Every work day, Southwest Airlines offers travelers all across this wonderful land a huge â€œmenuâ€ of 2,750+ nonstop flights, ranging from short hops to nonstop, coast-to-coast service from Baltimore/Washington to San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Our point-to-point service pattern (as opposed to other airlinesâ€™ hub operations) gets a majority of our Customers to their destinations with one takeoff/one landing.
Our schedule is designed with nonstop markets in mind because we know that Customers want the easiest way to â€œget there and back.â€ A lot of folks donâ€™t realize that, in addition to our transcontinental nonstops, we offer four daily nonstop flights between Chicago Midway and Oakland, San Diego, and Los Angeles, plus three flights to/from Seattle/Tacoma. From Phoenix, nonstop flights take off every day to Baltimore/Washington, Chicago Midway, Providence (our gateway to Boston), Detroit, Tampa, and Orlando - just to name a few of our longhaul markets. If you add in medium-range markets, there is a Southwest nonstop going to almost every place you need to go. (Check out our schedules and fares at southwest.com or give us a call at 1 800-I-FLY-SWA.)
Besides the convenience of nonstop travel, there is a cost factor too. Making your travel as affordable as possible is our goal, and nonstop, point-to-point service does that in two ways: Nonstop flights allow us to use our aircraft and our People more productively, and as a result, we can buy fewer aircraft and donâ€™t have to staff for the peaks and valleys of hub operations, which translates into lower fares. The other way is that you get to your client or back in the office quicker flying nonstop, and the less time you spend â€œon the road,â€ the more productive you can be. That age-old axiom of business, â€œtime is money,â€ is never more true than with nonstop flights that allow Customers to avoid the hassle and time of having to change airplanes in a megahub. And, I havenâ€™t even mentioned the â€œhug factorâ€ because the less time spent away from home means more time spent at home with family.
Air travel changed forever two years ago, but our steadfast determination remains unbroken to provide the high-spirited Customer Service, low fares, and frequent nonstop flights that Americans want and need. Along with that determination comes a time to reflect, and I ask you to join with the 35,000+ Southwest Employees to keep those who lost so much in your thoughts and prayers.
President and Chief Operating Officer
1 This column was written June 27, 2003, due to the long lead time required in publishing a monthly magazine. I provide the date so the reader may place the column in its proper time context