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Southwest Airlines expanding service to Upstate, Charleston

lreynolds
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By Trevor Anderson
trevor.anderson@shj.com

Dave Edwards had to pinch himself during a phone call he received late Monday.

to read more, visit:  http://www.goupstate.com/article/20100512/ARTICLES/5121026/1086?p=all&tc=pgall&tc=ar

32 Comments
dp
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Great news for Charleston. When will Southwest start hiring for positions in the Charleston area?
PK
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I am SO EXCITED about Southwest coming to GSP I hope to use the service frequently and as soon as it is available.!!. Thank you for coming to our area. We appreciate it Pat-A resident of Greenville, SC.
Happy
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I am SO excited about the new route!! As a South Carolina native living in Nashville, I can't wait to be able to fly to Greenville and Charleston! THANK YOU, SOUTHWEST for listening to your customers. Can't wait to fly more with you soon.
db11
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We are senior citizens, live in the Washington, DC area, have a son and daughter in-law in Greenville, SC and a one-way, 9-hour, 530 mile car ride to see them. NO MORE! Thanks Southwest from all of us.
ST1
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So excited to hear Southwest will be flying to Charleston. We live in Dickson Tennessee and are so thankful we will be able to see our family more frequently, especially our new grandchild. Thanks Southwest for making a difference in our lives.
Austin_Blackbur
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What happened to Knoxville? Why about Knoxville made it rank lower than Greenville/Spartanburg? Of the 100 busiest airports in the nation, Knoxville has the fourth highest average fares in the nation: http://www.bts.gov/press_releases/2010/bts025_10/html/bts025_10.html Where will you fly from Greenville/Spartanburg? In the third quarter of 2009, the latest for which data is available, Greenville/Spartanburg's most popular destination was Dallas, and only 113 passengers flew between both cities. But the Wright Amendment won't allow nonstop service. The next popular route was Philadelphia, in which 102 people flew daily. But is it really practical to compete with US Airways' three daily flights? The next most popular route is New York, in which 92 people fly. But slots at LaGuardia prevents a nonstop flight. The next most popular is Orlando, in which 91 passengers fly. But Allegiant Air already offers low fares, and 91 passengers is not enough to support 737 service because of competition from another low-fare airline, not to mention few connecting passengers. The next most popular route is Detroit, in which 91 passengers fly. But is it practical to compete with Delta's three flights on that route? http://ostpxweb.dot.gov/aviation/x-50%20Role_files/consumerairfarereport.htm Unlike Charleston, Knoxville has high fares, and unlike Greenville/Spartanburg, Knoxville generates more traffic, and focuses that traffic cities that have large Southwest Airlines operations. Knoxville generates more traffic to Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Ft Lauderdale, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Orange County, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, St Louis, Tampa, and Washington than Greenville/Spartanburg. For example, in the third quarter of 2009, the latest for which data is available, the most expensive average fare between any two cities throughout the entire nation in which more than 100 people flew everyday was between Knoxville and Washington, DC, where the average fare was $401.48. Knoxville generates more traffic to both Baltimore and Washington than, even though it has higher average fares. An average of 152 passengers fly between Knoxville and Washington/Baltimore daily, while only 77 passengers fly between Greenville/Spartanburg and Washington/Baltimore daily. Meanwhile, the average fare between Knoxville and Washington/Baltimore was $366.32, while the average fare between Greenville/Spartanburg and Washington/Baltimore was $283.57. Obviously, Knoxville leaks passengers to Nashville, but service at Knoxville would not threaten Southwest's operation at Nashville. When Independence Air offered nonstop flights from Knoxville to Orlando and Tampa, the average fares between Knoxville and Orlando and Tampa were lower than the average fares between Nashville and Orlando and Tampa, but passengers still rose between Nashville and Orlando and Tampa.
Norma_Vorhies
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Great flight attendants! Alway scurteous and cheerful. Makes flying faster&pleasant. Flight are always on time like no other airline. Thank you Southwest!
