The Colleen C. Barrett Institute for Cultural Excellence & Customer Service

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Recognition: Customer to Employee

Since we began operating over 51 years ago, Southwest Airlines has consistently prioritized taking care of our People. Recognizing outstanding work goes hand-in-glove with that commitment.  

We ask our Employees to exceed our Customers’ expectations by extending our Legendary Customer Service, so when our Customers take the time to share the impact our Employees have made in their lives, it is crucial to pass along their praise. Our Company has processes in place to capture those commendations, track the feedback, and share the Customer’s words with the Employee(s). Year to date, our People have received over 15,000 commendations from Customers!

Providing Customer commendations is more than just a pat on the back. The recognition is a tangible affirmation that what we do makes a difference. Whether it’s a grand effort or a simple gesture, these connections matter to our Customers, and it gives us a chance to show our Employees they truly matter. Connecting People to what’s important in their lives goes well beyond transporting a traveler from Point A to Point B.  

Customer commendations also provide an opportunity for our CEO Bob Jordan to personally highlight an Employee or group of Employees through his weekly “Shout Out” posted on our internal communication channels. This enables our Company to further socialize the impacts that our Employees make in the lives of our Customers and each other. 

The airline business is challenging. When our Employees face tough situations, words of gratitude from our Customers are the perfect encouragement to keep going. Capturing and sharing that praise is a priority for Southwest, and we’ve seen firsthand how recognizing good work and special moments inspires not only the recipient but also those around them. Lifting up one Employee lifts up the entire Team—everyone wins.  

At the end of the day, all recognition is meaningful. But recognition from Customers is especially powerful. It is confirmation of a job well done, and our People and our Company are made better by celebrating those moments!


Tony Roach

Tony Roach

Vice President Customer Experience and Engagement

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