Southwest Airlines Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Rewards Points

Southwest Airlines is celebrating its 50th Anniversary this year, with June 18 marking 50 years since the carrier's first commercial flight. To celebrate, Southwest® has declared June 18 as Wanna Get Away Day and has registered the day with the National Day Calendar. In 1996, Southwest coined the phrase "Wanna Get Away®" to highlight the Company's expansion, as well as creating humorous moments relevant to its Customers within its marketing.

As Wanna Get Away has become an iconic and recognized expression for the brand, Southwest took it a step further to celebrate its 50th Anniversary by announcing this new annual day. Beginning today, Customers have the chance to engage with Southwest throughout the month of June, with its biggest surprises occurring on its anniversary and newly-branded day.

No one knows how to throw a party like Southwest Airlines. Southwest Employees will celebrate this milestone, and Customers will be able to participate in the fun. In celebration of Southwest's 50th Anniversary, the carrier is giving Customers the chance to win a total of 50 million Rapid Rewards® bonus points from June 1, 2021, through June 18, 2021.* Customers will have daily opportunities to win Rapid Rewards bonus points, with Southwest gift cards, and Companion Passes also up for grabs on June 18. Visit to view full terms and conditions and to enter for a chance to win.

"It's our 50th Anniversary and we are ready to celebrate and thank our Customers," said Bill Tierney, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Marketing. "In true Southwest Spirit, we are turning our 50th Anniversary into Wanna Get Away Day, allowing Customers the opportunity to celebrate our 50-year history of Heart, low-fares, legendary Hospitality, and flexible policies by giving them opportunities to turn 'Wanna get away' into 'Gonna' get away."
As travel demand returns, this celebration is an opportunity to encourage Customers to reconnect with the People and places they love, and turn those travel dreams into a reality. Southwest's Purpose is to connect People to what's important in their lives, and the carrier is excited to celebrate this national day with its Customers, and most importantly turn their "wannas" into "gonnas."

Southwest is celebrating all month long with its Employees and Customers. Starting today, Southwest will have pop-up photo opportunities in 24 airport gate areas across the nation and Heart Carts full of swag and fun giveaways in more than 40 of its locations. And who can forget Southwest's famous gate games featuring its amazing Employees? The fun doesn't stop at the gate—Southwest's Inflight Crews will be surprising and delighting Customers with additional swag on June 18.

Speaking of swag, take a trip down memory lane with Southwest's 50th Anniversary collection including its retro merchandise, throughout 2021 at Southwest: The Store. The carrier is celebrating its golden year with a Retro Hostess Build-A-Bear now available for sale exclusively at Southwest: The Store. The official Build-A-Bear furry friend commemorates the original Southwest Airlines' Hostesses, now called Flight Attendants, in an iconic orange, white, and red outfit, reminiscent of the Hot Pants uniform of the early days. Other new featured merchandise available the week of Southwest's 50th Anniversary (beginning June 14) include a silk 70s Retro Hostess Scarf (to match the Retro Hostess Build-A-Bear, of course), Southwest Birthday T-shirts, Southwest 50th Anniversary pin, and much more!

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