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Southwest Airlines Marketing Chief Makes North Fulton Happy

Ridley hands out vouchers after promising low fares are here in Atlanta to stay.

Several hundred business people left a breakfast meeting very happy today, Jan. 25. Not only did Southwest Airlines' Dave Ridley tell them low air fares are here in metro Atlanta to stay, he also gave everyone who filled out a little form a $100 voucher toward tickets.

Ridley, the senior vice president/chief marketing officer for Southwest Airlines, spoke at the Eggs & Enterprise meeting, held this month at the in Johns Creek.

His visit drew business people and politicians from throughout North Fulton and even Atlanta, and they were all there for one reason–to get free tickets, Ridley said, generating laughs throughout the audience. He started his talk by handing out a free ticket to the one person whose birthday fell on Feb. 12.

That date has significance because that is when Southwest begins flights in and out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The low-fare airline bought AirTran, allowing it to expand into Atlanta.

Ridley couldn't guarantee no bag fees or change fees forever, because Southwest doesn't know what will happen with oil prices. But he did promise AirTran would be adopting the same policies as Southwest on baggage in the future. Customers of AirTran with frequent flyer and other rewards program bonuses will be able to transfer those for use with Southwest, but that's a few months away. Keep buying AirTran tickets, Ridley, said, because "I love you, but I love your money more," as he continued to joke with his audience.

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