If you frequently travel by air, isn’t it nice to have a female friendly friend?

fciwomenswrestling.com article, aviationblog.dallasnews.com photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, aviationblog.dallasnews.com photo

Sure it is.

Do you have one?

Of course you do.

Southwest Airlines is your female friendly friend to whisk you to your session assignments, modeling gigs, wrestling events and of course to see your other friends and family.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, www.southwestonereport.com photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, www.southwestonereport.com photo

 Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” Helen Keller

The good news is that while unfortunately certain segments of our global economy are struggling, Southwest Airlines is doing exceptionally well.

Let’s take a peek at some of the recent good news and updates at Southwest.

At their very informative financial news section, investors.southwest.com they are willing to share.

“Gary C. Kelly, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are delighted to report an outstanding start to 2016. Our first quarter net income, excluding special items, increased 25.7 percent to a first quarter record $567 million, or $.88 per diluted share.

Our strong operating income produced a first quarter operating margin, excluding special items, of 19.7 percent, driven largely by record first quarter operating revenues and lower fuel prices. Our investment grade balance sheet, liquidity, and cash flow remain strong.

We generated record first quarter free cash flow of $1.2 billion and returned $596 million to Shareholders through the combination of dividends and share buybacks during first quarter 2016. Next month, we expect to complete the repurchase of the remaining $200 million under our existing $1.5 billion share repurchase authorization. For the twelve months ended March 31, 2016, our ROIC was an exceptional 33.4 percent. My congratulations to our superb Employees on these tremendous results and their record first quarter profits haring accrual of $155 million.”

  • Record first quarter net income, excluding special items1, of $567 million, or $.88 per diluted share, compared with first quarter 2015 net income, excluding special items, of $451 million, or $.66 per diluted share. This exceeded the First Call consensus estimate of $.84 per diluted share.
  • Record first quarter GAAP2 net income of $511 million, or $.79 per diluted share, compared with first quarter 2015 GAAP net income of $453 million, or $.66 per diluted share.
  • Record first quarter GAAP operating income of $944 million. Excluding special items, record first quarter operating income of $952 million, resulting in a strong first quarter operating margin3 of 19.7 percent.
  • Record first quarter free cash flow1 of $1.2 billion; returned $596 million to Shareholders through the combination of dividends and share repurchases.
  • Return on invested capital, before taxes and excluding special items (ROIC)1, for the 12 months ended March 31, 2016, of 33.4 percent, compared with 25.6 percent for the 12 months ended March 31, 2015.

Very impressive, wouldn’t you agree?

fciwomenswrestling.com article, www.southwestonereport.com photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, www.southwestonereport.com photo

So why is this important to you?

If you are in their Rewards Program it looks like you can be there for a very long time.

Here’s what Southwest has to say about their rewards program.

ABOUT RAPID REWARDS

Originally launched in 1987, Rapid Rewards Members who once earned credits can now earn points by flying or through qualifying purchases with our Partners. Members can redeem their points for every seat, every day, on every flight with absolutely no blackout dates or seat restrictions, and points won’t expire as long as Members have earning activity within a 24-month time period. Points are earned for every dollar spent on Southwest® flights, and the amount of points earned is based on the fare and fare product purchased.

The number of Rapid Rewards Points that are needed to redeem for flights varies based on factors such as destination, time, day of travel, and availability. Rapid Rewards Points are also earned by spending with a variety of Rapid Rewards Partners. Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers can redeem their points for expanded international travel, gift cards, hotels, car rentals, merchandise, and more. Learn more about the program by visiting the Rapid Rewards web site.

It’s always nice when others believe your program is exceptional as well. The informative site travel.usnews.com shares, “The Southwest Rapid Rewards program is most beneficial for travelers based in the southwest United States who frequently fly to major cities around the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. Since merging with AirTran, Southwest offers more than 3,600 flights a day to more than 90 destinations. By becoming a Southwest Rapid Rewards member, you’ll earn points for every dollar spent on Southwest flights and with the airline’s hotel, car rental and retail partners. If you have one of the Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards from Chase Visa, you can earn additional points on Southwest Airlines and partner purchases and by making everyday purchases.”

April 29, 2016

DALLAS, April 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) loyalty program, Rapid Rewards®, has been named Program of the Year for the Americas by the Freddie Awards, one of the most prestigious honors for loyalty programs in the travel industry. Rapid Rewards was also recognized as Best Customer Service at InsideFlyer magazine’s 28th annual Freddie Awards ceremony yesterday in Las Vegas.

“We constantly strive to provide our loyal Customers with the best program, so to receive the official title of the Program of the Year means a lot to us,” said Jonathan Clarkson, Southwest’s Senior Director of Loyalty, Partnerships, & Products. “Our Customer-focused loyalty program offers a unique combination of Customer Service, award availability, and program value. We’re proud Customers continue to come back for more.”

For the fourth consecutive year, Rapid Rewards, which was relaunched in 2011, won the Freddie awards for Best Customer Service. This is the first time the loyalty program has been voted Program of the Year since it’s relaunch.

Introduced in 1988, the Freddie Awards give voice to the frequent flyer and honor the most respected travel loyalty programs in the world. Nearly three million ballots are cast annually as travelers vote for the program they feel provided the best value and services during the previous year. The 28th annual Freddie Awards ceremony took place in Las Vegas on April 28, 2016.

Are you not entertained?

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”… Marcel Proust

Are you not impressed? You should be. Look at what else they are being praised for. 2016 is clearly becoming a fantastic year for Southwest.

“Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity.”

So female athletes and submission grapplers, please continue to enjoy your friendship with Southwest. Why?

It’s always great to have friends in very high places.

fciwomenswrestling.com article, alfa-img.com photo

fciwomenswrestling.com article, alfa-img.com photo

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Sources: brainyquote.com, Wikipedia, fciwomenswrestling2.com, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.

http://travel.usnews.com/rankings/travel-rewards/airline-rewards/southwest-rapid-rewards/

http://investors.southwest.com/news-and-events/news-releases/2016/04-29-2016-143723499

http://investors.southwest.com/news-and-events/news-releases/2016/04-21-2016-113316554

http://fortune.com/2015/09/23/southwest-airlines-business-travel/