Southwest Launching 7 New Caribbean Routes
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Southwest is expanding south yet again! TPG‘s #1 Best Airlines for Families is adding seven new routes to places typically known more for adult parties. On March 9, 2019, Southwest is launching new routes to Cancun, Los Cabos, Punta Cana and Montego Bay.
According to the airline route gurus at Routes Online, here are the latest additions to Southwest’s route map:
Baltimore/Washington – Los Cabos
Southwest is bringing back this route after ending it in August 2018. However, there aren’t many opportunities to catch this flight as it’s running just once weekly through the end of schedule (currently April 7, 2019). This route will use a Boeing 737-700.
- WN394 Baltimore (BWI) 8:30am Departure → Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos (SJD) 12:20pm Arrival
- WN395 Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos (SJD) 12:30pm Departure → Baltimore (BWI) 8:10pm Arrival
Milwaukee – Cancun
Southwest is also launching a 1x weekly Saturday service between Milwaukee (MKE) and Cancun (CUN) using a Boeing 737-700. This route was previously run through August 2017 before being cancelled.
- WN1012 Milwaukee (MKE) 1:10pm Departure → Cancun (CUN) 6:05pm Arrival
- WN703 Cancun (CUN) 6:00pm Departure → Milwaukee (MKE) 10:00pm Arrival
Pittsburgh – Cancun
In addition, Pittsburgh is also getting a Cancun connection using a Boeing 737-700. This route ended its previous season in August 2018. Flights will operate 1x weekly on Saturdays on the following schedule:
- WN414 Pittsburgh (PIT) 6:50am Departure → Cancun (CUN) 11:00am Arrival
- WN415 Cancun (CUN) 1:20pm Departure → Pittsburgh (PIT) 5:50pm Arrival
Raleigh – Cancun
Raleigh is also seeing the return of its Cancun flight for the first time since August 2018. The Saturday-only out-and-back flights will operate using a Boeing 737-700 at the following times:
- WN1019 Raleigh/Durham (RDU) 6:35am Departure → Cancun (CUN) 10:00am Arrival
- WN1205 Cancun (CUN) 9:55am Departure → Raleigh/Durham (RDU) 1:55pm Arrival
St. Louis – Montego Bay & Punta Cana
St. Louis is getting two new routes — one to Jamaica and another to the Dominican Republic. Both routes are operating both directions on Saturdays using a Boeing 737-700:
- WN1831 St. Louis (STL) 9:00am Departure → Montego Bay (MBJ) 1:35pm Arrival
- WN1832 Montego Bay (MBJ) 1:30pm Departure → St. Louis (STL) 5:25pm Arrival
- WN2822 St. Louis (STL) 10:00am Departure → Punta Cana (PUJ) 4:15pm Arrival
- WN2823 Punta Cana (PUJ) 12:35pm Departure → St. Louis (STL) 4:35pm Arrival
San Antonio – Cancun
Although currently operating through January 6, 2019, Southwest is taking a winter break from operating this route from San Antonio to Cancun before starting it back up on March 9. While all of the other new routes are operating using a smaller 737-700, Southwest is putting its 175-seat Boeing 737-800 on this route. As with the others, this will operate 1x weekly on Saturdays:
- WN1836 San Antonio (SAT) 6:05am Departure → Cancun (CUN) 9:35am Arrival
- WN115 Cancun (CUN) 3:55pm Departure → San Antonio (SAT) 6:50pm Arrival
While all of the cities can access these vacation getaways currently by connecting, it’s always nice to take a nonstop flight to your destination. The downside with these new routes: since they are only once weekly, you’ll have to vacation exactly seven nights to catch the nonstop both ways.
Remember that paying for EarlyBird check-in just jumped up 67% when JetBlue switched to a dynamic pricing scheme. If the new up-to-$25 price is too steep, make sure to set an alarm for exactly 24 hours prior to departure in order to get the best boarding position and choice of seats.
Or, you can grab the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card which offers four upgraded boarding passes per year. These will guarantee you’re one of the first 15 passengers on-board, so you’ll have the first pick of seats. And, if you earn the sign-up bonus before you’re ready to book your trip, you can use those points to fly free to your vacation.
Featured image by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy.