New Southwest Cities – Charlotte, Rochester, Flint, and Portland

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With Southwest extending their schedule a few days ago, they also announced that starting April 14, they will offer new service to the following cities:

  • Charlotte, North Carolina – direct flights to/from:
    • Baltimore/Washington (BWI)
    • Chicago (Midway)
    • Houston (Hobby)
    • Orlando
  • Flint, Michigan – direct flights to/from:
    • Baltimore/Washington (BWI)
    • Orlando
    • Tampa
  • Portland, Maine – direct flights to/from:
    • Baltimore/Washington (BWI)
  • Rochester, New York – direct flights to/from:
    • Baltimore/Washington (BWI)
    • Chicago (Midway)
    • Orlando
    • Tampa
The addition of these cities is one step forward for the Southwest/AirTran integration, as they will be taking over the AirTran operations and AirTran service to these cities will end April 13, 2013.

While I am excited about the expansion, I am disappointed that Southwest is discontinuing it’s LGA – BWI (ending 1/5/13) and EWR – BWI service (ending 3/8/13). This really puts a huge damper on those two cities as BWI was one of the main layover airports. Now, accessing any locations South will include a layover in the midwest (Chicago, Nashville, St. Louis). If you are in the New York area it looks like flying out of Hartford or Islip might be your best option for flying South. They did, however, add a direct flight from Newark to Austin and New Orleans starting in March, which I am very excited about! Other direct flights starting April 14th include Boston to Kansas City and Houston (Hobby) to Pittsburgh.

I am excited to see Southwest adding more cities and expanding their presence. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will soon pick up some of AirTrans Caribbean destinations as that would be a huge advantage for Southwest. While I am not holding my breathe as mergers typically take a few years, I am very excited for that benefit.

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