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Southwest Airlines unveils 10 new Chicago O'Hare, Colorado Springs routes

Oct. 28, 2020
3 min read
Southwest Airlines unveils 10 new Chicago O'Hare, Colorado Springs routes
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Southwest Airlines will launch 10 new routes when it begins flights to Chicago O'Hare and Colorado Springs early next year, two of nine new destinations that it is adding to its map during the coronavirus pandemic. The carrier will debut with five routes at each the cities.

Flights to Chicago O'Hare (ORD) begin in February with introductory one-way fares beginning at $39, Southwest said Wednesday. Flights to Colorado Springs (COS) begin a month later, with one-way fares beginning at $29. Tickets are on sale now for the new flights.

Gary Kelly, CEO of the Dallas-based carrier, has described expanding Southwest's map during the pandemic as "playing offense" in an effort to gain U.S. marketshare coming out of the crisis. Flights to Miami (MIA) and Palm Springs (PSP) begin in November; ski destinations Montrose (MTJ) and Steamboat Springs (HDN) in Colorado begin in December; and Chicago O'Hare; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH); Jackson, Mississippi (JAN); and Savannah (SAV), Georgia, in 2021.

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Southwest will begin service to O'Hare with 20 daily flights on Feb. 14:

The new flights complement the carrier's existing base at Chicago Midway (MDW) airport on the city's south side. On Oct. 22, Kelly said capacity limits at Midway blocked Southwest from growing there and prompted the expansion to O'Hare on the north side of the city.

“If we don’t move now, we risk never getting in there," he said.

Southwest will operate from common use gates in Terminal 5 at O'Hare, said spokesperson Dan Landson.

Related: Southwest Airlines expands again, adds three more cities to its route map

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The carrier begins service to Colorado Springs with 13 daily flights on March 11:

  • Chicago Midway twice daily
  • Dallas Love Field three-times daily
  • Denver four-times daily
  • Las Vegas (LAS) twice daily
  • Phoenix twice daily

Colorado Springs flights expand Southwest's presence in the Front Range region of Colorado, a roughly 175-mile long corridor stretching from Pueblo in the south to Fort Collins in the north. At the region's center is Denver, where the airline already has a large base.

Related: Palm Springs is booming with new flights during the pandemic

Southwest continues to fly far less than it flew a year ago owing to the coronavirus. During the three months ending in December, it plans to fly roughly 35% less than in the same period in 2019.

The airline hopes to resume flying at 2019 levels by the end of 2021, said Kelly earlier in October. However, it expects a full recovery in air travel from the pandemic to take longer.

Southwest has not released schedules for its new flight flights from Houston Intercontinental, Jackson or Savannah.

Related: 5 reasons to ski at Steamboat Springs this year

Updated with Southwest's terminal location at O'Hare.

Featured image by (Photo by John Gress Media Inc/Shutterstock)

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If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more