Serious question seeks fun answers: Why fly Southwest to Belize?

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Southwest Airline will be winging its way to Belize in October.
Southwest Airline will be winging its way to Belize in October.

Southwest Airlines is looking for a few good reasons to visit Belize.

The U.S. airline will begin daily flights to Belize in October, from Houston. And anyone who knows Southwest knows this airline doesn’t do anything unless it is fun. If you’ve ever had the good fortune to land on a Southwest flight when the safety speech is given by a budding stand-up comic you’ll know what I mean.

Here, sample some of these.

Southwest likes creative employees. Heck, it simply likes its employees (and I think they are called team members, or something like that). My friend and neighbor in San Diego for many years was a Southwest flight attendant who rose through the ranks to become a recruiter and trainer among other duties for the airline. Wayne Toups loved the airline and loved going to work every day.

Like the famous Cajun singer Wayne Toups, he was from Louisiana and he had a ball with their common name. Believe it or not, passengers would ask Wayne, handing out drinks and peanuts while clad in the khaki shorts and polo shirt uniform of Southwest, if he was the singer!

When Southwest began as a regional airline at Love Field in Dallas, the big boys — both the major airlines and their friends in Congress — did their damnedest to drive it into the ground — including a major congressman from their own state! Southwest not allowed to make direct flights to cities in other states. They had to do something weird like make a stop in another Texas city first — or something like that. They were sometimes forced to use secondary airports and land in lower tier cities.

Ultimately whatever the challenge, Southwest turned it into an advantage. And opened up the door for other short-haul carriers. It truly is the aspirational and inspirational airline.

That’s why I think they will make it in Belize.

It is the perfect pairing of two scrappy underdogs.

Does Southwest really need our help coming up with ways to lure visitors to Belize?

Probably not. It has a long history of brilliant marketing.

Just the same, reaching out and asking (a form of marketing in itself), is classic Southwest. Just as every employee of the airline is empowered to be brilliant and inventive, so is every community that it serves. Southwest employees are encouraged to come up with ideas to make the airline better. Of course, the key is to listen to those ideas and act on them. I got the impression from Wayne that that is exactly what Southwest does. It listens.

So, the airline has sent a talent scout of sorts to Belize to hunt for fresh ideas. His name is Brad Hawkins and to the best of my knowledge, no relation. Our friend (and yours) Rebecca Coutant of San Pedro Scoop met with Hawkins the other day, as did other local media.

Here’s Rebecca’s post. 

Rebecca is taking a page from Southwest’s gameplan and turning around and asking you, the experts on Belize, for your ideas. I think you should read her post and send her your best shots.

There is one challenge. Everyone has been flogging the same 10 to 30 reasons to visit Belize for years. Basically it is blueholemayanruinscavetubingecoadventuressandybeachesreefsnorkelinggarifunadrummingjerkchickendrop. And then some.

And they are all legit.

And for people who have never heard of Belize — and they are many — those are fresh ideas. The thing is, how do you present them in a fresh new way? Southwest-Belize adventure package deals? A Belize scavenger hunt — getting stamps in your Southwest-Belize Adventure Passport gets you valuable upgrades and free trips?

A variation on the Southwest “Gotta get away?” campaign would suit Belize nicely.

Let’s face it: Cancun or Disneyland is a vacation; Belize is “getting away.”

Here are some other related posts:

Southwest Airlines ready to partner with Belize

10 routes that will lead to cheaper flights in 2015

Southwest Airlines ready for Belize

10 thoughts on “Serious question seeks fun answers: Why fly Southwest to Belize?

    Miranda said:
    February 12, 2015 at 8:49 am

    I can’t wait to see what the fairs are. I usually fly Avianca/Taca, because their service is so good, and they are the cheapest. And I dread going through Houston, as I am just getting over the trauma of my last change in Houston, where I had to go through customs. It was a disaster. But Ive only heard superfood things about
    Southwest, so I am really excited to give it a try.


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      February 12, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Where Southwest flies, fares drop. It is part of their strategy. They have built in efficiencies with the newest fuel-efficient planes; long-term volume fuel purchases; aeronautic technology (flip wings were an SWA first); and high-morale personnel. In Dallas they use Love Field. It is the company’s home base.

      (In this post earlier and in this reply I inaccurately placed Love Field in Houston. I apologize for the error and confusion that it might have sowed.)

      Where did you pick up Avianca/Taca flights? Do they fly from the states? I’d like to try that option some time!


        Miranda said:
        February 12, 2015 at 2:09 pm

        Yes, I get Avianca flights from JFK to San Salvadore, then a one hour layover, and a 40 minute flight to Belize City. They give you a pillow and a blanket, hot meal, and complimentary rolling bar. Plus you can take 2 prices of check on luggage. And I frequently find flights for up to $100 less than other airlines.


    johnhenryeast said:
    February 12, 2015 at 2:20 pm

    Thought Love Field was in Dallas Bob.


      Michael Capps said:
      February 13, 2015 at 6:39 am

      Love Field is in Dallas, that is where they are based. Love the blog.


        robertjhawkins1 responded:
        February 13, 2015 at 6:45 am

        Yikes. That was bad. Must improve my Texas geography. Thank you, Michael. I fixed the error in the blog to show Dallas. And sorry, Southwest!


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      February 13, 2015 at 6:46 am

      You are absolutely correct, John. Thank you and my apologies to readers. I have fixed the error in the story. I need to get out and travel more!


    GinaT said:
    February 16, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Knowing that Southwest is going to be flying into Belize just ensures a sooner return for me. I was there for two and a half weeks in December and never thought I would miss it so much.

    Thanks for all the great blogging, it makes me feel like I’m still connected.

    Maybe Southwest could launch a “2 Tickets to Paradise” campaign. Toss in a giveaway and highlight any of the millions of wonderful unique things about the country in conjunction with the great Belize travel marketing. There is a niche for any kind of traveler from water sports, foodies, adventurers, luxury travelers, budget travelers, night life lovers, green/natural lifestyle seekers, animal lovers, history buffs, education and nonprofit supporters. I could go on… but I think I’m preaching to the choir here. 🙂


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      February 16, 2015 at 5:32 pm

      Gimme an “Amen!” Sister Gina!
      Just went back an re-listened to Eddie Money’s song and the lyrics are perfect. Great call! What ever your itch, Belize has the niche to scratch it!
      Thanks for the note!


    rclark said:
    March 5, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Im so happy to start a real vacation in Belize. IM TOTALLY READY..BELIZE HERE I COME TO ENJOY YOUR BEAUTIFUL COUNTY…YES..YES!!


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