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Southwest Airlines has big plans for its new gates in Denver

Feb. 27, 2020
3 min read
Southwest Airlines has big plans for its new gates in Denver
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Southwest Airlines has big plans for the 16 gates it is on track to add to its facilities in Denver.

The Dallas-based carrier plans to use the gates to add more routes from Denver International Airport (DEN), such as the airline's recently unveiled service to Steamboat Springs, Southwest managing director of airport affairs Steve Sisneros said Wednesday. The airline will also add frequencies on many of its more than 69 existing routes from the airport.

“It’s adding depth and breadth to the markets we serve,” he told a Denver City Council committee on Southwest's plans for the gates.

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Under the deal that was approved by the committee Wednesday, Southwest will add 16 under-construction gates on the east end of Concourse C to the 24 it already controls there. It will move into the new facilities by the middle of 2022.

United Airlines, Southwest’s prime competitor, recently signed a similar deal with the city. The Chicago-based carrier will add 24 gates on Concourses A and B to the 66 it currently has there. The airline plans to use the gates to grow its hub in the Mile High City to more than 700 departures by 2025, up from roughly 540 departures it operates there this summer.

Together, Southwest and United will take all of the 39 new gates that are under construction at Denver airport. The works include new areas for passengers to wait for flights, and outdoor patios on all three of the airport’s concourses.

“It really is going to be a fantastic customer experience for [travelers] when we get this done,” Denver airport’s finance chief Gisela Shanahan said at the meeting.

Related: Southwest is getting more gates at Denver airport

Southwest Airlines is getting 16 new gates on Concourse C at Denver Airport. (Image courtesy of Denver International Airport)
Southwest Airlines is getting 16 new gates on Concourse C at Denver Airport. (Image courtesy of Denver International Airport)

One thing absent from the proceedings was where other airlines will go with the Southwest and United deals. While the former’s agreement is only for new, unassigned gates, the latter’s accord would displace both Delta Air Lines and Frontier Airlines from some or all of their current facilities in Concourse A.

Southwest and United’s growth in Denver comes as the airport posted yet another record year in 2019. More than 69 million passengers passed through the facility -- the fifth busiest in the U.S. -- best known for its iconic mountain-inspired terminal roof last year.

Denver itself continues to grow, with U.S. Census estimating that the population of the metro area grew 1.5% year-over-year to 2.9 million in 2018, according to the latest available data.

The Denver airport is the third-busiest in Southwest’s network with 214 departures, airline data shows.

The airline’s new gate lease must now go to the Denver City Council for final approval.

Related: Denver airport will get the first of 3 new outdoor patios this year

Featured image by A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-800 in Denver. (Photo courtesy of Denver International Airport)

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
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  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases