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Southwest Airlines


tBBP

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Okay...I'm still working on reconstructing my concept for Continental Airlines (it's that dastard globe that's giving me problems--but Imma get it worked out, trust!). OOnce I get that issue worked out, that will be the last of the so-called "legacy carriers". SO...it's time we venture into the land of the LCC's. (LCC--Low Cost Carrier.)

Before we continue, a quick recap of the first five installments of this series (which, by the way, ARE the so-called "legacy carriers"):

American Airlines

United Airlines

Northwest Airlines

US Airways

Delta Air Lines

OKAY THEN, let's get on with this.

Up next is the airline most everone who works in the airline industry loves...or loves to hate (depending on who you talk to). It's the little David that slung it's little rock into the foreheads of all the Goliaths in the industry and pretty much managed to take them all down while rising above each and every one (except for possibly Continental). Oddly enough, this company's singature (and only) aircraft type also forms the caricature of my AFL logo. What is it?

Why, Southwest Airlines, of course.

(Before I continue, I must warn you that you are about to receive a SERIOUS DOSE OF COLOR WITH THIS CONCEPT...)

For those who don't know the story behind this carrier, I shall educate (as usual). The first thing to know is that this airline, with all the court litigation, competition, and all the obstacels it had to go through just to even get flying is really what changed the whole industry around. It was formed in 1967 by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher, but didn't make its first flight until 1971 (again, due to cirlines trying to block their right to operate, one of which was the aforementioned Continental). Mr. Kelleher is still the chairman of the airline, but now the title of president belongs to his longtime secretary Colleen Barrett. (And on that note, I believe this will mark the very first time a football uniform concept is done in honor of a woman.) This airline, more or less, has been run by the same people since its inception, and everyone who works for them knows about its central mantra: we LUV our employees!! (That whole LUV thing has a deeper meaning: the airline is based at Dallas' Love Field, and the airline is listed on the NYSE as LUV. This whole "luv" thing also explains their secondary logo--the winged heart.) In 1992, the airline became the first (and to this day ONLY) airline to win the Triple Crown Award (best on-time record, best bag-handling, and fewest customer complaints), which is how the number 92 made it onto my concept along with Ms. Barrett's name. (For the record, the 71 on my third outfit is for the year of Southwest's first flight, mentioned earlier.) And then, as if an annual Triple Crown isn't enough, the airline won that same award the next two years in a row!

Okay--enough BN about this (BN = "brown-nosing").

This concept was actually fairly simple to execute--once I figured out how to arrange the colors. Reference this to see what I had to work off of. Only because the colors are wild enough, I chose to keep the basic layout relatively simple. The third outfit for this wasn't too hard to do, either, although I actually did it before the primaries, to follow the path Southwest took with its livery, which actually hasn't changed all that much since 1971 (take a look at the original version). You'll see that I've tried to keep that same type of relationship with my two uniform styles just like Southwest has done with their base liveries.

And now (don't forget about my prior warning), drumroll please....

PRESENTING...SOUTHWEST AIRLINES!!!

swafootball.png

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Awesome work, there's really not much I can pick apart on these. It really does look like the players would be wearing a Southwest Airlines plane (for lack of a better way to say it). But I do have to ask this: For the throwback games, are the cheerleaders going to be wearing hot pants (a la the stewardesses from back in the day)?

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I just now finally had a chance to look at all of these. Great work! You really did an awesome job of capturing the look of each carrier's planes in your uniforms. The throwbacks are cool too. Interesting to see how each has changed over the years.

Aside from the cool designs, the accompanying posts are especially informative. You certainly know your stuff, or at the very least, did your homework.

Well done!

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These are a lot of fun. Extra credit for the names on the jerseys. Few outside the industry will recognize their meaning, but for those of us who do, it's great. "Mr. C.R." would have probably made a great football player.

