I love that old David Bowie song. I always have--although until the advent of internet lyric searches, I was WAY off on the lyrics. I mean, I'm the same guy that thought that "The Pina Colada Song" was "The Bean Enchilada Song" (I never could figure out what bean enchiladas had to do with getting caught in the rain!). I'm still kidded about that one.
Change can be good, or it can be not-so-good...but sometimes it can be great, and we have a GREAT change coming your way, effective March 11 of next year! (For the press release, please go here.) We've used our new schedule optimizer (the "Garage-O-Mizer" that I covered in a recent blog post) to help us implement the large-scale schedule change needed to take maximum advantage of our new ability to more efficiently connect Dallas with the rest of our ocean-to-ocean network (also the subject of a recent blog post, "The Wright Stuff").
For the new schedule, the optimizer--based on our input--evaluated quite literally millions of possible schedule moves that would connect Dallas more fully on a onestop, same plane basis with more of America. The results are as startling as they are wonderful. The number of onestop, same plane itineraries between Dallas and cities outside the Wright Amendment perimeter will increase to almost 100 every business day. By next March, you'll be able to "jump the fence" of the Wright Amendment to 15 destinations without ever getting out of your comfortable, leather seat. Add in our convenient connecting service, and our Dallas Customers will have the "Freedom to Fly" to 61 Southwest airports from sea to shining sea.
There are a number of other awesome surprises built into our new March schedule. We're adding two more flights between Dallas and St. Louis, as well as our first-ever nonstops between Dallas and Birmingham (which also allow us to offer roundtrip onestop, direct service between Dallas and Nashville). Brand-new nonstop service between Reno and San Diego, between Cleveland and Orlando, and between Baltimore and Pittsburgh is also coming. A total of 22 markets all around our network will receive new or added service, bringing us to nearly 3,300 Southwest nonstop flights every business day-more than any other single airline in the world.
As with any of our optimized schedules, this effort has taken a great deal of time and energy but I think it's well worth it--quite literally, a labor of LUV. The March 2007 schedule not only offers new service and increased connectivity, but is a significantly more efficient and productive schedule. Efficiency and productivity are two of the cornerstones of low costs, and here at Southwest we're all about keeping costs low so we can keep fares low-and SPIRITS high!
I hope you enjoy the "ch-ch-ch-ch-changes" we're bringing you next March. Of course, I also hope you get to enjoy our low fares, excellent Customer Service, and smiling faces between now and then! As I said--change can be great--and we're making an already great network better. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!