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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

DALLAS, March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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: www.southwest.com/medicalgrant.  

"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 www.swamedia.com 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.

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