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SCHEDULES EXTENDED TO MARCH 9, 2012

Employee
Employee

We extended our schedule this morning to March 9th of next year, giving us 228 days of bookable inventory.  And there are some changes, but I’m sure you guys expected that!  This is actually two pieces of schedule work in one—the January 8-February 11 schedule is completely different from the February 12-March 9 one—making reporting about this new schedule just a tad complex!  We’ve done this before, due to the big seasonal traffic changes going from December (Holidays, family visits, merriment) into January (cold, long nights, holiday credit card spending) into February (cabin fever, President’s Day three-day-weekend, and GET ME SOME WARMTH!).  So again, you’ll notice the January network is “thinner” than November by about 51 daily roundtrips, with the reductions spread across 81 markets and increases coming to 35 markets.  However, we more than make up for the January decreases in February, when the network gains 60 added weekday roundtrips, adding flights back into 72 markets while taking further slight reductions in 13 others. To view a comprehensive list of the Southwest changes, please visit: www.swamedia.com

Diving into the specifics, starting with January, we’re adding two-brand-new markets, Denver-Providence and Ft. Lauderdale-Milwaukee.  Two seasonal markets will be coming back—Nashville-Ft. Myers and Ft. Lauderdale-Manchester.  We will also exit 12 markets on a nonstop basis, and will temporarily halt nonstops in three markets, which will return in February.   

Markets we will temporarily suspend that will return in February:

Albuquerque-Portland

Hartford-Las Vegas

Kansas City-Oakland

Markets we are exiting on a nonstop basis:

Birmingham-Louisville

Boise-Reno/Tahoe

Boise-Salt Lake City

Boise-Seattle/Tacoma

Jacksonville-Philadelphia

Kansas City-Seattle/Tacoma

Manchester-Las Vegas

Manchester-Philadelphia

Philadelphia-Pittsburgh

Philadelphia-Providence

Spokane-Seattle/Tacoma

 

Phoenix-Providence

 

 

A number of factors are at play behind the scenes in the construction of these schedules.  First, have you noticed the price of oil lately?  In a word:  volatile.  For that reason our Planners have shown a high degree of caution in the initial publication of this schedule because of the uncertainty of the price of fuel in 1Q12.  If it looks like we need to add more flights, we can!  But the really cool thing that happened with this schedule is that it marks the first base schedule on which Southwest has been able to collaborate with our new BFF’s—our former competitors and new colleagues from AirTran—on our network design, down to the frequency-by-market level.  So, some of the January/February changes reflect our initial efforts to harmonize our combined capacity, and to create the new Southwest network. Besides the market exits detailed above, there are a number of markets in which we’re beginning to shift some AirTran capacity over to the Southwest brand, such as Baltimore/Washington to Boston, Orlando and New Orleans, Columbus and St. Louis to Orlando, and Pittsburgh-Tampa Bay/St. Pete.  Of course, that marks the start of a long process that has one goal:  bringing two airlines together to spread low fares farther.

 

In the “are there more changes coming for January and February?” department….I can share with you at least one schedule addition that’s in the works.  Assuming the NFL gets its act together and actually has a season this year, we have some airplane time set aside on some of the late January/early February weekends to allow us to replicate our highly successful BIG BIG GAME Extra Section program (we aren’t allowed to use the actual name of the big football championship game).  Of course, we have no idea where the flights will need to come from, although we know the destination will be Indianapolis.

 

Have a GREAT week, everyone!

 

 

44 Comments
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Not much Love for MHT in this schedule. You can make it up to us by adding a few flights to ATL when you get the chance. WN has now cut the MHT schedule by over 50% from where it was in 2005. The loss of MHT-LAS is very painful as it is a very popular flight. I would have rather seen the fare go up than to see the flight cut.
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I don't understand the cuts in Manchester NH? PLUS New Hampshire will be busy with the presidential primary this winter. The world comes to NH and Southwest cuts flights??. Southwest is so off their game these days. Hopefully Delta, United and USAirways will jump in and add some flights to make up for the cuts. Providence RI is in the same boat.... Remember this quote back in 2010? We want to grow at T.F. Green,” said Kelly, adding that Dallas-based Southwest had no desire to “cannibalize” itself. “We don’t want people from Rhode Island going to Logan,” he said. “It’s not good for you, and it’s not good for us.” Hahaha
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BIll, Can you get the guys over at Air Tran to add thier flight schedule PDF back onto thier website? Also, Air Tran's new route map on thier web site sucks- I hope Southwest does not adopt it too. Now if we could a least one non-stop flight a day from SLC to SAN, SNA, SMF & SJC! When the new terminal opens in SNA, there's a demand for SNA to TUS, RNO, ABQ, AUS, SAT, HOU non-stops! Cheers!
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Can you post the pdf with the changes?
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Per the flight booking schedule at www.southwest.com, I do not see nonstop service returing to the following markets in Feb: Boise-Reno/Tahoe Boise-Salt Lake City Boise-Seattle/Tacoma Is the exit of nonstop service in these markets permanent?
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Holy Cow! That's some serious pruning of short haul!! Some of it I haven't worked in forever, but I know some other airline employees will be scrambling!! Really shocking, but with jet fuel prices.....
New Arrival
I echo the comment about MHT, but there's pain all over. Despite being only 50 miles north of Boston, MHT has really proven itself. The folks at Southwest know this. The hope is that ATL comes along, which it really ought to.
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I can not you are stopping non-stop from Boise to Seattle - everytime I fly with you the planes are packed. First you reduced the number of flights now this - Thanks heavens for Horizon/Alaska!
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BOI took a huge hit too - about a 35% in the flight schedule. I am truly shocked that BOI to RNO would be dropped completely - there was no other competition on this route. Hopefully Alaska/Horizon steps in to fill the gap.
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Help! from BOI area! This is BIG news in BOI & there seems to be conflicting info. This blog entry states: Markets we will temporarily suspend that will return in Feb., BOI-RNO, BOI-SLC, BOI-SEA. But your Jan. & Feb. flight changes chart DOES NOT reflect the nonstop services returning AT ALL. Is the exit of nonstop service in these markets returning in Feb. or is it permanent?
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Really disappointed about the PHL-PIT cancellation, especially since that route was what got me hooked on SWA. Driving around Thanksgiving is dangerous and a hassle and SWA flights were a reasonable way of avoiding that and always full. Can't say I'll be flying as much anymore.
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My daughter in Philly will now be at the mercy of US Airways to come home to MHT. I posted this on my Facebook page and my daughters are SHOCKED. The one in Philly said she couldn't understand why since the planes were almost always PACKED for her PHL<->MHT flights.
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Wow we are so bummed to see cuts in the Boise market!! We fly SWA exclusively and this will really make that hard. Those flights to Seattle and Salt Lake especially are the start of almost all of our trips.
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Cutting PHL to PIT? I can understand cutting Providence now that your moving into Boston, but 2 other routes from PHL as well? I am flying between PHL and PIT this weekend. Those flights are crowded. I can't believe that Southwest is giving up that route to USAir! It does seem that Southwest is gradually pulling out of PHL, just after completion of a bunch of new Southwest gates. Say it isn't so! Keep PHL-PIT!
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PVD to PHL cancelled? Ouch, I fly this prettty regularly and the flights are normally full
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All the flights I have booked from MHT to LASin feb and march have been full. How can it be better for SWA? I hate to have to go to Logan for a non-stop. this is the first time Southwest has let me down!
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What are we to do in Boise. Do we not really matter. I have been trying to support Southwest because they didn't have all these hidden extra costs when I booked with them and now the route I use most often is going away. Boise to Salt Lake. I cannot even tell you how mad I am today. Our only other choice now is going to be Delta who is now going to raise their prices because they will have no competition in this market anymore. No one else does a direct flight to Salt Lake from Boise except them. If other airlines even offer this it is rare and 3x the prices usually. IS THERE ANYTHING WE AS CONSUMERS CAN DO TO CHANGE SOUTHWESTS' MIND? Why is it that we, the ones to actually buy the tickets, never get asked what we want. Maybe this market isn't as big as another, but why does that always seem to be the only thing that counts. Every time I fly from Boise to Salt Lake the plane is full so I know they have paying customers filling up their planes at least a good portion of the time so what is up. These executives that sit in their big offices and make all the money don't come out to the airports and talk to their customers and see what they need. Why is it always about money. Is Boise really making them go broke?????? They seemed to turn quite a profit last year. What can we do? Who can we petition to? Please help. I really don't want to support Delta or anyother airline that jacks up all their luggage fees etc.
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Very unhappy about loss of Pittsburgh-Philadelphia. I use that route regularly and now the airfares will skyrocket. It's hard to believe that Southwest is retreating.
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This is very disappointing coming from a Pittsburgh flyer. I was going to book a PIT-PHL flight this March for a friends wedding and now I'm left to book on USAirways, which is horrible. Why not just reduce capacity? Or at least let us connect through BWI instead of MDW if we are going to PHL. Unfortunately, Southwest is going to lose customers from PIT. So much for the LUV
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You guys are 'nuts' for dropping the Boise to Reno service. There is a huge connection between these two citys!!
Employee
Employee
Folks, I hate that so many of you are so disappointed, although I understand and sympathize. However--you guys also have to understand that these type of decisions are the stock and trade of my Department. We have terrabyte upon terrabyte of data, that is poured over for hours before recommendations are made (and not by "These executives that sit in their big offices and make all the money don't come out to the airports and talk to their customers and see what they need"--oh, Liz, if you only knew! The cube I sit in is smaller than most closets!). Let me share with y'all a few principles of scheduling. Agree or disagree, these--and many, many others--describe some of the economics that we have to live by when writing schedules. 1. A full flight is not always a profitable flight 2. Schedules are always a roundtrip equation--you have to look at what the flight does in both directions before forming an opinion, or a conclusion. 3. What makes sense in some economic conditions doesn't make sense in all economic conditions. 4. What made sense 10 (or 20, or 30) years ago, may not make sense now--or tommorrow. 5. Although we try, we know we can't make everyone happy--or be everything to everybody. So that's my response. Again--I'm sorry you guys are so disappointed but I thought you'd like some extra "color" on the decision. Bill
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Packed planes are not always indicative of profit. Is Southwest profitable at Denver?
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I am stunned that Boise took the biggest hit on the schedule changes, especially 3 of what appeared to be the most popular flights: BOI-SLC, BOI-SEA & BOI-RNO. Boise is definitely not feeling the LUV from SW! When I look at all the cities SW serves, it is hard to believe that it made the most sense to cancel 3 very popular non-stops from Boise. It's no longer a viable option to fly SW on these routes without a non-stop. I can drive from Boise to SLC, Seattle or Reno faster than I will be able to fly there on SW. Raise the prices to make a non-stop profitable but don't turn your back on a metropolitan area that has been very supportive of SW! Please consider restoring a non-stop on each of these routes.
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Absolutely disgusted that you are canceling PHL-PIT. That is a route that I travel frequently, and the planes were always packed. Southwest is slowly going downhill. I am disappointed that I will now have to take my business elsewhere for my PHL-PIT needs.
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Saddened to see Southwest leave the PHL-PIT market. I understand that during a bad economy cuts are necessary, but I personally believe its a bad public relations and business move to leave some markets all together. I'm also sad to say that I will be taking my business, credit card and frequent flyer miles to U.S. Airways. Sorry Southwest, no more LUV from this frequent flyer.
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We are commuters between BOI and SEA for 8 years now using SW. Very frequent flyers. Couldn't believe how much the Northwest connection flights were cut and makes me wonder whether SW will be exiting the Northwest entirely in the not too distant future. I guess it's Alaska/Horizon for us now.
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Disappointed to see SDF-BHM dropped...but hopeful that SDF-ATL is coming. You should dig up an old EAL schedule form the late 60's/early 70's...SDF was actually an EAL focus city in those days....would like to see WN focus more attention at SDF.
New Arrival
It looks like your pulling back on Philly big time with these permanent route discontinuations. You entered the market with great fanfare. Can you truthfully tell us what wrong? You compete very well with USAirways in the Las Vegas and Phoenix markets. What happened in Philly?
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I was surprised - and very disappointed - that there will not be any WN aircraft in ATL until after your March schedule. It seems that to begin getting a red belly plane around here soon would be a logical transition. Especially so since the WN and Airtran models are so different. Give people here in ATL an opportunity to "get used to" your product on a couple of routes. Many folks around here are panicked at the thought of no seat assignments. You could mix your flights in with FL's existing services to BWI/PHL/MDW/MCO etc. (That might free up some of their slightly smaller 717's to put into some of those markets that you are pulling out of like MHT-PHL, PHL-PIT, BOI-SLC/SEA.)
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I fly the PVD-PITT route 1-2 times most weeks, and other PVD through PHL routes on a regular basis for work, and find this news distressing. I made a commitment to SWA and feel like they have let me down. I can accept less service, but none:-( I like the employees and the big plane (hate small planes/regional jets) and now will have less opportunity to fly SWA. Commuting to work will be more stressful.
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I wish that we had more East Coast options going out of RNO... a non-stop to LGA, JFK or EWR would be great, as we always have 2 or 3 connecting flights. Also, more flights to SFO and PDX would be great as well!
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I would also like to know what happened at Philly. You entered PHL with lots of hoopla and now its like you don't want to be bothered with PHL. What is really ironic is all the money that was just spent on constructing a new Southwest concourse! (terminal E) Granted the routes that were cut were mostly short routes, but I don't see you cutting short hop routes in Florida or the southwest states. I'm sure management at PHL is real pleased with this move.
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I was just scouting a December holiday trip from Dallas to ATL and eventually remembered that AirTran was pulling out of DFW in late Nov. If AirTran (now SW, still operating Air Tran separately, for now) won’t be keeping Delta and American competitive on the DAL/DFW-ATL route, what will we poor low-fare flyers do? It does not appear that Southwest will operate route DAL-ATL anytime soon, even with the Wright-required stop. What's the plan?
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I am so disappointed in the drop of Philly to Pittsburgh! I fly that regularly and your flights are always more reliable than USAir (except this Monday with a flight originating in Boston, but it happens). I also used to fly the Philly to Providence or Manchester quite a bit as it is so much easier to get into the Boston area than going to Logan! I can only assume the mess of airtraffic and constant non-airline caused delays are driving you out. That stinks! Will you re-evaluate at some point?
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Waiting anxiously for ATLANTA!
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As a transplanted New Englander I used the Philly to Providence and Manchester routes a few times. I hope you will reconsider adding the routes for both places or at least a few weekly flights. I know when I flew from Manchester the SW flight was packed and people were asked if they wanted to be bumped. Flying to Boston then taking a train or bus to these locations is a pain! Please reconsider.
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We can't question the profitability of these routes. Sure I'd love it if the Logan-PHL service was a shuttle every hour at half past but realize that at least a few times a month we were getting cancelled, likely due to the low passenger counts. I had a couple of gate agents actually validate that in PHL though at Logan they'd just smirk. Regardless, SW still kicks the snot out of USAir between Logan and Phila and would everyone stop griping already about getting into Logan. It's called the big dig and we all owe the rest of the nation a big thank you for subsidizing all the beautiful new tunnels that make getting under the harbor a breeze as long as you don't try to get in from the west say anytime between 630am and 10am or try to leave between 230pm and 8pm :) I too love the PIT-PHL flights but just last week I got to the PHL airport and the 640am was once again CANCELLED and I missed my 10am meeting in downtown PIT so regrettably it's time to pony up the big bucks for USFare. Good luck everyone!
