Terry Trippler is a respected travel expert from the Twin Cities.
When Southwest Airlines announced Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) would be the next city to join their family, the Twin Cities media asked if MSP would experience the “Southwest Effect”. Coined by the Department of Transportation to describe how Southwest’s entry into a new market results in lower fares on all airlines and an overall increase in demand for air travel, the "Southwest Effect" will soon hit MSP with a vengeance.
Southwest begins service March 8, 2009 with 8 non-stops between MSP and Chicago. Fares? Southwest’s lowest fare will be about half of the current lowest MSP-Chicago fare. Will other fares drop? You can bet the rent they will.
I was in Dallas when Southwest made the announcement. I returned home to over 150 e-mails from travelers wanting to know more. When will they start? Where will they fly? How much will they charge? These folks were excited!
Southwest Airlines offers exceptional reliability, excellent service, complimentary in-flight beverages and there is no charge to check baggage (the first two bags are free). In addition to the 8 daily non-stops, travelers can take advantage of connecting flights to 56 cities throughout the United States. Does that mean that fares will drop between MSP and those 56 cities? Yep.
Like all new service, the air traveler is who decides if this new route succeeds. Judging from my e-mails, the people who stop me on the street and the airline I know Southwest Airlines to be – MSP will soon become a permanent member of the Southwest Airlines family.
Come March, you will not only be “free to move about the country,” but you will be able to afford to do it more often. See you onboard.