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WICHITA JOINS THE SOUTHWEST NETWORK AND MORE SERVICE TO SAN JUAN AND CABO SAN LUCAS…START MAKING PLANS FOR NEXT SUMMER!

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Here we are, barely past the first freeze of the season in the Dallas area, and Southwest Airlines already has our mind on next summer!  Today we opened the Southwest and AirTran schedules for sale through August 9, 2013.  As usual there are lots of changes to talk about—we’ve really had our schedule optimizer working overtime to make travel more convenient than ever for Summer ’13!

As we continue to integrate AirTran operations into Southwest Airlines, starting June 2, 2013 we will convert service at Wichita, Kansas from AirTran to Southwest.  At Wichita’s Mid-Continent airport, we will substitute three AirTran nonstop flights between Wichita and Atlanta with two Southwest nonstops between Wichita and both Dallas/Love and Chicago/Midway, and daily Southwest nonstop service between Wichita and Las Vegas.   This will give Southwest five daily departures, with direct and connecting service to another 70 Southwest cities across America.   Mid-Continent Airport’s slogan is “Convenient.  Friendly.  Affordable.”   That sounds just like Southwest Airlines!

Integration between Southwest and AirTran also continues in the Caribbean!  On the same day next June we will convert existing AirTran nonstop service between Baltimore/Washington and beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico to Southwest Airlines, and will add a fourth daily roundtrip between San Juan and Orlando.  All of Southwest’s service to San Juan utilizes our amazing 737-800 complete with Boeing’s beautiful Sky Interior.

We’ve also made changes in many other Southwest markets.  The biggest news is the addition of two daily nonstop roundtrips between Houston/Hobby and New York’s LaGuardia Airport!  We’ve gotten lots of requests for this new market and we’re SUPER excited to add it to our route map.  We will also add new nonstop service between Chicago/Midway and Tulsa, another market that has been requested for quite a while, especially since we added our service between Chicago/Midway and Oklahoma City a few months ago.  Other nonstop markets that will seasonally return will be daily nonstops between Seattle and Atlanta, Nashville, Houston/Hobby, and Kansas City, between Austin and Portland OR, and between Las Vegas and Manchester.  We will end Southwest nonstop service in five markets—Albuquerque-Tucson, Oakland-Reno, Little Rock-St. Louis, and between Birmingham and both Jacksonville and New Orleans.  In addition, we’ll eliminate seasonal nonstops between Hartford and Ft. Myers, weekend-only nonstops in the Norfolk-Tampa Bay and Providence-Ft. Myers markets, and will seasonally shift Southwest nonstop service between Ft. Lauderdale and both Raleigh/Durham and Milwaukee to AirTran.  Elsewhere across the network we’ll reduce frequency in 40 roundtrip markets and increase service in 49 others, winding up with an average of 3,382 departures each weekday—which represents an overall increase in roughly 18 midweek departures per day.  As always, you can find schedules and fares at southwest.com.

On the AirTran network, even though we’re knee-deep in conversion to Southwest, we’re also making changes next summer.  Besides the integration-related swaps detailed above, we’ll add a second daily nonstop roundtrip between John Wayne International Airport in Orange County and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico!  Frequency on the Baltimore/Washington-Bermuda nonstops, which restart on May 16th four times weekly, will become daily.  We’ll also introduce AirTran nonstop service between Tampa Bay and both Houston hobby and Raleigh/Durham, both of which will supplement continuing Southwest nonstop service in both markets.  Just as we have on the Southwest network, we’ve adjusted frequencies in a number of AirTran markets, decreasing flights in roughly a dozen roundtrip markets while adding flights in 44 markets.  Schedules and fares are available at airtran.com.

This week, as you’re digesting your Thanksgiving dinner, take some time to daydream about a perfect Summer vacation.  Sail fishing off the Baja Coast?  Climbing Mt. Rainier?  Sunning on the beach in Aruba?  Shopping in Manhattan?  Southwest and AirTran can take you there—and lots of other places.  While you’re at it, take some time to be thankful for all that you have and know that we are thankful as well.  We’re thankful for you!  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.