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Maestro! Queue me up some "West Side Story" please, in the key of F:

Could it be, yes it could.

Something's coming, something good!

If I can wait.........

Something's coming, I don't know what it is,

But it is, gonna be great!

Flight schedules for the time period extending from October 31, 2008 all the way to January 9, 2009, have been sent--and will be open for sale next Thursday, June 26! This (obviously) includes the Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hannukah, and New Year's holiday schedules. So start thinking about where you want to have your turkey and dressing....where you want to light your candles or trim your tree....and where you want to ring in 2009. Something's coming--our flight schedule, that is--and I guarantee it's gonna be great!

You might wonder why we sent the flight schedules on the 19th and they won't be available for you to "see" and purchase until the 26th. First off, this is always the most difficult "chunk" of schedule to prepare of the entire year--as I said, it contains three Holiday Schedules, and each one of them are manually tweaked based on anticipated traffic (and traffic is always different over the Holidays than it is during the non-Holiday November/December/early January timeframe). So there is four times as much work to do to build versus a normal schedule send.

Then, after Schedule Planning distributes the schedule, a zillion other workgroups, both inside Southwest and externally, have to take the data we've sent and get them ready for you to make reservations. For example, our Reservations Support team in Technology has to take our data and actually load it into our Reservations system. Interactive Marketing has to do the same to prepare to receive and activate the schedule dates. Revenue Management has to get the fare inventories ready to accept your bookings. And our partners at SABRE and Galileo (two huge global computer reservations systems) have to ingest our schedule, make sure it's in synch with what we're selling internally, and go through all of their processes to make sure that next Thursday they're ready to hit their big "DING!" button.

So get ready. Your phone won't jingle, and your door won't knock, but something's coming sometime next Thursday, June 26. And's gonna be great!