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WHY NO SOUTHWEST TO HAWAII?

‎04-04-2008 09:46 AM Weekender Bill
Weekender
‎04-04-2008 09:46 AM

See below for April 10 update  Everyone at Southwest Airlines was saddened by the sudden termination of service by our codeshare partner, ATA Airlines. Setting aside the business relationship for just a second, we appreciate the hard work of our colleagues at ATA, and wish them nothing but the best in the future. However, I thought I should post a quick blog about a question that's come up MANY times since ATA ceased operating–why didn't Southwest buy (or take over) ATA's Hawaii routes? As much as all of us at Southwest would love to have done it, there are a few absolute brick walls that prevent us from just jumping in on short notice to fill the void left by ATA. The simple answer: we can't. First, there is no such thing as "buying" a domestic US route these days. Deregulation of the industry the late 1970's meant that any airline could fly between any two points in the US if they wanted to. Some international route authories are still tightly controlled, but mainland–Hawaii service is considered domestic. So there was nothing to buy. Okay--on to the brick walls. Brick wall #1–Southwest's aircraft are not ready to quickly start flying to Hawaii. Twin-engine aircraft require extra equipment, and their flight and ground crews extra training, in order to fly longhaul flights over vast stretches of open water. ATA's Boeing 737's and employees (as were those of Aloha Airlines) were already fully certified in that process. Southwest's haven't been, because we have never needed it. Brick wall #2–resource availability. Southwest's low costs are predicated on efficiency and part of that efficiency means we don't have spare, unused aircraft and Crews simply sitting around waiting for something to do. If we were to undertake a large-scale new operation on very short notice (and simply duplicating ATA's Hawaii operations would require nearly a dozen aircraft and the opening of five new cities), we would have to cancel existing service to free up aircraft, reaccommodate Customers booked on those flights, and reroute possibly hundreds of Crew pairings–all at a huge cost to both Customers and Crews. In these days of $100 a barrel oil, that is a cost Southwest just couldn't justify. Going further...in response to these brick walls, many have asked why Southwest just didn't buy ATA's aircraft (already certificated and in use for Hawaiian operations) and use those aircraft to fly ATA's former routes. Again, it's a lot easier said than done. First, the certification for longhaul overwater operations is specific to the airline, not the aircraft–so even if we had slapped a Southwest logo on ATA's aircraft, we still couldn't immediately begin boarding our first departure to Honolulu. And while ATA flew 737's (among other aircraft types) to Hawaii, they were the 737-800, a different type of 737 than Southwest's (we fly -300's, -500's, and -700's). Introducing a new aircraft type into an airline's fleet is an expensive, time-consuming, and resource-intensive activity, and our current focus and efforts are better spent on improving the efficiency and performance of our existing, mainland-based network. Again, we are enormously disappointed at this turn of events–but I hope this answers some of your questions as to why Southwest isn't able to simply swoop in and take up the Hawaiian "slack"....and we sincerely wish all of ATA's employees the best of luck. Thanks for reading "Nuts About Southwest!" Update as of April 10, 2008:  Today, Southwest began contacting Customers who purchased Southwest tickets operated by ATA Airlines and were scheduled to commence travel after from May 3rd to process full refunds of their tickets. While we have successfully reaccommodated the majority of our Customers traveling between now and May 3, we have also realized that the only realistic option as we go forward into peak travel season is to give full refunds on existing purchased tickets.  As we examined reaccomodation options beyond May 3, it became readily apparent that, given the significant reduction in capacity between the Mainland and Hawaii after the discontinuation of both ATA and Aloha Airlines, there were simply too few seats left available to offer all of our Customers suitable rebooking options. Why was May 3 picked as the date?  Well, the simple answer is that it gave Southwest 30 days to handle Customers that were most immediately impacted--to contact them, to reaccomodate them, and to get them on their way.  Looking past that date, though, it was pretty clear after a week of study that the options past May 3 were not greater--they were fewer. I can honestly say that everyone at Southwest is heartsick at this outcome, just as we are enormously disappointed at the sudden demise of ATA.  