Anonymous3536
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Greenville is an interesting destination. It is between Delta and Airtran controlled Atlanta and Us Airways Controlled Charlotte. It has a rather solid metropolitan population and a number of universities in the immediate proximity including Clemson. This destination should perform rather well. I see flights to Nashville, Orlando, Baltimore and Chicago initially. Southwest in Charleston appears to have a different feel to it than Airtran in Charleston. Southwest should succeed where Airtran failed. Southwest can own this market in no time. Overall, I think this was a very good decision. I look forward to seeing Southwest in Cincinnati. Everybody knows that Delta would dramatically reduce service in favor of Detroit.
Pierre
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As a resident of the Charleton Area for over 20 years but now living in the Chicago area, I cannot express my joy in Southwest opening CHS as a destination. I still have co-workers in Charleston so both offices will be going back and forth from Chicago and Charleston. It will now be great to pay half the airfare and run on time compared to other airlines.
Anonymous2156
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I am SO thrilled and have been hoping this would happen for quite a while! I am a native of South Carolina and now live in Nashville. I will now always fly...so much easier than the the drive with our children. Thank you!!
ML1
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I too am excited that SWA has finally decided to fly in and out of SC--specifically Charleston. I live in Conway and am closer to Myrtle Beach but would drive the 2-2&1/2 to Charleston to fly to visit my family in Sacramento CA, and Southeastern MA-where I could fly into the RI airport in WArwick. That would be a GREAT help. In October I am booked to fly SWA out of Raleigh-Durham to visit my son, daughter-in-law and new granddaughter. She is due to arrive in Sept 2010. This is a 3&1/2 hr -4hr drive from my home just to get to the airport, and then will have to stay overnight at a hotel near the airport. Hopefully in 2011 I won't have to drive to Raleigh in order to get a SWA flight out to Sacramento, CA, , But will be able (PLEASE) to take a SWA flight out of Charleston to Sacramento. My son and daughter-in law live in Folsom, Ca , and Sacramento is the closest airport to them. I am hoping and praying that this will work out for me (and lots of others I am sure). I look forward with eager anticipation of this being a reality for me. If this turns out to be the case--I would be able to fly out to visit my family more often than I am able to do now---and of course it will be on SWA.
DIANNE_RITTINER
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I have lived in New Orleans since 1980. Moved there from Charleston, SC , where I was born and raised for 33 years. I am so thrilled not to have to drive 14 hours each way anymore. I cannot wait to be able to go home for long weekends to see my Grandchildren and Children. Thank you so much, Southwest. We can always rely on you.
Anonymous947
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My husband and I are thrilled that SW will be operating flights into CHS. Our daughter and only grandchild recently moved to the Charleston area which would mean at least a 17 hour drive from Arkansas to visit them. With Southwest flights, we can easily visit our daughter in SC and fly on up the east coast to visit our son in NYC. Thank you for bringing our family a little closer together! When can we start booking flights?
Kevin8
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I'd have to agree that Southwest would do great in Knoxville. My company needs relief to TYS. According to the US Census Bureau the Knoxville area has an annual influx of 5,000 NEW residents form Michiganders and Buckeyes moving south. Southwest, are you listening? Have you been to TYS for a site visit? Check it out and you'll dominate with all of the "Half Backs"
kheiser
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When, oh when, are you going to add Wilmington, NC?? You have nothing on the coast to service the Myrtle Beach-Wilmington-Outer Banks area. Raleigh is wayyyy too far away! Please add Wilmington.
Indy_Girl
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I am so glad you're finally adding Charleston, SC to your destinations. I have been going there for years and HATE the drive and going thru all the "hoops" to fly there. I want to be on the the first flight there from Indy. Thank you for listening to your customers. . . . and that's why I fly SWA!
Jake2
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Austin, about why Greenville orver Knoxville. What your missing is all the traffic Charlotte is getting from Greenville/Spartanburg who would not drive to Charlotte.
Carol_in_Caroli
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I am a weekely road warrior from Charleston, SC and cannot wait to see the arrival of Southwest airlines. If the opportunity arises, I book on Southwest (last month I flew from Las Vegas to Oklahoma City). It is the buzz on the all thr Charleston flights and it will be wonderful to have an efficient and friendly airline in our city. Sick and tired of the high airfares. Hope Nashville, TN will be one of the connecting cities. THANK YOU!!!
