Good Monday morning! Schedules are now available for both Southwest and AirTran for travel effective Nov. 4, 2012, and going all the way out until Jan. 4, 2013—including the Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s holidays! Transitioning cities…transferring markets…new nonstops…multiple schedule variations…there’s lots of cool stuff in our November schedules!
Probably the biggest “oh REALLY?” in this new schedule is that, effective November 4, we will transition Key West, Florida, from an AirTran market to a Southwest market. Southwest will operate one daily nonstop flight each between Key West and both Orlando and Tampa Bay, offering direct and connecting service to up to 53 other Southwest cities. Whether you prefer Pirates or Hemingway, if you like tropical FUN (not to mention AMAZING sunsets!), you’re going to LUV Key West!
Southwest will also add new nonstop service in five markets—one daily roundtrip between Denver and Louisville, between Houston and Orange County, between Kansas City and New Orleans, and two daily roundtrips between Houston and Indianapolis and between Dallas and Harlingen. (Historical note: this will be the first time we’ve offered nonstop, daily service between Dallas and Harlingen in around 30 years!) We will also transition a dozen or so Milwaukee flights from AirTran to Southwest. Southwest will take over five daily roundtrips to Minneapolis/St. Paul, two to Boston, three additional nonstops to New York/LaGuardia, and one each to Ft. Lauderdale and San Francisco. Each of these Southwest additions at Milwaukee corresponds to an equivalent reduction using AirTran aircraft.
Seasonal additions for the winter/holiday season will be daily roundtrip nonstops between Ft. Myers and both Boston and Hartford; Ft. Lauderdale and both Kansas City and Manchester; and Milwaukee and Tampa Bay. Southwest will also discontinue service for the winter season between Hartford and Las Vegas and between Birmingham and Phoenix (connecting service will continue to be available in both of these markets), and will permanently discontinue service in three short-haul nonstop markets, ending nonstop Southwest service between Birmingham and Nashville, between Chicago Midway and Indianapolis, and between Ft. Myers and Orlando.
Over at our subsidiary, AirTran Airways, we’re equally busy with the process of integration as well as responding to seasonal changes in Customer traffic. In addition to those markets that are transitioning service to Southwest mentioned above, we’re adding seasonal daily nonstop roundtrips between Tampa Bay and Buffalo, Columbus, Pittsburgh, and Rochester; and between Ft. Lauderdale and Columbus, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia. We’ll also add four weekly nonstops between Ft. Myers and both Flint and Grand Rapids, and Saturday-only nonstop service between Grand Rapids and Tampa Bay. We’ll discontinue seasonal AirTran service between Baltimore/Washington and Bermuda, and between Branson, Missouri, and Houston Hobby, Baltimore/Washington, and Chicago Midway.
Even more so than in previous schedule changes, we’ve made extensive frequency adjustments in this schedule—more than 100 markets are adjusted on the Southwest network and more than 60 on the AirTran network, and that’s not including the new or discontinued markets discussed earlier! Making this schedule even more interesting is that there are additional frequency changes even within the schedule, particularly during the holiday weeks. For example, the Wednesday before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are such busy travel days that we create special schedules with extra flights just for those days!
I know it’s hard to get too excited about the Holidays before we’ve even officially gotten to summer, but we’re pretty pumped about this schedule. Let me know if you have questions….and have a great week!