We’ve just published the March, 2009 schedule, so Southwest is now accepting reservations all the way out until May 8, 2009. Whether you want some Florida sun to chase away the late Winter chill, or feel like some early Spring slaloming down the slopes in the Rockies or the Cascades, you can book your trip now at southwest.com.
As usual in any new schedule, we’ve got some exciting things in this schedule that I want to tell you about. Exciting thing number one: MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL! Southwest starts service to “the T.C.” (the Twin Cities, to those not in the “know!”) on March 8, 2009, with eight weekday roundtrips between the Hubert Humphrey Terminal at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Int’l. Airport and Chicago’s close-in, uncongested Midway Airport. Not only will we be bringing convenient schedules and the best Customer Service in the skies to the Minneapolis/St. Paul-Chicago market, we’re celebrating our arrival with a fare sale! Besides our nonstop service to Chicago out of MSP, we’re leveraging our extensive service from Chicago and offering direct and/or connecting service to a whopping 56 other Southwest destinations. As always, you can get all the details on schedules, fares, and fare rules by visiting southwest.com!
Exciting thing number two: we’ve re-optimized the schedule again, and we’re using our new ability to respond to seasonal traffic shifts by changing in market frequencies. We’re making changes in a lot of markets, in fact—out of the more than 400 roundtrip, nonstop markets Southwest serves, the March 2009 schedule contains changes in over a quarter of them. Besides the new service to MSP, we’re re-introducing nonstop service between Birmingham and Phoenix, and adding more flights in 62 other nonstop markets around our network. Of course, with schedule additions come schedule reductions. Thirty-three markets will see relatively minor schedule reductions, while we will eliminate nonstop service in two roundtrip markets (Albuquerque-Amarillo and El Paso-Lubbock). However, even in those two markets, we’ll still offer connecting service so that our Customers can stay…well…”connected!” To see the entire list of frequency changes by market, click on the link at the bottom of this blog post (under attachments).
Exciting thing number three: this is the first schedule co-written by one of Schedule Planning’s newest colleagues, Sara. Sara’s been with Southwest for more than a decade, first serving as a Customer Service Agent in Baltimore/Washington and Las Vegas before making the move to the Technology Department in 2006—and then moving to Schedule Planning in March of this year. Sara is also one of the more than 2,300 Southwest Employees who is married to another Southwest Employee (her husband, Lin, is a Southwest Airlines Dispatcher). Great job on the schedule, Sara—and, I’m sure, the first of many!
Happy booking, everyone—and stay tuned. We’ve got some other exciting developments in upcoming schedules I’ll be blogging about. You never know what we have up our sleeve!