Jules
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I fly weekly on Southwest and will be going to Greenville, SC so i was very happy to see that it is listed as a new city for Southwest. I cannot wait!! I hope it will be soon but cannot find the dates that it will be starting. I heard March 2011 but hope it will be sooner than that. Until then, I will have to use another airline, but will be hopping onboard once the dates are announced. Thank you again, Southwest!!
Happy
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I'm so glad SC is finally getting Southwest! I lived in Greenville, SC for many years and can attest to the fact that most people drive to ATL or CLT to fly out because so many GSP fares are just too high. Now with Southwest people will save money, have better service, and have the convenience of not having to drive 1.5-2 hours to a bigger airport. I think you will have many happy customers from day one. I live in Nashville now so I hope Southwest will fly BNA - GSP nonstop!!
greg_in_charles
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Not sure Austin Blackburn gets his facts about Charleston, SC not having high fares. "Unlike Charleston, Knoxville has high fares, and unlike Greenville/Spartanburg, Knoxville generates more traffic, and focuses that traffic cities that have large Southwest Airlines operations." Austin Blackburn, posting on this blog on 5/20/10 Here's the latest report from RITA http://www.bts.gov/press_releases/2010/bts036_10/html/bts036_10.html Charleston, SC had the highest percentage increase in fares thanks to Delta and USAirways raising fares after Airtran left town. Charleston's average airfare for the first quarter 2010 was the second highest in the nation, with Knoxville at #3. I can't find the list of total passengers by airports, but I believe Charleston served 2.2 million folks in 2009. I think the number of passengers will certainly increase in 2011, but also believe a lot of passengers will be choosing SWA over Delta and USAirways to avoid Atlanta and CLT, especially if they can save money. Charleston will serve more people who either fly out of MYR or drive, but their will be a lot of folks simply picking SWA over Delta. I expect GSP traffic to dramatically increase, since they have mostly RJs. v/r Greg
Stuck_in_Charle
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I am still waiting to hear about any action by SWA in CHS. I reluctantly booked a flight from Boston back to CHS this past week on a competitor and hated every minute of the flight knowing that sometime in the future SWA will be here. WHEN!!!! I'm sure I'm not alone in anxious anticipation. Hurry! Your fan base is desperate !!!!
Anonymous2804
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when will southwest start their their service in Greenville?
Anonymous738
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We are seniors who recently purchased property in Myrtle Beach. We fly Southwest frequently and use Raleigh/Durham as the closet Southwest route out of BWI. We need a better connection to reduce car travel. Please provide the connection to Charleston asap. We and others need this service!! We love flying SW on many routes, including LA, FL and Vegas!! Thanks!
Anonymous2343
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I am so excited about Southwest going to Greenville. My daughter is a student at Clemson and we have friends that have students at both clemson and Furman. We live in Jacksonville, FL. Start flights soon. Orlando to Greenville and Jacksonville to Greenville would be great flights.
Anonymous2375
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Please, please, please add Knoxville Tennessee
BNA_to_CHS_Fan
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Any idea when we will hear where SWA will fly from CHS? I'm hoping they go to Nashville. There's a big Nashvegas contingent who I think would like the CHS route. Please fly to Nashville.
Anonymous2004
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Dear Southwest, Your customer's are so excited about your move to South Carolina. When are you coming?!
Anonymous1964
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Southwest You are the BEST!!!!!!!!! Cant wait until we can start booking tickets!!!! The friendliest staff and the easiest airline to travel!!! YAY!!!!!
Anonymous174
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Thank you, Southwest! Since AirTran left Charleston, air fares have eaten us alive as we fly our granddaughters to and from Iowa. Please, please, please say you'll have something going that way!
Unger
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I know service starts March 13, 2011 for CHS.. When will southwest be hiring.. I have been looking on southwest.com since December.. Any word on were they will be posting opening for CHS? Any information would be great.. I would love to get on with southwest.. Thanks Jason
lmoffat
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Hi Jason, We typically open up the opportunity for our Employees to transfer internally to our new cities. But, you can stay tuned to www.southwest.com/careers and set up job alerts so you can be notified if any position posts. Hope that helps!