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Herb Kelleher Has Passed! A Legend!

 From Southwest Airlines Employee News

Farewell to our Founder



January 3, 2019 at 4:30 PM

It is with heavy hearts that we share with you that our Founder, Inspiration, Chairman Emeritus, and Friend, Herb Kelleher has passed away this morning at the age of 87. Herb is survived by his wife, Joan; three of their four children; many cherished grandchildren, and, of course, his pride and joy, YOU, the Employees of Southwest Airlines.

As a member of the Southwest Family, you’ve no doubt heard the lore. Born Herbert David Kelleher on March 12, 1931, and raised in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, Herb received his bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan and his law degree from New York University. He practiced law on the East Coast before relocating to Texas with plans to start his own law firm. In 1967, Herb and client Rollin King incorporated Air Southwest, Inc., with the idea of offering low-fare, intra-Texas airline service. After a name change and many legal battles valiantly fought and won by Herb, Southwest Airlines took to the skies on June 18, 1971—a date that would change each of our lives forever. Anyone in the world who has set foot on an airplane in the past 50+ years has been touched by the life of Herb Kelleher.

As we all know, Herb has played a very profound role in the life of Colleen Barrett. They have been a powerful duo since she became his legal secretary in 1967, and together they nurtured and groomed Southwest Airlines into the Company for which we proudly work. "He always supported me and always treated me as his complete equal. His generosity and inclusion from the very beginning allowed me opportunities and experiences that have been my guiding lights," Colleen said.

Gary’s is another one of the many lives that Herb touched, and he had this to say about his lifelong mentor and friend: “One of the greatest joys of my life has been working alongside Herb for more than 30 years. His stamp on the airline industry cannot be overstated. His vision for making air travel affordable for all revolutionized the industry, and you can still see that transformation taking place today. But his legacy extends far beyond our industry and far beyond the world of entrepreneurship. His true impact can only be accurately measured by the hearts and minds of the People who he inspired, motivated, and engaged on a daily basis. And that, I believe, cannot be measured or quantified—but it is to be admired and appreciated by all who have been fortunate enough to experience it. I consider myself blessed to be one of those People.”

Herb was a Freedom Fighter. He revolutionized the skies. He blazed a trail of low fares and exemplary Customer Service in an industry ruled by just the opposite. Herb was a Pioneer. A Maverick. An Innovator. He celebrated and exemplified the esprit de corps of the Southwest People with such vigor that the spirit grew exponentially. Herb knew all along that “The business of business is People”—yesterday, today, and forever. Herb decided long ago that our Internal Customers, our Employees, would come first.

Herb has been quoted as saying, “It is my practice to try to understand how valuable something is by trying to imagine myself without it.” We now have to imagine ourselves without Herb. Our Founding Father has passed on, but the legacy that he has left to each of us is still very much alive. Take a moment to embrace your Southwest Family, and grieve as Families do. But remember, Herb would want you to laugh through your tears.

We miss you already, Herbie.

A special page has been set up on Culture >SWA Family >In LUVing Memory for you to share your thoughts and memories of Herb. Additionally, we know you will want to share photos and memories on social media as well.  Feel free to use the hashtag #HonoringHerb in your posts. 

If you would like to mail a card to Herb’s family, please send them to

Kelleher Family, care of Southwest Airlines
2702 Love Field Drive
Dallas, TX 75235

We will be planning a unique celebration of Herb’s extraordinary life for our Southwest Family. More details will be shared soon.

December TWU 557 News and Budget

Fellow Instructors,

I hope the Holiday Season is going well for all of you. I know that my own house hold has been very busy in recent days with family events and travel.

It appears that’s electronic trade form is working very well. It received a great deal of action right after the schedule was published on November 24th and has had continuous action since. For now, the paper system is still a valid way to process trades and give-away schedules for instructors. The TWU 557 Board will meet again next month with the Flight Operations Management and Training to discuss any problems with the test. Hopefully, the electronic and or the paper system will continue past our projected test period. This will be discussed when speaking with the Company again during the test period.

