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Several members of my family fly Southwest a decent amount. I know my in-laws will be flying Southwest even more in the future since they are sitting on 50,000 Rapid Reward points from the credit card sign-up! However, they live in a city served by AirTran, not Southwest, so they have been anxiously waiting to see what will happen to service in their city once the two airlines merge. Looks like the wait is over and they ended up on the “lucky” side of the chopping block. Some other cities weren’t quite as lucky and will see AirTran service end in August 2012 with no Southwest service scheduled to begin after that time.
To give you a quick overview, here is a map of destinations currently served by Southwest Airlines.
Here is a map of destinations currently served by AirTran.
According to this article, here is a list of AirTran served destinations that will migrate over to the Southwest route map: Flint, Mich. (FNT); Rochester, N.Y. (ROC); Pensacola, Fla. (PNS); Charlotte, N.C. (CLT); Dayton, Ohio (DAY); Richmond, Va. (RIC); Key West, Fla. (EYW); Washington, D.C. (DCA); Memphis, Tenn. (MEM); Akron-Canton, Ohio (CAK); Wichita, Kan. (ICT); Des Moines, Iowa (DSM); Branson, Mo. (BKG); Portland, Maine (PWM); Grand Rapids, Mich. (GRR); Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ); Cancun, Mexico (CUN); Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ); Aruba (AUA); San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU); Bermuda (BDA); and Nassau, Bahamas (NAS). It had previously been announced that AirTran will begin serving Mexico City, Mexico (MEX) on May 24, 2012, and San Jose Cabo, Mexico (SJD) on June 3, 2012. Those plans will continue and those destinations will also eventually be served by Southwest. Um, Companion Pass to the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Aruba anyone??
The current AirTran destinations that didn’t make the cut are: Allentown, Pa. (ABE); Lexington, Ky. (LEX); Harrisburg, Pa. (MDT); Sarasota, Fla. (SRQ); Huntsville, Ala. (HSV); and White Plains, N.Y. (HPN). Service to these cities will cease on August 11, 2012.
While I am glad to see that the city my in-laws live in will eventually be a city served by Southwest, it is never good to see cities that will no longer have the airline service they are used to. While I don’t often post about airline industry news (their are other great blogs that do that), it is important to stay on top of what cities are served by which airlines so you can plan your miles and points strategy accordingly. I will have to give a very strong consideration towards pushing for a Southwest Companion in 2013 so that I can fly with C to see her grandparents regularly for free (and sneak off to the Caribbean!).