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Southwest Airlines mourns founder and chairman Emeritus Herbert D. Kelleher (1931-2019)

DALLAS—Jan. 3, 2019—We are deeply saddened to share that Southwest Airlines Founder and Chairman Emeritus Herbert D. Kelleher passed away today at the age of 87. ( More...

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joe johnson 20
Herb was an original. Very few of his caliber in the airline business any more. He will be missed.
Ken Hardy 18
I remember Herb being quoted as telling a news reporter who said flying Southwest was like riding a bus, " Yep but its a FAST bus " his ability to interact with everyone from the lowest bag buster to the investors was what allowed him to build Southwest including arm wrestling on TV the founder of another aircraft company over using the name Southwest RIP
Highflyer1950 16
I met Herb at a hotel bar while in Baltimore for the All Stars Baseball game many years ago. We were watching the game on tv and he sat down to have a scotch. I was on a layover and he was shooting an AMX commercial. Great conversation over a few drinks....what a wonderful man and pioneer! He will be missed.
Randi Schwarz 15
I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Kelleher. I did however write to him regarding my experience when traveling on Southwest. I used to fly to Florida every 3 months to visit my father. I always used the same flight. I traveled frequently enough that the gate attendants, and flight crews knew me by name. I wrote to Mr. Kelleher and received personal responses. I always was very pleased by flying southwest.
jmillsjr 13
On a flight to San Antonio some years ago, a jet bridge malfunctioned and we were forced to de-plane using the stairs on the ramp. A friend and I assisted an elderly person down the stairs. By the time we got to the bottom, to our surprise, Herb K. had arrived, making sure that passengers were OK. He shook our hands and offered any other help we needed. It was the only time I met him, but he showed the kind of class that has stuck with me for years as an example of how you treat people.
Laura Haas 13
I have been a SWA flight attendant for 35 years. I am blessed to have visited with Herb many times. On several occasions, he “worked” with me on flights while traveling on business. He would offer to help set up the galley, but this often ended up in a mess, so we would send him out into the cabin to do what he did best, pass out peanuts and visit with our Customers. (Yes, Customers is capitalized intentionally-our Customers have made SWA successful, and we @ SWA have never forgotten this!!) He “luved” our SWA flyers, and his SWA family...truly heart broken, but so very thankful for all of the wonderful memories!!
Herman Kanter 12
Herb was a pioneer in the airline industry. I admire his wisdom and his foresight. SWA has made flying affordable and enjoyable for millions of travelers and to see consistent profitable years in this industry is a remarkable accomplishment. I LUV SWA!
Sad news indeed. His reputation for being fully engaged with the team at SWA is legendary, and many of today's CEOs could learn lessons in people skills from him. He also knew how to please customers. My sympathies to his personal family and his larger family at SWA
oh how sad..sympathy to his very large family of southwest airlines employees and to his own family..he had a reputation for being a really great,people oriented person,and he would go to different stations and interact with employees and customers in a lot of ways,,he was not one to sit in the office behind a desk.that is for mr Kelleher..
Roy Hunte 8
Cleared to flight level infinity.

A man who knew why he was in business, hopefully Southwest never loses their 'why'.
Wade Potter 6
Sad to hear about Mr. Kelleher's passing. I flew Southwest (my preferred airline) back home to Fort Worth for Christmas; landing at DAL and taking a moment to explain the history of Southwest, the Wright amendment and how Herb is a rock star in the aviation community to my wife who had never flown into DAL before. I've never met him, but I've always looked up to him.
This news broke my heart today 💔. I really had hoped to meet this man one day because of all I have heard about the tremendous person he was and everything I have learned about his entrepreneurial endeavors. I am forever grateful to this man for building such an amazing company- a family, that I am so proud to be a part of and I finally feel at home at. I am so thankful to Herb Kelleher for his incredible impact on the aviation industry- but most of all for paving the way and manifesting a corporation in today’s world that puts people first. I don’t know where I’d be without him. Rest In Peace, Herb! Today we lost a great one. I hope he had all the peanuts and wild turkey he could stand on his way up to heaven! Enjoy your wings, Herb. ✈️💔🙏😢
LUV Southwest. and Mr Kelleher's indomitable influence made it what it is.
My sympathy to the Southwest Family!
Marques Dean 2
The airline industry has lost a maverick who truly knew about Customer Service! RIP Mr. Kelleher,you will be sorely missed!
(Raising a glass of Wild Turkey in salute)
n111ma 3
New Jersey kid did ok! RIP HK......
He sounds like a great and very respectful man and may he rest in peace.I read the article in the Dallas morning news and have to say what a joy it was to read.Such great words about Herb.
paul trubits 1
bbabis -3
For better or worse, he changed aviation. R.I.P.


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