NEWS FLASH: This morning, Summer, 2010 becomes bookable! Seats are available for booking from today all the way out until August 13, giving us 241 days of bookable inventory, which I'm pretty sure is a new record (for Southwest, anyway). Those of you that have been longtime readers of this blog will remember the absolute thrashing I got a couple of years back about not being out for sale further in advance (you can reread the post and its comments here, and the followup I posted a short time later here). I can assure you all that I certainly remember it....I'm still in therapy for it. But my point is that we heard you, loudly, clearly, PAINFULLY, and we're constantly working now to make our schedule available further and further in advance for your booking and planning pleasure!
There is lots of good, new stuff is in the Summer '10 Schedule. While we're not adding airplanes, we're able to add flights next summer by taking advantage of the shorter flying times that are made possible by more favorable summertime winds--and using our schedule optimizer to "stitch" that time together in ways that are usable for added flying (have I bragged about our schedule optimizer lately??). We're also implementing lots of frequency changes, shifting capacity from winter markets into summer ones. In total we're adding a net gain of 82 one-way flights across the nation, and because I know how much you LUV 'em, I've linked a summary of market-by-market changes summarized into two .pdf files--one for weekday changes, and a separate one for all of the Saturday changes.
First and foremost: we're adding our 69th airport, Panama City Beach, effective May 23rd! (Yes, this is a few days later than the rest of the May schedule additions.) We'll be the first new airline flying to a brand new eco-friendly airport serving the Northwest Florida Beaches, and the airport code assigned to the new city couldn't be more appropriate--ECP (Everyone Can Party!). We'll serve four nonstop destinations from Panama City Beach (Nashville, Houston, Baltimore/Washington, and Orlando), with direct and connecting service to 58 other Southwest airports, so nearly everyone on the LUV Network can visit the incredibly beautiful white beaches, crystal blue waters, and laid-back, friendly people along the Northwest Florida coast.
Besides ECP, we're bringing back a number of "old favorites" for the summer, like nonstops between Nashville and Oakland and between Norfolk and Las Vegas. We're bringing back transcon nonstops between Baltimore/Washington and Los Angeles as well as our first-ever Baltimore/Washington-Seattle nonstop service. Baltimore/Washington, in fact, scores in this schedule big-time with the addition of ten more daily departures (bringing our total daily departure count at BWI to 181--the most Southwest has ever had!). Other big winners are Nashville (nine added flights), and Seattle (eight added flights). St. Louis also is in the "winner's circle" next summer, with ten added daily departures and a whopping eight new nonstop markets--including service from Lambert to Los Angeles, San Diego, Raleigh/Durham, New Orleans, and **finally** adding nonstops in one of our most-frequently-asked about markets, St. Louis-Nashville. These schedule additions bring us up to 83 daily departures from St. Louis, the most we've had in over a decade.
Of course, I've got news involving Denver! We're expanding our Mile-High Success Story by adding nine more departures to and from Denver to existing destinations like Spokane, Baltimore, Tampa, and cities in California, and Saturday-only new nonstop service between Denver and New York's LaGuardia Airport (gotta love "slotless Satudays!"). And we're not done yet--we'll be adding even more Denver service later in the summer.....and you'll hear about it first here at "Nuts About Southwest!"
Happy booking, everyone! I'll be watching for comments and questions as they come through and will be happy to respond to any questions/comments you have. Make some summer plans, y'all, and remember...starting next May--Everyone Can Party!