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Southwest Airlines Community

Keeping Our Intrastate Roots

Employee
Employee

Most everyone knows that Southwest Airlines started our airline life as an intrastate carrier, flying between three Texas cities: Dallas, San Antonio, and Houston.

Since that day in June of 1971, we've grown far beyond the borders of the Lone Star State--our "red-bellied warbirds" serve 64 airports (soon, with the addition of Minneapolis/St. Paul, 65!) airports in 32 (33 with Minnesota) states.  We now fly from sea to shining sea, border to border, we carry more Customers than any other airline on the planet, and our expansion continues.  But even though we're "all grown up" now, we haven't forgotten our routes--er, I mean, roots

 

Even though we're really big now, Southwest still flies more intrastate flights each day than any other airline in America.  Each day we have more than 720 flights that take off and land in the same state.  And the kicker?  We have more flights within the state of California than we do within the state of Texas!  Southwest offers 362 daily intrastate California flights (Dude! Kewl!) compared with "just" 250 daily intrastate flights within second-place Texas (git a rope!).  Our intra-Cali franchise gets even bigger this May when we add brand-new nonstop service between San Francisco and the John Wayne Airport in Orange County with five daily flights in each direction.

 

Of course, this isn't just a two-way race--Southwest offers intrastate service in seven states.  Besides Texas and California, we connect the major cities within Nevada, Florida, Missouri, Washington, and Pennsylvania.  Nearly one in four Southwest flights is of the intrastate variety.  And there is potential for further intrastate growth—we serve multiple airports in four states (Arizona, New York, Ohio, and Virginia) yet don’t offer intrastate service between them.

So, thanks, Texas, for getting us started.  Thanks, California, for helping us prove that for flights inside the Golden State, the smiles on our faces are more important than smiles on our airplanes.  Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Washington, and Missouri--we'll try our best to help keep you connected!  And, everyone, keep watching our root map--I mean route map.  You never know which two dots we'll connect next! 

 

17 Comments
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Washington DC, even though we aren't counted as a state, Loves you too!!!
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Bill great story on your "roots"...luv your airline. Check out my raving about flight attendent, Luci on my blog - http://tinyurl.com/cld7fk

Best,

John Ely, Sr. VP Marketing - Signature Worldwide

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Thanks for the history lesson, Bill (and the PSA reference). Speaking only for my own addiction, I love, I mean LUV, newly connected dots, allowing me more opportunities to fly to different places. I'm looking forward, if it all comes together, to LGA and there used to be a hint of another place, this fall. I know, I heard Gary's comments, but Change happens. 😉
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Hi Bill, You stated that Southwest serves multiple airports in Virginia but the only one that I am aware of is Dulles. Are there plans to build something new?
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I guess Norfolk, Virginia (ORF) doesn't count then? hehe
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I have been a Rapid Rewards member with SWA for over 15 years and have always been very pleased... especially when you added Philly back in '04! My husband and daughter have been members for the last 10 years. My only issue is that there are no flights to any airports near Greenville, SC. My husband and I have been married for 1 1/2 years and his parents live near Greenville. It would be wonderful to visit them more often without having to rent a car to travel almost 5 hours from Raleigh/Durham. Even if there was service into Charlotte, that would only be a 2 hour trip and certainly would make it easier to see them more than once a year. We may eventually relocate to Charlotte and with my side of the family being in the DC/VA area, I know we wouldn't want to make the move without flight service from Dulles to Charlotte. Please consider Greenville/Spartanburg and Charlotte! :-) Thank you for your time 🙂
Employee
Employee
Hi, everyone! Dane--We have DC bracketed! We love our Customers inside the Beltway. John--thanks for the GREAT writeup of one of my colleagues "Living the Southwest Way." I've found out who "Luci In The Sky" is, and have taken the liberty of printing out your blog and sending it to Luci's Base Manager for a well-deserved pat on the back. And you're right--I've noticed that people on Southwest flights actually interact, both with the crew and with each other, FAR more than on other carriers. Now you know why! Will, hope you're well--you *never* know what surprises are going to come out of Schedule Planning--and thanks for getting the PSA reference! ;) Rachel--this is the one almost *everyone* misses. We serve Dulles, as well as Norfolk, in the state of Virginia. Thanks for the comments....hope everyone stays warm!
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Love your airline. Unfortunutely. I need to drive two hours to Islip or Philly to fly SW . Are there any future plans to fly out of one of the many NYC area airports in addition to Islip?
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Brad, SWA announced late last year, they are going to serve New York’s LaGuardia sometime this summer. They also start Minneapolis this March. Gary said there will be another airport announcement sometime this year. My guess is either Miami, Washington National, or Charlotte. Nice to see Southwest expand
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Brad, Would LaGuardia suffice? 🙂 See: http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blog/southwest-and-laguardia-start-spreadin%E2%80%99-the%E2%80%A6possibility
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How do you decide what cities to have service to? By the way, when did you begin service to my hometown of TUL? 🙂 I'm going to guess. *Looks up & puts right index finger on head.* I guess 1979. If I'm right, do I get a prize? If not, can I keep guessing? 🙂 I wish I could fly SWA everywhere I go! Maybe I should try to see how many SWA flights I can go on without stopping (not counting stopping at night to go to bed)! Fact for the day: Texas Woman's University in Denton (& DAL & HOU, but their main campus is in Denton) has about 9,000 students. I was at TWU in Denton Sat. for their Open House! I may go there to college (yes, I'm going back for another degree!) this Fall & have already been accepted! I'll either go there or to Univ. of Central Okla. in Edmond, actually. SWA LUV to all, & to all a good flight! 🙂
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BILL, IN APRIL OF THIS YR YOU ARE GOING TO DISCONTINUE THE FLIGHTS BTWN KC AND TULSA, WHY? I RELIED ON YOU, AND THIS IS A GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT TO ME!!!
Employee
Employee
Hi, Mary. Bill here. Sorry we disappointed you, but the Tulsa to Kansas City market has been in decline for several years. Despite paying particular care in our schedule optimization runs to give the market optimal departure times, the market just never showed any recovery. In these tough economic times, Southwest is working incredibly hard to prune out underperforming flights, and most times we're able to retain at least some nonstop or connecting service. But with Tulsa-Kansas City we can't "connect the dots" over an intermediate point without extreme circuity, and the nonstop market simply no longer supports itself. I hope we can keep you happy by all of the other nonstop markets we serve from Tulsa (Dallas, Houston, St. Louis, Phoenix, La$ Vega$, and our newest nonstop destination from Tulsa--Denver!), as well as the connecting service we offer between Tulsa and dozens of other airports from coast to coast.
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Obviously, as a Greenville (SC) resident, I am a little biased, but I think the addition of Southwest service to GSP would be far more logical than Charlotte. Greenville is more centrally located than Charlotte, and currently sits an average of 300 miles from the nearest airport with Southwest service (Raleigh, Jacksonville, Birmingham). Southwest at GSP would likely draw travelers from a 120 mile radius, which includes Greenville, Spartanburg, Charlotte, Columbia, Knoxville, Atlanta, Asheville, Augusta, Athens, etc. (Atlanta and Charlotte being the only two with a low cost carrier currently in place) Not only that, but Greenville is a growth market (10% population growth from 2000 to 2007) with companies continuing to expand or relocate to our area. More than 20 companies are currently headquartered in Greenville County, and more than 125 Fortune 500 companies currently have locations in Greenville, which by the way, is the 35th largest Combined Statistical Area in the country. OK, I'm done being a Greenville cheerleader...for now.
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Bill--- Southwest also serves multiple airports in Oklahoma (OKC and TUL). Mike Simons
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I too, had counted on the route between Tulsa/KC. It was the reason I signed up for the rapid rewards program.... Now what to do? Any other alternatives flying the KC/Tulsa quick trip?? Thanks! Darlene
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PLEASE come to Greenville, SC!!!