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Established by Rollin King and Herb Kelleher in 1967, Air Southwest Co. was originally developed to provide affordable commercial air flight service in Texas between the cities of San Antonio, Dallas, and Houston. In 1971, the company officially changed its name to Southwest Airlines, as it is still known today, and successfully began to offer flights between these Texas cities charging $20 round trip and $10 for overnight flights. In 1977, the airline began to expand its range of flights in Texas to cities such as Lubbock, Corpus Christi, and Midland. In 1978, it expanded beyond the state of Texas to service flights to other major cities nationwide such as St. Louis, Kansas City, Detroit, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh - all at rates 53% lower than what other commercial airlines were offering at that time to the same destinations.
In 1987, Southwest introduced "The Company Club" program, which was based on the total trips flown by a frequent Southwest passenger, regardless of distance, in hopes that it offered seasoned Southwest Airlines travelers a simple way to systematically acquire free roundtrip tickets. Today, Southwest Airlines continues to fly travelers to cities all over the U.S. with a "Rapid Rewards" program which replaced "The Company Club" program in 1996.
(2021). Our history. Southwest Airlines. https://www.swamedia.com/pages/our-history-sort-by