With good deeds, Southwest just boosted its brand to Southbest.
This week, the budget airline announced a partnership with 75 hospitals and medical organizations to provide 10,000 free round-trip flights to individuals who need to travel in order to access medical care for themselves and their families.
Debra Benton, Southwest’s director of community relations and charitable giving, told the Dallas Morning News:
We really believe it is our responsibility to give back, and one of the best ways we can give back is through air travel. This is a population that really needs help. They reached out to us and we wanted to make sure we were assisting them.
If you didn’t know, through its Medical Transportation Grant Program, Southwest has been giving away medical-related flights since 2007. Since then, the airline has provided 59,999 round trips valued at more than USD $23 million. This year’s initiative is less low-key due to the amount of 10,000 tickets, making it Southwest’s largest donation as of yet. The tickets will be used by patients, caretakers, and family members.
Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines vice president, said in a press release:
We are a company with heart and we are honored to have been able to connect people with the medical treatment they need for the last 10 years.
By teaming up with Musicians On Call, a nonprofit giving live music to patients in over 20 American cities, Southwest is making hospital visits less of a fright and most importantly, possible.
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