Grand Rapids in Michigan will be the next AirTran Airways network destination at which parent carrier Southwest Airlines will take over operations from its subsidiary, which is gradually being operationally merged into Southwest.
Flights by Southwest Airlines from Grand Rapids’ Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) to Baltimore/Washington, Denver, Orlando, and St. Louis will begin on August 11. AirTran Airways service to and from Grand Rapids will end the previous day, August 10.
At Grand Rapids, Southwest will offer double the number of flights that AirTran Airways is operating. From August 11, Southwest will offer six daily non-stop flights, compared with three daily non-stop flights operated until then by AirTran.
To promote the new service, Southwest is running a fare sale offering non-stop one-way fares between $109 and $149 on the new services. These fares must be booked by February 17 and are for travel between August 11 and September 27. The fares are valid for travel every day except Sundays; with the exception of April 14. Blackout dates apply. To book the promotional fares, visit www.southwest.com.
“As we bring Southwest into Grand Rapids we’re not simply swapping airlines, we’re adding new cities, we’re bringing in larger airplanes and flying more flights,” says Ron Ricks, an executive vice president for the Dallas-based carrier. “Similarly, on the AirTran side, we’re nearly doubling the number of flights in and out of Memphis, which provides low-fare competition to more destinations with more seats.”
AirTran is expanding its operations from Memphis International Airport, with new non-stop flights to Chicago Midway Airport, Baltimore/Washington, and Orlando beginning on August 11. From Memphis, AirTran currently offers five daily non-stop flights to Atlanta.
On August 11, Southwest will also begin non-stop service between Flint in Michigan and Las Vegas. Bishop International Airport (FNT) in Flint is currently served by AirTran Airways and will convert to Southwest Airlines service on April 14. Southwest’s inaugural service from Flint will include non-stop service to Baltimore/Washington, Orlando, and Tampa.
Southwest has also announced a promotion to reward members of the airline’s frequent flyer program, Rapid Rewards, with double points on all travel throughout the U.S. Program members will receive 12 points instead of six for each dollar spent on Wanna Get Away Fares, 20 points (instead of 10) for each dollar spent on Anytime Fares, and 24 points (instead of 12) for each dollar spent on Business Select Fares.
Rapid Rewards Members may register for the promotion at southwest.com/rrpromotions prior to travel between February 4 and May 15, 2013, and book and travel between those dates to receive the additional points.