Justin Lee On February 5, 2007 at 1:32 pm

You would think flying to E3 and covering it for the last 5 years would get you a free DS but alas it did not. Some other lucky flyers of Southwest got a free Nintendo DS shipped to them.

Nintendo and Southwest Airlines are giving some of the airline’s most-traveled flyers a surprise gift, and we’re not talking peanuts here. Fifty of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards Members have been mailed a Nintendo DS Lite and a copy of Brain Age: Train Your Brain in Minutes a Day, marking the first time that Southwest has partnered with an outside company to provide a special treat for Rapid Rewards Members. The gifts are being offered both as a thank you and to help these travelers pass the time during their next trip, which no doubt is coming up soon.

"We are helping our Members welcome the New Year with low fares, frequent flights and, of course, exercise…exercise for their mind while they travel," said Blair McGrain, Director of Marketing Planning and Customer Loyalty. "We are thrilled to partner with Nintendo to give our Members some FUN in the New Year."

Selected by Southwest Airlines for their longtime loyalty and accumulated miles, the Rapid Rewards Members who received the Nintendo DS and copy of Brain Age have collectively flown more than 79.2 million miles, spent more than 132,854 hours in the air and represent more than 600 years of membership.

Nintendo DS is the world’s best-selling hand-held video game system, and has sold nearly 7 million in the United States alone. DS has games for kids and adults alike. Brain Age keeps users’ minds active with sudoku puzzles, memory quizzes and fun tests in reading and math. Rapid Rewards Members can write their answers directly onto the touch screen of Nintendo DS and stimulate their brains during their flights (as long as they remember to turn off their portable electronic devices before takeoffs and landings).

"Nintendo DS has long been a favorite of travelers," says George Harrison, Nintendo of America’s senior vice president of marketing and corporate communications. "Providing some of Southwest’s premiere travelers with these gifts helps us reach out to new audiences and shows that we make fun games for everyone."

For eight straight years in a row, Southwest Airlines was honored with first place for Best Award Redemption at InsideFlyer magazine’s 18th annual Freddie Awards. The airline has won this honor each of the eight years that the magazine has awarded it. Along with the Best Award Redemption, Southwest’s other first-place honors include Program of the Year, Best Web site and Best Bonus Promotion. Southwest Airlines serves 63 cities in 32 states with more than 3,200 flights per day.

The worldwide innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo GameCube systems. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold nearly 2.2 billion video games and more than 387 million hardware units globally, and has created industry icons like Mario, Donkey Kong, Metroid, Zelda and Pokémon. A wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of America Inc., based in Redmond, Wash., serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in the Western Hemisphere. For more information about Nintendo, visit the company’s Web site at www.nintendo.com.

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