I went back and looked at AA again and had one suggestion: a blue/white/red helmet stripe, kind of like the Cowboys had in 1976.

staub1.jpg

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Okay, I can't resist sharing what has to be one of the funniest ads ever run. If memory serves, the story behind this was that Southwest was first in the customer service ratings but Northwest ran ads saying they were first, but with a caveat in very small print that said "among major airlines." Carriers are defined as being various sizes like major, national, regional, and so on, and back then Southwest wasn't yet a "major" like Northwest. So in response to NW's claims, Southwest ran this all-time classic:

p_ad15.jpg

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Okay, I can't resist sharing what has to be one of the funniest ads ever run. If memory serves, the story behind this was that Southwest was first in the customer service ratings but Northwest ran ads saying they were first, but with a caveat in very small print that said "among major airlines." Carriers are defined as being various sizes like major, national, regional, and so on, and back then Southwest wasn't yet a "major" like Northwest. So in response to NW's claims, Southwest ran this all-time classic:

p_ad15.jpg

I remember that...that was CLASSIC.

(And on that note...does anyone actually remember when Northwest actually had a favorable CS rating? They ain't been too hot since I've been in the industry back in '03, but oh well...)

These are a lot of fun. Extra credit for the names on the jerseys. Few outside the industry will recognize their meaning, but for those of us who do, it's great. "Mr. C.R." would have probably made a great football player.

I went back and looked at AA again and had one suggestion: a blue/white/red helmet stripe, kind of like the Cowboys had in 1976.

I thought about doing that, too--but I was thinking UGA (before the change). I didn't even know the Cowboys had a stripe like that on their helmets--but then again I also wasn't alive back then, much less even thought of, back during that time...

UPDATE: Still working on reconstructing my concept for Continental, and as soon as I can work out the logistical nightmare that is that dastard globe logo of theirs (this thing), it'll be done. Else I may venture deeper into the land of LCC's and unveil what at one time was thought to be THE WORST airline in the industry (it was DEFINITELY the cheapest), but now is seen as one of the best...take your best guesses and get back to me...and when something's ready I'll get back to y'all...

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as always, the work is excellent - you weren't lying when you said a dose of color, the purple/red combo that southwest has going is a little off in my mind, therefore i like the away and alternate better than the home, but man you have talent and creativity, keep them coming please!

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Else I may venture deeper into the land of LCC's and unveil what at one time was thought to be THE WORST airline in the industry (it was DEFINITELY the cheapest), but now is seen as one of the best...take your best guesses and get back to me...and when something's ready I'll get back to y'all...

Peoplexpress1.jpg

In the words of Homer Simpson... "It all happened during the magical summer of 1985. A maturing Joe Piscopo left 'Saturday Night Live' to conquer Hollywood, People Express introduced a generation of hicks to plane travel, and I was in a barbershop quartet."

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as always, the work is excellent - you weren't lying when you said a dose of color, the purple/red combo that southwest has going is a little off in my mind, therefore i like the away and alternate better than the home, but man you have talent and creativity, keep them coming please!

I seriously appreciate that, dawg. (And all others who've chimed in with C&C.)

These things have been in the works going on four months now, so yes--there are more.

FOR EVERYONE: I see some of you have been offering up guesses to my little riddle...the answer will come soon enough, so stay tuned!

(Coming soon in the Airline Football League Concept Series: one airline by request, and a "little bit of a treat" for the Wisconsinites on the board...feel free to guess!)

Keep the C&C coming! (About this or any of my other concepts...)

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as always, the work is excellent - you weren't lying when you said a dose of color, the purple/red combo that southwest has going is a little off in my mind, therefore i like the away and alternate better than the home, but man you have talent and creativity, keep them coming please!

I seriously appreciate that, dawg. (And all others who've chimed in with C&C.)

These things have been in the works going on four months now, so yes--there are more.

FOR EVERYONE: I see some of you have been offering up guesses to my little riddle...the answer will come soon enough, so stay tuned!

(Coming soon in the Airline Football League Concept Series: one airline by request, and a "little bit of a treat" for the Wisconsinites on the board...feel free to guess!)

Keep the C&C coming! (About this or any of my other concepts...)

I know what your treat for us is, but I want to see if anybody can guess what it is first ;)

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Else I may venture deeper into the land of LCC's and unveil what at one time was thought to be THE WORST airline in the industry (it was DEFINITELY the cheapest), but now is seen as one of the best...take your best guesses and get back to me...and when something's ready I'll get back to y'all...

Peoplexpress1.jpg

In the words of Homer Simpson... "It all happened during the magical summer of 1985. A maturing Joe Piscopo left 'Saturday Night Live' to conquer Hollywood, People Express introduced a generation of hicks to plane travel, and I was in a barbershop quartet."

