We’re now accepting bookings all the way to January 5, 2014, which (of course) includes Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, and New Year’s. This schedule time period is always THE HARDEST SCHEDULE of each year to prepare and publish because of the extreme traffic fluctuations driven by holiday travel.
Couple that with the fact that each of those three holiday periods behave very differently—and, honestly, it’s not a single schedule, it’s a dozen schedules all stitched together to make sure we give our Customers a schedule that meets their travel needs. So before we dive into the details—and there are lots!—BIG kudos to the entire Network Planning Team. Once again, my friends and colleagues, you’ve done us proud. Thank you!
Integration of AirTran into Southwest Airlines hits two huge milestones with this schedule. The final three AirTran-only Stations—Memphis, Pensacola, and Richmond will transition on November 3! Memphis and Pensacola will completely convert to Southwest, while Richmond begins a phased conversion. Memphis will have six Southwest departures each weekday, Pensacola will have three, and Richmond will begin with one. Milestone number two is that the conversion of San Juan, Puerto Rico will be complete effective November 3, when Southwest takes over operation of Atlanta-San Juan service! As an entirely Southwest operation, Southwest will serve San Juan with 11 daily departures each weekday to five nonstop destinations and connecting/direct service to 74 other cities.
There are lots of other interesting little tidbits contained in this schedule, and not just from the usual list of new or eliminated nonstops. From a structural standpoint, you’re going to notice that we’re going to be shifting flights between Southwest and AirTran markets a lot more frequently. This is GREATLY enabled now that we have achieved full network connectivity, and is necessary because even though we’re nearly through converting AirTran cities to the Southwest brand, we won’t complete converting all AirTran aircraft to Southwest aircraft until the end of next year. Because you’re going to notice more and more of those back-and-forth shifts going forward (Dramamine, anyone?), I’m going to change the way I bring you new schedule information. Please see the new format in the charts below. And let me know what you think!
Besides news from Memphis, Pensacola, Richmond, and San Juan, we’re adding a number of brand new nonstop markets. We’re adding nonstops from Atlanta to both Hartford and Oklahoma City, and between Austin and New Orleans (you have no idea how many times we’ve been asked to serve that route!). We’re also adding seasonal nonstops in 13 East Coast/Midwest-Florida markets as we move into colder weather.
On the discontinued side (other than what I’ve already told you about in the conversion stations), we’re eliminating nonstop service between Atlanta and Buffalo, and Denver and both Manchester and Providence. We’ll also end our seasonal nonstops between Las Vegas and both Hartford and Jacksonville.
All of the market entries and exits, including conversions, are listed below, and as always the most current schedule information is always available at your fingertips at southwest.com.
Southwest / AirTran November, 2013 Base Market Changes Combined System Summary New/Discontinued/Conversion Markets Roundtrip Weekday Frequencies