However, we *do* think it is better to refund existing, paid Southwest tickets on ATA flights, rather than to keep you waiting on options that would most probably be inferior to the great service that we had planned to provide for you. To answer a harder question.....did we look at other options?  Of course.  Read the blog post above for a detailed explanation of why Southwest can't just start immediate service to Hawaii. Further, when the numbers of people booked on each, individual day were studied, there just weren't enough people on each single day to funnel them through a logical "collection" point, given their existing reservations, and arrange charter service even in the short term.  And to make that option even more difficult, the list of available charter options has been significantly reduced by the current industry crisis.  So, that just wasn't an option.  Nor was it an acceptable option to keep you on pins and needles.....thus this decision. Again, those Customers who purchased Southwest tickets operated by ATA Airlines and were scheduled to begin their trips between May 4 and August 22,2008, will receive a full refund delivered to your original form of payment and a Southwest LUV voucher as a gesture of goodwill for this inconvenience....but I thought it was important to update the blog with the "breaking" news.   We had hoped to build on our relationship with ATA, but they decided they couldn't continue in the current business climate.   We have done what we hope is best for everyone. All of us here at the Southwest Airlines are very saddened by this.  We hope you will understand that ATA's discontinuation of scheduled service was just flat beyond our control...and that we are doing what we can to provide the best Service to our wonderful Customers.    Bill

156 Comments
Great explanation Bill. Perhaps some point down the road -- Southwest will be able to make it happen and say Aloha to the Islands!!
Diana
N/A
This was an excellent blog as I have been asking myself all of these questions since I learned about the ATA predicament. I am one of the unfortunate ones who already had a trip booked with Southwest to Hawaii in May. I understand that I should wait until after Apr. 7th to contact Southwest to determine my fate, but with all the other travel accommodations already set in stone, I would sure like to know (sooner) what if anything Southwest plans to do with us... give a refund or find a way to accommodate the customer?? If a refund is the answer, then I have to hustle to get other accommodations made on my own! [I'm not an angry customer at all. I totally understand how business works... just would like to know a little more about my individual situation.]
[...] Why Southwest Airlines Isn’t Flying to Hawaii - After ATA shut-down services, SWA can’t just start flying to Hawaii to pick up the business of its former partner. [...]
sparky
N/A
Working in the industry, I know exactly what you are talking about. A common term that I used to have to work with was ETOPS, Ref wikipdeia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETOPS for more info. If that is not enough info into ETOPS, for those with time and desire for knowledge, go to http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2007/pdf/07-39.pdf . This document from the FAA basically covers many more details concerning over water flight. After looking at the last document, many of you should see that over water flight is not as simple as it may look. 1.) Aircraft I would guess already have the required avionics, but would probably require more safety equipment on board. 2.) Flight crews would require more and different training, as would maintenance crews. 3.) Would need maintenance base over in Hawaii (as flying items on MEL are severly reduced for overflight travel.) This would also mean more cost for storage and maintenance of parts. An example may be the Auto Pilot. Flying over land, MEL on the Auto Pilot for example, flying over land, it would not be required, however, over water it is a NO-GO. Therefore, they would need ALL the parts available on site to repair this problem. This could be MILLIONS of dollars worth of parts alone. 4.) Company must preform proving runs to prove to the FAA that they can do this safely and this takes time. 5.) They must open a base at the desired station(s), train the personell, supply the ground equipment, and more. I am sure that I left alot of details out, but doing this would be no easy task... I for one would love to see SWA undertake this, but it would be a very expensive and time consuming task. I am sure that some day, SWA will have routes over there, but not in the close foreseeable future. I hope that I have not confuesed anyone with this, but I hope it outlines alot of whys to SWA's decision.
But you guys could have bought ATA and run it as a separate airline until you could get your own fleet and airline certified for overwater flying. I'm not saying that's what you SHOULD do, but it's an option.
