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Flashback Fridays: A Gate Goodbye

A little over a year ago, the Love Field Modernization Program hit a historic milestone when the first 11 gates were opened in the beautiful new terminal. Our first Customers were welcomed on April 16, and just a few weeks later, 12 more gates were opened.  This modernization allowed us to move the majority of our operations from our home of almost 40 years in the old West Concourse into what will become a modern 20-gate facility this fall.  However, with a schedule that requires just a few more parking spots for planes at certain parts of the day, a small portion in the area formally known as gates 1-5 was retained in order for us to meet our operational needs at Love Field.  Earlier this week, these last two gates saw their final departures when flight 403 departed with 122 Customers on board for Austin.

This aerial shot (above) shows the West Concourse, with a clear view of gate 5 as the corner piece as it was in the early 1970s. While the set of gates that juts off to the left were later removed, gates 1-5 continued operations, and were later labeled gates 41-43.

This is a shot (above) was taken on January 14, 1974, after Southwest moved into American Airline’s old gates. This perspective shows the view towards the terminal, with the gates behind the photographer. If you’ve been scheduled to arrive at Gates 42-43 recently, you would have seen almost this exact same view today.

This view (above) of the 1970s lobby shows a very familiar statue (that still stands in Love Field today), and beyond him, the entrance into gates 1-5.

After almost 40 years, the renovations are nearly complete, and we are moving out of old gates 1-5. While we are ecstatic about being so close to an entirely modern terminal, we’d like to bid a fond farewell to the last of the original gates that Southwest ever had the pleasure operating. It sure has been a trip.