Today, we opened our schedule for booking from November 2 through January 4. In a word: WOW! In my 36 years in this business, I’ve never seen a schedule release that was packed with more incredible, long-time-coming corporate milestones. Any single one of them would be a game-changer for any other airline, but we’re not just any airline. We’re SOUTHWEST—and we’ve got four huge Southwest milestones in this schedule release—and each one of them has taken thousands of hours of passion, sweat, and elbow-grease to become a reality. Now, all four will come to beautiful fruition on one glorious day. So let the celebration start, and let’s get into the details!
Beginnings, Chapter One: LUV IS SET FREE!
BIG news and BIG changes coming up for BIG D! What we’ve all been waiting for is now available for booking. The entire Company has been preparing for this huge milestone for over five years, and now it’s “SHOWTIME!” Our new Dallas/Love Field nonstop service, enabled by the end of the Wright Amendment, will come in two phases. The first wave begins on October 13, in which we will add new, NONSTOP flights between our home at DAL and the following:
Baltimore/Washington (three weekday roundtrips)
Chicago/Midway five weekday roundtrips)
Denver (three weekday roundtrips)
Las Vegas (three weekday roundtrips)
Los Angeles (three weekday roundtrips)
Orlando two weekday roundtrips)
Washington/Reagan National (three weekday roundtrips)
Wave two of SET LUV FREE begins on November 2, with eight more nonstop destinations and added flights in the first seven:
Atlanta (four weekday roundtrips)
Chicago/Midway (one more weekday roundtrip for a total of six)
Ft. Lauderdale (two weekday roundtrips)
Las Vegas (one more weekday roundtrip for a total of four)
Los Angeles (one more weekday roundtrip for a total of four)
Nashville (two weekday roundtrips)
New York/LaGuardia (three weekday roundtrips)
Orange County (one daily roundtrip)
Orlando (one more weekday roundtrip for a total of three)
Phoenix (four daily roundtrips)
San Diego (two daily roundtrips)
Tampa/St. Pete (two daily roundtrips)
For those of you keeping track—the first scheduled “SET LUV FREE” new nonstop from Dallas Love Field is planned to be Flight #1013 to Denver, departing on October 13 at 6:40 a.m. (Get it? Flight #1013? J!) Now THAT, my friends, sounds like a flight of celebration!
Beginnings, Chapter Two: LUV is a Capitol idea!
Effective November 2, Southwest will fill out our roster of new flights to and from Reagan/National Airport (in the heart of Washington, D.C.) made possible by our recent acquisition of additional operating slots. With the following additions, we’ll have 44 weekday departures from National Airport to 14 cities with same-plane or connecting itineraries to 63 others. Included in the new DCA service is new nonstop service to Akron/Canton (one daily roundtrip) and Indianapolis (two daily roundtrips). We’re also increasing the frequency in a number of markets, including adding a third Reagan/National to St. Louis roundtrip and two added roundtrips between Reagan/National and Houston/Hobby for a total of four each weekday.
Beginnings, Chapter Three: International Conversion Complete!
Our five-month phased transition of AirTran international service to the Southwest operation will be complete on November 2! On that date, we’ll add the two remaining international Stations—Mexico City and Punta Cana—and we’ll complete the conversion of Cancun and Montego Bay. We’ll also “turn-on” all of our domestic points to potential international connecting itineraries, so our entire multi-national network will be “connected!” WOW! Chalk that up as another of those “didn’t think I’d ever see that” milestones—but it’s HAPPENING! Click here for the final international nonstop market conversions, with their November – January frequencies. (Please note that this, as well as the two subsequent charts, can be viewed together in the same linked PDF document.)
Endings, Final Chapter: AirTran Sunset
The long and careful integration of AirTran into Southwest Airlines is almost complete! There will be other blog posts about this, but from a schedule standpoint this is a milestone that has to be called out and celebrated—because we are honest-to-goodness about to achieve ONE LUV! AirTran’s remaining domestic flights operating on November 2 and beyond will be available only on southwest.com, as well as other Southwest sales venues, so between November 2 and December 28, the remaining AirTran operated flights will be sold as Southwest Network Connect services. AirTran’s scheduled operations will end on December 28, and the final AirTran-operated flight is scheduled to be AirTran Flight #1 (Marketed as Southwest Flight #5001) ATL-TPA, departing at 10:25 p.m. and arriving at 11:55 p.m. That’s the same flight number and market that was the very first flight operated by AirTran’s predecessor, ValuJet, on October 26, 1993. Details on the final city-by-city, market-by-market conversion can be found here.
Sunrise/Sunset: Market Changes for the November Schedule
As with any new schedule—including one of this magnitude—Southwest will make a lot of adjustments to markets not involved in any of our other huge milestone events. We will add our first-ever transcontinental service from Washington/Dulles Airport to beautiful San Diego, and will bring back nonstop service in the Washington/Dulles-Las Vegas market. Seasonal nonstops will begin in 18 other markets, while six seasonal nonstop markets will end their 2014 operation. Nonstop service in three markets will be permanently eliminated. Click here for more details.
Huge changes, huge milestones, and huge accomplishments, all on one date. Wow. WOW. Southwest Airlines is delivering on our transformation, folks. The landscape is changing, and that’s what Southwest does—we change the landscape! Enjoy the network changes, everyone—and have a GREAT week!