PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-700. (photo via Flickr/motox810)
While Southwest Airlines picked up routes to tropical destinations like Belize, Costa Rica, Aruba, and San Juan, Puerto Rico during the last few years, we love to imagine a Southwest Airlines that flies to Hawaii or South America. While that hasn’t happened yet, Southwest is expanding its network of hubs later this year, adding Grand Cayman of the Cayman Islands to the mix.
Starting June 4th of this year, Southwest will fly direct from Fort Lauderdale to sunny Grand Cayman, much to the delight of travelers familiar with the island. As part of a new initiative, Southwest Airlines is also launching several other non-stop routes from Fort Lauderdale this summer, including Belize, Cancun, and Montego Bay.
Other new Southwest routes planned for this year include:
Nonstop service between Oakland, CA and Newark
Nonstop service between San Francisco and Portland, OR
New flights out of Cincinnati, Ohio
Nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale and Orlando
Nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale and Philadelphia
Nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale and Washington Dulles
Nonstop service from New Orleans to Raleigh-Durham
Nonstop service from New Orleans to Columbus
Nonstop service between San Diego and Boise
Nonstop service between San Diego and Salt Lake City
Nonstop service between San Diego and Los Cabos, Mexico
Southwest’s New International Routes = Savings
Southwest Airlines adding new routes is always a good thing, but it could be especially helpful for consumers looking for budget travel to the Caribbean. According to the airline, nonstop flights between Fort Lauderdale and Grand Cayman will start at just $89 each way once they begin in June. Further, new flights between San Diego and Los Cabos are expected to start at just $104 per leg when they begin in April.
With prices being so low, it’s feasible to expect other airlines to try to compete, and let’s not forget the additional benefits Southwest Airlines offers for families, including two free checked bags and first-come-first-serve seat selection.
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Look for Southwest’s New Seasonal Routes
In addition to the new permanent routes announced by the airline, Southwest has come out with a few seasonal routes meant to facilitate the regular surge in summer traffic.
Some popular seasonal routes to look for include:
Nonstop service between Houston and Aruba
Nonstop service between Austin and Los Cabos
Nonstop service between Nashville and Seattle
Nonstop service between Kansas City and Pensacola
Nonstop service between Atlanta and Cleveland
Nonstop service between Chicago and San Juan
Nonstop service between Denver and Pensacola
Nonstop service between Austin to New Orleans
Nonstop service between Austin and St. Louis
Nonstop service between Austin and Pensacola
Nonstop service between San Diego and Indianapolis
Nonstop service between San Diego and Spokane
Nonstop service between San Diego and Newark
Airlines add and drop routes all the time, but it’s always exciting when a favorite airline adds a brand new international hub or picks up new routes to your favorite domestic spots. Maybe one day, we’ll see the nonstop Southwest service to Hawaii or South America we’ve all been hoping for.