This month the TWU 557 Board formulated two budgets for 2019, and are presenting them to the membership, as per the Constitutional By-Laws approved earlier this year. (See attached Budgets) The first budget is an operational yearly budget, based on income and expected expenses for operations in 2019. You will note that budget indicates a surplus at year end of 2019. Any funds not used at year end revert to contingency reserves. Each year, as per the by-laws, a new operating budget is formulated and presented to the membership. This operational budget is a first under the newly passed by-laws. The TWU 557 Board is charged with prudent stewardship of public funds and takes great care in budget planning.

The second budget, approved by the TWU Board, is a special negotiations budget for Calendar Year 2019. These monies are budgeted from Union reserve contingency funds. 2019 is a pivotal year, since our Southwest/TWU 557 Contract is amendable on December 31, 2019 at midnight. We expect to meet with the Company in Negotiations during 2019 to negotiate changes to our Contract. The Special Negotiation Budget reflects the expected expenditures for that negotiation. You should note the various categories planned. The largest, of course, is schedule pull for negotiators to accomplish the planning for the work required when talks begin. We do not have deep pockets; however, the Board feels we have adequate monies to accomplish our goals. Always, with the fog of war or any business negotiation, unexpected things can occur. We will do our best to contingency plan. Please look over our presented budgets. If you have questions, please feel free to speak with any Board Member.

Look for new officer elections during the first Quarter also. Under our by-laws, nomination and election for Vice President and Member at large will take place during the first quarter with elected officers taking office on April 1, 2019. Look for information on nominations and balloting soon. We anticipate using US. Mail and Electronic Voting though a professional voting service. The Vice President and Member at Larger are elected opposite the President and Secretary Treasure. This keeps continuity of officers on the Executive Board. Our last election filled the Member at Large for the interim period and elected the President and Secretary Treasure. Thus, another election for Vice President and Member at Large are required to align the correct officer terms.

Recently, at the Flight Operations Instructor Holiday Party, TWU 557 honored two retiring Instructors, Tom Smith and Dan Kithcart. We presented each a Southwest Boeing 737-800 Model along with happy retirement cards singed by fellow instructors. Tom completed just short of 17 years instructing for Southwest and Dan completed 11 years after serving a full career as a line Captain. Both Instructors have contributed greatly to the training mission at Southwest Airlines. They were acknowledged by Training Center Management and our fellow instructors with a large round of applause. We all wish them well in this new retirement. Their comradery and expertise will be missed by all.

This past Summer, in preparation for calendar year 2019, your TWU Board, and the Contract Research Committee took training from a professional negotiation training company. In addition, the Board took joint mediation training with the Company. This training was conducted by the National Mediations Board (NMB). Additionally, the TWU 557 Board has also requested additional negotiations training from the NMB for the first Quarter of 2019. This is a free service of the government and has been approved by the NMB. The Executive Board will schedule this two-day training event for our seven-member team with the trained NMB instructors in the future.

Overall, our team will be well prepared and ready during 2019 to negotiate with the Company. Our goal is to find solutions for the way Flight Crew Training Instructors are working today. Our current Contact is out dated and represents training the way it used to be, not how it is currently being conducted. All aspects of our agreement need language that reflects how that work is currently being accomplished. Change will not be easy, and it will not be perfect in all aspects. Both the Company and TWU 557 will have to strive to find acceptable solutions. If Southwest Airlines intends to have “The Best Training in the World” and “The Best Training Facility in the World” then they must have “The Best Flight Crew Training Instructors in the World”. To accomplish all three, our Contact will need change to reflect current practices.

