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Jazzed about New Orleans

rsweet
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Jazz Fest is wrapping up this weekend and I have seen positive reports about its role in the city's healing. I'll always remember a conversation I had with restaurateur Ti Martin ( Cafe Adelaide and Commander's Palace) back in November. Her commitment to bringing back New Orleans was incredible. Her disappointment in some of the businesses that left the city was impactful. Fortunately, there are many like Ti in New Orleans, and assuming they all embrace the same passion, the area will certainly recover. My conversation with Ti inspired me to do something I thought of doing shortly after Katrina -- have our annual marketing meeting in the city and be one of the first major companies to begin the comeback with their Meetings and Convention business... During the meeting, we took time to pick thousands of pounds of citrus for the Second Harvest Food Bank as a way to give back to a community that has supported us for years... and of course, we had a little fun while we were there... Some of us are still a little hung over from the trip, and I can assure you there were a few bars and restaurants that were happy we feel the way we do. I just love the food and drink down there.Giving Back Southwest's rebuilding plan in New Orleans continues as well. We have added more flights and in June, we will begin serving more destinations - Las Vegas, Phoenix, Baltimore/Washington DC, Ft. Lauderdale, and Chicago. Here's to a successful Jazz Fest and to the reconstruction of one of America's great cities.
56 Comments
Edna_Perkins
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We live in Lafayette, LA and are happy that things are getting better in N.O. and that you've added some flights back into N.O. Do you have any flights originating from N.O. yet, i.e., flights to Birmingham, AL? I've not seen any, so far. Please advise when you think this might begin anew.
Toby_Mendler
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PLEASE, PLEASE RESUME DIRECT FLIGHTS BETWEEN NEW ORLEANS AND BIRMINGHAM!!! What used to be a pleasurable hour-long trip has now become a 5-7 hour ordeal with plane changes across the nation. The market is there.... PLEASE give it a try.... the sooner the better!
Anne9
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More flights are needed into and out of New Orleans particularly for Dallas, Birmingham, Louisville, and Denver.
Amy_Carpenter
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Richard, if there is any one who can bring the fun back to New Orleans it would be you. It's wonderful to hear the efforts that Southwest is doing to help rebuild such a wonderful city. My only regret is that I wasn't there to have a drink with all of you. As always, keep up the great job SWA!
Katie_Walthall
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Way to go Southwest for your support of New Orleans; as a Houstonian for 6 years (Native New Orleanian), I'm proud to be a customer of your airline. Always doing what's good for the customer, the community and shareholder. Hats off to you all for a job well done and let's keep the spirit of Jazz and NOLA alive!
John_William_Br
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I just moved to Atlanta and having withdrawal pains because Southwest does not service ATL airport. With Delta's problems it looks like a good opportunity to add Atlanta to your route. Any plans???
Claudette
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Hi Southwest! So miss my direct flight to Jacksonville, FL from New Orleans. WHEN will you get that one back on line? It is such an ordeal to fly there now and frankly, I am using another airline. I just hope you guys will put that one back in soon. I will be the first to buy a ticket when that happens! I LOVE SOUTHWEST!!!!!!!! and I miss it terribly!!!!!!!!! Thanks for your support of New Orleans, we need our community to come back just as it was!
Brenda_Kyser
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As a 20 year Baton Rouge resident who has since relocated to Los Angeles, I was really pleased to read about your support for New Orleans. Since I still have two grown sons and a new daughter in law (not to mention lots of friends) living in Baton Rouge, I would love to see you increase your direct flights from N.O. to Los Angeles (or Burbank) and while you are at it, what about Santa Barbara? Anyway, I lived for a while in Austin, and the direct flight from Austin to Los Angeles was awesome! If you could make it easier to get from L.A. to N.O. La. we'll make the trip more often! (The trip from N.O. to Baton Rouge, is inconsequential, I can drive that part! I love the way you do things, the staff are friendly, and helpful, and actually seem as though they like what do, and that says a lot about the way you run your business! Keep it up!
Rose_Marie
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HOORAY For SouthWest in helping New Orleans get back on it's feet. It's obvious we can't depend on our federal government to take charge. I've been traveling SW to Ca. for several years and love the atmosphere and the friendly
Melissa_Petri
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Resuming more flights to New Orleans will definitely be a big boost in helping them get back to their feet.
James_Hunt
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Good for you guys!! Thanks for your confidence in NO. I am seriously considering moving to NO from Central Florida because in my opinion, NO is where the action is going to be for a few years. Your efforts in NO and flights there now from Orlando are plentiful and great. Keep up the good work. I also love the way your company does business, the so easy web site, the immediate availability of funds on cancellations, and the full refund. You all know how to run a great airline!
db1
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We live in Butte Montana. Southwest doesn't currently serve Montana but it would sure be nice if it did. Could you take a look especially Butte. It is centrally located and would proivde a good base for Montana.
Chuck1
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The service to NOLA will grow as demand grows...I agree that BHM should be the first to get some flights. I understand that many residents have relocated to B'ham temporarily. It's nice to hear that SWA is needed IN New Orleans as much as SWA NEEDS New Orleans. My mother has always said "it's okay to not be at every party and be missed by everyone...they will appreciate you more the next time they see you". On the Atlanta front- I am a staunch supporter of SWA going into Fulton County Brown Field (the smaller satellite airport near Six Flags). Build a terminal and crank it up. The north and east ATL suburbs would eat it up! If not- go into Greenville, SC or Chatanooga, TN. The business people in and vacationers will drive 50-60 milres to avoid Hartsfield. I bet 10-15% of Southwest's BHM traffic comes over from the ATL metro area.
Marshall_Bento
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Thanks for supporting New Orleans. We usually fly Southwest from Providence to jazzfest each year. We drove this year and after touring the area and seeing the devastation, it will take a lot of support to bring New Orleans and the Gulf Coast back to normal. I'm sure with the help of Southwest and businesses like yours along with the support of the American public it will happen. Speaking of Jazzfest....the BOSS was terrific as usual! Marshall & Flo.
Rob15
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As a NO transplant in Nashville, SWA keeps me in touch with my family. SWA has been a key player in NO tourism. Now SWA is a key player in the restoration. Please restore the flights between BHam & NO. The Nashville to NO flights that go thru Houston are more trouble than they're worth. The Atlanta & Chattanooga ideas are great. While you're at it, Memphis would be a great new stop for SWA once the Wright amendment goes the way of the dinosaurs. Thanks for all you guys do for NO!
Cheryl_Geller
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I love New orleans and use that as by destination to the south on many occassions, since you don't fly into Pennsacola, FL. I'd love to see Southwest fly from Baltimore (BWI) into the southwest of Florida as well. Any future plans for this?
Kathy_Gloria
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Hurricane Katrina was devastating to say the least, and the hearts of all 32,000+ Southwest Employees have gone out to those who were impacted by Mother Nature at her worst. I hope that the information below shows that Southwest values the MSY market and has been diligent in serving the citizens of this region. Southwest initially focused on our service into Houston Hobby (HOU) where we have a significant presence with a wide range of destinations for our MSY Customers. Since then, we expanded our MSY service and currently offer 18 daily nonstop flights to five cities, including HOU, Dallas Love Field (DAL), Nashville (BNA), Orlando (MCO), and Tampa Bay (TPA), with additional direct and connecting flights to 28 cities. Beginning June 10, six new flights will be added, including daily nonstop service to Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood (FLL), Phoenix (PHX), Las Vegas (LAS), Chicago Midway (MDW), Baltimore/Washington (BWI), and one additional flight to HOU. With the addition of these six MSY flights, Southwest will offer 24 daily nonstop flights from MSY. In fact, Southwest currently has the highest daily seat capacity of any airline serving MSY, meaning that we offer more seats per day (to a large variety of destinations) than any other carrier at MSY.
Kristin_Brother
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What? Hung over at an annual marketing meeting? Richard, I am SHOCKED! Ha! I am so glad to hear that SWA took the gang to MSY for a meeting - sorry I missed such a fun time! I hope all you marketing people of now (or days of yore) are well! Keep doing an amazing job! And congratulations on a great blog!!!
Ivan_Roberts
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i was wondering about something, if someone can help me out with this issue then please shoot an e-mail or replay to this blog, but first and formost, this blog site is awsome , i always wondered where i could get southwest information after leaving the company back in may of 2002 , now i can get updated to the fullest. Now, back to my question , i was wondering if anyone could find me information on upcoming HUBÃ
Scott5
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For all of you guys check for flights into MSY dated after June 10th your connection options will be dramatically different than pre-June 10th. Until June 10th, SMF-MSY isn't even a published connection option on June 10th it is.
DC1
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Hi Ivan, Our plan for serving a new city are closely guarded until we're ready to announce it. I work in Marketing, yet my husband is usually the one who hears about our new cities first on the news! We just announced service to Dulles airport that will begin in the fall.
Ivan_Roberts
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Hey Deborah , Thanks for the reply , i guess a little bit of information is better than any huh , its good to know someone in the mix with information about certain subject keep me in the loop por favor, i love the feed back
Brett1
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It's good to hear that flights to and from NO will increase. However, I need the non-stop from Birmingham to New Orleans to resume. A once easy hour plane trip is now an ordeal and frankly not worth the money considering you have to fly to Houston and wait around. You can drive there in the same amount of time. Please bring these flights back and I am sure you will see an increase of travel. Thanks.
Bob6
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When will you bring back at least one of the non-stop flights from Birmingham to New Orleans? There used to be 6 per day. Now none at all. Please bring back those flights.
Morgan_Cross
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Please add direct flight back between Brimingham and New Orleans. I see that this is a popular request, so DO IT, ASAP
Craig_Morton
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Can you please give us an idea about Southwest's thought process going into the Birmingham to New Orleans route. I know it was very popular and the current posts support that. Please try to initiate a trial flight plan. Your efforts will be rewarded....Trust me.
Alicia_Nails
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Please add the Southwest flight from BHM to MSY back! We have flown it many times, and the hour long flight is great! We can drive in the time it would take to fly to Houston and on to New Orleans. I know that many people took that flight in the past and would take that flight again if it were offered! Thanks!!!!!
Will_French
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I want to emphatically add my voice to those calling for a restoration of nonstop BHM-MSY service. Who is going to spend 5 or 6 hours flying when you can drive in the same amount of time? And that's actual flight time for some of the published schedules - it does not include check in and security, or getting to and from the airport. Southwest sometimes says that their competition is the automobile, not the other airlines. Well in the BHM-MSY travel market, the automobile is once again beating Southwest. Without nonstop service, it makes no sense to fly. Please, bring back the nonstops.
Anu_Rao
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Southwest, please please please restore the flight between birmingham and new orleans. This was such a popular flight before. Since Katrina so many people have located to this area and in nearby areas of georgia as well. Please put the South back in Southwest. Help New Orleans, and help the people that love new Orleans from this area. Reestablishing the birmingham route will also result in more direct flights from places like nashville and baltimore to the new orleans area. It couldn't be reestablished soon enough. Thanks in advance for taking care of this!!!
Kirk_Evans
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Please! Please! Please bring back the non-stop flight(s) to Birmingham!!!! I hate to have to drive, but it's alot quicker than what SW is offering now, especially when you add in my 1 hour commute to the airport, 1 hour advance check in, 5+ hour flight, shuttle to pick up rental car, etc. Both me and my sales rep will need to make this trip every couple of weeks. Is anybody listening???
lynn_campisi
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pls resume the msy/bhm non-stop. maybe for weekends only as a trial. having lived in bhm for 22 years, swa has kept me close to my new orleans family for the last18 years or so since you brought your hub here. I thought katrina would prompt the family to relocate here in bhm. you know better. they were here only 5 weeks and since then , i have driven the 350 miles each way to keep up my family ties. swa's luv has helped me balance a wonderful marriage in bhm with a new orleans native's perpetual longing to come back home...often...swa, msy/bhm pls come home, pls
lynn_campisi
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the saintsi are playing tonight in the superdome for the first time since Katrina. maybe this will be some encouragement for southwest resuming more nonstop flights. is birmingham in the picture yet? longing to visit my home again without passing through houston or tampa. lynn .
Sharon_Dierking
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Another plea to bring the MSY to BHM non-stop flight back. As a native New Orleanian and a resident of BHM for the past 12 years, that flight allowed me to visit N.O. 3 to 4 times a year. My husband and I just returned from N.O. and the biggest request from the hotel, restaurants, shops, was PLEASE COME TO NEW ORLEANS. We were treated like royalty every were we went and they wee so grateful we were visiting. There are so many people from N.O. living in Bhm now, that it would greatly help them visit home. My husband and I would certainly visit more often if the flights were not so long. I'm sure others would as well. Let's listen to the businesses, and visit N.O and spend our money there. SWA can help make this happen. Just bring back the non-stop flight.
David_Thomas
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I am a business traveler to New Orleans from Birmingham. I go to New Orleans about three times a month. I use to take your non-stop Southwest flights from Birmingham to New Orleans. On those times that I would find myself working in New Orleans over a weekend, I'd fly my family down on Friday afternoon to join me. But now since you guys stopped the non-stop service I drive and the family has to stay at home! I went once since Katrina on Southwest through Houston and it took five hours to get to New Orleans! When you factor in getting to the airport early and then waiting for your bags the total time "door-to-door" is over 7 hours. I can just drive to New Olreans in less than 5 hours! For the last year since your service stoped, I've rented cars and drove from Birmingham to New Orleans. Budget Car Rental loves me now, but I miss you guys at Southwest. It use to be that I could leave my house get to the airport, check in, take the 55 minute non-stop flight to New Orleans, and be in my New Orleans office in less than 3 hours total. PLEASE BRING BACK THE BIRMINGHAM - NEW ORLEANS NON-STOP! Also, how about service between Jackson and Birmingham too? I currently drive there also because your service to Jackson is only through Houston. Thanks, Dave
D_Gritzmaker
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I used to live in Slidell LA. I am now living & working in Shreveport, La. My husband is in a trailer in Slidell until we can rebuild our hurricane damaged home. I currently make the 5 and 1/2 hour drive back to Slidell each Friday so I can be there to help him. I get up at 3:00 am on Monday mornings so I can leave for the return trip and get to my job on monday morning. Is there any chance that there will be an resonably priced comuter flight between Shreveport and New Orleans in the future?
KB1
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please bring back the birmingham to new orleans non-stop flight. i think there is a strong demand for this now, would you consider a trial to confirm there is enough interest?
New_beta
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Please, Please put some commuter flights within LA, for example New Orleans to Shreveport or New Orleans to Alexandria.... I just know you would get enough business to make it profitable. Even if you only did two flights to each city a day. Thanks!
David3
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Please bring back the New Orleans - Birmingham direct service......being routed through Houston or Tampa is too inconvenient as I can drive there just as fast. The direct flights were a joy and made day and overnight visits to Birmingham very simple, affordable and convenient. PLEASE BRING BACK THE DIRECT FLIGHTS.
Marcy_Gertler
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Toby Mendler is RIGHT! We desperately need the flights returned between MSY and BHM. We depend on you. Please don't let us down.
Alan_Weintraub
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PLEASE GIVE US A LITTLE LUV AND RETURN THE BIRMINGHAM - NEW ORLEANS NON-STOP! I was reading Dave Thomas' entry from October 27, 2006 (see above) and it could have been written by me. His circumstance is shared by so many. Apparently, you believe the route traffic is just not yet there to justify the service. I don't have an answer for that. Here is what I do know. I too am a business traveler to New Orleans from Birmingham. My family lost our home in the storm, but I still have to go to New Orleans twice a month since my office remainsl there. I would go weekly, but the drive is just too long. I am a long time, and very devoted SWA flyer. Before the storm, I flew SWA every month or more because it was fun, cheap and timely. That was when life was easy. Now that I have this multi-state commute, I really need you. Southwest is in a unique position to help our tattered city (and those of us trying to rebuild and return). Easy, cheap and timely air transportation is a very big part of New Orleans' return to normalcy. Please revisit this matter and return the non-stop service, even in limited measure. It would be greatly appreciated by many; more than you can imagine. In advance of your announcement of the return of MSY-BHM non-stop service, thank you.