Are you sure it's not ValuJet?

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as always, the work is excellent - you weren't lying when you said a dose of color, the purple/red combo that southwest has going is a little off in my mind, therefore i like the away and alternate better than the home, but man you have talent and creativity, keep them coming please!

I seriously appreciate that, dawg. (And all others who've chimed in with C&C.)

These things have been in the works going on four months now, so yes--there are more.

FOR EVERYONE: I see some of you have been offering up guesses to my little riddle...the answer will come soon enough, so stay tuned!

(Coming soon in the Airline Football League Concept Series: one airline by request, and a "little bit of a treat" for the Wisconsinites on the board...feel free to guess!)

Keep the C&C coming! (About this or any of my other concepts...)

I know what your treat for us is, but I want to see if anybody can guess what it is first ;)

Throw me a bone Moser...let me know if you know what I meant by "Wisconsonite treat"...dont have to mention the name, just some identifying feature. Or the Airport at which the airline is based...or the airline's slogan...

As for the rest of everyone throwing guesses at what's coming next, somebody on here hit it spot on...

As to the comment about Southwest's heart, true--in a purist sense that ain't exactly "footballish"--but to the folks that work for Southwest, that logo means a lot (or so I've been told, being that Southwest's gates were right next to ours while I was working with Delta Air Lines Global Services out at PIT). So I don't think they'd have an issue with wearing that on their heads. (Of course, if something like this league concept of mine were to happen for real, this airline might be one of the few who could actually buy let alone afford the uniforms and equipment--and I bet it'd all be done up in canyon blue and sunset red...or whatever they call that shade of red.

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as always, the work is excellent - you weren't lying when you said a dose of color, the purple/red combo that southwest has going is a little off in my mind, therefore i like the away and alternate better than the home, but man you have talent and creativity, keep them coming please!

I seriously appreciate that, dawg. (And all others who've chimed in with C&C.)

These things have been in the works going on four months now, so yes--there are more.

FOR EVERYONE: I see some of you have been offering up guesses to my little riddle...the answer will come soon enough, so stay tuned!

(Coming soon in the Airline Football League Concept Series: one airline by request, and a "little bit of a treat" for the Wisconsinites on the board...feel free to guess!)

Keep the C&C coming! (About this or any of my other concepts...)

I know what your treat for us is, but I want to see if anybody can guess what it is first ;)

Throw me a bone...let me know if you know what I meant by "Wisconsonite treat"...dont have to mention the name, just some identifying feature. Or the Airport at which the airline is based...or the airline's slogan...

Could it have anything to do with "the best care in the air"?

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as always, the work is excellent - you weren't lying when you said a dose of color, the purple/red combo that southwest has going is a little off in my mind, therefore i like the away and alternate better than the home, but man you have talent and creativity, keep them coming please!

I seriously appreciate that, dawg. (And all others who've chimed in with C&C.)

These things have been in the works going on four months now, so yes--there are more.

FOR EVERYONE: I see some of you have been offering up guesses to my little riddle...the answer will come soon enough, so stay tuned!

(Coming soon in the Airline Football League Concept Series: one airline by request, and a "little bit of a treat" for the Wisconsinites on the board...feel free to guess!)

Keep the C&C coming! (About this or any of my other concepts...)

I know what your treat for us is, but I want to see if anybody can guess what it is first ;)

Throw me a bone...let me know if you know what I meant by "Wisconsonite treat"...dont have to mention the name, just some identifying feature. Or the Airport at which the airline is based...or the airline's slogan...

Could it have anything to do with "the best care in the air"?

DAMN YOU'RE GOOD!

Stick around later today. I was going to wait to put that up, but it's finished and I can't hold on to it, so I'll unveil it later today....

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Oh, what irony that Southwest went to this "Canyon Blue" and leather seats.

See, they bought their competitor Muse Air in 1985. Muse Air was a good airline that flew MD-80's and DC-9-50's with all leather seats and while always managing to just about break even, they never really made any money. When things went bad, Southwest bought them...but why? Well, to keep competitors from getting a toehold at Love Field by buying Muse Air and their gates/slots.

Muse Air's network was similar to Southwest's so Southwest decided to change the name to TranStar and lengthen their routes to, for example, MIA-HOU-LAX. That's where I came in, getting hired in January 1986 just as that transition was going on.

