Southwest Airlines Turns Miles into Smiles by Providing More Than $10 Million in Free Travel Through Medical Transportation Grant Program Since Program’s Inception

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Southwest Airlines Turns Miles into Smiles by Providing More Than $10 Million in Free Travel Through Medical Transportation Grant Program Since Program’s Inception

More than 90 Hospitals and Medical Organizations Selected as 2013 Participants
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Learn how @SouthwestAir turns miles into smiles with their Medical Transportation Grant Program:

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Southwest Airlines' Medical Transportation Grant Program Turns Miles Into Smiles

Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 10:00am

Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) announced today that more than 90 nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations from across the nation were selected for Southwest’s 2013 Medical Transportation Grant Program.  By connecting the airline’s service with the hospital’s care, this program alleviates the financial burden of air travel for families who are facing serious illness by providing complimentary, roundtrip airline tickets to nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations. The nonprofit hospitals and medical organizations have the freedom to provide the tickets to patients who must travel to receive needed medical care.  For 2013, Southwest will provide more than $2.8 million in free transportation to caregivers and patients seeking medical treatment.  Now in its sixth year, Southwest’s Medical Transportation Grant Program has provided more than $10 million to organizations in 24 states.  To see a full list of the 2013 recipients, please visit:  

“We are proud to partner with world-renowned hospitals across the nation such as The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and new recipient, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and give the gift of flight for patients to get the best medical care available,” said Linda Rutherford, Southwest Airlines Vice President of Communication and Strategic Outreach. “After more than four decades of giving from the heart, our commitment to community is stronger than ever, and we are humbled to help ease the difficulties these patients and families are facing through this unique program.”

In addition to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, new 2013 recipients in the Medical Transportation Grant Program include three medical organizations in Atlanta—Emory University Hospitals, Piedmont Atlanta Hospital, and Shepherd Center.  To learn more about the Medical Transportation Grant Program, visit to see an infographic illustrating how the program works.

The impact of the Medical Transportation Grant Program has touched the lives of more than 26,000 patients since the program’s inception.  Visit the NUTS About Southwest blog to read stories from some of the patients and families who have benefitted from the program. 

To learn about qualifications for travel assistance through the designated organizations, please contact the Social Work, Travel/Concierge Service, or Patient Assistance Department directly at each location, as each have unique guidelines for administration of tickets.



In its 42nd 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 triple bottom line thinking that takes into account the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of the People who work there and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the Planet.  The 2011 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at


Southwest Airlines

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