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Leaves are barely beginning to bud here in Dallas, but in Network Planning our thoughts are on Columbus Day, college football, and Libran birthdays.

Today we opened the Southwest and AirTran schedules out for sale through November 1, giving us 242 days of bookable inventory.  No full city conversions this time, but we continue the gradual conversion of AirTran’s San Juan service by eliminating AirTran’s daily nonstop roundtrips between San Juan and Ft. Lauderdale, replacing them with TWO daily roundtrips on Southwest.  We’ve got several other market changes to tell you about, both permanent and seasonal, so please read on!

On September 29, Southwest will add new daily nonstop roundtrip service between Atlanta and San Diego, between Nashville and Pittsburgh, between Jacksonville, Florida and Chicago/Midway.  And we’ll also add our first service from Des Moines to the West with the addition of daily nonstop roundtrips to Las Vegas!  The new Des Moines-Las Vegas service is timed for hotel checkin and checkout at your favorite Vegas mega-resort as well as for excellent connections at McCarran International for travelers to or from Iowa’s capital.  Other markets being added on a seasonal basis are nonstops between Orlando and both Indianapolis and Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Nonstop service will be discontinued in five seasonal markets—Seattle/Tacoma to Atlanta, Nashville, and Seattle, between Cleveland and Las Vegas, and between Chicago/Midway and Reno.  Nonstops will be permanently eliminated in the El Paso-San Diego market.  However, all six of the discontinued markets will continue to have direct or connecting Southwest service.

The AirTran route network continues to evolve as well with the addition of new seasonal service between Columbus and Ft. Myers, and between Ft. Lauderdale and Pittsburgh.  We’ll also add seasonal service between Orlando and both Houston/Hobby and New Orleans, which will supplement long-existing Southwest nonstop service in those markets.  We’ll discontinue seasonal AirTran service between Orlando and Kansas City and between Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay, but we’ll continue to offer connecting service in those markets on both AirTran and Southwest.  

Looking ahead, our next big schedule extension is one worth planning for.  We’ll roll out the November schedules (which will include Thanksgiving!) planned to open for sale on May 6, but that date may change, so please check back frequently on  But in the meantime—be thinking about where AirTran and Southwest can take you in October.  From “leaf peepin’” in New England to sea lion watching in California, we can get you there.  Happy booking, folks—and have a GREAT week!
New Arrival
Hi Bill: I actually am looking forward to the May 6 schedule opening, but like you said on March 4, 2013, I will check back as that date is subject to change. I can vouch that that has happened in the past, but on the other hand, not too often. Any way, what stood out to me in your posting is that, "Nonstops will be permanently eliminated in the El Paso-San Diego market." What caught my attention, and this might be thinking outside the box versus what most travelers are thinking of, is that in 2014, El Paso will be opening up a brand new "Triple-A" Ballpark that will be home to the top farm club of the San Diego Padres. For a third and final year, that team will be playing at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. There are many nonstops between Tucson and San Diego these days making it easy for ballplayers being called up or sent down to use Southwest Airlines for their nonstop travel. When the Triple-A Club moves to El Paso, based solely on your blog post, the notion of nonstop travel to/from El Paso to/from San Diego will be gone, leaving the Padres Organization no alternative to move ballplayers in 2014 between Triple-A El Paso and San Diego other than by direct same-plane flights or connecting flights only as there will be no nonstop service. This may be far fetched, but hopefully you can fully understand where I am going with this if you just bare with me for a moment. In reading what I have stated earlier, would you consider "seasonal only" nonstop service between El Paso and San Diego for the reasons I stated above? But then when baseball is not in season, having the nonstops in play really would not matter because at that time of the year, the folks who would use it the most would be in their non-season. Even though, as you will remember, I am from Sacramento, and we have bigger things on our NBA plate, if you know what I mean, I would be interested in your take on what I have presented to you in the El Paso - San Diego situation and how Southwest could be better prepared when this matter really does come to the forefront in 2014. Thank you, and have a pleasant time scheduling and blogging. Sincerely, Mike Barnbaum, Registered Public Blogger & Rapid Rewards Member in (SMF)
Explorer C
"Nonstop service will be discontinued in five seasonal markets—Seattle/Tacoma to Atlanta, Nashville, and Seattle...." Hmm...does Southwest really offer Seattle-to-Seattle nonstops? 🙂