Southwest brings virtual field trip to life for first graders

Grade One students aboard a Southwest Boeing 737 in Dallas.
Photo Credit: Southwest Airlines

In a heartwarming tale that captured the attention of the internet, Southwest Airlines recently played host to Mrs. Sonja White and her entire first-grade class.

The story unfolded when Mrs. White, an innovative first-grade teacher, transformed her classroom into a mock Southwest plane.

Through a creative and educational journey, she virtually ‘flew’ her students to Mexico, creating a viral sensation in the process. Let’s begin our story with a look at the ‘virtual flight’ undertaken by Mrs. White’s class, which led to the subsequent journey…..

Video via Twitter/X.

A Day at the Southwest Dallas Maintenance Hangar

On the much-anticipated day of the class field trip, buses rolled up to the Southwest Dallas Maintenance Hangar.

Excitement filled the air as Southwest Employees eagerly greeted the bright-eyed students. The day kicked off with an immersive tour through the hangar, unraveling the mysteries of how airplanes work.


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Boarding the Southwest Boeing 737 MAX 8

For many of the students, this was their inaugural encounter with an airline. The Southwest Boeing 737 MAX 8 became their vessel of imagination and learning.

Flight Attendants welcomed them warmly, embracing Southwest’s signature open seating policy. As the students settled into their seats, they were treated to snacks, turning the ordinary into an extraordinary airborne classroom.

Adding a touch of expertise, Southwest Pilots engaged the students through the Adopt-A-Pilot program.

Sharing insights into aviation and Southwest’s unique identity, these pilots became mentors, planting seeds of curiosity and ambition in the young minds.

The experience was not just about flying; it was about fostering dreams of soaring to new heights.

Photos and Takeoffs at Dallas Love Field

The adventure continued as the group posed for photos in front of the Southwest aircraft.

Positioned at Dallas Love Field, the students witnessed planes taking off, creating lasting memories of their day amidst the aviation wonders. It wasn’t just a field trip; it was an initiation into the world of flight.

After a first-grade teachers virtual classroom flight video went viral, Southwest Airlines hosted the class on a field trip at its Dallas base.
Photo Credits: Southwest Airlines

Southwest Headquarters and Beyond

The journey extended to the Southwest Headquarters building, where surprises awaited. In a gesture of gratitude, first-grade teachers and the school principal received two round-trip tickets each, a token of appreciation for their support.

But the surprises didn’t end there. Following the virtual field trip to Mexico, Southwest Employees organized a lively fiesta for the students, complete with a mariachi band and authentic Mexican cuisine.

Southwest Airlines expressed gratitude for the opportunity to craft a unique aviation experience for the first-grade students, mirroring Mrs. White’s inspirational classroom initiative.

The airline sees potential future employees in this group of enthusiastic youngsters, hinting at a possible continuation of this heart-warming tradition.


The collaboration with Mrs. Sonja White’s class exemplifies the airline’s commitment to education, inspiration, and community engagement.

As these first-grade students disembark from their imaginary flight, they carry not just memories but the seeds of possibility and ambition, sown by a brand that understands the power of uplifting the next generation.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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