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NOW ACCEPTING BOOKINGS THROUGH MARCH 12, 2010!

Employee
Employee

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!!

 

Enjoy our new schedules and new service, gang...and here's hoping everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day!

51 Comments
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Unable to make plans past January at this time. Website is going back and forth between letting you in past Jan. 8 and March 12. System seems stable
Employee
Employee
Sorry, everyone--we had network problems at almost the EXACT moment we were planning to open the schedule. Everything should be loaded and up and running now. Ah, computers..... Bill
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It's nice to see Southwest expand at MSP. I wish you could have added St. Louis before the Thanksgiving rush. Also, any chance on adding a Florida city or two from MSP? People in Minneapolis like to go south where it's warm in the winter.
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Great idea adding STL to MSP's destinations. Some time ago I had read a blog entry where the person suggested that weather connections in DEN and MDW can be iffy at times and that another non-stop destination would help. Made sense to me and just in time for winter.
New Arrival
Thanks for adding direct service from DAL-MSP! How come there is no direct service in the opposite direction? Can we expect to see more non-stop service from MSP for Spring Break?
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Are you going to upload a PDF of which routes were effected (which routes had service decreased or increased)? Always interesting to look at...
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Sad to lose MHT-PHX, even temporarily. The worry up here in Manchester is that every addition at Boston will come at our expense. I do know we've done very well for Southwest and the numbers bear that out.
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With Southwest going to Logan, watch Jet Blue come to Manchester. A good swap for Manchester.
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I am happy to see WN add another route to Boston already! I think that a BOS-LAX route would work for WN. There would be some competition with B6,AA,UA,VX but with the low fares and the service that Southwest provides I think that would make that route sucessful.
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with southwest going to logan and now adding flights ,and taking away from manchester, could be the start of the end of southwest in manchester and providence. why cant southwest just tell both airports that they are going to flying out of boston logan for all its flights, there is no way it will continue to fly out of all 3 airports. best thing for the officials at manchester is talk to other airlines to fly out of manchester like jetblue, if southwest does not want manchester then pay for the higher fees massport charges and see how fast you profits go.
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I want to know why every time Bill Owen posts, the Chicken Little's come out?? ;-) The two non-stop markets TEMPORARILY ended are still served with direct and connecting service. The addition of TWO flights at Logan = the demise of MHT......REALLY?!?!?!? But clearly the favorite is: "there is no way it will continue to fly out of all 3 airports" Uh, Bob, we already do it in both the LA Basin and San Francisco Bay areas, as well as South East Florida.......because passenger traffic supports it. ;-) Really people, Bill could not have been clearer about the reasons and time frame of the changes. Take a breath already!! /soapbox
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~Ryan, aka SouthwestFreak can anyone determine the mothe we can start to book for the moth of april? we booked a cruise and would like airfare asap!
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Southwest's Contract with Manchester NH ends next year. Southwest will be out of Manchester By the summer of 2010. There is NO WAY Southwest will stay in Manchester. Jetblue has a great thing in Portland ME and Boston. No need to enter the dying Manchester Market. Manchester Airport will soon look like the Worcester MA airport.
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How come I was not able to use my rapid reward certificate to fly between Buffalo and Fort Lauderdale on Feb 13 and 21? There should have been NO BLACKOUT dates. I was on line and the phone the second that the flights were available through March 10. Not only was I not able to use them to get a flight ......The ONE WAY price was $301 plus fees!!!!! What's going on with Southwest? That's unfair to the consumer. Flights before and after those dates were less than $100 one way. Triple the price is greedy. Any other reasons for this happening?
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looking to book flights for March 13-20 any idea when this schedule will be out?
Employee
Employee
Evening, everyone! A few responses to your comments. Anonymous — Tue, 09/01/2009 - 11:39, thanks! We're excited to have the opportunity to grow at MSP. The resonse to our service has been awesome--and we'll keep looking at developments to see where they lead us. JJG and Anonymous — Tue, 09/01/2009 - 12:38, MSP-STL should do awesome--but not only does it give another way around potential winter weather, it also lets us give our Dallas originating/destined Customers a one-stop option to get some LUV. In the upcoming schedules we'll be working to make those one-stop directs. Working to do it--not promising to do it! We're getting close to over-constraining the upline/downline components of our DAL-STL/DAL-MCI service. So we promise to try to make it happen! Anonymous — Tue, 09/01/2009 - 12:42, we're not planning to upload a .PDF of the changes. Honestly there are so many canges and they're all so minor we just really don't see the need. ChrisNH, bob, and Anonymous — Tue, 09/01/2009 - 19:58, guys, our plan is to be in all three New England airports--BOS, MHT, and PVD. In case you haven't noticed--there are a LOT of New Englanders that have rather definite airport preferences. And to be specific--the MHT-PVD elimination is just temporary--we've already published it's return to the skies! And as for bringing other color-coded competitors in to compete--bring it on! As my Mom used to say....."that's why they make Fords *and* Chevy's." Will, thanks for the backup, and **SO** sorry we didn't get to see each other when you were in Dallas. My job has changed a bit and my calendar is now insane. Give me a shout or a private email and let's plan in advance next time your in Big D. Again, everyone, sorry we were about 30 minutes late out of the gate on opening the schedule this morning......computer issues, but glad we didn't get too badly flamed here for it (although I understand we were being eviscerated on Twitter for it!). We really appreciate your support--*I* really appreciate you reading my posts here. Feel free to comment and to ask me anything you want. I may not can answer, but I can probably give you in interesting response! Have a great Wednesday! Bill
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Bill, this question is in line with SouthwestFreak (Ryan) and Brenda comments. Can you share any insight into how and when schedule releases are determined. Other major carriers update their schedules roughly 350 days in advance, and seem to release the new schedules on a daily basis. But Southwest seems to have a different schema for updating their schedule and I just can't figure it out... So, is there any way to predict when the new scheduling window will open. Just looking for a deal.
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I work at Mht and every flight with swa is packed with tons of people. One servic we do offer is we stay late for customers if there flights are delayed and there customers rave how great mht is and how is easy it. I have a feeling Mht will be just fine ith swa in boston look at the bay area aiprots oak still klls it as does sjc
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Hi. Its nice to hear that you are adding MSP to St. Louis and we will be the first to tell you that we fly you every chance we get along with Sun Country out of Minneapolis. Once the Sun Country mess with Tom Petters is settled, I wish you would make an offer to purchase the airline. So please in the mean time add flights to cities that Sun Country doesn't fly to like to BWI, Houston Hobby, West Palm Beach and Oakland. Look forward to heading to St. Louis!
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Any expanded flying from MSY planned?
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Thanks for the response Bill. Everyone here appreciates your candor. I'll help you a little with my hometown, MKE. See how the passenger counts look during the first 120 days of operation up there. If you've got just one spare jet come March 13th, think of a MKE/STL route. That would add nicely to your direct and connecting service into and out of Brewtown complimenting your initial service to Kansas City. Some destinations to/from MKE are just "too hard" on day one I but understand the need to walk before you run. Have a great Labor Day!
Employee
Employee
Good morning, all! BEAUTIFUL morning in North Texas. A few more responses to your comments: Anonymous — Tue, 09/01/2009 - 21:10, even though this is far outside my field of expertise (which is schedules), the dates you're asking about aren't blackout dates but is an EXTREMELY busy weekend--it's Valentines's Day *and* President's Day weekend combined, and tons of folks in the Northeast typically take that entire week off for a trip to defrost in Florida. The alotted seats for those specific days between BUF and FLL are already reserved. You might consider leaving a day later and coming back a day later. Seats seem to be more open then. Brenda, you can usually go to southwest.com and click on "travel tools" and we post the date there. However, it's not yet been updated--so the tentative date to open up the booking window through early May is October 13. Justlookin, we typically have between 150 and 210 days of bookable inventory available. I did a post about this a couple of years ago (the results of which I still have nightmares about!). To find it, search on "Why Can't I Make Reservations Further In Advance" on this blog; the process has changed just a bit, but it's still pretty up-to-date. See the response to Brenda above for a way to see when the next schedule release will be. Joe in livermore--I agree entirely! Many areas of the country have the population and the density to support multiple airports served by Southwest. New England is one of them! And Todd--you just never know what Southwest may have up its sleeve! Happy Wednesday, all!
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I think your right MHT will be just fine alot of your customers who fly in love the fact they are out of the airport and in there car rental in less then ten minutes. They also love the fact we are less then an hr form boston, portsmouth,maine and vermont.
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Thank you for giving us our second daily TUS-MDW flight back, and thank you for making it an early morning departure. In fact, thank you for giving TUS a better schedule in the winter with a couple early morning departures. The schedule now really sucks! It makes my weekly trips to the Bay Area and PDX miserable when I can't arrive until after 11 am or 1p respectively.
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Why don't you post a detail sheet anymore that shows the exact freq. changes?
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October 13 is a relieve to know, even if it is just tentative....we just want to book airfare and be done dealing with bookings between the cruise and the travel agent trying to book us with 2 separate airlines at a cost of $380 pp round trip.... we were like forget them and we are just going with southwest which shouldnt cost more than 120 one way. ~Ryan, aka SouthwestFreak
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I'd just like to say that it's awesome to see how you guys are growing in St. Louis as AA cuts back. Maybe someday you'll be the next TWA or Ozark. If you go to departedflights.com and look at one of their schedules from the 70's you're already serving about the same number of cities that they had at that time. So good luck there! Also, I'd like to suggest Nashville-RSW, ATL, CLT, IND, PIT and BOS. Any of those cities from here would be fantastic as various carriers have started and stopped service on them in the past(this is also something you can find on that website I mentioned above) and I know everyone else is really rooting for Atlanta and Charlotte to join the greater network as well. Thanks for all you do and keep up the good work 🙂
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Max, I do hope that SWA is NOT the next TWA or Ozark in St. Louis. I think I know what you are saying -- that you want that much service. I just don't want SWA to go the way of TWA or Ozark. There certainly are enough open gates there in STL for SWA to expand all they want... And the D gates are connected to the E gates, so all that could work.
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Any idea when you will be opening reservation through April 2010? I'm trying to book a flight to Disney. 🙂
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Anonymous- lol....Indeed I was talking about level of service in the St. Louis market and not either airline's way of doing business or ultimate demise. It is a golden opportunity considering that there are those gates you mentioned and one AA's problems is that they can't make money off of the fares they are charging to fill the planes which is obviously no problem for SW. Thanks for your reply 🙂
