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Southwest Airlines Announces Intent to BEGIN Service to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Frequent Flyer B

Carrier Plans Modest Start-Up with Flights to Chicago Midway in March 2009


DALLAS—Oct. 1, 2008—Southwest Airlines today announced its intent to begin service from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in March 2009.  The carrier has not released specific service details, saying only that it will begin a modest operation at MSP with flights to Chicago Midway only.   

"Minneapolis-St. Paul’s geographic location complements the vast Southwest Airlines network really well,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO.  “We have studied and been interested in serving this very popular market for quite some time, and we look forward to bringing our low fares and legendary Customer Service to the people of Minnesota. 

“Presently, we intend to grow our 2009 fleet by no more than ten Boeing 737-700 aircraft.  We recently deferred four aircraft scheduled for delivery from Boeing in 2009 to 2016.  While it is very likely we will not grow our available seat miles in 2009, our new schedule optimization tools allow us to better manage our fleet and adjust our flight schedule to take advantage of great opportunities such as Minneapolis-St. Paul," Kelly said. 

The Company plans to release more details of its future service to Minneapolis-St. Paul in the coming months.

"One of the most frequent questions I have been asked over the years is, 'When is Southwest Airlines coming to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport?'  Today, I can finally give people the answer we have been working toward: 'Very, very soon.’  I am confident Southwest will receive overwhelming community support for its new service to the Twin Cities,” said Executive Director of Metropolitan Airport Commission Jeff Hamiel.  “The Metropolitan Airports Commission stands ready to assist the airline in establishing and growing service to Minnesota.” 

To view a blog post on this news, visit:  To visit Southwest’s web site, visit:

After 37 years of service, Southwest Airlines, the nation’s leading low-fare carrier, continues to stand above other airlines—offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service with no hidden fees.  Southwest Airlines is the most productive airline in the sky and offers Customers a comfortable traveling experience with all premium leather seats and plenty of legroom.  Southwest recently updated its gate areas and improved its boarding procedure to make flying Southwest Airlines even more convenient.  Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the nation's largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 64 cities in 32 states.  Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,400 flights a day and has more than 34,000 Employees systemwide.



Explorer C
GREAT! We can lower the bar even more and destroy our local economy when all the NWA jobs are lost. SWA is the icon of a bottomfeeder. Hey, as long as you get your $59 fare, what do you care??
Explorer C
I can't wait. My boyfriend's family is from Minneapolis and mine is in Chicago but we live in Houston. it's RIDICULOUS that it costs the same to fly from Houston to MSP as it does from Chicago and Houston is twice as far away! I'm sorry but flights in the $450 + range are just insane for a flight between two major cities. Kudos Southwest!
Explorer C
Smart move Southwest! AirTran no longer flys to MSP, Myself (and many friends) REFUSE to fly NWA, because of thier high prices and lack of customer service. I want to be on your first flight to MSP, so keep us posted. Thanks once again, for listening to your customers.
Explorer C
The last critical comment demonstrates the writer lacks an understanding of basic economics. SWA is a symbol of success. Southwest has succeeded by offering low cost travel and doing so at a profit. Northwest is in trouble because it is inefficient and can't compete. I am a long time Southwest passenger. Expecting me to pay more to support an uncompetitive airline like NWA is silly.
Explorer C
My company's largest customer is based in Minneapolis which has been one of those destinations that is difficult to get to for a reasonable price. In the midst of the current economic crisis, I am thrilled that my company no longer has to rely on NWA's service from KC which ranges from $500 to $1100. Because of the great service and no checked bag fees, my company flies Southwest whenever possible. Thank you for providing value flights and great service to your customers.
Explorer C
I agree with the earlier comments supporting SWA. into MSP...Paying $450.00 is ridiculous. "bottomfeeder" ? hardly.....Smart is more like it. I am a long time SWA flier and I cannot wait.... Thanks SWA
Explorer C
I have worked for Southwest for almost 13 years as a RES agent. When we add a new city it is so exciting to speak with new and happy passengers ! Our company takes care of us (internal customers), so that we may give POS to our external customers. I can honestly say I am just as happy TODAY as I was when I started working for Southwest. We will try and meet all our customers needs and concerns with a smile in our voice. WE welcome you MSP, thank you and talk to you all soon !
Explorer C
I say add flights from Kansas City to Minneapolis. Prior to NWA running Vanguard out of the market you could get a reasonable fare. I don't want it to be free, but $411 round trip is a bit, oh what do you call it? Oh, PRICE GOUGING! That is a 21day advance purchase fare. Mileage is 433 between the two airports. Drive time, 6-7 hours. (95cents per mile) Kansas City to Chicago O'Hare - 532miles, $320 (60cents per mile) on NWA and you connect thru MSP. UAL-$299 (56cents per mile) Kansas City to Denver - 607 miles, UAL-$349 (57cents per mile) Kansas City to DFW - 551 miles, $215 (31cents per mile) Kansas City to Atlanta - 830 miles, DAL-$259 (31 cents per mile) So, MSP has a minimum 35-70% fare premium. Why? The planes are that much better? The service that much better? The airport that much nicer? Why, because NWA has no competition. I know I didn't list any Southwest Prices because they are not open for sale on the dates selected just to point out the difference in fares by other airlines to hub airports. By the way, need any strong accounting type folks? Willing to move!
Explorer C
Southwest - please start flying from KC to Minneapolis. I pay between $600-$1200 for a direct flight on NWA that is less than 400 miles. This is consumer gouging at it's finest and I am done with NWA. Hope to see you several times a month Southwest.