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Now Arriving--the Summer 2009 Schedule!

Employee
Employee

To quote lyrics from Rodgers' and Hammerstein’s “Carousel”—

 

June is busting out all over,

All over the meadows and the hills……”

 

Our June through August, 2009 schedule is now available for your perusal and purchase at southwest.com, so now's the time to "bust out" and book your trips to get out and see our Nation this Summer!

 

This schedule is, as always, a little different.  This time, though, most of the differences are quite subtle--pastels as opposed to paisleys, so to speak.  All of us in the Schedule Planning Department are really working hard to make Southwest’s schedule and its production processes more “nimble,” enhancing our ability to respond, closer-in, to rapidly changing market conditions.  This initial June Schedule was built to make future changes easier, and less disruptive, when we may (or may not!) need to make them.  These design goals aren't terribly obvious, but should make any needed changes after we allow you guys to start booking much less disruptive.

 

In general, the June schedule doesn't contain major structure changes, but I can promise you that in this economy, folks, we’re being more sensitive than ever to make sure our final schedule matches your travel needs as closely as possible.   We continue to fine-tune our network, trimming flights from unpopular “edges” of the day and adding new service and more efficient itineraries in markets to better reflect what y’all want.

 

Based on your feedback here on the Blog, we’ve got our Summer ’09 schedule out for sale roughly 150 days in advance, and have nearly 200 days of bookable inventory available to help you plan your warm-weather escapades **now** through out the upcoming Summer.    And the cool thing is we may make even more summer service for sale later on, as the economy—and our business—evolves.  In other words—stay tuned!

 

So start planning those Summer trips,  folks.  To beat the lyrics from "Carousel" to death----amazing beaches?  "You’ll never walk alone” on the beach when you fly Southwest to any of our coastal stations.  Majestic mountains?  “What’s the use of wonderin’” how beautiful our nation’s mountains are with Southwest’s great service to places in the Sierras, Cascades, Rockies, and Appalachians.  And bustling, dynamic cities?  Sing “If I LUVed you” to your sweetie as you wander the streets of metropolii like Chicago, San Francisco, D.C., Los Angeles, or Philadelphia arm-in-arm.  (Yes, I'm a Rodgers and Hammerstein junkie.)

Happy booking everyone!

11 Comments
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Bill, Will there be a press release or summary of the changes out today? Rand
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What happened to the very early MCO/PVD 6:30/7:00am flights. Half the day is gone by the time you land during the summer now. Southwest gets to MCO by 9:05am so people can enjoy the hot muggy weather which is nasty. I for one would much rather get to PVD by 9:05am to enjoy the whole day and possibly make a 11:30/12:00 tee time on the many wednesdays that I travel to that destination. Lets to the right thing and return that early morning flight back to the schedule.
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Bill, You still didn't give us the advance notice of this schedule extension like had been promised..... Again.....
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Looks like TUL-MCI is discontinued. What other routes are seeing reductions or additions?
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Hi! I couldn't wait for the summer schedule to open up, but when I checked the June schedule from Pittsburgh to Orlando I was a little bummed. The flight times were great, but the prices are so high on the weekends for june compared to every other summer month May is reasonable as is July. What gives with June? Can they possibly adjust soon or should I bite the bullet and buy now?
Employee
Employee
Rand, the changes in the June sked (versus May) are minor enough that I don't think a press release is planned, although I'll defer to the PR t ypes. SKING, one of the ongoing efforts in schedules in 2009 is to remove unproductive flights that are too early or too late. We've seen from traffic and booking behavior that flights to MCO that leave their origins before around 8:30 or 9:00 just don't do that well, so this is by design. Bruce--huh? As far as I know we've had today (2/02) listed as the date we extend t he schedule out into August for quite a while. I even spoke with someone at southwest.com early this afternoon to confirm the next extension date. Plus, if you're in house, this was available on swalife on the Schedule Planning page under "Departments". What have I missed here? Bill
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Bill, It was bad enough that MSP to PBI is 2 stops and only one flight per day. Now you are discontinuing service before you even start flying to MSP. I know FLL is an hour away but I prefer the smaller airport of PBI. What the heck? Published scheduled service between Minneapolis/St. Paul - MSP and West Palm Beach - PBI will be discontinued on 05/09/2009 Any chance on adding one or two more destinations from MSP as Northwest slowly pulls out?
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Bill, Will there be a PDF distributed this quarter that shows which stations will be gaining/losing certain routes? Thanks, Brian
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Bill, thanks for taking the time to share your knowledge and all the fascinating info you post here! I realize one airline can't be all things to all people, but with the push for more business passengers I have to wonder: might scheduling add some "flight times and combinations need to make sense for business" constraints to the whiz bang software? I frequently find I have to get up early for a 7 am medium haul flight, and not get to my destination until after 1 or 2 pm. For a leisure trip that's frustrating; for a business trip it can be a deal killer. Example: say I want to fly SAT-OMA and back on 4/2/09. First WN outbound flight of the day departs 7:10, arrives 2:15. Last WN return flight of the day leaves 2:45, arrives 10:40. That's 15.5 hours just for the air travel and the schedule doesn't give me enough time to buy a cup of coffee before having to board my return flight. Now look at CO. I do have to leave 25 minutes earlier to catch the first flight of the day, but I arrive almost a full three hours earlier, at 11:21. I can have a half day meeting with The Oracle, catch the last return flight of the day at 5:50, and arrive back in SAT at 10:10. That's a half hour ahead of WN 520/805, so total elapsed time is a wash, but time on the ground is 0:30 versus 6:29! I know you have nothing to do with pricing, but guess what? On top of the better schedule and not having to book a hotel room, CO is currently cheaper on both restricted and refundable tickets. Applying a bit of geographic knowledge and mixing in some tidbits picked up from some SWA press release or billboard, I was able to figure out a way that I can stick with my favorite airline and still pull off my mid-range out-and-back on this particular day. I can book WN 471/276, OMA-DEN-SAT, departing 4:55 arriving 10:10. Even though that has a longer-than-ideal 1:25 connection time at DEN, at least I get 2:10 on the ground in Omaha, and once again beat WN 520/805 back to SAT by a half hour. As icing on the cake my total fare (restricted) goes down, I cover a shorter distance in the air, and my RapidRewards credits increase to three from two. (Why is DEN not used for connections on that route in lieu of or in addition to MDW?) The CO schedule is still better but at least I've closed the gap with an alternate connection point. SAT-OMA isn't the only example of this problem in the SWA schedules. Furthermore, it certainly can't be attributed to the distance between the cities. I can FLY JFK-SFO out and back in 14:42 with 2:50 on the ground, or in 16:27 with 4:35 on the ground. That's over three times as far, has an even lower fare (restricted), and yields greater frequent flier earnings. If I go with the shorter of those two total trip times I still have more time on the ground than I have flying SAT-OMA-DEN-SAT on WN (and vastly more than using scheduled, published service). I know how excited you get about your work and that's great! I'm thinking you'll have a blast working on cracking this nut. 🙂 If a good hint could spoil some of the fun (or if a bad hint could send you on a wild goose chase), you might want to skip the rest of the next paragraph. ;) One thing I've noticed when trying to work around these problems on various routes: often the reason it takes so long to get where I'm going is that my incoming flight is scheduled to arrive a few minutes too late to be valid on the first possible connection (e.g. 25 minutes at a 30 minute connection airport, or 35-40 minutes at a 45 minute connection airport). I know SWA is great for business travelers flying short-haul, but frequently when I'm booking mid-range or longer flights I notice that SWA flat out wouldn't work for a day trip (business or pleasure). It looks to me like a lost revenue opportunity, and selling more tickets seems as worthy a goal as keeping costs down...but of course I've only got the passenger perspective.
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Hi Bill, I have been checking SWA for a long time for your new summer schedule so that I could make reservations to your new Minneapolis destination to visit our kids & grandson in August. Just since I last checked (in less than a week) the price escalated $50 per ticket. Is there a way to get advance notice of when your new schedules will be available for purchase? It was also very frustrating because we are leaving CA on July 31st, but not returning until August 16th, and your schedule ends on August 14th (doesn't summer last at least through Labor Day?). How can I be notified when the next schedule will be available so that I can purchase the return portion of our trip without having the price increase meanwhile? Thanks! Marybeth
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Marybeth, under travel tools is the following information.. We are currently accepting air reservations through August 14, 2009. On April 7, we will open our schedule for sale through October 30, 2009. This date is subject to change! Please check back frequently.