“It’s expensive.” “I’m frustrated.” “It’s not fair.” It wouldn’t be uncommon to hear these things said from the Upstate South Carolina community when considering driving to their local airport only minutes away at Greenville-Spartanburg International airport. Not anymore. This Sunday, LUV is heading to the Palmetto State to launch our new service to the Upstate with big planes and little fares. Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP) joins Southwest’s network as the 70th destination with seven daily nonstop departures—two daily nonstops each to/from Baltimore/Washington and Chicago Midway and one daily nonstop each to/from Nashville, Houston, and Orlando.
Honestly, I can’t believe this weekend is finally here. I landed at GSP on Thursday and thought, this will be the last time I fly on (insert carrier name here!). My smile started to get a lot bigger just thinking about flying one of our Canyon Blue planes home on Monday after our weekend of festivities wraps up. Seeing our brand new ticket counter made it all the more real.
Planning a new city opening has been one of my favorite parts of my job during the last six months. For me, finding ways to celebrate our new service in Greenville-Spartanburg meant finding the passion points of this community. Starting today with our ferry flight bringing dozens of Southwest Warriors to kick off our inaugural weekend to a plane pull where the local cities will compete head to head against the clock to a progressive dinner social to fill up on the local flare to our community service project on Sunday to plant a tree at the airport in honor of the late Mr. Roger Milliken (in addition to planting trees in local Greenville and Spartanburg county parks)—it all leads up to officially celebrating our new service to the Upstate with our first flights on Sunday, March 13!
Last night, the airport and community gave Southwest an amazing welcome at the Upcountry Museum in downtown Greenville. Hundreds gathered to celebrate LUV coming to their airport. From Southwest-themed cupcakes to even our very own Southwest 737 cocktail, the night was full of folks talking about their next, and some their first upcoming trip on our Canyon Blue planes.
Our new GSP Employees who came from all over the system to this beautiful region of the country received a red carpet welcome and were the toast of the night. After learning that 18 of our 40 GSP Employees are couples, LUV is certainly in the air in the Upstate!
In my visits to Greenville-Spartanburg, the welcome I received was unlike any other. It’s more than just a heart-warming welcome—it’s the stories the people in the Upstate leave me with. I can’t get enough of hearing about how folks can now go see their grandchildren more than once a year or that trip they always wanted to take is now becoming a reality.
To the community of Greenville-Spartanburg, we couldn’t be more thrilled about this partnership we’ve made at 30,000 feet, and we can hardly wait to win over the hearts of the Upstate when our Captain operating our inaugural flight says, welcome aboard Southwest Airlines.