Long Beach, CA (September 19, 2022): Guitar Center, the world’s largest musical instrument retailer, surprised passengers on Southwest Airlines® from Long Beach to Honolulu, with the first-ever in-flight ukulele class by Guitar Center on Friday, September 16.
Above the clouds, passengers onboard the Boeing 737-800 aircraft all received a Mitchell MU40 Soprano ukulele, a Road Runner carrying case and a unique lesson in the sky. Best-in-class Guitar Center Lessons instructors taught passengers how easy it is to learn to play the ukulele, one of Hawaii’s happiest and most familiar instruments – so easy, passengers were able to learn to play the song “Hello, Aloha. How are you?” during the flight. Passengers on board kicked off their weekend travels flying across the Pacific Ocean, unified, one chord at a time, with a sweet-sounding surprise, and an unforgettable travel day to Honolulu.
Alexandra Windsor, educational affairs specialist for Guitar Center Lessons, and Ryan Miyashiro and Ryan Imata, Guitar Center instructors at Guitar Center’s Pearl City store, led passengers in a group lesson to kick off their travel to the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii. “I’ve taught students through Guitar Center Lessons since 2014, but never in an airplane. It was inspiring to see how quickly passengers of all ages picked up the ukulele – many with no musical background. The ukulele is the perfect instrument for beginners, and it shows just how fun and easy learning something new can be,” said Windsor.
“Our Customers anticipate warm Southwest Hospitality throughout their journeys with us, and these Surprise and Delight events are a unique way to create memorable experiences,” said Brandy King, Senior Director of Public Relations at Southwest Airlines. “Today’s celebration of Hawaiian culture and Southwest Hospitality underscore our everyday commitment to serve and celebrate the spirit of Aloha.”
To celebrate the partnership beyond the in-flight entertainment, Southwest Airlines customers and Guitar Center fans can visit Southwest.fm/ukuleleflight to enter the Ukuleles Take Flight sweepstakes for a chance to win round trip air travel on Southwest for a winner and a guest, and two Mitchell MU40 Soprano ukuleles*.
“Playing music is our passion at Guitar Center. Learning an instrument like the ukulele is an enriching and rewarding experience that creates lifelong benefits and memories. We offer Guitar Center lessons in almost any instrument online and in our stores across the country and for this one-time special flight, above the clouds! Not many people can say they learned to play a song on a Southwest flight to Hawaii!” said Donny Gruendler, Guitar Center VP of music education.
Please see photos and B-roll from the event HERE.
Photo file 1: GC_Ukes_Photo1_Flight_Passengers.jpg
Photo caption 1: Guitar Center Lessons instructors taught passengers to play “Hello Aloha, How are you?” on their new ukuleles on the Southwest Airlines® flight from Long Beach to Honolulu, on Friday, September 16.
Photo file 2: GC_Ukes_Photo2_Flight.jpg
Photo caption 2: Guitar Center, the world's largest musical instrument retailer, surprised passengers on Southwest Airlines® from Long Beach to Honolulu, with the first-ever in-flight ukulele class by Guitar Center on Friday, September 16.
Photo file 3: GC_Ukes_Photo3.jpg
Photo caption 3: Passengers on the Southwest Airlines® flight from Long Beach to Honolulu were surprised with a brand-new Mitchell MU40 Soprano ukulele, a Road Runner carrying case and a free in-flight ukulele lesson gifted by Guitar Center on Friday, September 16.
Photo file 4: GC_Ukes_Photo4.jpg
Photo caption 4: Guitar Center, the world's largest musical instrument retailer, surprised passengers onboard the Southwest Airlines® flight from Long Beach to Honolulu with a Mitchell MU40 Soprano ukulele, a Road Runner carrying case and a unique lesson in the sky on Friday, September 16.
Photo file 5: GC_Ukes_Photo5.jpg
Photo caption 5: Guitar Center, the world's largest musical instrument retailer, surprised passengers onboard the Southwest Airlines® flight from Long Beach to Honolulu with a Mitchell MU40 Soprano ukulele, a Road Runner carrying case and a unique lesson in the sky on Friday, September 16.
ABOUT GUITAR CENTER
Guitar Center is a leading retailer of musical instruments, lessons, repairs and rentals in the United States. With nearly 300 stores across the United States and one of the top direct sales websites in the industry, Guitar Center has helped people make music for more than 50 years. Guitar Center also provides customers with various musician-based services, including Guitar Center Lessons, where musicians of all ages and skill levels can learn to play a variety of instruments in many music genres; GC Repairs, an on-site maintenance and repairs service; and GC Rentals, a program offering easy rentals of instruments and other sound reinforcement gear. Additionally, Guitar Center's sister brands include Music & Arts, which operates more than 200 stores specializing in band & orchestral instruments for sale and rental, serving teachers, band directors, college professors and students, and Musician's Friend, a leading direct marketer of musical instruments in the United States. For more information about Guitar Center, please visit www.guitarcenter.com.
ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
Southwest Airlines Co. operates one of the world’s most admired and awarded airlines, offering its one-of-a-kind value and Hospitality at 121 airports across 11 countries. Having celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2021, Southwest took flight in 1971 to democratize the sky through friendly, reliable, and low-cost air travel and now carries more air travelers flying nonstop within the United States than any other airline(1). Based in Dallas and famous for an Employee-first corporate Culture, Southwest maintains an unprecedented record of no involuntary furloughs or layoffs in its history. By empowering its more than 62,000(2) People to deliver unparalleled Hospitality, the maverick airline cherishes a passionate loyalty among as many as 130 million Customers carried a year. That formula for success brought industry-leading prosperity and 47 consecutive years(3) of profitability for Southwest Shareholders (NYSE: LUV). Southwest leverages a unique legacy and mission to serve communities around the world including harnessing the power of its People and Purpose to put communities at the Heart of its success. Learn more by visiting Southwest.com/citizenship. Southwest is also continuing to develop tangible steps toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, including offering Customers an opportunity to help the airline offset its carbon emissions. To be part of the solution, visit Southwest.com/wannaoffsetcarbon.
1) U.S. Dept. of Transportation most recent reporting of domestic originating passengers boarded
2) Fulltime-equivalent active Employees
3) 1973-2019 annual profitability
Guitar Center Media Contacts
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Southwest Airlines Media Contacts:
Visit the Southwest Newsroom at swamedia.com for multimedia assets and other Company news.
Media Relations Team: firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-792-4847, option 1