Texas Ingenuity History


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I think you've got a hit on your hands -- judging by the way the guys were reading it yesterday! They kept going--"I didn't know this"... or, "oh, yeah, I remember this"...What FUN! I gave out 7 of your Texas books at the family Christmas get-together yesterday--and now I need to buy another 3. P.S. (Athens)

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Best Texas Hotels

The Adolphus Hotel (Dallas; tel. 800/221-9083 or 214/742-8200)

Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (Dallas; tel. 800/422-3408 or 214/599-2100)

Hotel Zaza (Dallas; tel. 800/597-8399 or 214/468-8399)

Stockyards Hotel (Fort Worth; tel. 800/423-8471 or 817/625-6427)

Four Seasons Hotel Houston (Houston; tel. 800/332-3442 or 713/650-1300)

Hotel Derek (Houston; tel. 866/292-4100 or 713/961-3000)

Lancaster Hotel (Houston; tel. 800/231-0336 or 713/228-9500)

Omni Corpus Christi Hotel (Corpus Christi; tel. 800/843-6664 or 361/887-1600)

Isla Grand Beach Resort (South Padre Island; tel. 800/292-7704 or 956/761-6511)

Omni La Mansión del Río (San Antonio; tel. 800/830-1400 or 210/518-1000)

The Watermark Hotel & Spa (San Antonio; tel. 866/605-1212 or 210/396-5800)

The Driskill (Austin; tel. 800/252-9367 or 512/474-5911)

Four Seasons Austin (Austin; tel. 800/332-3442 or 512/478-4500)

Lake Austin Spa Resort (Austin; 1705 S. Quinlan Park Rd.; tel. 800/847-5637)

Cibolo Creek Ranch (Shafter; tel. 432/229-3737)

Gage Hotel (Marathon; tel. 432/386-4205)

Historic - The Excelsior House (Jefferson; 903/665-2513 or 800/490-7270)






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Southwest's Success is no Tall Texas Tale

Texas is a big state. To do business here you've got to travel around the "Golden Triangle" of Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston, and to other cities as well. For decades prior to the 1970s, business travelers drove their company cars down many a mile of Texas asphalt (and killed a lot of armadillos along the way.) Sure, flying from city to city could save time, but talk about a budget buster! Back in that era, only oilmen, bankers, and Stanley Marcus could afford flying from city to city.

In 1966, someone saw the problem and decided to do something about it. Rollin King of San Antonio, the operator of a small commuter air service had a vision (assisted by his banker John Parker who complained about expensive airfare between Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston.) As a result of that epiphany, King paid a visit to a lawyer friend by the name of Herb Kelleher. At that meeting, King drew a sketch of a triangle on a cocktail napkin with each of the three cities at the corners and used the picture to describe the opportunity for creating an inexpensive commuter airline between the major Texas cities. To abbreviate the meeting somewhat, it went like this:

"Herb, let's start an airline."

"Rollin, you're crazy. Let's do it."

Thus began the nuttiest airline in American history. Initially patterning the idea for this fledgling company on the successful Pacific Southwest Airline (PSA) in California, Kelleher filed papers to incorporate Air Southwest Co. (later to become Southwest Airlines) in 1967.

Continues in the book. . .

However, Southwest did have an advantage. Since it didn't fly across state borders, it didn't have to follow a federal mandate for ticket prices, allowing it to charge less than other airlines.

Southwest Airlines Hotpants

Southwest Airlines flight attendants wearing

signature hot pants circa 1970.

(Courtesy Southwest Air Lines.)


Nevertheless, its initial flights carried a few measly passengers. Many of the flights cost more than they brought in. With a decision that would soon become characteristic of the Southwest business style, it quickly adjusted the model. They moved their Houston flights from the Intercontinental Airport to Hobby Airport, which was closer to town and more convenient for passengers.

Continues in the book . . .

Herb Kelleher SWA

Herb Kelleher wrestles for the right to use the phrase "Plane Smart." (Courtesy Southwest Airlines.)

Continues in the book . . .

Texas Tidbit: In 2009, Southwest served 63.2 million cans of soda, juices, and water; 14.3 million alcoholic beverages; 14 million bags of pretzels; 90 million bags of peanuts; 17.7 million Select-A-Snacks; and 33.5 million other snacks.

The story continues in the book Texas Ingenuity... For complete information on this and other Texas stories...