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Southwest Airlines adds 16 new routes, including from Houston and Long Beach

Dec. 10, 2020
5 min read
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Southwest Airlines announced 16 new daily nonstop routes on Thursday as the carrier extended its booking schedule into August.

Included in the latest update are Southwest’s schedules for Houston Bush Intercontinental and Jackson, Mississippi – two cities it’s returning to after an extended absence – and a big expansion in Long Beach, California. Southwest also revealed new daily routes from Miami and Phoenix.

Southwest’s service from Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) will begin April 12 with 18 daily round-trip flights to five nonstop destinations: Chicago Midway, Dallas Love, Denver, Nashville, New Orleans.

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To Denver, Southwest will go head-to-head with United on a route between two of that rival’s busiest hubs. Southwest will begin its Denver-Houston Bush Intercontinental schedule with three daily round-trip flights. United’s current schedule shows 11 daily weekday round-trips in April.

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly sounded undeterred about taking on United when asked about it Tuesday during an online webinar with The Wings Club of New York, noting Southwest is already strong in both markets.

Southwest has long flown from Houston Hobby south of the city, where it already offers eight daily round-trips flights to Denver.

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

But Kelly predicted the new service from from Intercontinental on the city's northside would expand its Houston marketshare by appealing to the metro area's suburbs there, "where there's been a lot of growth. We don't really tap into customers in those zip codes with Hobby."

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"We have existing customers in the Houston area that will likely prefer to use Intercontinental, "he said. "We’ll win some new customers. We’ll have customers in Denver that would prefer to fly to Bush instead of Hobby."

Southwest last served Houston Bush Intercontinental in 2005.

Elsewhere, Southwest’s return to Jackson will come June 6, when the airline will begin flying seven daily flights from the Mississippi capital to three destinations (Atlanta, Baltimore and Houston Hobby). Southwest previously flew from Jackson from 1997 to 2014.

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

In California, Southwest announced five new routes from the Long Beach Airport near Los Angeles. Flights to Chicago Midway, Dallas Love, Houston Hobby, St. Louis and Reno will begin March 11.

The expansion will give Southwest a total of 13 nonstop destinations from Long Beach, including previously announced Honolulu service that debuts March 11.

Phoenix also scored a win in Southwest’s latest schedule update, landing a new international route with service to Cancun, Mexico. That will begin April 12 and complement the carrier's existing international routes between Phoenix and the Mexican beach resorts of Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.

And Southwest is adding even more routes at two new Florida cities that just joined to its route map.

From Miami – which Southwest began serving in November – new flights to Denver and Nashville begin March 11. And, in Sarasota – which won’t see its first Southwest flights until February – Southwest is already planning three more routes that will fly only on Saturdays. That service – to Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio – begins March 13.

More: Southwest adds Sarasota, makes it 10 new cities in coronavirus expansion

Scroll down for full breakdown of the new routes included in Southwest’s latest schedule update.

Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH)

Chicago Midway (MDW): 2 daily round-trip flights

Dallas Love (DAL): 6 daily round-trip flights

Denver (DEN): 3 daily round-trip flights

Nashville (BNA): 3 daily round-trip flights

New Orleans (MSY): 4 daily round-trip flights

All routes begin April 12

More: Southwest Airlines expands again, adds Jackson and two other cities

Jackson, Mississippi (JAN)

Atlanta (ATL): 3 daily round-trip flights

Baltimore (BWI): 1 daily round-trip flight

Houston Hobby (HOU): 3 daily round-trip flights

All routes begin June 6

More: Southwest unveils Steamboat Springs routes, adds new destination during pandemic

Long Beach, California (LGB)

Chicago Midway (MDW): 1 daily round-trip flight, increases to two daily flights on April 11

Dallas Love (DAL): 1 daily round-trip flight

Honolulu (HNL): 1 daily round-trip flight (previously announced)

Houston Hobby (HOU): 1 daily round-trip flight, increases to two daily flights on April 11

St. Louis (STL): 1 daily round-trip flight

Reno (RNO): 1 daily round-trip flight

All routes begin March 11

Miami (MIA)

Denver (DEN): 2 daily round-trip flights begin March 11

Nashville (BNA): 2 daily round-trip flights begin March 11

Phoenix (PHX)

Cancun, Mexico (CUN): 1 daily round-trip flight begins March 11

Sarasota/Bradenton, Florida (SRQ)

Columbus, Ohio (CMH): Saturday-only service begins March 13

Indianapolis (IND): Saturday-only service begins March 13

Pittsburgh (PIT): Saturday-only service begins March 13

Featured image by Getty Images

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees