Southwest Airlines has always been dedicated to going above and beyond to make a difference in the communities they serve. One way they do that is by teaming up with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) to connect service dogs in training with their foster families. This program allows these service dogs to complete a vital step in their training. CCI is a non-profit provider of assistance dogs, including service dogs, hearing dogs, facility dogs and skilled companions, to individuals with disabilities. Not only are they provided free of charge, but they are recognized worldwide for the exceptional training they provide, including 40 commands, which allows for the ideal human-canine partnership and greater independence. By flying on Southwest Airlines, these foster families are able to meet their adopted service pup and fly with them as the dogs train and familiarize themselves with the process of flying. That way, one day, they will be able to accompany their companion once they finish their training. But it is not just the service animals who grow through this partnership, Southwest Airlines employees also have an opportunity to learn. By working with the service dogs during their flight, they learn how to interact with them, which allows the flight attendants to provide the best possible customer service to future passengers—their number one priority.

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