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Southwest takes a bite out of Shark Week with inflight content

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Are you a fan of Shark Week?

If so, you’re in luck if you’ll fly with Southwest Airlines within the next couple of weeks. For the 10th consecutive year, the carrier will offer special Shark Week programming on its flights as part of a partnership with Discovery Channel, the network that produces the special.

Beyond the inflight programming, Southwest is also organizing shark-themed pop-ups at airports in Atlanta, Dallas and New York, according to a Southwest spokesperson.

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The airline hosted one of these pop-ups at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) on Thursday. Marine biologist and Shark Week presenter Dr. Craig O’Connell shared fun facts about sharks and hosted trivia.

Dr. Craig O’ Connell poses with passengers at LGA on Thursday. SOUTHWEST

During the events, passengers received Shark Week fin hats during boarding. The program’s mascot, known as “Chompie,” made a surprise appearance in Dallas earlier this week.

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In previous years, Southwest featured shark-themed Boeing 737s and partnered with flight tracking site FlightAware to track these shark-themed jets.

There won’t be a special livery to commemorate the week this year. However, a spokesperson for Southwest said Discovery Channel’s inflight Shark Week programming has been some of the most popular television for the carrier’s customers.

Launched in 1988, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week programming is devoted to all things sharks. The release of the 1975 movie “Jaws” led to misconceptions about sharks. Discovery Channel launched Shark Week programming to educate viewers and quell fears they may have of sharks.

Over the years, programming morphed into a platform for scientists to advocate for one of the Earth’s oldest animals.

Shark Week runs on Discovery Channel from July 23 to July 29.

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