This morning Southwest began accepting reservations for the January 9 - March 12, 2010 date range.
First---we're beginning new nonstop flights between St. Louis and two of our very newest destinations. Southwest will add service on January 10th in the Boston-St. Louis and Minneapolis/St. Paul-St. Louis markets, both with two daily roundtrips each. Not only are these markets very strong in and of themselves, they'll also make it much easier for travelers between Dallas and both Boston and the Twin Cities. This will bring us up to 13 daily departures to three nonstop destinations (Chicago/Midway, Denver, and St. Louis) from the Hubert Humphrey Terminal at the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, and 12 weekday departures to three nonstop destinations (Baltimore/Washington, Chicago/Midway, and St. Louis) from Terminal E at Boston/Logan!
Second, we're making numerous seasonal adjustments in market frequency. In all, we're reducing frequency by one flight in 92 markets. We're also adding service in another 42 markets. What this accomplishes is eliminating service that is not expected to perform well during a very slow time of the year, as well as adding service for which this is the busy season. Of course, we'll continually monitor our service levels to make sure we're matching capacity with demand.
And third....in the "double your pleasure/double your workload" department....for the first time ever, Schedule Planning actually split the Winter schedule for 2010 into two, completely separate work efforts. By using two totally separate capacity sets, we were able to use our schedule optimizer to create two separate schedule bases--one that is more reflective of anticipated traffic in the January timeframe (which is historically exceptionally weak) and one that is a tad bit more robust for the Mid-February to mid-March period, which is noticeably busier. So, in addition to seeing more service in many markets effective February 10th, you'll also notice that departure times in most markets will change on that day--some by just a few minutes, some by several hours. We're doing this based on historical time-of-day demand information, with the goal (always!) of matching our flights to the needs of our Customers in a way that's....well....optimal!!