Future Southwest/Airtran Routes

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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!).

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  1. The closest airport to my home is Sarasota. I was so hoping that SW would continue service out of that airport. It is a real drag to drive 90 miles to Tampa or even the 75 miles to Ft Myers. But, I guess that will be my future…..or my future as long as I have my earned companion pass. After that, I might as well fly someone else out of Sarasota. Too bad. Lots of seniors loved Air Tran out of Sarasota.

  2. Unfortunately, my Airtran city of Lexington, KY has been cut and I just signed up for Southwest too! I still have Louisville as a backup but is over an hour away. Oh well.

  3. Hi MP,

    I haven’t really thought about seek out SW points until today, when you announced they are coming to Charlotte. Can you give newbies a overview of the Grand Slam, and how to start preparing for it?

  4. I noticed that the AirTran credit card is no longer available…otherwise I would have signed up for one in the hope of those points transfering to Southwest when the merge is complete. Bummer!

  5. Jeff, that is sad for those who used Sarasota. Especially for those who are older and will have a harder time traveling to other airports.

    Michael, that stinks. Use it as much as you can until August.

    Amy, I will do more posts about the Grand Slam as we get closer, but I did do a post about prepping for this year’s. You can also do a search for “Grand Slam” on this site and get lots of good info!

    @Christine B, too bad. Great plan. They must have just taken it away as I saw it pretty recently.

  6. How soon? Many of us have old Southwest free trip coupons good for any destination. Some nice Caribbean and Mexican spots coming on.

  7. Not that I think of myself as a winner for having to fly on Southwest; but I win on ICT, and maybe lose on IND.
    What is not getting much play is what about Southwest at Birmingham, as Southwest takes over Airtran at Atlanta.

  8. Ok, the way I read this I will now have the option of flying Southwest from BWI to MEM??? Any idea where the connection will be?

    • OLT, I honestly have no idea if it will retain the ATL stop it has now on AirTran, or if it will change with the routes are integrated.

  9. I was just going to try the 50K offer for SW, hoping the offer still works. Do you have any idea when the routes to Puerto Rico will actually start? I need to get us there this December, from ORD, for a family vacation and having a hard time finding any reasonable way!

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