo Credit: Stephen M. Keller

About Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world’s most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries.

Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline.

Based in Dallas and famous for an employee-first corporate culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history.

By empowering its nearly 75,000 people to deliver unparalleled hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among more than 137 million customers carried in 2023.

That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV).


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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