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Southwest raises airfares, citing higher fuel costs

20 February 2011

Southwest Airlines, the Dallas-based airline that bills itself as the nation’s biggest low-price carrier, announced a $10 round-trip fare increase to offset higher fuel costs. This is the latest of several airfare increases since December.

Several airlines, including Continental, Delta and United, matched the domestic airfare hike of $4 to $10 launched this month by American Airlines.


Southwest Airlines revamps rewards program for frequent fliers

10 January 2011

Southwest Airlines Co. is unveiling the first major update to its Rapid Rewards program since the airline launched the frequent-flier benefits nearly 24 years ago.

In Southwest’s new frequent-flier program, points earned go up with the price of the ticket.

The changes sweeten the rewards for people who pay more for tickets, since the points earned are directly linked to the ticket price. People who buy full-fare tickets will earn more points per dollar than those flying on advance-purchase fares.

But people who were used to flying a lot of short hops to get a free ticket may not like it so much.


Southwest to buy AirTran for $1.42 billion

27 September 2010

Southwest Airlines announced today that it will purchase AirTran Holdings in a $1.42-billion deal that will expand the nation’s largest low-cost airline to 37 new cities.

The merger, if approved by regulators, would create an airline with 685 aircraft that will serve about 100 million passengers annually in nearly 100 airports. The company will remain headquartered in Dallas and keep the Southwest name.

Southwest, the largest airline based on domestic passenger load, has grown quickly since it was founded in 1971, capitalizing on no-frills service, low fares, no first-class seating and no baggage fees.

source: Los Angeles Times

‘Bags fly free’ a boon for Southwest

20 December 2009

Southwest, the only U.S. airline that lets passengers check two pieces of luggage for free, says the no-fee policy has helped the airline increase its share of the domestic market by about 1 percent, or $800 million to $900 million.

The no-fee policy can be a gamble. At a time fewer people are flying and airlines seek every dollar, checked-bag fees added up to $1.24 billion for airlines in the first half of 2009.

Southwest’s policy is “‘a smart marketing ploy, particularly given the economic circumstances most Americans are experiencing these days,”‘ says Lopo Rego, a University of Iowa marketing professor.

source: Sun Times

Southwest Airlines reduces flights on 92 routes

2 September 2009

Southwest Airlines will temporarily halt flights on three routes early next year as it deals with a decline in air traffic and tries to bend its schedule to fit seasonal demand.

The airline will cut one flight per day on 92 routes and increase service on 42 routes, usually by one trip per day as well.

source: Associated Press

Small pets to be permitted on Southwest Airlines flights

1 June 2009

Southwest Airlines, which has bashed competitors for charging fees, said Friday that it will add new fees for passengers who bring small pets onboard and for unaccompanied minors.

It also will raise the charge for checking a third piece of luggage or an overweight bag from $25 to $50.

Other airlines have raised hundreds of millions of dollars since last year with new fees that include charges for checking one or two pieces of luggage and for talking to reservations agents on the phone.


Southwest Airlines pilot on leave after claims he smelled of alcohol

11 January 2009

Southwest Airlines has put a Chicago-based pilot on paid leave and is investigating an incident Tuesday in which the pilot allegedly prepared to operate a flight from Columbus, Ohio, with alcohol on his breath.

Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins said Friday that the carrier “‘immediately replaced the captain’,” and the flight to Orlando, Fla., operated on time.

The airport police officer who investigated said in his report that the pilot never appeared under the influence of alcohol or drugs and didn’t stagger or fall.

source: Dallas News

Southwest to join with low-cost Canadian airline

9 July 2008

Southwest Airlines plans to hook up with Canada’s leading low-cost airline to offer “‘seamless'” travel across the U.S.-Canadian border.

Once the partnership with WestJet is in place, customers will be able to book a flight with either carrier on one ticket. Southwest will fly its part of the route and WestJet the rest of the flight. WestJet flies to 49 destinations in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.


International for Southwest? Airline studies partnerships

29 March 2008

Southwest Airlines is conducting a “‘fierce study’” of potential partnerships with other airlines that could result in the discount carrier offering international service for the first time in its history, a top executive said Friday.At the same time, it has been pulling back from long-haul flights in the United States and is focusing on shorter trips that are more profitable, said John Jamotta, Southwest’s senior director of schedule planning.

The Dallas-based airline has implemented a number of changes to its strategy in the past year as it struggles to boost revenue to offset higher costs. But the possibility of offering international travel to customers would likely be the biggest change for the airline, which is the most profitable in the nation.


Wi-Fi for airline passengers moves closer to reality

24 January 2008

That’s the choice air passengers are likely to have later this year as progress in both systems was announced this week.

Southwest Airlines on Wednesday said it is testing satellite-based service developed by Row 44. Southwest said it hopes to begin testing Internet service on four of its aircraft this summer.

Meanwhile, American Airlines on Tuesday reported that it has installed Aircell’s Internet broadband on one of its 15 Boeing 767-200 aircraft. The air-to-ground technology utilizes a network of 92 cell towers scattered across the continental U.S.

Both technologies are expected to deliver Wi-Fi service — likely for a fee — to passengers. While users will be able to surf the Web and access their e-mail accounts, they will be blocked from using cell phones and VoIP.

source: Information Week