New Arrival bhurst
New Arrival
Bill ... there you go with logic again! Come on! Can't we go to Hawaii just because it would be WAY COOL :-) B
blusk
N/A
Diana, If you purchased your ticket to Hawaii directly from Southwest, we will rebook you on another airline to Hawaii at our cost. Keep in mind that the time will probably be different and depending upon from where you are traveling, it may involve a connection. We are asking folks with travel in May to wait until we can reaccommodate those with immediate travel plans. Again, if you purchased the ticket directly from Southwest, you may also obtain a refund. If that is the path you are seeking, you may call our normal Reservations number for a refund at 1 800 I Fly SWA. (Our regular Reservations line can't handle the reaccommodation process.) bRIAN
Diana
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Brian, thank you. This information was helpful and I appreciate it! BTW: I do love Southwest Airlines. I'll be back and I know you guys will figure out how best to serve your customers soon!
Does Southwest have plans to code-share with another airline now that ATA is gone? It would be nice to that since Southwest is slow at moving into new cities. Sun Country flys to a lot of cities that Southwest doesn't fly to and also uses 737's, maybe that would be a good fit to expand both networks.
Jon8
N/A
Would it have been possible for Southwest to somehow "prop up" ATA for a very short period of time, with the stipulation that no new trips could originate? This would have been expensive, sure. But, it would have demonstrated a commitment to customers who (as of the time of ATA's shutdown) had already flown the outbound portion of their itinerary but had not flown the return segment(s). Possibly some kind of "wet lease" agreement and/or Southwest paying ATA's operating costs (for the scheduled service side of their business only) for 1 or 2 weeks?
>>>Sun Country flys to a lot of cities that Southwest doesnÃ
Based on how quickly ATA went down the drain, I think it was prudent to not try to prop them up. Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don't do.
Any possibility of acquiring ATA's terminal space at DCA? LUV to have you guys out of DCA.
Weekender Bill
Weekender
Happy Friday afternoon, everyone! A few answers/comments: Diana...even though Brian has already answered you--best of luck!!! And see you again soon, I hope. John C.---excellent, and spot-on, additional information, sir. Thanks! Cranky, operating any subsidiary operation would open up a host of work-scope and union issues--none of which could, or would, be solved quickly enough to implement before ATA's shutdown. Bob--thanks for lunch! Smiley Happy Steve, we may be slow to move into new cities....but remember the old children's story about the tortise and the hare? Jon, Southwest had no equity stake or business interest in ATA, and it just wouldn't have made good business sense to do so given their financials. Rich, since DCA is tightly slot-controlled--and ATA had pulled out of DCA late last year--getting into DCA will be difficult for Southwest. For the time being I hope you'll be able to access the Southwest network via our new service to Dulles, or our huge operation at Baltimore. Keep commenting--I'll be checking over the weekend! Bill
Andy
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The thought of being on a Southwest jet on a trip as long as to Hawaii sends chills down my spine. I can't take more than a few hours all cramped up like that. Stick to what you do best with those high frequency, relatively short flights.
ku4a
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Thanks for a great post. I am always interested in the "inside details" of how things like airlines work. The more we understand, the better it is for customers, shareholders, and everyone.
Andy3
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My wife and I are/were booked to Hawaii- Maui for a friend's wedding in July out of San Diego. We were supposed to fly SW to Oakland, and then ATA to Maui. We will be traveling with a 2 month-old baby. My wife is a loyal SW customer, so much so that we had enough Rapid Rewards points that we could book two tickets using double the points. Now it looks like our only option is Hawaiian Airlines out of San Diego, but tickets are over $800 per person and they are going fast. I'm afraid that if I wait to be called by SW, and then they tell me that they aren't accommodating Rapid Rewards tickets, that the Hawaiian tickets will be $2000 per person or gone completely. Can anyone tell me how Rapid Rewards tickets are being accommodated?
