Southwest Airlines Brings Back Peanuts – But Not On Board Planes

Southwest Airlines loves peanuts. Despite eliminating nuts on board not so long ago, they are now bringing them back. However, you won’t see them onboard planes.

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Southwest now offers pretzels instead of peanuts. Photo: Southwest Airlines

Do you remember the days when Southwest Airlines used to serve peanuts on every flight? They, along with several other carriers, ended up ditching everyone’s favorite snack in deference to passengers with peanut allergies.

Today, Southwest Airlines offers pretzels on short-haul flights and a variety of packaged treats on long-haul routes. When Southwest reluctantly stopped offing peanuts on flights last summer they issued a statement that said peanuts “forever will be part of Southwest’s history and DNA.”

Southwest is selling peanut inspired merchandise

It would appear that, despite cutting ties with the salted and honey roasted nut, the Dallas-based airline has brought peanuts back, but in a somewhat quirky way. Now the low-cost carrier is presenting an entire peanut inspired range of items for sale in its online store, according to MSN.

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Southwest’s retro lunchbox is on backorder for two weeks. Photo: Southwest Airlines

The star of the peanut line-up is a snazzy limited edition retro lunchbox of the type kids used to take to school back in the 60s and 70s, when pop culture ruled the playground.

Retailing at $29 the double-sided lunchbox features Southwest Airline’s packaging and contains two 10 ounce bags of slightly salted and honey roasted peanuts. The rather snazzy looking lunchbox has proved a bit of a hit for the airline and is currently only available on backorder.

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Southwest peanut 18″ x 18″ double-sided custom canvas pillow. Photo: Southwest Airlines

As well as the lunchbox Southwest is selling an entire range of peanut related merchandise that includes everything from mobile phone chargers to pillows.

UK low-cost airlines copied Southwest Airlines business plan

While Southwest Airlines has become popular in the United States for its low-cost fares, did you know that it was Herbert Kelleher and Rollin King’s business plan that Ryanair and easyJet copied for their airlines too?

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At one point Southwest Airlines had just three planes. Photo: Southwest Airlines

In fact, there are quite a few things people don’t know about Southwest that makes Southwest Airlines the success story it is today. For example, the way Southwest operates its slick, fast turnaround schedule was initially born out of failure.

Back in 1972 when the airline was just starting it was short of cash and needed to sell one of its four Boeing 737s just to pay the bills and remain in business.

Now with 25% of its fleet missing Southwest decided that even with a plane down it would keep to its four aircraft schedule. To make it work Southwest had to operate with a 10-minute turnaround.

Initially, Southwest Airlines only flew to three destinations

Today Southwest‘s operational efficiency is a cornerstone of the airline allowing customers to board the aircraft and get to the destination in the fastest possible time.

During its first nine years in business Southwest Airlines only flew to three destinations, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio.

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Southwest Airlines used to only fly to three destinations. Photo: Quintin Soloviev Wikimedia Commons

Instead of expanding out to other cities, Southwest focused on becoming the most efficient airline to the cities it served. In 1975 the pioneering commuter focused airline decided that it was time to expand and became the industry-leading low-cost airline in the United States.

Another first for Southwest was embracing technology by being the first airline with a website. Called “Home Gate” customers could check flights while receiving discount coupons for flights.

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