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What are the projected retirements for SWA?

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Super Monkey

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2005
I did a search and couldn't find the answer.

Does anyone know the projected retirements for SWA?
1132 pilots retire over the next 10 years. Here is a breakdown by year.

'10 - 2
'11 - 6
'12 - 14
'13 - 125
'14 - 107
'15 - 145
'16 - 166
'17 - 157
'18 - 109
'19 - 143
'20 - 160
I would guess that a newhire is going to be looking at about 18-20 year upgrades going forward unless we see some unprecidented growth combined with retirements over the next ten years. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening with the current management at this Airline.
I would guess that a newhire is going to be looking at about 18-20 year upgrades going forward unless we see some unprecidented growth combined with retirements over the next ten years. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening with the current management at this Airline.

No joke. Our retirement picture is really not good at all, and doesn't pick up until the mid to late 2020's, I believe...

I would agree that SWA will not see the unprecedented type of new hire training that occurred in the the 90's and mid-'00's.

Our junior most CA and FOs have taken a triple whammy and the new non-normal has caused unprecedented stagnation compared to recent years. Their professionalism in dealing with this has been remarkable.

From listening to CM when he spoke to our training class I think the GO is getting financials in order and is optimistic that revenue streams are returning to levels that will allow measured growth in '11 and the following years. Near international flying will be in SWA's future as will be more cities like CHS and GSP in which mid-size cities that can generate 12-20 very full and profitable flights will begin to open up new opportunities. Not every new city will need to have the potential to fly 40-50 flights. Despite that BOS will expand a lot in the next 18 months most likely from the original 10 flights, 26 flights in Sept '10 and probably double that a year later (total of 2 more gates are avaiable above the 3 SWA will have by Sept '10). Unproductive intrastate CA flights are being moved to more profitable pairings....good for all SWA pilots.

Once Mexico and the Caribbean open up and mature, SWA will only wonder why they didn't do it sooner along with the success of other revenue streams that seem to be paying off adding to the bottom line which generates growth. Coupled with the turmoil in other labor groups/looming deadlines and other airlines continuing to hemorrage while pissing off their customers, more customers will drift to SWA....see this blog from a first time flyer that is occurring every day when first time flyers fly with us:

The Southwest Airlines experience through the eyes of a legacy elite flier
by Elizabeth Smith
As some of you may know, I am an experienced traveler who holds elite status on a legacy carrier. Last Thursday, June 3, I took my first flight on Southwest Airlines and I wanted to share my experience.

WN 220 RDU-MDW-AUS 6:55 pm-10:55 pm with a 30-minute stop in MDW

Actual: 8:30 pm -12:05 am due to weather/ground stops in the BWI/IAD/DCA area

Pre-boarding experience: The Southwest attitude and service was completely different than what I often experience on legacy airlines. Everyone I encountered was nice. The check-in agent said to me, “Now don’t get off the plane in MDW, stay on!” Very nice of her, even though I already knew.

There was no crowding around the gate area agents, even though we were delayed. Passengers seemed calm and stayed seated until it was their turn to get beside their boarding “pole position.”

Boarding: Boarding was very orderly. I was actually amazed. I watched it for a few of the flights. It is as if Southwest passengers are trained. When the planes came in and people deplaned, A boarding position passengers stood up and stood by their “pole position” and were just chatting amongst each other. There was no rudeness or impatience. Then like clockwork, the agents started boarding with positions A1-15, Business Select and A List, and as boarding passes were scanned, the computer made the famous ding sound each time.

Passengers: Most were businesspeople and what I would call “Southwest pros.” Passengers knew exactly how everything worked and what to expect.

Seating: I pre-paid Early Bird Check-in for $10 and had boarding position A26. I selected the “quasi” exit row aisle, 11D, two-seat side, on the RDU-MDW segment of the trip. I stayed on the plane in MDW since I was continuing on, so I was able to select the real exit row aisle, 11C, on the second segment.