Thanks for the insider information about the Why's. It's great to hear from the company's end on why Southwest can't fly right now. But does it have to stop there? Will Southwest fly to Hawai'i (or other overseas destinations for that matter) in the future? As I have known, Southwest has a very good Spirit and will power to take on challenges and prevail over them. Why is Hawai'i any different? Your post here makes it sound like Hawai'i (and thus other overseas destinations) impossible to handle. I know that you can. Southwest is one of the best airlines out there. I believe that Southwest has an opportunity to step in and build up in first Hawai'i as well as start up other destinations for the future. Keep trying! Don't stop just because "we can't right now". Thanks. Looking forward to flying with you again. Peace.
blusk
N/A
Andy, Our folks will be contacting everyone that booked a reservation through Southwest on ATA to Hawaii. Right now they are concentrating on travel for the next two weeks, but they will contact folks in the order of their travel. Brian
Why doesn't Southwest link up with a carrier like Omni Air to operate Hawaii. I flew them and they are the best airline I have ever been on.
With two carriers Aloha and ATA out of the mainland to Hawaii market, wouldnt this be the ideal time to step in start up service? Both airlines were doing the flying with 737's and in Alohas case 700s. This could be the perfect timing! I understand the hughe process of all that would be involved but with Southwests cash and financial status now could be the time to emerge and introduce something many have waited for. As for the person above who mentioned the thought of flying ran chills down there spine, Aloha and ATA as I said flew the same metal and there service was far inferior to that of SWA's. Please Southwest, fly to the islands!!!
Bill, thanks for the explanation but I am still a little bit disappointed. I understand that there are many problems (and that this would be challenging), but it would also secure you a few hundred very loyal customers (we who have been using the old Pleasant Hawaiian Airpass and ATA Flightbank lately). I live parttime in the islands and will now have to switch my mainland -to-Hawaii business (140,000 miles/year, $12,000 in tickets last year, $11,000 the year before) from ATA to Hawaiian. If you start serving the islands somehow in the next six to eight months, you have a chance to keep me as a customer, otherwise I'll get "comfortable" with Hawaiian (and accumulate so many frequent flyer miles) that it will be hard to get my business back should you change my mind. Hawaiian has already started closing in on the opportunities by putting in a new flight Honolulu to Oakland. Thanks, Steven
Mike37
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I guess that the codeshare agreement with ATA wasn't the big boon as purported, otherwise one would think WN would have had more input or action to keep the concern ongoing. As for length of time in WN jet, as mentioned by Andy above, HI-OAK/LAX is equitable to PHX-BWI and WN pax seem to tolerate that well enough.
Carl1
N/A
As an attorney with experience in bankruptcy law, I can also tell you that Southwest couldn't simply cut a check and start puchasing jets from ATA's fleet. Any sale of assets would need to be approved by the bankruptcy court. ATA filed for Chapter 11, which means this won't be a simple liqidation sale. They might sell the airline as a package or try to restructure its debt and reemerge at a later time to continue operating. Right now, it is too early to tell what will happen. If SWA is interested and the price and logistics are right (i.e. using former ATA staffers, etc.), then service to Hawaii might be possible. But the proverbial devil is in the details, so only SWA can say if it is interested in exploring the possibilities.
Another item not mentioned is all of the southwest planes would be full of non revers going to the islands. There wouldn't be any room for paying passengers. ;-)
James5
N/A
Andy - you say you cringe about a flight to Hawaii...what about our flight service from Hartford (BDL) to Las Vegas which is scheduled at 5 hours and 45 minutes. I think you could get to Hawaii from LAX in about 5 hours...I think. I'm working that flight later in the month...all I have to say is be sure your DVD & Laptop batteries are FULLY charged...and bring a snack, if you get hungrier for something than we are able to serve. Hope to see you all in the SWA Luv Jets soon! James MDW FA
Quick question - how much extra training is required if hypothetically Southwest acquired the 737-800s? I'm guessing it would be somewhat easier as both the -700 and -800 are NGs?