As we end this year, we have witnessed a great deal of change at Southwest Airlines and at TWU 557. Our Training Center has already expanded and is working at almost capacity. Both the Airline’s growth and profit continues upward producing record profit sharing and revenue for the planned expansion. Our professional instructor corps is well on its way to support this expansion and contribute significantly to this profitability. The Company is on track to hire more pilots, instructors, and to buy more aircraft. Instructors, in the past, were viewed as working in a “Cost Center.” While costs are always a factor and concern, we must not be under estimated or taken for granted. Today, in our modern and dynamic training environment, we are an integral part of the AQP training process. Along with line check airmen, we are involved at all levels of the pilot training process. At the beginning, we “Bend Metal and Buck Rivets,” training initial hires. At the line level we polish, upgrade, and check. At the standards level, we insure that our training product is consistently presented and accurate. From the Government and the public’s perspective, a well-trained professional pilot crew is the best safety device any airline can have. The Training Center and especially our instructor/check airmen are directly responsible for that product. We can help the Company meet the above three goals, but it must be accomplished jointly.

Let us all be thankful as we end 2018 for Company, family, and friends. Have a Merry Christmas, a wonderful Holiday Season, and a Happy 2019!

For the Executive Board,

Jerry Bradley

President TWU 557

Flight Crew Training Instructors

TWU 557 2019 Budget
Income 2018                                                   $113,000.00 
Projected Income 2019                                  $120,000.00 
Expense 2018                                                  $60,000.00 
Projected Expense 2019                                 $88,500.00 
Audit Services                                                    $2,000.00 
Bonding Services                                                  $600.00 
Rent and Utilities                                              $14,400.00 
Postage and balloting, Mailing                           $3,000.00 
Per Capita payment to TWU International       $35,000.00 
Union Pull General                                           $24,000.00 
Office Supply                                                      $2,000.00 
TWU                                                         $500.00 
Travel and TWU International Meetings             $5,000.00 
Misc $2,000.00 
Total Projected TWU Operating Budget 2019   $88,500.00 
Surplus Operating                                             $31,500.00 
Special Budget Contract Negotiations 2020
Budgeted from Contingency Funds
Shared TWU/SWA Meeting Room Venue Expense            $20,000.00 
Union Pull for Negotiations Team                                      $100,000.00 
Misc                                                                                       $3,000.00 
Member Suveys and Analysis                                               $2,000.00 
Member Meetings                                                                $10,000.00 
Legal                                                                                      $8,000.00 
Member Text and Email Apps                                                $3,000.00 
Economic Analysis and Consultation                                    $ 2,000.00 
Printing                                                                                   $2,000.00 
Total Special Contingency Budget for Negotiations 2020   $150,000.00 

Electronic Trade Form off to a good start!


Fellow Instructors,

The Website based Trade Give Away Form has been in use for a few days now And it is off to a very good start.

Crew Training Scheduling has not reported any real problems and that trades and Give Aways have gone smoothly. Our webmasters, Ed and Gordon have been monitoring the use and also have good reports. We will also have a presentation on the 28th at the November instructor‘s meeting. 

if you need more infornation on the forms use please contact Gordon or Ed for help.

Keep up your good work and thanks for your support on this very important projec.



Jerry Bradley

President TWU 557

Flight Crew Training Instructors



Trade Give-Away Form Goes Live Today at 18:00

Fellow Instructors,

Today at 18:00 when the Official December 2018 Schedule is published, the electronic website form will be available for your use. Please see the pull-down menu above under TRADES / GIVE AWAYS. It contains detailed instructions on using the form. It is basically intuitive, however, if you need to read more, it is there for your use. Gordon Pursey and Ed Simons have accomplished a tremendous feat in getting this project to this point.  We owe our collective thanks to these two men. Your greatest thanks, however, will be your continued use and support. Both TWU 557 and the Company want this to be a successful system for all. This is just one step toward the future and the development of overall solutions that will improve our overall working conditions. 

For the Board


Jerry Bradley

President TWU 557 

Flight Crew Training Instructors

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