“Never has this prestigious award been more gratifying than this year—easily the most challenging year in our Company’s history,” said Gary Kelly, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Southwest Airlines. “All the credit goes to our People, who rose to the challenge and prevailed. It is because of their Heart, passion, and dedication to our customers and each other that we are once again recognized as one of the most admired companies in the world—2020 was truly their finest hour.”
FORTUNE collaborated with partner Korn Ferry on this survey of corporate reputation and asked approximately 1,500 candidates: the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue, along with non-U.S. companies in Fortune’s Global 500 database that have revenues of $10 billion or more. Korn Ferry winnowed the assortment to the highest-revenue companies in each industry, a total of 670 in 30 countries. The top-rated companies were picked from that pool of 670; the executives who voted work at the companies in that group.
In its 50th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 56,000 Employees to a Customer base that topped 130 million Passengers in 2019. Southwest has a robust network of point-to-point service with a strong presence across top leisure and business markets. In peak travel seasons during 2019, Southwest operated more than 4,000-weekday departures among a network of 101 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. In 2020, the carrier added service to Hilo, Hawaii; Cozumel, Mexico; Miami; Palm Springs, Calif.; Steamboat Springs; and Montrose (Telluride), Colo. In 2021, Southwest will begin service to both Chicago (O’Hare) and Sarasota/Bradenton on Feb. 14; both Savannah/Hilton Head and Colorado Springs on March 11; both Houston (Bush) and Santa Barbara, Calif. on April 12; Fresno, Calif. on April 25; and Jackson, Miss. on June 6.
The carrier issued its Southwest® Promise in May 2020 to highlight new and round-the-clock efforts to support its Customers and Employees’ well-being and comfort. Among the changes are enhanced cleaning efforts at airports and onboard aircraft, and face-covering requirements for Customers and Employees. Additional details about the Southwest Promise are available at Southwest.com/Promise.
Southwest coined Transfarency® to describe its purposed philosophy of treating Customers honestly and fairly, and low fares actually staying low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some carriers offer free checked bags on select routes or in qualified circumstances). Southwest does not charge change fees, though fare differences might apply.
Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. Learn more about how the carrier gives back to communities across the world by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship.
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