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Back in January, American and US Airways announced that they would be divesting 52 slot pairs at Reagan National DCA Airport as part of their settlement with the Department of Justice, and it looks like we now know who won the bidding process to pick up the extra spaces: Southwest.

SWA_Spot_4C

The airline said that it had won an auction for 54 slots at DCA and is prepping a new schedule of 27 additional roundtrip routes to/from the airport. It currently operates 17 daily roundtrips, so this is a big bump in business for the airline, which has a strong hold on the nearby Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Airport as well.

Southwest’s new routes from DCA will be:

  • Chicago Midway (MDW): Six daily round-trip flights begin August 10, expanding to nine daily flights on September 30
  • Nashville (BNA): Three daily round-trip flights begin August 10
  • New Orleans (MSY): Two daily round-trip flights begin August 10
  • Tampa (TPA): Two daily round-trip flights begin September 30
  • Akron-Canton (CAK): One daily round-trip flight begins November 2
  • Dallas Love Field (DAL): One daily round-trip flight begins November 2
  • Indianapolis (IND): One daily round-trip flight begins November 2

The carrier also plans to add flights on existing routes between DCA and Houston Hobby and St. Louis; for the latter, two non-stop connections are planned. The airline will add one daily round-trip flight to Los Angeles on June 8 and one to San Francisco on September 30. By the end of 2014, Southwest plans to operate a total of 44 daily departures to 14 destinations from DCA.

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The other big winner at DCA is JetBlue, who was leasing 8 slot pairs from American at the airport and now gets to keep those, plus it gained an additional 12, so they are going to have a much bigger presence at the airport as well going from 18 daily flights to 30.

In terms of American/US Airways, the merging airlines will end service to:

Augusta, GA
Detroit, MI
Fayetteville, NC
Ft. Walton Beach, FL
Islip, NY
Jacksonville, NC
Little Rock, AR
Minneapolis, MN
Montreal
Myrtle Beach, SC
Nassau, Bahamas
Omaha, NE
Pensacola, FL
San Diego, CA (this flight will be shifted to LA)
Savannah, GA
Tallahassee, FL
Wilmington, NC

However, they plan to add a second daily nonstop flight between DCA and Los Angeles by shifting US Airways’ current San Diego flight to LA instead.

So there are a lot of big changes coming to DCA and there are bound to be some operational headaches ahead, but hopefully with more competition will come lower fares. Any of you readers who fly out of DCA – what are your thoughts on the changes coming down the runway?

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With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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