They painted Muse Air's planes dark blue - "Empyrean Blue" they called it, after the realm the ancient Greeks thought of as the highest heaven.

HOU - Houston's Hobby Airport - was the airline's hub, and we had it pretty much to ourselves until Continental came in with a limited schedule. This is where TranStar's management made a critical error. Continental ran an ad which I can't remember word for word but it used the term "insane" - something like, "With fares this low you'd be insane to fly anyone else." So TranStar counters with an ad, an image of which I will scan and add (I'm at work now), and I assume they were trying to be Southwest-cute because it had a pic of a guy in a straitjacket with a CO logo on it and the text said, "Our fares are so much lower you'd be crazy to fly Continental" or something close to that.

I heard that ad really p***ed them off at Continental, but whether it was the ad or whatever, pretty soon they added so many flights at HOU that if ours left at 6pm, theirs left at 550pm, and if our fare was $89, theirs was $79. We lost $17 million in one quarter and that was that, Southwest shut down TranStar on August 9, 1987.

Several airlines were interested in buying TranStar, therefore saving our jobs, but Southwest chose to liquidate us, putting about 1000 employees on the street. Why? The same reason they bought Muse Air to begin with - to keep competitors from using the assets to compete with Southwest. That's why TranStar's pilots had bumper stickers made reading "Will Rogers Never Met Herb Kelleher." I have one of those at home too. <_<

So all these years later, Southwest now has blue jets and leather seats, just like TranStar. Guess it was a good idea. :P

N674MC-TRANSTAR.jpg

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Oh, what irony that Southwest went to this "Canyon Blue" and leather seats.

See, they bought their competitor Muse Air in 1985. Muse Air was a good airline that flew MD-80's and DC-9-50's with all leather seats and while always managing to just about break even, they never really made any money. When things went bad, Southwest bought them...but why? Well, to keep competitors from getting a toehold at Love Field by buying Muse Air and their gates/slots.

Muse Air's network was similar to Southwest's so Southwest decided to change the name to TranStar and lengthen their routes to, for example, MIA-HOU-LAX. That's where I came in, getting hired in January 1986 just as that transition was going on.

They painted Muse Air's planes dark blue - "Empyrean Blue" they called it, after the realm the ancient Greeks thought of as the highest heaven.

HOU - Houston's Hobby Airport - was the airline's hub, and we had it pretty much to ourselves until Continental came in with a limited schedule. This is where TranStar's management made a critical error. Continental ran an ad which I can't remember word for word but it used the term "insane" - something like, "With fares this low you'd be insane to fly anyone else." So TranStar counters with an ad, an image of which I will scan and add (I'm at work now), and I assume they were trying to be Southwest-cute because it had a pic of a guy in a straitjacket with a CO logo on it and the text said, "Our fares are so much lower you'd be crazy to fly Continental" or something close to that.

I heard that ad really p***ed them off at Continental, but whether it was the ad or whatever, pretty soon they added so many flights at HOU that if ours left at 6pm, theirs left at 550pm, and if our fare was $89, theirs was $79. We lost $17 million in one quarter and that was that, Southwest shut down TranStar on August 9, 1987.

Several airlines were interested in buying TranStar, therefore saving our jobs, but Southwest chose to liquidate us, putting about 1000 employees on the street. Why? The same reason they bought Muse Air to begin with - to keep competitors from using the assets to compete with Southwest. That's why TranStar's pilots had bumper stickers made reading "Will Rogers Never Met Herb Kelleher." I have one of those at home too. <_<

So all these years later, Southwest now has blue jets and leather seats, just like TranStar. Guess it was a good idea. :P

N674MC-TRANSTAR.jpg

Interesting stuff. Had no idea.

No one said Southwest was entirely the industry's good guys, now. They done done their fair share of scheming to get where they're at. But, unlike a lot of other airlines, their strategies and planning, for the most part, WORKED. And I have yet to even mention the Wright Amendment restrictions placed on them and Love Field--but I'm not even about to get into that. (Anyone who really wants to know about that--or anything else about these airlines in detail--check out the forums over at A.net. Wealth of info and other stuff--as well as the place I pulled most of my airplane photos from.)

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