Southwest Airlines and Sprint Relay Team Up to Provide TTY and Video Access to Its Deaf/HH Customers | Deaf Network of Texas
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Southwest Airlines and Sprint Relay Team Up to Provide TTY and Video Access to Its Deaf/HH Customers

Thursday, June 25, 2009
Posted By Grant Laird Jr

Customers to Benefit from Partnership with Sprint Relay

Southwest Airlines and Sprint Relay Team Up to Provide TTY and Video
Access to Its Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Customers

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sprint (NYSE:S – News) and
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV – News) have joined forces to offer
toll-free TTY (teletypewriter) and video relay access, giving deaf and
hard-of-hearing customers direct access to Southwest Airlines customer
service.

Beginning today, deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech disabled customers
needing to call Southwest Airlines can dial a dedicated toll-free TTY
telephone number: 800-533-1305. That number is answered by a Sprint
relay agent who immediately connects to the Southwest Airlines
customer service representative. The Sprint relay agent relays
information between the Customer Service representative and the relay
user in English or Spanish.

Video Relay customers can access the service using a videophone by
calling SWAVRS.TV to reach a video interpreter who will connect to
Southwest Airlines. By providing video access, those whose native
language is American Sign Language (ASL) can communicate with a video interpreter in ASL who then acts as the ‘voice’ to Customer
Service representatives. Sprint Video Relay Service (VRS) is offered
at no cost to deaf and hard-of-hearing customers who use a videophone or web camera with a computer to connect with a qualified Sprint video interpreter who interprets the call in English or Spanish.

“Offering video access, preferred by many of our deaf or
hard-of-hearing customers, facilitates information exchange faster and
in a more personal way than via the traditional telecommunications
device for customers who are deaf,” said Lance Morton, director of
Automation Resources for Customer Support & Services for Southwest Airlines. “This is a good fit for Southwest Airlines – we’re
committed to providing the highest quality of Customer Service to each
of our customers.”

“Sprint offers many types of relay services including TTY, voice,
voice-carry-over, speech- to-speech, internet-based relay, video
relay, caption telephone services, conference captioning, and a
variety of hearing aid compatible wireless devices to meet the unique
communication needs of our customer base,” said Mike Ellis, director
of Relay Services at Sprint. “Sprint applauds Southwest Airlines for
its commitment to all its customers, including those deaf and
hard-of-hearing, to ensure they have equal access to Southwest
Airlines travel services.”

Sprint is the largest and most technologically advanced
Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) provider in the nation, with
more than 18 years experience in providing relay services to those who
are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or deaf-blind, or have a speech disability.
Sprint’s experience in this field assures Sprint Relay users receive
quality services regardless of the type of relay service they are
using.

Customers can access a Southwest Airlines Customer Service agent by
calling the Southwest Airlines TTY toll-free number: 800-533-1305 or
go to SWAVRS.TV for video access. These numbers are also posted on the
Southwest Airlines website at

http://www.southwest.com/about_swa/phone_numbers.html.

ABOUT SPRINT NEXTEL

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline
communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers,
businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized
for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies,
including two wireless networks serving more than 49 million customers
at the end of the first quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data
services; instant national and international push-to-talk
capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more
information, visit http://www.sprint.com.

ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES

After nearly 38 years of service, Southwest Airlines continues to
differentiate itself from other low fare carriers—offering a
reliable product with exemplary Customer Service. Southwest Airlines
is the most productive airline in the sky and offers customers a
comfortable traveling experience. Southwest recently updated its gate
areas and improved its boarding procedure to make flying southwest
convenient and simple. And, best of all, Southwest Airlines is famous
for No Hidden Fees! Southwest Airlines currently serves 65 cities in
33 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than
3,300 flights a day and has more than 35,000 Employees systemwide. For
more information, visit: http://www.southwest.com.




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