In-flight service: The in-flight service was the best I’ve ever seen. There were three flight attendants for the cabin and they served the cabin in thirds. Each walked down their section with their handheld devices for purchases and a notepad taking drink orders.

They hand-carried the drinks to passengers using drink trays. After serving drinks, they passed through the aisle with the snack baskets. On my first flight, my flight attendant comped our adult beverages due to the delay. On both flights, the flight attendants passed out two snacks per passenger – peanuts, pretzels, and Nabisco Cheese Nips (100-calorie package.)

There were no beverage or food carts. When we landed in MDW, one other passenger and I were the only ones continuing to AUS, so we saw how they turned the plane in about 15 minutes. The flight attendants scurried through the cabin, picking up trash, arranging the seat belts, putting up tray tables, and turning off lights. Catering and service workers came aboard and catered the plane with snacks and drinks and cleaned/serviced the lavs. It was amazing to see how quickly they prepared the cabin for the next round of passengers. It reminded me of a NASCAR pit stop. Then the pilot gave the go-ahead to start boarding.

Grade = A+, despite the weather delay. Now I understand why so many travelers love Southwest.
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Those aren't huge numbers but as a percentage of the company it's relatively the same as what DAL will be having. Percentage wise I think it's a little more. That is through 2020. After that I think DAL pulls ahead for the next ten.
I would guess that a newhire is going to be looking at about 18-20 year upgrades going forward unless we see some unprecidented growth combined with retirements over the next ten years. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening with the current management at this Airline.

Interesting. I wonder why management would want to grow, really. Growing would assume more risk for the company when they can simply contract with someone else to assume that risk and maintain many of the financial rewards.

Moving forward, do you see WN as a financial juggernaut that just happens to run an airline? Just playing the financial cards they have, without drawing more from a metaphorical pile (by expanding), they have been able to put competitors out of business, force others into bankruptcy, make a fortune in the derivates market, and keep a respectable stock growing and stable in a turbulent industry. Why change any of that?
<snip>The Southwest Airlines experience through the eyes of a legacy elite flier<snip>


I would say that the experience of that one person is more a reflection of how SWA management treats and values their employees. If the other carriers were to ever start treating their employees with respect and truly valued them for what they bring to the table in the process of customer service, watch out SWA ;)

I agree with you 100%. The crews of other airline companies are no different than the folks at SWA...they're smart, talented, type A personalities that given the proper environment will blossum and provide customers with what they want...to be treated with respect and fairly.

That occurs everyday at the legacies by many of the employees and those customers who experience it are pleasantly surprised and bring it to the attention of management. The sad fact of the matter is there are many other employees encounted by other customers who don't come across that way, the reasons are many. Like a dog that has been beaten for so long, it is hard to break the vicious circle.

Management/leadership is certainly at fault but personal responsibility (certainly something that seems to be out of vogue in our country, particularly among politicians) is still exactly that...up to the person invovled. Colleen has been quoted as saying something to the effect, "You come to work with the attitude you woke up with...I expect it to be a good one because that is the person we hired"

SWA carried 8% of domestic traffic when I was hired in '99...it now carries around double that to 16%...I don't expect that to double again in the next 10 years but as the country's largest domestic passenger carrier I don't see us shrinking or stepping away from viable growth options measured against the risks of financial stress that is always inevitable in the world we live in now. Other airlines have and freely use the option of furloughs that SWA doesn't wish to exercise...that creates an inevitable level of restraint that most carriers don't have to deal with IMHO.

An original SWA hire left in '73 for DAL...I met him on here...great guy who has a son flying with Presidential Airlines in Afghanistan. Anyway, he spent 30+ yrs there, flying international 767 and all the other good deals...he candidly told me he regretted leaving SWA to go to DAL and if he had to do it over with he would've made other choices...others in his shoes might make a different assessment...everyone is different and the final call is at the end of the career. I hope those who have chosen SWA have no regrets when they come off that fini flight, I know I will.:beer:

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