First Aloha, then ATA, now Skybus have gone bankrupt. Who's next?
Jim10
N/A
Bill, I can appreciate your comments that WN could not start service to Hawai'i immediately, but if they made it a priority, it could be done this calendar year for the following reasons: 1. WN is one of Boeing's best customers and their absolute best 737 customer. To exercise a dozen or so 737-700 options, Mr. Kelly needs only phone Mr. Boeing and ask for more planes, delivered in a full ETOPS configuration, and it will be done. Yes, it would be a new subfleet but the -500 subfleet is only 25 aircraft anyways, and for the most part these planes would share commonalities with the large existing -700 fleet. 2. ETOPS proving flights could be done domestically using the existing route structure. How, you ask? WN flies to many Central and South Florida destinations where the most direct route would be a straight line across the water, but regulations limit them to 60 minutes from the closest suitable diversion airport. Therefore, they currently hug the coast when going to Central/South Florida. But they could fly the more direct route across the water in a "ETOPS" proving scenario, thereby providing initial ETOPS operating data without having to open a new route. 3. If the routes don't work out to be a business success, the planes can be recycled back into the system and the ETOPS certification could be allowed to lapse. However, with the failure of TZ and AQ, I don't think that WN would fail on these routes.
OK, not quite the same thing, but years ago Delta bought Pan Am's operations to Europe, and they took over the Pan Am A310s and the staff to operate them. The A310s were a new type for Delta, and they were buying the operation from an airline that was not yet bankrupt. If the services to Hawaii did anything for Southwest, it would be possible to run a ring-fenced operation using former ATA staff and equipment before those staff get other jobs or leave the industry.
Hi I see all the emphasis on Hawaii what about Mexico? the ATA flights to Cancun and Guadalajara were always booked to capacity. Are ther any plans for SWA to look into that run? I also remember ATA oing to Cozumel, Zacatacas, Zihuatanho(sorry for the misspelling) and others and those flights were also full. Even with the cost those routes had to be profitable.
I was also one of the unlucky ones who had a trip to Hawaii booked for May. While I'm not angry about my situation I am angry about how ATA simply left people who showed up for their flights stranded with absolutely no help. Here in Los Angeles a couple and 11 members of their wedding party showed up for their flight and found an empty ticket counter with only a note saying ATA was closed!! I called Alaska Air within minutes of hearing about the closure on the radio. I was lucky enough to find tickets for the same dates and times as I had booked with ATA. My ATA flight to Hawaii cost me $309 - my new flight is going to cost me $477... but here's what gets me: I checked back with Alaska Air a few hours after I booked my flight for $477 and the same flight is now going for $800!!! I'm glad I didn't wait until April 7th... you guys are vultures!!
short answer, most airlines can't make money flying to Hawaii. Jet fuel is too expensive. cheap ticket prices can't cover expenses. The small profit is made by cargo in the belly of huge airplanes. SWA doesn't have the cargo room, nor the inclination to have all frequent flier miles converted into Hawaii trips. Please look up America West one's bankruptcy, It would look much like that. SWA can't comply with maintenence inspections, now, let alone ETOPS requirements.
Jim said: "Therefore, they currently hug the coast when going to Central/South Florida. But they could fly the more direct route across the water in a Ã
Are folks that booked ATA flights to Hawaii using Rapid Rewards points being rebooked on other flights, or are they just refunding the taxes, and need to rebook on another airline at full price?
I have another question regarding ATA going under than the loss of using RRs to fly to Hawaii. It is already getting difficult to use a single Rapid Reward for flights. Now that there will be many more RRs used for mainland flights that before were using two RRs to get to Hawaii, will it become impossible to get flights using a singe RR. Will the loss of Hawaii trips force everyone to convert 2 RRs to Freedom awards just to be able to get a mainland flight?