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As a loyal user of your direct flight from Portland to Albuquerque to visit the grandparents, what is the status for a return of the direct flight.
New Arrival
Thanks for the schedule updates. I really hope that your new schedule optimzer does significantly improve costs and profits. 2009 has been a struggling year for Southwest and its important any company to respond way to challenges. I most appreciate the schedule updates. It really interesting how the media picks this up and put information out on the January schedule changes. Your marketing department must be jealous.
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Clearly unless you are the headquarters city for an airline you can't depend on service that they offer you whether you fill their planes or not. Surprised that you haven't responded to this particular post more than you have and included the details like you usually do. What's up with that?
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Love SW but wondering if waiting till October 13/09 to offer seats beyond March 13/09 is very prudent. Your biggest competitor in the NE, Airtran has dates available until mid April with many of the winter break seats already gone. People not wanting to hedge their plans and wait for SW are booking a sure thing. I have got my tickets going BUF to MCO on March 12/09 so loyally waiting for your release date, hope you consider moving it up so I too can have peace of mind.
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Thank you for adding service between STL-BOS / MSP. These routes will do great! I have family members, who usually fly AA -fly Southwest today. There comment was: "it was nice to be treated like a valued customer rather than an inconvenience". Great work! Keep those new destinations coming at STL.
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You're pretty lame for abandoning your blog entries so quickly and always avoiding any criticism that can't be answered with the company line as if you are always right.
Employee
Employee
To Anyonymous-Sat, 09/12/2009-- Nice "drive-by." I try to *always* answer comments that I have answers for or that I can get--if they are on subject. If the question/comment is just from a hater-in-general I save my words--or it's something that I clearly can't respond to (such as "when are you going to fly to city XXX or start route YYY") because I value my employement. I think everyone will forgive me from divulging our strategic timeline! If you have a problem with a perceived lack of, or unoriginality of, my response--please let me know. Seriously. Really--I mean it! I do this on my own time yet I take it very seriously--so if I'm either being unattentive, or if I'm only spouting the "party line" feel free to call me on it! But be specific so that I know what you're talking about and how to answer you!. I'm not afraid of a good debate at all. That's what's cool about this blog. You can tell any of us we're full of crap and it's okay, and even more amazing we actually LISTEN to you. And respond!!!! Or, on the other hand....if you're just bashing just to bash, then thanks, and have a great weekend. Bill
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You didn't answer any comments on this post after your first reply including the one asking why you didn't actually show us all of your changes this time until somebody jerked your chain really good and even then you didn't answer anything but that one comment. And rarely do any customer requests or feedback(like maps of your terminals which is one I remember in particular, not just route suggestions-although you are about 6 years overdue in Charlotte, Atlanta, CVG, a few other places) ever really get taken seriously. Ultimately you guys do what you want and ignore what a good share of us think about it. And no I'm not just here to bash. Southwest is becoming less rigid in some ways but is more rigid than ever in others. Why not be like AirTran and just go for it. They're doing just fine. Some of you guys' inhibitions are just a matter of being hard nosed at this point more than anything else. Most carriers now have either a Twitter or a blog by the way. That's not to belittle them because it is a great idea(Not sure if you've heard the story of a Virgin America pax Twittering a complaint on a transcon and being met at the gate by customer service in Boston to help him resolve it) but you're not the only ones anymore and it shouldn't be "amazing" to listen to your customers and take them seriously but rather a default mechanism.
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When will the schedule open up past March 12th.. This is crazy, they completely ignored the busiest March break week.
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When are bookings going to open up for April 2010?
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When will bookings be open for April 20, 2009????
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I used to use your non-stop Manchester, NH to Ft Lauderdale flights. I see they are non-longer avaiable? What's the long-range prognosis for this? Will this be reinstated anytime soon?
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I also miss the MHT to FLL flight. Its coming back in the winter. It will be reinstated in January. I believe Southwest is adding an additional flight also . You should see two nonstop flights from MHT to FLL in January!
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March 13 and April flight schedules will be posted sometimes today 10/13,
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Question for Bill Owen: Is it true that non-stop flights between Manchester NH & Ft Lauderdale FL will be reinstated in January? Please advise.
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Bill, now i am slighlty concerned with the MHT slow down with southwest because i frequently go and just watch planes take off at MHT and have noticed a major southwest slow down there and also notice US Airways has increased their presense. Do you know if the have intents on once again bulking up their service out of MHT?
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When will flights for November 2010 be available for booking?
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March 23. You can find the info on southwest.com by clicking "Travel Tools" at the upper right of the page, then select "View All Travel Tools."
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The flights on Mar 23 open up till Oct 30, 2010. Any idea on the Nov 2010 plans?
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Any idea on the Nov/Dec 2010 plans?