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Southwest unveils new 'freedom' livery, gives workers 50,000 points for 50th anniversary

June 18, 2021
3 min read
Southwest Airlines unveils its latest specialty aircraft.
Southwest unveils new 'freedom' livery, gives workers 50,000 points for 50th anniversary
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Southwest unveiled a new aircraft livery on Friday as it celebrated its 50th anniversary. The carrier also said it would dole out 50,000 Rapid Rewards frequent flyer points to its workforce of more than 55,000 people.

The livery, dubbed "Freedom One," is meant as a nod to members and veterans of the armed forces, including nearly 8,000 Southwest employees.

The American-flag design on the Boeing 737-800 — Southwest's first -800 with a special livery — was meant to evoke the idea of "freedom" to align with the anniversary date, the airline said, linking "freedom" with 50 years of the "freedom to travel."

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Southwest Airlines shows off its new Freedom One special livery, which coincides with 50th anniversary. (Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines/ Stephen M. Keller)

“The word ‘freedom’ has significant meaning to the People and history of Southwest Airlines,” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said. "We simply couldn’t fulfill our purpose if not for the sacrifices and dedication of our military men and women.

Freedom One features the 13 stripes and 50 stars of the American flag — another link to the 50th anniversary, the airline said.

Five decades: Southwest Airlines, which gave us everything from hot pants to ‘Wanna Get Away’ fares, turns 50 today

As part of the unveiling and celebration, which occurred at an employee party and rally in Houston, each employee at Southwest was given 50,000 Rapid Rewards points.

Southwest Airlines shows off its new Freedom One special livery, which coincides with 50th anniversary. (Photo courtesy of Southwest Airlines/ Stephen M. Keller)

"Southwest revolutionized the travel industry since our very first flight on June 18, 1971—a time when less than 15% of Americans ever had traveled by air,” Kelly said. “The people of Southwest democratized the skies with friendly, reliable, and affordable air travel, and what better way to honor you, our employees, on our 50th Anniversary than by offering a gift of 50,000 Rapid Rewards points.”

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Following the employee event, Freedom One will depart Houston for Dallas Love Field (DAL), a tribute to Southwest's first flight (which actually went in the opposite direction). The flight is slated to fly a new approach into DAL named HERBZ, for Southwest co-founder Herb Kelleher.

TPG will be aboard the flight, so stay tuned for more from Southwest's 50th!

Southwest Airlines unveils its latest specialty aircraft livery, Freedom One, to mark its 50th anniversary.
Featured image by Stephen M. Keller
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees