Wow.....it's happened! Southwest Airlines service to and from New York's LaGuardia Airport (LGA) is now for sale. Service starts June 28, and we'll offer five daily flights between LaGuardia and Chicago/Midway and three flights between LaGuardia and Baltimore/Washington. In New York, we will be operating from the Central Terminal, Concourse B. In addition to the two nonstop destinations from LGA, we're offering direct and connecting service to 45 more destinations all across our system, from the West Coast to Florida to the Midwest to our home, Dallas Love Field. We've done some interesting network design work--both up-front and behind the scenes--to make sure we take care of y'all, given the uniqueness of operating at LaGuardia, in true Southwest Airlines style. As always, Southwest is putting our Customers first. Gee, putting Customers first--talk about something new for air travellers in the Big Apple......... *grin*
Because I know you'll ask--how were we able to schedule eight departures a day? Simple. Southwest received 14 daily slots for our operations at LGA (each takeoff and each landing requires a slot), which gives us authority for seven departures daily. As a bonus--we're able to add an eighth flight by scheduling our first LGA-MDW departure in before slot controls start (prior to 7:00 a.m.) and putting the last MDW-LGA arrival after slot controls stop (after 9:59 p.m.). Oops, I mispoke a bit here, and this is the correct info: We were able to negotiate with the FAA for one additional slot for our first departure, and the last arrival reaches LGA after slot controls stop at 9:59 p.m. (Slot control begins at 6:00 a.m.) So even though we're new to this whole slot-controlled thing--we're already working to maximize our presence at LaGuardia. Who knows what the future may bring!
As a longtime Southwest Airlines Employee, I have to admit that the now-certainty of Southwest flying to LaGuardia is just darn near surreal to me. I would have NEVER bet that this would happen five or ten years ago--but Southwest Airlines continues to evolve and adapt to changing market conditions, and this just is another step in that evolution. But whatever else happens, I can promise you guys that we're going to serve the Big Apple in true Southwest Airlines style, with Big Smiles, Big Savings, Big Customer Service, and Big Reliability. (Big Hair, as a Dallas-based carrier, will be optional.)
So c'mon....will it be Chinatown or on Riverside? The New York Times or the Daily News? Doesn't matter to us....just join us as Southwest enters a New York state of mind!