Southwest Airlines May fly to NYC

November 20, 2008

A posting today on the Cranky Flier blog discusses Southwest Airlines considering expanding to New York City’s LaGuardia Airport.  I’m not sure whether this would be a good or a bad decision for the airline; only time will tell.

The main negative I see is possible degradation of service quality in other cities Southwest serves.  The potential for air-traffic control related delays that originate in the NYC Metro Area to have cascading effects on Southwest’s on-time performance in other parts of the country where it is currently excellent is a concern.  Maybe this isn’t a big deal, as Southwest flies to many cold-weather cities in urban areas already (Chicago, Albany, Providence, Manchester, etc.)

It is possible that Southwest is interested in LGA service since it is more of a business-oriented airport as opposed to a leisure-oriented destination like Orlando or Las Vegas.  Perhaps a significant portion of tickets Southwest sells on itineraries involving LGA will be at higher fare buckets such as the “Business Select” fare and this could let them keep prices reasonable on the “vacation” itineraries like Philly-Orlando.

People who know me well know my opinions about Philadelphia International, which could be politely summarized using a sentence like “There are other airports in the United States which tend to offer a better flying experience, both in terms of the quality of the terminal building itself, and also in terms of how on-time or not arriving and departing planes are.”

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