Weekender Bill
Weekender
Hi, gang! A few responses. Mickey, in this economic envorinment--now is NOT the time to be undertaking a huge expansion into Hawaii, for all of the reasons I talked about. Just a very difficult operating environment. Steve, I'm disappointed too....and if we have no way to get you to or from Hawai'i I don't think any of us would blame you for going to the very capable folks at Hawaiian or the other carriers. Hopefully, someday if we are able to re-enter the Hawaii market (online or codeshare)....hopefully you'll give us a thought. Carl, well said....two thumb up! Joe, hardly---at other carriers Hawaii is usually a sink hole for non-revs. Trust me....I know....LOL James--spot on, and you're looking GOOD, buddy! See you soon. Jim--excellent analysis, but I still trust in the decision of our Leaders not to mump into Hawaii right now, for all the reasons I detailed in my blog piece. Alan, any kind of subsidiary or "wet least" arrangement would open up multiple cans of worms with things like work scope, shared operations, etc. I still submit that our best option is to keep focus on our Mainland operation...and if you have ever talked to anyone that was present during the Delta/Pan Am integration, that is NOT one you want to hold up as a model of effieciency! Susan, since we can't currently handle true international operations--and since our ATA codeshare didn't extend to those routes--no plans there. Lori, I'm curious--did you buy Southwest Airlines tickets on ATA, or tickets directly on ATA? Southwest is busily reaccommodationg all people holding Southwest Airlines tickets on ATA service to Hawaii....see Brian's info above for the details. I hardly think that qualifies us as "vultures" (UGLY birds....) Dusty, a few good initial points....then whatever. Charlie, you are exactly right--our existing operations out over the Gulf don't require rafts and other ETOPS things....it's a very different animal. DMazella and and Greg, I don't know the answer to those....if you have bookings already, just wait to be contacted. I'll see what I can find out, however. Keep 'em coming, folks.....I'm here all weekend. Unfortunately. LOL
ETOPS is more about procedures than the overwater flying. If Southwest wanted to prep for ETOPS, they could do it with their conventional transcon flights rather than the Florida flights. Since you need ETOPS certification before you can go overwater, this is pretty much the only way to do it. Hawaiian was an interesting case, since they didn't have any reasonable non-overwater routes to prepare with the 767. What they did is use the DC-10 (not a twin, thus not subject to ETOPS restrictions) to prepare so that they were ready to go with 767 ETOPS flying shortly after they took delivery of their first 767.
I keep seeing to stories about the people who showed up to go to there dream vacatons and were divereted one way or another. The real story here is the 10,000 people now stranded in Hawaii by ATA & Aloha. Hotel space is always at premium and try to buy a last minute one way ticket to the mainland, its a huge amount. We have considered moving to Kauai, and one thing I was worried about was if we had to come back to the mainland for some sort of emergncy. Could we afford the ticket? We had US Airwas cancel our flight home 2 years ago, and it was a disaster. 5 taxi cabs taking a full 757 of passangers to a hotel, we got checked in at 5 am. Yes that was ok as US Airways paid for it all and they fixed the plane and we left the next nite. But most all flights I have ever been on coming home from Kauai, are full flights, not much room for a stranded ATA or Aloha passanger.
Ok My question is this. Will Southwest ever start flying to Des Moines Iowa? This is where I live. I was browsing airliners.net and found a pic of arizona 1 in Des Moines from November of 2000. I would love to see them fly to Des Moines.
hc
N/A
I can not believe that how some one can close doors taking people's money. How stupid is judicial system allowing that. If airline collected monies, goverment should make sure Airline should fly these passangers till dates committed or make an alternate arrangement with other airline for same schedule for tkt being issued & payment collected. seems whole system is turning to worst, seems pretty soon we will be worst than any 3rd world country. At least 3rd world countries do not have infrastructure or have corrupt govenment which every one knows. while here in our pround USA, we are being slapped on face legally & no one can do anything. just think who is worst???????
