Southwest Launches Spanish-Speaking Booking

Southwest Airlines today
celebrates the launch of its Spanish booking engine available at
http://www.southwest.com/vamonos where Customers can make their flight
reservations entirely in Spanish on the Internet. With the online booking
tool, travelers can take advantage of Southwest’s low air fares and
frequent flights en espanol (in Spanish). For more information, visit:
http://www.southwest.com/jp/enespanol.shtml?src=PR_vamonos_063004 . “Our goal is to be innovative when it comes to Customer convenience in
Spanish. We wanted southwest.com to be the first U.S. major airline web
site to offer Customers the choice of making their flight reservations
from start to finish in Spanish on the Internet,” said Kevin Krone,
Southwest’s vice president of interactive marketing.

According to Census Bureau figures, the Hispanic population, the nation’s
largest minority group, reached 39.9 million on July 1, 2003. The Hispanic
population grew 13 percent from April 2000 to July 2003, almost four times
that of the total population which increased 3 percent. Also, according to
the America Online(R)/RoperASW U.S. Hispanic Cyberstudy, about half of
online Hispanic consumers (49%) want more web sites in Spanish. With
today’s launch, Southwest Airlines is addressing the growing Hispanic
community and their online preferences.

At http://www.southwest.com/vamonos , travelers can obtain information in
Spanish about Southwest’s policies, travel tips, airport information, a
route map, fare rules and restrictions, and Company information. Travelers
also can read a monthly Customer message in Spanish from Southwest’s
President and Chief Operating Officer Colleen Barrett. For a screen shot
of what the Spanish online booking tool looks like, go to:
http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/press/040630_vamonos.html .

Southwest Airlines partnered with Ion Global San Francisco, an Internet
professional services firm specializing in building multilingual web
sites, to translate the in-language Spanish functionality. “Ion Global has
developed multilingual web sites for global companies since 1995, but over
the last year we have seen an increasing demand from clients to reach
ethnic groups within the U.S.,” said Simon Mathews, head strategist for
Ion Global. “We are proud that Southwest Airlines selected Ion Global to
help it become the first U.S. major airline web site to offer its
customers the choice of making online flight reservations in Spanish.”

“If you look at the areas we serve such as California, Texas, and Florida,
we are in a favorable position to serve the growing Hispanic population.
Southwest Airlines is providing an additional resource to better serve our
Spanish-speaking Customers traveling for business or pleasure,” said Joyce
Rogge, Southwest’s senior vice president of marketing. “Our Customers can
now book their flights online in Spanish or call 1-800-VAMONOS to make
their reservations in Spanish over the phone. With these options
available, we encourage Customers to choose Southwest when traveling on
business or when visiting their families and friends.”

ADVERTISEMENT

In 1995, Southwest was the first major airline to launch a web site in the
airline industry. Today, southwest.com is considered the largest airline
web site and ranks as one of the largest e-commerce sites with the likes
of Amazon.com. Southwest now estimates that more than 57 percent of its
annual revenues—in excess of $3 billion—is generated through online
bookings via southwest.com.

Southwest Airlines touches the Hispanic community through its community-
wide efforts, including grass-roots promotional efforts, national, and
local event sponsorships, and support of civic organizations such as the
National Hispanic Cultural Center, Hispanic Heritage Awards Foundation,
League of United Latin American Citizens, United States Hispanic Chamber
of Commerce, and the National Council of La Raza.

Southwest Airlines was recognized by HISPANIC Magazine in 2004 as part of
the Hispanic Corporate 100, the Top 25 Vendor Programs for Latinos, and
the Top 25 Recruitment Programs. The Hispanic Corporate 100 award focuses
on Southwest Airlines’ leadership in providing opportunities for Hispanics
and for supporting recruitment, scholarships, minority vendor programs,
and Hispanic organizations. Southwest has received the award for a total
of eight years.
——-