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Southwest adds 3 new routes, cuts 5; another 38 resume in summer schedule extension

Dec. 16, 2021
5 min read
Southwest Boeing 737
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Southwest Airlines is gearing up for a busy summer season, especially among leisure travelers.

The Dallas-based carrier just extended its schedule for the second time in a week, now giving flyers a complete look at what the airline plans to fly from June 5 through Labor Day (Sept. 5).

If a recent Southwest schedule extension rings a bell, you’re not dreaming — last Thursday, the airline extended its schedule through June 4, and it’s now putting the entire summer on sale, as it tries to cater to those who like to plan far in advance.

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Along with the schedule extension comes a slew of network changes, including three new routes and a plethora of returning ones too. The airline will also exit five markets as part of the extension.

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3 new routes brings the total to 6

Southwest is adding three new lines to its route map, all focused on taking summer travelers to popular leisure destinations.

This includes once-weekly service on Saturdays in the following three markets commencing on June 1, 2022.

  • Austin (AUS) - Cozumel, Mexico (CZM)
  • Nashville (BNA) - Portland, Maine (PWM)
  • Denver (DEN) - Eugene, Oregon (EUG)

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The once-weekly service will likely cater to those seeking longer vacations, whether it’s a week on the beach or an extended stay with family.

Southwest's new routes (Map courtesy of Cirium)

Of the three new routes, Southwest will only go up against one competitor: United, in the Denver-to-Eugene market. The carrier will have a monopoly on the two other routes, according to Cirium schedules.

While these are the only new routes as part of Southwest’s summer extension, the airline unveiled three more new ones in last week’s schedule update.

That included once-daily service between Austin (AUS) and Tulsa (TUL), four-times-weekly flights between San Antonio (SAT) and Oklahoma City (OKC) and once-weekly flights from Syracuse (SYR) to Tampa (TPA) — all of which commence on April 25.

Of the new flights, perhaps the most interesting is the Austin to Tulsa service, as it’ll go head-to-head against American and Allegiant.

In recent months, American Airlines and Southwest have been fighting for passengers in Austin, which has long been a stronghold for the latter. Citing strong demand and a surge in companies relocating to the Texas capital, American has doubled down on Austin with a slew of new nonstop routes and a snazzy Admirals Club.

It’s clear that Southwest isn’t going to stand on the sidelines while its rival tries to capture its market share.

5 routes are getting axed

Along with the six new routes come five cuts. A Southwest spokesperson confirmed that the airline will pull out of the following routes in early June.

  • Dallas/Love Field (DAL) — Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP
  • Dallas/Love Field (DAL) — Louisville (SDF)
  • Washington/National (DCA) — Jacksonville (JAX)
  • Washington/Dulles (IAD) — Orlando (MCO)
  • Richmond (RIC) — Tampa (TPA)

It’s most interesting to see three Florida cities lose a route. Throughout the pandemic, traffic to and from the Sunshine State has recovered faster than most other markets, though it’s likely that the airline couldn’t turn a profit on these ones.

38 routes are coming back

Southwest is also gearing up for a busy summer season, as the airline prepares to bring back 38 routes that it had previously suspended.

Seven of the returning routes will be operated year-round, while the remainder will operate seasonally.

You’ll find the full details at the bottom of the story, but highlights include three returning flights from Denver, a city that’s seen more competition than ever thanks to United‘s growth in this mid-continental hub.

Full list of Southwest’s returning routes

MarketEffective dateFrequency
DEN-AMAJune 5Sundays-Fridays
DEN-LBBJune 5Daily
DEN-MAFJune 5Sundays-Fridays
HOU-SDFJune 5Sundays-Fridays
MDW-MBJJune 5Daily
MDW-ROCJune 52x Sundays-Fridays
MDW-TULJune 52x Sundays-Fridays, 1x Saturdays
ABQ-SATJune 11Saturdays
ALB-DENJune 11Saturdays
AUA-MCOJune 5Daily
AUS-PNSJune 11Saturdays
AUS-PVRJune 11Saturdays
BNA-OKCJune 11Saturdays
BWI-GCMJune 11Saturdays
BZN-DALJune 11Saturdays
CHS-MCIJune 11Saturdays
CHS-STLJune 11Saturdays
CLE-TPAJune 11Saturdays
CMH-MYRJune 5Daily
CUN-MKEJune 11Saturdays
CVG-PHXJune 11Saturdays
CVG-TPAJune 11Saturdays
CZM-DENJune 11Saturdays
DAL-RNOJune 11Saturdays
DAL-SEAJune 11Saturdays
DEN-ECPJune 11Saturdays
DEN-PNSJune 11Saturdays
DTW-LASJune 11Saturdays
FLL-PHLJune 11Saturdays
IND-MYRJune 5Daily
IND-SANJune 11Saturdays
LAX-MKEJune 11Saturdays
MCI-PDXJune 11Saturdays
MCI-SEAJune 11Saturdays
MDW-PWMJune 5Daily
OMA-TPAJune 11Saturdays
SEA-STLJune 11Saturdays
SJU-STLJune 11Saturdays
Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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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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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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  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases