Flying High: Southwest Spirit Wins Apex’s Passenger Choice Award

Flying High: Southwest Spirit Wins Apex’s Passenger Choice Award child page title

Southwest Spirit, the inflight magazine that Pace produces on behalf of Southwest Airlines, recently was honored with the Best Inflight Publication award at the Passenger Choice Awards gala at the APEX 2012 EXPO.

What Makes It Special

While winning any award is always great news, this one was especially meaningful to the Spirit team because it was based solely on votes cast by travelers from around the world—in other words, the actual readers! As the Editorial Director, Jay Heinrichs, said, “It’s especially gratifying that it’s these customers who gave us the award!”

Adding Another To The List

Though this award is super exciting, this isn’t the first one for the magazine. Spirit has been recognized with many awards over the years including Pearl Awards for editorial content and design work, Folio Awards for feature design and full issue content, and an SPD Merit award for photography.

Simple. Useful. Fun.

The publication is set apart from others in the category with its use of the mantra “Simple. Useful. Fun.” Every issue includes quirky facts, great features on cities and states throughout the country, information for business travelers, and photos from the readers of Spirit magazine. (And here’s a sneak peek: in the upcoming October issue, see how the art of photography has changed throughout the years … and answer that age old question of how many licks it actually takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop!)

Thanks to all who voted for Southwest Airlines Spirit in the Passenger Choice Awards!

You can read the full press release below.


Airline Passengers choose Southwest Spirit as the world’s top inflight publication

Greensboro, NC (September 20, 2012)—Southwest Sprit, produced by Pace on behalf of Dallas-based Southwest Airlines, was honored with the Best Inflight Publication award this week at the Passenger Choice Awards gala at the APEX 2012 EXPO in Long Beach, California. The winners are determined solely on the votes of travelers from around the world—with the Nielsen Company tracking the voting.

With more than 3 million monthly readers, Spirit enhances the Southwest brand by following three key watchwords: simple, useful, and fun. Those guiding principles give the magazine its populist flavor. The goal of Spirit is to make flying more enjoyable for the Customers of Southwest Airlines.

Spirit magazine beautifully captures our unique Southwest Airlines personality—a combination of profound compassion and heart, outside-of-the-box thinking and, of course, a little wit and zaniness,” said Linda Rutherford, Vice President of Communication and Strategic Outreach at Southwest Airlines. “Southwest beams with pride at the inspiring product that Pace Communications creates with Spirit Magazine, which provides our beloved Customers a perfect complement to our inimitable Customer Experience.”

“Our staff created a magazine with a heart, in the spirit of Southwest Airlines. Spirit breaks the mold of airline magazines in the same way that Southwest continues to break the mold of the industry, to better serve its customers. It is especially gratifying that it’s these customers who gave us the award!” said Jay Heinrichs, Editorial Director.

About Southwest Airlines, Co.
In its 42nd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other low-fare carriers by providing a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service.  Including wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways, the Company now serves 97 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, six near-International countries, and employs more than 46,000 People. Visit to read the Southwest Airlines One Report™ and see how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen while underscoring a commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet.

Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines, one of the most honored airlines in the world, is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded.  Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and serves the communities around 76 airports in Southwest’s network of domestic destinations.  To book a flight, visit

AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways, a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co., has been ranked the top airline in the Airline Quality Rating study three times in the past five years. AirTran offers coast-to-coast and near-International service with nearly 700 flights a day on North America’s newest all-Boeing fleet. The airline’s low-cost, high-quality product also includes assigned seating and Business Class. To book a flight, visit

Pace is a custom content marketing leader, producing multi-channel content that delivers results for a diverse client base. Our staff of more than 300 professionals consistently produces award-winning work in a variety of media, including magazines, digital, mobile content, catalogs, books, videos, and e-commerce solutions. Pace was founded and is owned by Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, the current chair of the American Red Cross, and is based in Greensboro, N.C. For more information, please visit, @PaceComm on Twitter, or Pace on LinkedIn.

Emily joined Pace more than ten years ago. During her time with the organization she has been responsible for agency marketing, new business support, account management, and research for existing clients including Verizon and Walmart. Prior to joining Pace, Emily worked for large media organizations including and CNET, where she managed advertising partnership programs for technology-focused enterprises including Intel, Netgear, and Microsoft. Emily is a graduate of Marquette University.