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A MAP, A BLINDFOLD, AND SOME DARTS

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Have you ever wondered what things are considered when picking a new city? In this episode of Red Belly Radio, we hear Chairman, President, and CEO Gary Kelly announcing the newest Southwest Airlines destination, and then I interview Nicholas Haan from our Schedule Planning department about how we pick new cities. To answer your obvious question, it does not involve a map, blindfold, or darts, but speed dating is involved!

I don’t know much about Minnesota, but I have a feeling that whichever Southwest city holds the record for the most de-icing fluid used is about to drop to second place. And even though I live in North Texas, Minnesota is a lot farther north.

Also Minnesota elected Jessie Ventura, a former pro wrestler, as governor several years back. I really don’t know if he was a good or bad governor, and I’m sure I could find people on both sides of that fence, but the fact he was elected tells me that Minnesotans are independent thinkers or at least have a sense of humor—two things I admire.
11 Comments
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I wish you folks would come to Sioux Falls, SD or Sioux City, IA. Sioux City NEEDS competition with Northwest Airlines, and probably another city or two in options. Please, I beg you to consider at least one of these cities. I've never flown with SWA, but that's because nobody else flies anywhere near here except for Northwest.
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Steve, Thank you so much for finding the time to interview the key members involved with city selection process. It is neat to hear how non-chalant the approach can be. Love the podcasts, I will listen to this one again, on my trip up to Salt Lake City, on none other than the beautiful aircraft of Southwest.

Joseph R. Meyers

Dallas, Texas

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When can we start booking flights out of MSP. I do not see an option in the booking list yet. It will be so nice to go back to Southwest on a regular basis. I am already tired of NWA having moved here from Maryland. I can't even buy my wife nice cosmetics when I travel unless I want to pay an extra $15 for the privilege. It will also be nice to use Humphrey terminal instead of the Mall of America terminal Dennis Smith
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Dennis, Service will start in March, but we haven't announced the schedules/fares yet. Stay tuned. Brian
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I wish you guys would serve Boston Logan International Airport. We need some more low cost carriers. We have jetBlue and Airtran. I know that you guys serve Manchester and Providence but it would be nice if SWA could at least operate 4 flights out of Boston
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Where can we find out about new cities being considered or added to Southwest's destinations? While I'm at it, I want to vote for Charleston, South Carolina.
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As long as everybody is putting in their requests for new Southwest cities, I will chime in for Knoxville, TN and Charlotte, NC. There is too much empty space in the south not covered by SWA!
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Yes, we need service at Knoxville!! BTW how do I access Red Belly Radio? I've been fascinated by airlines' schedule planning systems.
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You can find a link to Red Belly Radio at the bottom right corner of the blogsouthwest home page. Or jump straight to the archive page at www.redbellyradio.com. Or in iTunes, search Southwest or Red Belly Radio. I should add something like this to each blog post.
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Allow me to state that I am extremely pleased with the service that Southwest provides out of Nashville, Tennessee. I am scared, however, that our service availability is deteriorating as Southwest shifts its focus to Denver. Nashville is losing many nonstop flights on Southwest. The first wave occurred when Nashville lost non-stops to Manchester, NH, Islip NY, and West Palm Beach, FL some 2 years ago. Later this year, Nashville will lose nonstops to Seattle, Oakland, and one (and in my experience, very popular) late night flight to LAX (American will still maintain this flight availability). While Southwest remains the best option to these cities (especially with service through Baltimore), given that Delta gave up on its Salt Lake City nonstop, it opens the door for American to service these west coast cities through its hub in Dallas and Frontier through its hub in Denver I understand that Southwest has to do what it has to do to maintain profitability in these times - however I would like for Southwest to answer a question for me. I understand that it has been Southwest's model to provide service through the shorter flights about 300 miles in length between highly traveled cities, such as LAX to OAK or MDW to IND. Why does Southwest provide service from Birmingham to Nashville yet does not connect Nashville to St. Louis (which is almost too far to drive), Dulles (in competition with American & United) or Indianapolis? I'm sure that they have a good answer - however I would like to post this for comment.
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Would love to have you guys in Sioux City, IA or Sioux Falls, SD! We need more competition here, and we would LUV Southwest to come here!