Southwest Airlines Makes a Difference by Providing More Than $2.4 Million in Free Transportation Through Medical Transportation Grant Program

More than 70 hospitals and organizations nationwide received 18,800 roundtrip airline tickets in 26 states since program's inception

Feb 22, 2012

DALLAS, Feb. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) announced today that more than 70 hospitals and charities from across the nation were selected for Southwest's 2012 Medical Transportation Grant Program.  The Medical Transportation Grant Program seeks to lessen the burden of travel expenses for families who are facing serious illness by providing complimentary, roundtrip airline tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations.  Southwest gives the freedom for these hospitals and organizations to provide the tickets to patients who must travel for treatment.  For 2012, Southwest will provide more than $2.4 million in free transportation to patients seeking medical treatment.  Now in its fifth year, the program has quadrupled the number of participating hospitals since its inception and has provided more than 18,800 tickets to organizations in 26 states.  To see a full list of recipients, please visit: www.southwest.com/citizenship.

"We believe in making a difference, and we hear from patients and hospitals how important this program is to families who already are dealing with so much," said Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Communication and Strategic Outreach. "We are proud that we continue to grow this program to provide this much-needed assistance during such a difficult time."  

Southwest Airlines has joined forces with photographer Robert X. Fogarty and Dear World, which works through the medium of photography to give its subjects a simple and profound voice through photos.  These emotional and impactful photographs help convey the message of hope, the importance of the Medical Transportation Grant program, and Southwest's commitment to making a difference. 

Each person in the photos has his/her own story to tell, whether it is a patient and his/her family from Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, volunteers from the Red Cross, families from the KIDD's Kids Foundation, or Southwest Airlines Employees,  each chose messages that resonated with their personal circumstances.

These photos highlight making a difference, being who you are, and celebrating personal victories.  To see these photos, go to www.swamedia.com.  

To read about the impact of the Medical Transportation Grant program from recipients of the program, visit Southwest Airlines Nuts About Southwest blog: www.blogsouthwest.com. To learn about qualifications for travel assistance through the designated organizations, please contact the Social Work, Travel/Concierge Service, or Patient Assistance Department directly at each location, as each have unique guidelines for administration of tickets.

About Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers--offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and has acquired AirTran Airways, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co. With the addition of Atlanta (which opens on Feb. 12, 2012), Southwest will serve 73 cities in 38 states and remains one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet. To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/citizenship to read the Southwest Airlines One Report™. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,300 flights a day and has more than 37,000 Employees.

- www.southwest.com

SOURCE Southwest Airlines

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