Southwest adds another new Colorado ski town, unveils Miami and Palm Springs routes

Oct 8, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Southwest Airlines is betting travelers want to buckle up their ski boots and hit the slopes this winter with what appears to be plans for new service to Montrose, the second Colorado ski town to join its map during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Dallas-based carrier will offer seasonal flights between Montrose (MTJ) and both Dallas Love Field (DAL) and Denver (DEN) beginning Dec. 19 through April 5, 2021, according to the flight-booking tool on the Southwest website. The Dallas route will operate once a day on weekends and the Denver route up to three time daily.

“Southwest is stretching into new places to provide for two needs,” Southwest chief commercial officer Andrew Watterson said in a statement released several hours after the flights were first visible online. “Desired options for our customers who seek snow or sun, and wide-open spaces… and for our company, critically-needed new business that offsets the diminished demand for travel across other parts of the country.”

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

Both Montrose and Steamboat Springs (HDN) — flights to the latter were previously unveiled — increase Southwest’s offering of outdoor winter destinations. They come at a time when most of the few travelers who are taking to the air continue to be holidaygoers looking for outdoors-oriented activities where they can social distance.

Montrose brings the number of new cities joining the Southwest map this winter to four. Miami (MIA) flights and Palm Springs (PSP) flights begin Nov. 15, according to the airline’s website.

Southwest’s intended Miami service includes:

  • Baltimore/Washington (BWI): up to four flights daily
  • Chicago Midway (MDW): one flight daily
  • Houston Hobby (HOU): up to four flights daily
  • Tampa (TPA): up to three flights daily

Related: Southwest Airlines CEO says Miami push part of long-term strategy, not ‘pandemic play’

The carrier’s planned Palm Springs service includes:

  • Denver: one flight daily
  • Oakland (OAK): up to two flights daily
  • Phoenix (PHX): up to three flights daily

Travelers can book the new flights to Miami, Montrose and Palm Springs on Southwest’s website.

Related: Southwest Airlines is using the coronavirus to solidify its dominance in California

In addition to the new destinations, Southwest has begun adding some new routes to its schedule next spring. One will be a new daily flight between Hartford (BDL) and Nashville (BNA) from March. The resumption — Cirium schedules show Southwest flew the route from 1999 to 2011 — follows the announcement by JetBlue of four new routes an ambition to be the largest airline in Connecticut.

Southwest expanded its footprint in Nashville into the new Concourse D in July.

Related: Southwest moves to new digs at Nashville with opening of Concourse D

In September, Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told TPG that both the Miami and Palm Springs additions are part of an effort by the airline  to diversify its revenue streams amid the historic drop in travel demand. As primarily winter destinations, both offer flying opportunities during an otherwise slower period for air travel.

“We won’t have a lot of flights but we should have sufficient demand on those flights to contribute cash in this environment,” he said.

Any revenue is key as airlines face the worst crisis in their history. On Oct. 5, Kelly told staff that Southwest was poised to lose “billions” of dollars without a substantial recovery in air travel. Barring additional federal aid — something that appears on hold until after the Nov. 3 election — the airline is seeking concessions from unions to avoid furloughs.

TPG Q&A: Southwest CEO Gary Kelly chats about his legacy, new cities and change fees

Updated with details on Southwest’s statement and the new Hartford-Nashville route.

Featured photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.




Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.