Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program Helps Save Lives With
$10 Million In Free Travel Donated Since Inception
Airline Now Accepting Applications from Hospitals and Medical Charities to
Join the 2014 Program
DALLAS, Aug. 8, 2013
DALLAS, Aug. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) today
invites nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations to apply
for the airline's 2014 Medical Transportation Grant Program. The program is
designed to ease the financial burden on families confronting serious medical
problems that require travel for treatment. Southwest donates roundtrip
airline tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations in the
program, and empowers the organization to distribute the tickets to patients
as they see best based on the individuals' needs. In 2013 alone, Southwest
donated more than $2.8 million in complimentary airfare through the program.
Hospitals and medical transportation charities can apply online for a grant in
Southwest's 2014 Medical Transportation Grant Program by visiting
http://www.southwest.com/medicalgrant now through Monday, Sept. 30, 2013.
"At Southwest, we connect people to what's important in their lives. Our
Medical Transportation Grant Program is no different; it helps us connect
patients to the treatment they need," said Linda Rutherford, Southwest
Airlines' Vice President Communication and Outreach. "The program is one of
many ways we give from the heart to positively impact our communities. From
lessening the financial burden on families needing to travel for treatment to
partnering with medical organizations, we are proud of the many ways this
program has made a difference in the communities we serve."
The Medical Transportation Grant Program began as a response to a need that
was repeatedly expressed to the airline—families facing serious illnesses
needed to travel for treatment. When the Medical Transportation Grant Program
launched in 2008, Southwest donated 1,700 tickets to 13 hospitals and
organizations. What started as a small effort to make a difference has grown
into a nationwide movement, benefiting thousands of individuals and hundreds
of communities. Southwest has donated more than $10 million in free airfare
since the program began in 2008. In 2013 alone, Southwest's Medical
Transportation Gran Program served patients seeking medical treatment at more
than 90 hospitals and organizations nationwide. One of the organizations
accepted into Southwest's 2013 Medical Transportation Grant Program is
internationally recognized The University of TexasMD Anderson Cancer Center.
"Southwest Airlines' Medical Transportation Grant Program has allowed us the
opportunity to offer a solution to patients who otherwise might not have been
able to afford to travel for the treatment they need," said Thomas Burke,
M.D., executive vice president and physician-in-chief at MD Anderson. "Through
this program, we can give hope to patients facing life-threatening illnesses,
and that feeling is contagious throughout our hospital and our community."
More than 27,000 patients' lives have been positively impacted through this
unique program. One such patient, Michael Wilson from Carthage, Michigan,
needed to travel frequently to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis following
complications with his lung transplant. Unable to afford air travel,
Southwest's Medical Transportation Grant Program connected him to life-saving
"I knew I couldn't afford frequent travel to Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St.
Louis to get the treatment I needed," said Wilson. "I can't begin to explain
how grateful my family and I are for Southwest's Medical Transportation Grant
Program—everything is better."
Southwest is honored to stories like Michael Wilson's and so many others who
have benefitted from the Medical Transportation Grant Program on the NUTS
About Southwest blog.
Each participating hospital and nonprofit has unique guidelines for the
administration of tickets. To learn about qualifications for travel
assistance, please contact the specific hospital or nonprofit organization.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 42^nd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV)
continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer
Service delivered by nearly 46,000 Employees to more than 100 million
Customers annually. Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of
originating passengers boarded, and including wholly-owned subsidiary, AirTran
Airways, operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve
97 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of
Puerto Rico, and six near-international countries. Southwest is one of the
most honored airlines in the world, known for its commitment to the triple
bottom line of Performance, People and Planet. To read about how Southwest is
doing its part to be a good corporate citizen, visit southwest.com/citizenship
to read the Southwest Airlines One Report™.
From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of
unprecedented affordability in air travel quantified by the U.S. Department of
Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in
passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. On every flight, Southwest
offers Customers the first two pieces of checked luggage (weight and size
limitations apply) and all ticket changes without additional fees. Southwest's
all Boeing fleet consistently offers leather seating and the comfort of
full-size cabins, many of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi
connectivity and a new, sustainable cabin interior. With 40 consecutive years
of profitability, the People of Southwest operate more than 3,200 flights a
day and serve communities around 78 airports in Southwest's network of
domestic destinations. Southwest Airlines' frequent flights and low fares are
available only at southwest.com.
AirTran Airways, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co., offers
coast-to-coast and near-international service with close to 600 flights a day
to 54 destinations. The carrier's high-quality product includes assigned
seating and Business Class. As Southwest continues to integrate AirTran's
People, places, and planes into Southwest Airlines, Customers of both carriers
may book flights at airtran.com and exchange earned loyalty points between
both AirTran's A+ Rewards® and Southwest's Rapid Rewards® for reward travel on
SOURCE Southwest Airlines
Contact: Southwest Airlines, 214-792-4847
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