Ann2
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I used to travel to New Orleans from Birmingham at least 3 to 4 times a month. I've only been once since katrina. Someone in an earlier post stated he thought some of us are driving to Atlanta and hopping a flight. Are you KIDDING me?? There is no easy flight to NOLA anymore, it means a drive. 5 hours is just too long to drive regularly and flying isn't a guaranteed 5 hours because of potential delays. Southwest, this was a popular route in the past and would be even more popular now with so much of NOLA's population shifted this way. I don't get it, are you punishing us? I can see no reason that this flight hasn't been reestablished yet. Maybe its a new form of segregation. I used to be a Southwest regular flyer, but now since they abandoned New Orleanians in the Greater Birmingham area, my loyalty is challenged. Adding the Dallas flight when we can get there by two other airlines and depriving us of the only direct to New Orleans just makes no sense.
Frank_Pearce
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Is there not enough business to suopport ONE daily flight between Birmingham and New Orleans? Please bring back the flights. Help us support New Orleans !
KJ
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PLEASE RESUME NON STOP SERVICE BETWEEN NEW ORLEANS and BIRMINGHAM. To fly between these cities results in a long trip to either Houston or Atlanta. To drive is 4.5 hours and to fly is between 5 and 7 hours. I go about one or twice a month to see my displaced family since Hurricane Katrina and now my first Grandchild!
S__Puckett
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WE NEED A NON-STOP TO NEW ORLEANS ! BUT YOU ARE GIVING US NOW DALLAS ?! I am trying to understand why SW has not restored service to New Orleans (MSY). You just announced new non-stop service from Birmingham to Dallas starting in March 2007. We have other airlines in BHM that can take to us to Dallas (or we can fly SW through Houston) but it was Southwest who those of us in Birmingham counted on to get us to New Orleans. The flights SW has to New Orleans through Houston are completely impractical. Houston is as far away from New Orleans in the opposite direction as Birmingham is from New Orleans. Flying through Houston not only takes too long but there are also fewer flights and most fill up fast. Presently, I too have resorted to driving down to New Orleans. What gives? For years before Katrina, SW was the only non-stop from BHM to New Orleans. You had all our business. I remember when you guys first came to Birmingham. Everyone in the city was excited that SW was coming. Yeah, we had heard of you guys and that you offered low fares, but while we did not know much about SW in the beginning, what everyone in Birmingham knew was you flew to New Orleans! You had just made Ã
Phil_Severe
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Please add my plea to resume nonstop service between BHM and MSY. Flights were full before and will be again.
Bob6
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Thank Goodness! A new airline, ExpressJet, will begin direct flights between New Orleans and Birmingham in April. http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-19/117074813742110.xml&coll=1
military_usaa
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I finally got a chance to check out your web page, and I must say that I'm impressed. Hope everything is going well. Take care!
Billy_G__Spradl
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Love your airline and low fares. but why dont you fly out of Shreveport. Seems like a no-brainer not to do so. Thanks!
Anthony_Vincent
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Is it true that Southwest Airlines will soon be having a NEW ORLEANS - JACKSONVILLE, FL (MSY-JAX) flights? I wish this is true! I've been going home to my family once a month and if direct flights will be offered I might fly twice a month. 😃
Frequent_Flyer10
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Why is everybody som complimentary of Southwest Airlines here. After 12 years of lyal service from New Orleans to Birmingham Southwest cut and ran like a baby. They abandoned the six flights a day and Left thousands of us (Very Loyal customers with no route to our beloved New Orleans) stranded. The day after the storm all planes were pulled and rerouted leaving us a seven hour plane changing ordeal that has us flying over New Orleans to Houston and coming all the way back. I hope express jet follows through on their promise to bring back direct service. The first one back deserves the same same loyalty we blindly gave Southwest Airlines for all the years.