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April 2016 Schedule is Here! No Foolin'!

Bill
Employee
Employee

Today Southwest Airlines opened our April 2016 schedule, and there are LOTS of changes in this one, both from a schedule standpoint and from a construction standpoint. Let’s discuss! Coming out of the traffic peaks of spring break season, the April Base remains relatively the same size, coming in at 3,812 departures each Monday (totals on other days might be slightly different).
  • St. Louis picks up four new markets (Des Moines, Pittsburgh, and Wichita permanent, and Seattle/Tacoma returns seasonally to become year-round) winding up very close to 100 weekday departures.
  • Chicago gains three new nonstop destinations, all permanent—Dayton, Flint, and Grand Rapids.
  • Phoenix is also picking up a new daily flight to Wichita, Kansas. Newark/Liberty picks up new nonstop to Vegas and Orlando and we’ll challenge I-85 by starting Atlanta-Greenville/Spartanburg service three times a day! (Insert everyone’s favorite B-52’s song here!)
  • And seasonally we’re bringing back Washington/Dulles-San Diego and Albuquerque-Portland, OR nonstops.
Much of this comes as part of a restructuring of a few small Stations. We also seasonally say goodbye to a number of leisure markets (Spring Break comes but once a year!). We also change frequency in almost 100 other markets across our network! For a total list of the details, click here! The April 2016 schedule is significant for another reason—it’s the first schedule to be generated completely from our new third-generation schedule optimizer, SKYMax. Our previous optimizer iterations, while awesome, operated primarily on the premise of meeting parameters and evenly spacing flights in markets. SKYMax takes this concept up to a whole level. SKYMax schedules to actual time-of-day Customer demand while still meeting constraints, which lets us say “Yes! We have seats when you want to travel!” more often! You will see some differences, however. Based on the time-of-day demand, you’re going to notice flights in some markets a bit more “bunched up” during peak demand times, and see longer gaps during times when our Customers have said they really don’t want to fly. It’s a VERY exciting development and one that’s been in the works for a while! This schedule has a LOT of intricate and cool stuff in it, so if you have questions, please let me know. If not—have a GREAT week, and have a fantastic Halloween!  
6 Comments
lbfmaf
Not applicable
Thank you. I have been waiting for Day - MDW for a long time.
user47
New Arrival
Some great changes for the Midwest this time around. Thanks for the third daily non-stop MCI-DCA, Southwest!. Looking forward to seeing how the PHX and STL pairs work out for ICT in place of DAL and MDW.
oaktowntwinz
Not applicable
This new schedule may be exciting for some but it isn't for me. Discontinuing the RIC MCO flight is ridiculous, especially since Southwest admits its profitable but the plane is needed for "restructuring". This leaves RIC with 3 flights to ATL. Why would I choose to fly Southwest through ATL to get to Oakland? I thought the connection through MCO was great. Delta offers flights on an hourly basis between RIC and ATL. Its unfathomable that SWA planners couldn't find a better way to connect RIC passengers to the west coast. This makes me think that RIC is being thrown to the sharks. Of course Southwest will say they couldn't make the market work but its time to be honest. You never tried. Southwest is no longer the trendsetter it used to be. It has become lazy and has a planning department that is uninspired and uninspiring. The Richmond airport has posted 20 months of consistent growth. All airlines are growing there except one. Guess who that is?
Bill
Employee
Employee
Hi there. Bill here. I can appreciate that you don't agree with our decision. However I can certainly tell you that my Department is inspired and is working for the best of the Company and to provide ever improving access for our Customers like you. MANY decisions have to be agreed upon before something like this happens so please don't think this kind of choice comes lightly. And, follow me here, not every full flight is a profitable flight. Again, we will agree to disagree--but I hope we see you again.
oaktowntwinz
Not applicable
Hello Bill. Thanks for your response. I won't belabor this but I wanted to point out the difference between what I said and what you read. I did not say the RIC MCO flights were full. A Southwest representative was quoted in the news and stated the flight was "profitable". I understand the difference between full flights and profitable ones. I also found it interesting that you didn't report the intentions of SWA for RIC. As you said, we may agree to disagree but it seems we can agree that the writing is on the wall for Richmond.
cdenouden
Not applicable
Looks like SW just discontinued the Des Moines to/from Chicago Midway flights??? I've flown this flight over 20 times since it started in 2012 and the flights were almost always full. Instead we have to go through St Louis? There is alot of support for DSM to CHI. Even the SW staff I spoke to couldn't comprehend the change. Please reconsider SW.... Long time loyal customer who hopes to keep flying SW.