I have a flight on May 16, from MCO Orlando to SJU, PR. Has anyone traveled recently who can tell me if there are many travelers and if it is necessary to arrive at the airport 3 hours before departure. I don't want to be early and have to wait a long time to board.
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In my case, a key non-stop to Birmingham was cancelled. With no non-stops from MDW to Birmingham, the rest of the schedule doesn't work. When I add in an alternate destination, it requires a new booking at a higher rate, since Atlanta is not considered same market as Birmingham. Don't really understand why SWA is cancelling all non-stops into some markets. Also, they need to extend A-list and Companion Passes, since trying to use them effectively right now is extremely difficult.
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We continue to focus on safeguarding our Employees in their heart-strong work to facilitate essential journeys for Customers and cargo traveling right now. At the same time, Teams across the airline are working through plans for different phases of the recovery anticipated ahead. We’re building plans that reflect forecasts both for diminished demand and potential travel in late spring and summer. This week we’re publishing a new foundational flight schedule for June 6 through June 27, 2020.
New Flight Schedule
The revised June schedule echoes many of the May changes I shared last week. Customers already booked to travel in June and whose journeys will be impacted, soon will hear from us with any changes to their specific travel plans. The vast majority will include new flight times, new flight numbers, or changes in routing. We’ll also share with them additional flexibility established in our policies.
As with the May changes, Southwest’s operational day effectively will be shortened with the removal of many departures previously scheduled before 7 am and after 8 pm.
Overall flight activity in June drops to just more than 2,000 flights a day, down from a previous schedule of approximately 4,000 flights on weekdays, a baseline already diminished by the grounding of our MAX fleet.
Our Schedule Planners restructured service across our network, dropping flight activity by nearly 50% while maintaining service to all our domestic cities and preserving more than 80% of the itineraries we offered in the prior schedule.
We intend to reintroduce access to additional international destinations allowing our Customers to consider potential travel. We suspended our entire international operation on March 23.
On June 7, we intend to launch nonstop service to Cancun from both Baltimore/Washington and Denver. The Mile High City also regains nonstop service to San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos on the same day.
For the Caribbean, we intend to reestablish nonstop service between Baltimore/Washington and Nassau, Bahamas; Orlando and Montego Bay, Jamaica; and, Tampa and Havana, Cuba, all beginning Sunday, June 7.
Last week, I shared our intention that once-daily service between Houston Hobby and both Cancun and San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos will resume on Thursday, May 21, along with once-daily service between Baltimore/Washington and Montego Bay.
The remainder of our international routes remain suspended at least through June 27, 2020. As soon as we’re able, we’ll share market-specific details about the resumption of additional service, subject to relaxed restrictions.
We intend to bring our first-ever service from San Diego to Honolulu beginning June 7, launching once daily flying between our fourth California gateway and the Islands. We also intend to reestablish service to Honolulu from Sacramento and San Jose, Calif., on the same day.
Last week, I shared our intention to reconnect Maui and Oakland beginning May 21, building on an interim service pattern for the Hawaiian Islands that began operating this past week: twice daily flying between Honolulu and Oakland is now providing Crew and aircraft to facilitate essential travel among the Hawaiian Islands.
We continue to coordinate with the State of Hawaii and intend to resume our previous level of flying subject to a relaxation of restrictions.
I hope you’ll see in all of this news a desire by the People of Southwest to serve you with unwavering Hospitality through necessary and temporary changes. We’ll see you onboard soon!
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As the adage says, time flies! It is hard to believe that five years ago this week Southwest Airlines began an international chapter in our now nearly 50-year history. On July 1, 2014, seven flights pushed back from gates at Atlanta (ATL), Baltimore/Washington (BWI), and Orlando (MCO) and carried our first Customers toward three international destinations in the Caribbean. Today brings an opportunity to look back at all that has unfolded since and, while celebrating this exciting milestone, look forward to future opportunity.
The framework for Southwest’s entry into an international arena began several years prior with the acquisition of AirTran Airways. As many workgroups from across the Company can attest, navigating various commercial, operational, and regulatory complexities of an international operation are daunting. Bringing in AirTran’s people, planes, and processes enabled us to get a jumpstart on a steep learning curve.
As time went on, we used shared knowledge to take our international network to the next level. Rather than concentrating international service to a small number of mega stations and relying on connections to fill those aircraft, we found opportunities to open point-to-point international service for several cities in which Southwest had already earned a great deal of Customer loyalty. Now, during peak schedules, we offer international service through 24 U.S. airport gateways!
Southwest has continued to mature our international franchise by finding new avenues to improve our performance and offering precision in how we approach serving our international Customers. Our current strategy focuses on bringing U.S. travelers to leisure destinations, so we consistently analyze demand patterns to deploy flights to address that demand. This is why we tend to see additional international service prior to Labor Day, as well as additional trips around the end-of-year holidays. Our schedule design and production groups even address daily fluctuations within individual weeks now to offer less-than-daily service when demand is lower.
Southwest has built out facilities for international operations and places to distribute our service. We have invested in new facilities in both Houston and Fort Lauderdale. These international gateway facilities allow more of the network to connect to international destinations, while maintaining point-to-point routes that enjoy a high level of local demand. Another high priority for future international capability focuses on our ability to accept foreign currencies. Several departments are hard at work to make this capability a reality. In the meantime, we have developed a new avenue for distribution of our product in San José, Costa Rica, to allow direct sell of Southwest tickets to local residents through a City Ticket Office located in the business center of town. This offers a great way for us to build brand recognition in Costa Rica while we work on the capabilities to offer direct sales through Southwest.com.
As the United States celebrates and embraces Independence Day weekend, we also mark a milestone in Company history: five years of spreading our wings to now 10 countries beyond the U.S. Not bad for an airline that started flying between three Texas cities! It is truly remarkable—yet it’s not surprising when you consider Teamwork across the Company that now brings Southwest Hospitality, bags fly free, and no change fees to even more international destinations.
The airline that democratized the sky beginning in 1971 continues that mission today in places where the Southwest effect brings new Customers and changes the landscape of value and service.
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