Southwest Airlines touches down in the Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Nearly 100 Southwest employees stowed their trays and put their seats in an upright position before landing at Charleston International Airport Saturday. The Lowcountry and the "Lowfare Leader" are joining forces.

Director of Airports Susan Stevens says the addition of Southwest is like upgrading the airport to first class.

"We are very excited today to welcome Southwest," says Stevens. "As many people have said Boeing is a game changer for our community, Southwest is too. It's a big deal."

Stevens says Southwest brings 20% more seats for trips in and out of the Lowcountry.

Stepping off the plane for flight attendant Angela Sweeney meant coming home.

"I'm the happiest girl in the whole USA today,' says Sweeney. "It's the best day of my life."

The flight attendant lives in Summerville and before Southwest arrived in Charleston would have to commute across the Southeast for work. She was in shock when she found out her airline was adding another destination.

"I walked by the TV monitor and I saw Charleston, SC and I thought I was going to have a heart attack," says Sweeney. "The pilots walked up and I said would you please take me home or lose me forever and they said we would love to take you home."

Employees brought toys on board with them to donate to the Medical University of South Carolina children's hospital and the Ronald McDonald house.

The first Southwest planes carrying passengers will take off early Sunday morning.

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