Dallas-based Southwest Airlines announced that they will donate 10,000 roundtrip flights in 2017 to benefit families who need to travel for specialized medical care. This travel is donated in an effort to reduce the financial burden of serious illness on individuals and families.
Southwest is extending a healing hand through partnership with Musicians On Call (MOC), a nonprofit organization that brings live and recorded music to the bedsides of patients in healthcare facilities across the country.
The airline has donated flights in the past for this same purpose, but this is the largest scale so far. Southwest partnered with 75 hospitals and medical organizations and is giving them discretion concerning which patients get the tickets.
Since the Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program’s inception in 2007, more than 59,000 complimentary roundtrips-valued at more than $23 million-have been distributed to organizations in 28 states. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has been a recipient since the program began 10 years ago.
Welcome aboard my first flight in awhile! This time my family and I board a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700 at Manchester-Boston Regional Airport. This was a new experience for me for many reasons. It was my first time flying out of Manchester N.H. It was my first time flying on Southwest and it was my first time going back to Disney almost 13 years (so it was practically my first time). When we arrived at MHT I was greeted by a aircraft I have only seen documentaries about…It was Donald Trumps private Boeing 757-200! I was able to get several good shots of the “flying mansion” from the terminal building and onboard our aircraft. Our aircraft was one of the more elder 737-700’s in the Southwest fleet being almost 17 years old! It had previously flown for the now defunct Braathens before being handed down to Southwest. When we got aboard the airplane the first thin we noticed was the smell of “new leather”…. the airplane had just recently undergone a retrofit of the cabin and it looked great! Legroom aboard the plane was decent. I was sitting next to an elderly couple on this flight and I decided not to be a bother to them and instead of putting my backpack in the overhead bin, I just put it under my seat. Once we pushed back we were quick to taxi to the runway and take off. The climb was a little choppy with the occasional drop and that amazing feeling as your stomach goes up into your mouth 😉 The overall flight was very enjoyable. I couldn’t get the wifi to work so I just sat there and listened to music and looked out the window for the most part. Upon our initial decent into MCO, we flew along the coast of Florida before turning inland towards Orlando and Central Florida. The final approach and landing was nothing but smooth with a slight application to the speed brakes as we slowed down on the runway at MCO. While taxiing to our gate we passed several “heavy” jets that fly into MCO on a regular basis, including several Virgin Atlantic B744’s, a British Airways B772ER, a Thomas Cook A332, and some assorted Delta jets. After deplaning we proceed to the tram system that would take us to the main terminal. I did do some spotting while waiting for the train to come. Since we were staying in a Disney resort, our bags were taken by hotel staff from the aircraft to our resort, so we did not need to go to the baggage claim at MCO, we just went to the Magical Express that took us to our resort.
The airline proudly unveiled a new aircraft livery, named Heart. this new look puts the airline’s Heart on display, showcasing the strength of the nearly 46,000 Employees Companywide—whose dedication can be felt by every Customer each time Southwest Airlines connects them to what’s important in their life.