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Did something change with Southwest and Seattle?

New Arrival

I primarily use Southwest only for flying and have had great experience. I'm looking for roundtrip flight between Houston and Seattle in June 2020 and noticed that there are hardly any non-stop flights (if any at all) and all flights are fairly expensive.

 

Wondering if something has changed in recent years with service that Southwest provides to and from Seattle? I did the same roundtrip 4 years ago and there were lots of flights to choose from and it was much cheaper. Totally different vs now. It's also strange that there are so few flights from Seattle to Houston and hardly any direct ones considering that HOU is a major hub for Southwest

6 REPLIES 6
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Re: Did something change with Southwest and Seattle?

Top Contributor

What has changed is the MAX grounding.

 

Press reports indicates that the grounding is costing the airline 300 flights a day. That number will likely increase as time passes.

 

When you don't have the plaens to fly every route you want to fly, then you have to figure out which routes to cut.

 

That should change as MAXs return to the fleet.

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Re: Did something change with Southwest and Seattle?

New Arrival

Perhaps. Although Southwest is currently saying that MAX is removed from their schedule through June 6 while they await on FAA to review the software fix and sign off. I'm looking at dates after June 6 so would SWA already include the MAX in all their schedule?

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Re: Did something change with Southwest and Seattle?

Top Contributor

@srudenko wrote:

Perhaps. Although Southwest is currently saying that MAX is removed from their schedule through June 6 while they await on FAA to review the software fix and sign off. I'm looking at dates after June 6 so would SWA already include the MAX in all their schedule?


The answer to your question is a question.

 

Do you think all 400 MAXs that are currently offline (including presumably SW's 40 or 50)

will all immediatly return to service on the same date?

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Re: Did something change with Southwest and Seattle?

Active Member

I'll note that the answer is likely a no. They'll need to be phased back in, and as they reenter service, the cutback routes will then increase again.


Community Champion | LGA based | Companion Pass Holder | Southwest Passenger
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Re: Did something change with Southwest and Seattle?

Top Contributor

Southwest's schedule after June 6th does include MAX aircraft, but presumably that schedule is still a reduced one, which will allow them to adapt more easily should the planes still not be available at that time (as appears likely). 

 

Once the MAX is approved by the FAA and the grounding is lifted, it will still take many months until Southwest has all their MAX aircraft in the air and flight schedules return to "normal." For a number of reasons in addition to the MAX situation, that new normal will likely include significant changes compared to the flight schedules of 4 years ago.

 

There's a chance you may see a return to the former flight frequency on your route, if Southwest finds that business conditions warrant it as the best use of their aircraft.

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Re: Did something change with Southwest and Seattle?

Top Contributor

Routes and frquenency of service between two cities can change frequently, especially between two cities that are major hubs for other airlines and not major cities for Southwest. While unfortunate, changes from how it was 4 years ago aren't too surprising. Southwest has also put more emphasis and planes in growing markets such as Hawaii over the past year while flying with fewer planes than it has had. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat