Southwest Airlines Begins International Service To Three Countries

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

The Employees of Southwest Airlines today launched an international future for America’s largest domestic airline* by inaugurating service to three Caribbean destinations from three of its US gateway cities.

Southwest Airlines’ first international departure, Flight 1804 from Baltimore/Washington to Oranjestad, Aruba, departed ontime at 8:30am EDT, closely followed by Southwest Flight 906 to Montego Bay, Jamaica, where its first-ever scheduled international arrival was planned for just after 11am EST. A midday flight from Baltimore/Washington to Nassau/Paradise Island also brings Southwest Airlines’ legendary Customer Service to The Bahamas.

To commemorate the beginning of a historic chapter for the carrier, Southwest Vacations is offering up to $200 off select travel packages booked now through July 14, 2014, for travel July 4, 2014, through Jan. 4, 2015 (blackout dates apply, three day advance purchase and minimum stay required, see detailed terms and conditions below.) The bundled travel packages featuring combinations of air, hotel, car, and activities can be booked now at southwestvacations.com.

“Thousands of our Employees have a hand in launching today’s flights which begin to bring our convenient and affordable way of air travel to the world, and broaden the horizon for more than 100 million Customers who fly with us every year,” said Teresa Laraba, Southwest’s Senior Vice President of Customers, during a Caribbean-themed celebration and news conference near the departure gates at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. “We’ve grown through four decades of profitable service to carry more domestic air travelers every day than any other airline, and this next chapter plants a flag for Bags Fly Free® and No Change Fees in foreign sand.”

Customers on the carrier’s inaugural international flights from Baltimore/Washington joined those in two other gateway cities of Atlanta, and Orlando who celebrated alongside Employees with commemorative beach balls, snorkels and masks.

At the Company’s corporate headquarters in Dallas, Employees staffed a command center in the pre-dawn hours to monitor operational performance and new technology systems developed in partnership with Amadeus, a leading technology provider to the global travel industry. Its Altéa suite of technology solutions is powering Southwest’s reservations, inventory, and departure control functions for international flying.

“We are extremely pleased that our next generation technology has enabled Southwest to achieve its goal of international flying. Amadeus is committed to delivering the solutions and services that help our customers connect, serve, and manage the evolving needs of the 21st Century traveler. We are very proud to be a partner of Southwest in achieving this significant milestone today and look forward to continuing to shape the future of travel together,” said Julia Sattel, Senior Vice President, Airline IT, Amadeus.

Southwest Airlines previously announced details to convert by the end of this year all international service offered by wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways, including flights to Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

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