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Is there anyone I can write to and list my complaints about your discontinuing service from Boise to Salt Lake. You don't know how upset I am. It is constantly on my mind about how I could possibly change this. My most frequent travel is from Boise to Salt Lake so now my Rapid Rewards will be useless. I need to fly in a couple of weeks and I noticed you have already knocked out some direct flights so I can't fly early or late anymore, and already Delta has upped their prices in the times we need to fly because you don't have them available and hence no competition. You are allowing them to take over the market and penalize us. I really do want to support South West because I appreciate that you don't do all the added fees and have no change fees. Delta is now almost double your price where they use to keep it more competitive and we still have to pay for luggage too. We have NO OTHER OPTIONS. You and Delta were our straight flight options. WHO WANTS TO TAKE AN HOUR FLIGHT AND TURN IT INTO A 6-7 HOUR FLIGHT? Do you think we are crazy? I can drive to Salt Lake in 5 1/2 hours if I have to but I don't like to drive alone so I fly if I am having to drive alone. Will you not listen to us in Boise? Is there nothing we can say or do to change your minds. This really is completely unfair. We are growing in our community by leaps and bounds and yet you want to pull out his and other flights coming through here. Why do you want to pretend we are not important?? We are the capital city after all! I realize we are not a HUB, but WHY DOES THAT HAVE TO ALWAYS DICTATE EVERYTHING and not take PEOPLE INTO ACCOUNT? You say that full flights (which I always seem to be on) doesn't matter, so what does. Empty ones? Up your price $10 if gas and the stop over is the problem. I would rather pay a little extra than to pay double now that Delta doesn't have the competition. Please help!!!! What can I do???
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Is there a possibility that Southwest will convert Airtran's Miami flights anytime soon? I would love to see a MIA to MHT flight!
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ANOTHER VERY DISSATISFIED BOISE FLYER! I agree with all of the comments already posted, and just need to put in my voice as well. I fly BOI to RNO several times a year, and am (was) a very loyal SWA patron, but no more! SWA was the only airline who flew direct to RNO from BOI, and now with other airlines, the cost is twice as much, and the time spent traveling increases to 7 hours! It's utterly ridiculous to fly up to PDX or to SFO in order to get to RNO. I can drive in 8 hours, but don't feel comfortable driving alone that far. I can understand fiscal cutbacks, but this decision by SWA will definitely impact their loyal customer base; which is a shame, because I've always preferred them over any other airline, but this inconvenience is so great, that I'm not sure it can be remedied.
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Been flying non-stop on Morris Air Seattle-Boise route since the mid 80s. Then Southwest bought Morris Air. Continued to fly. Countless flights. Love SWA. Have my staff fly them all the time. Now it is over. What I don't get is that they killed 100% of all the direct flights. Now it is faster to drive than to take some of those change-plane routes. Man, these are bad times.
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The Birmingham-Louisville nonstop is gone forever? Please bring this back! I'll pay more, it's not the discount that kept me on that flight, it was the convenience. No other airline offers a direct SDF- BHM flight. I now have to fly Delta into Atlanta, or travel to BWI first, which will take almost as long as driving. Very unhappy...
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Terrible, terrible....SWA you have lost a longtime customer. You made thousands on my family and I with the PHL-MHT flight and back. Dumping this service is stupid. Your flights were always on time, the service was friendly, and the prices at times were amazing. I will NOT fly another airline which my family and I will never be able to afford. So now we have to drive the 800 mile roundtrip. Manchester Airport has also lost 4 passengers, my family.
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Please, please bring back non-stop service between louisville and birmingham. We have been loyal Southwest customers for 20 years thanks to this non-stop service. My 82 year old mother now has to travel between 5-7 hours on planes and in airports enduring all the frustrations involved to make what is a 51/2 hour car ride. i know that many, many others are affected by this cut. Please consider!!