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April 27, 2007


Southwest Kicks Off the “Dándole Alas a Tu Éxito/Giving Flight to Your Success”
Travel Award Program Across the Nation

DALLAS, TX—April 27, 2007— Today Southwest Airlines, in conjunction with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), kicks off its annual educational travel award program -- “Dándole Alas a Tu Éxito/Giving Flight to Your Success.”  In celebration of the program’s third year, Southwest Airlines is increasing the number of roundtrip airline tickets it will award to the winners.  Through this national education initiative, Southwest will provide roundtrip tickets to undergraduate and graduate students across the country with a socio-economic need and who travel away from home to pursue a higher education.  To be eligible, students must apply online at  For more information about Southwest, visit Award_042307.

“We want students to dream big and not let distance hinder their goals of pursuing a higher education at a college that may be far from home,” said Laura Nieto, Southwest Airlines’ Corporate Community Affairs Senior Manager.  “Additionally, we want to keep students connected to those who matter most – ‘la familia' (the family)."

According to HACU, Hispanic students currently account for seven percent of students enrolled at four-year institutions.  Also, a report by the Pew Hispanic Center illustrates the challenges Latino students face in attaining their undergraduate degrees.  They contend attainment levels would improve if students were more willing to travel longer distances to colleges well suited to meet their educational needs.  Because proximity to home continues to be a barrier to achieving educational goals for Latino students, Southwest and HACU are addressing Hispanic college student success while keeping them connected to family.

 “HACU is proud to partner with Southwest Airlines for the third year of this incredible program,” said Antonio Flores, President and CEO of HACU. “As we’ve worked together to bridge the distance between the students and their families – we’ve received heartwarming letters that continue to illuminate the need our students have to include their families in their higher education success."

Of the more than 190 students who applied last year, 44 were selected and honored with the ¡Lanzate!  Premio Universitario/Take Off! Higher Education Award.  Although the students’ backgrounds were different, they all shared a common bond -- to achieve a higher education and maintain close family ties.

In this year’s program, each student is eligible to receive up to four roundtrip tickets for the student and/or parent to use when traveling to or from the university.  The complimentary airline ticket(s) can be used throughout any of the 63 cities that Southwest serves (at this time, ATA Airlines codeshare destinations are not applicable).  A selection committee of national education advocates and community leaders will determine the winners and the number of roundtrip tickets for each student.

The student must meet the following basic criteria:
 Must be a student in good standing at a two- or four-year college or university.
 Have a 2.5 or higher GPA.
 All majors are eligible to apply.
 Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply.
 Applications must be completed online by June 15, 2007, which includes a:
 300-500 word essay using good writing and grammar skills that answers both questions:
    o What are your challenges in working toward a higher education? 
    o If selected, how do you believe that obtaining travel on Southwest Airlines would benefit you and your family?

Travel award recipients will be notified in August 2007.  For more information about the 2007 guidelines for the travel award program, visit:

Additional information regarding the travel award program from Southwest Airlines and HACU can be found at or contact the following:
Lorena Blanco, HACU’s Director of Development and Marketing, at (210) 576-3224 or

HACU, which has its national headquarters in San Antonio, Texas represents more than 400 colleges and universities, including Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), which collectively serve more than two-thirds of all Hispanic higher education students in the United States.  HACU’s international membership includes leading higher education institutions in Latin America and in Spain.

After 35 years of service, Southwest Airlines continues to offer the best value in airline travel, allowing Customers the opportunity to travel nonstop throughout the country at a very low fare.  Southwest offers a very comfortable ride with premium all leather seats and plenty of legroom.  Southwest does not charge Customers an extra fee for changing their reservation and continues to offer free amenities.  Customers enjoy complimentary pillows, blankets, snacks, juice, soda, and water on all flights.  Since 1987, the airline has maintained the fewest overall Customer complaints as published in the Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report.  Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the nation's largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 63 cities in 32 states.  The carrier will begin service to San Francisco in the early fall.  Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and has more than 32,000 Employees systemwide.

Media Please Contact:
Edna Ruano, Southwest Airlines Public Relations, 214-792-4847 (work) or 214-679-5685 (cell)
Lorena Blanco, HACU Executive Director of Development and Marketing, 210-576-3224 (work)