Skip to main content

Southwest Airlines Community

Flashback Fridays: Long Island & the Grinch

One of the greatest population densities in the United States is the busy northeast corridor.  There has always been a healthy demand for air service to the area, with possibly the greatest being into the New York City and surrounding area.  With the goal of expanding our network into this major population hub, Southwest began to explore airports in the area in the late 1990s.  On December 9, 1998, service to Long Island MacArthur Airport (ISP) was announced, becoming our first gateway into the region.  While New Yorkers and Customers from around the system were happy with the news, there was some disappointment about 140 miles to the east. The Lehigh Valley International Airport (at the time known as Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton International Airport) had been very optimistic that Southwest would select their airport as our first destination into the region. In the spirit of the holiday season, the Allentown airport authority sent a plush toy Grinch along with the following message: Letter 1 In another page from the Dr. Seuss book, former Employee Eric Armstrong crafted this humorous response: 2 Today, a the original Grinch along with the letters now resides on a wall within Network Planning, forever commemorating How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Southwest style. 3