DALLAS, TX, 2018-Sep-24 — /Travel PR News/ — Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV), in partnership with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), has awarded 150 students, ranging from incoming freshman through graduate students, with complimentary roundtrip air travel as part of the ¡Lánzate!/Take Off! travel award program.
Current ¡Lánzate! Travel Award Recipient, and undergraduate student at Cornell University, Julio López Ramos said, “There are so many costs not included in a financial aid package, especially for first-generation, low-income students.” During Ramos’ next school break, which once caused added stress because he worried about his expenses, he plans to fly home to California to visit his parents and three siblings. Even more than his trip home, Ramos looks forward to using his award to fly a family member to New York to visit him for the first time. He writes, “The program will be a true blessing for my entire family.”
“For the past 14 years the Southwest Airlines ¡Lánzate! Travel Program has contributed to Hispanic success in higher education,” said HACU President and CEO Antonio R. Flores. “Many college students would not have been able to visit their families were it not for the travel awards received from Southwest Airlines. HACU is proud to partner with Southwest Airlines and we congratulate the student recipients and Southwest Airlines for giving flight to success in higher education.”
The ¡Lánzate! Program is geared toward Hispanic college students with economic need who attend school far away from home. Students, from state to Ivy League institutions, across the nation completed online entries and submitted essays conveying how receiving a travel award would help them achieve their educational goals. The impactful program, which was recognized in 2015 by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, provides roundtrip air travel to selected college students to travel home to see family.
A panel of judges made up of college professors and educational advocates met to determine the award recipients. Recipients were awarded between one and four roundtrips for themselves or a family member. Southwest donated 409 roundtrips to encourage students to continue on their paths to higher education.
The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) represents more than 470 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America and Spain. The association’s headquarters are located in San Antonio, Texas, with offices in Washington, D.C., and Sacramento, California. HACU is the only national association representing existing and emerging Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Information is available at www.hacu.net.
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In its 48th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 57,000 Employees to a Customer base topping 120 million passengers annually, in recent years. Southwest became the nation’s largest domestic air carrier in 2003 and maintains that ranking based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded. During peak travel seasons, Southwest operates more than 4,000 weekday departures among a network of 99 destinations in the United States and 10 additional countries. Southwest has announced its intention to sell tickets in 2018 for service to Hawaii, subject to requisite governmental approvals.
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SOURCE: Southwest Airlines Co.