Just before Valentine’s Day of 1992, Southwest Airlines brought a little LUV to Cleveland, our first destination in the Buckeye State.
Our first two flights from Cleveland served Chicago and St. Louis, with fares as low as $39 each way. Customers could even bring a friend along at no charge during the “Friends Fly Free” campaign which coincided with our inaugural flights.
Service began in the B concourse from gates 19 and 20, and 40 Employees new to the Station. At a ceremony welcoming the first Customers, a giant “Southwest Loves Cleveland” banner greeted them, where they also took place in a champagne toast.
Cleveland also served as a test location for our first international connectivity program in 1997. Working with Icelandair, Customers were offered an opportunity to purchase a ticket to Reykjavik, Iceland, via connecting service in Baltimore. It wasn’t a codeshare in the traditional sense, but more of a tactical marketing experiment on two of our more than 2,200 daily flights.