Bill, I have a question that's a bit off this topic but something I've been wondering recently that relates to scheduling...does Southwest use all 8 gates in the new ISP terminal? As far as I know there's only around 30 flights a day out of ISP...any plans to get more use out of the gates WN built there with more flights? Thanks!
[...] found this interesting blog post which details the reasons why Southwest Airlines will probably not be servicing Hawaii anytime [...]
OK...I'm IN TOO! I am SOOOOOO for an airpass with SOUTHWEST to FLY to HAWAII?? AND whoever wrote that up there---there are over 3000 of us, not a few hundred, who would proabably fly with you at LEAST ONCE monthly to tell jokes!!! lol lol No seriously, Just previously held airpass holders I think would keep you pretty busy. In as many cities you guys fly out of....if you did a flight a day from every city, well, lets say from every airport taht was at least 75-100 miles away from each other---you;d make a killing!!!! oh wait, thered be fuel too......ok, lemme think of something else
I agree with you hc. They showed such a lack of compassion, empathy or little thought not only fo rus, but certainly their employees. I think the whole thing sucks. It coul dahve and should happened differently, but ya know what? I believe everything happens for a reason--there's something better out there coming along, and we will all be happier for it. just my take on it. BUT ATA DOESSSSSSSSSSSSSS SUCK!!!
Diane9
N/A
Excuses.... why can' SW fly parts in as needed and like other airlines fly the mechanics in, yes a slight delay but hopefully not always and contract out any small time services come on..
How long were you stuck in HI Bill? Unless you were out of $$ and late for work, I can't see how it would be a problem! :-) Nice area, but so expensive. I was there the week after the visitors center melted from the volcano. The lava was still warm. 1989 I think it was. Joe.
Bill - I purchased ATA tickets via Travelocity. I contacted Travelocity and all they offered was their promise that they will try to get me a refund. They suggest I contact my credit card and file a chargeback to dispute the ATA charge, (I believe the ATA site suggests that as well). As far using the term 'vulture' I think it's quite appropriate as attested to by the dictionary: 'a person or thing that preys, esp. greedily or unscrupulously' To raise tickets prices almost 100% within hours of ATA's announcement, knowing that 1000's of people are scrambling to find alternative flights, is VERY greedy and preying behaviour... ugly too if you ask me.
Dolly1
N/A
Hi, I am a great fan of Southwest and used to fly very often when I was in Raleigh-Durham, NC. I recently moved to Atlanta and am really upset and surprised that Southwest does not operate in Atlanta. I believe Atlanta is one of the biggest business hubs in Southeast and a big business potential for SW. It would be really great if Southwest starts operating here. Eagerly awaiting a response Thanks!
Weekender Bill
Weekender
More responses, folks! hc and DGamma....remember, guys, Southwest is doing everything in our power to reroute people that bought Southwest Airlines tickets on flights operated by ATA---**AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE** unlike some airlines offering "standby" to/from Hawaii to ATA ticket holders for $100 each way. Joe, I have been stuck in the Aloha State for several days waiting on an empty seat on more than one occaision!!! Lori, if you bought tickets on ATA, not Southwest, then Southwest isn't who you should be calling a "vulture". See above--Southwest is doing everything we can to rebook people AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE to and from Hawaii. The problem is that there are just not a lot of seats, but our friendly Reservations Agents are jumping through hoops to reaccomodate everyone in date-booked order. Those than can be patient and wait for us to get to them for reacomodation will still get to and from Hawaii without any additional fare. Southwest had no say over what ATA did, when they shut down, or what kind of notice they provided. Sorry, Lori, but I can't see how that makes Southwest Airlines a vulture--if anything, we're going way above and beyond to help people that trusted Southwest with their travels to get them where they wanted to go. And Dolly....we definitely have HotLanta on our radar screens, but as with everything, we just have to put it into the mix with everything else. There are a couple of other markets in the same boat, and we're watching them all carefully and with great interest. BTW, loved you on "American Idol" last week! Smiley Happy Bill