Southwest Airlines is known for its fun, memorable, and Instagrammable moments at their gate and on their planes.
There are corny jokes galore. Snack crowns and toilet paper bouquets for brides. Shark Week flights. Entire weddings saved. That time in 2019, when passengers headed to San Diego for a comic-themed convention received Nintendo Switch systems.
And who can forget the rapping flight attendant?
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Many official Southwest ‘surprise and delight’ events were put on hold during the pandemic. But it looks like they are back.
Yesterday morning 175 passengers flying on Southwest flight 2271 from Long Beach Airport (LGB) to Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) became part of a special musical flight.
In a partnership with global musical instrument retailer Guitar Center, passengers on this Hawaii-bound flight were gifted a travel-sized Mitchell MU40 Soprano ukulele, a Road Runner carrying case, and a goodie bag.
Passengers were also treated to what is being billed as the first-ever inflight ukulele class.
After departure and drink service, Guitar Center Lessons instructors from Hawaii taught passengers how to play the ukuleles, an instrument associated with Hawaii and Hawaiian music.
The ukulele’s reputation as an easy-to-learn instrument proved true. As they set off across the Pacific Ocean, passengers were invited to join a group lesson with the goal of playing the song “Hello, Aloha. How are you?” together.
“I’ve taught students through Guitar Center Lessons since 2014, but never in an airplane,” said Alexandra Windsor, educational affairs specialist for Guitar Center Lessons. “It was inspiring to see how quickly passengers of all ages picked up the ukulele — many with no musical background. It shows just how fun and easy learning something new can be.”
For Southwest Airlines, “surprise and delight events are a unique way to create memorable experiences,” said Brandy King, Southwest’s senior director of public relations. “Today’s celebration of Hawaiian culture and Southwest Hospitality underscore our everyday commitment to serve and celebrate the spirit of Aloha.”
For passengers who want to recreate the experience — minus the inflight lessons — Southwest Airlines and Guitar Center are hosting a Ukulele Take Flight Sweepstakes. The prize is round-trip air travel and two Mitchell MU40 Soprano ukuleles. (Package value approximately $960). Enter by September 30, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. CT.)
This is far from the first time a Southwest Airlines flight was filled with music and probably not the last. In 1979, a band performed on the airline’s inaugural flight to New Orleans. And the airline has hosted a series of Live at 35 (as in at 35,000 feet) concerts in the sky.