Which 4 Destinations will Southwest Airlines Fly in From?

by December 4, 2009 • 173 comments
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Without doubt you recall back in October it was announced that Southwest Airlines would be bringing their canyon blue jets over our emerald waters and gently be landing them at our brand-spankin new airport in Panama City Beach. People cheered, some teared up and the excitement spread like butter. Dubbed after two tries the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport, St. Joe and Southwest partnered along with Coastal Vision 3000 and area TDC’s to come up with a dynamic plan to grown our area’s industry, tourism and hopefully population. When the big announcement was made, 8 flights a day were committed to from 4 different locations, but the locations were to be named in December.

And, no we don’t have those destinations to announce yet, but that should come in short notice, I’m sure.  The purpose of this post is to see what destinations you think should be flying into our area. Of course, some of you who have family or frequent certain destination will be biased, but consider what places would bring the most people to Panama City Beach.

There will be 4 destinations total and tons of people have sounded off here on pcbdaily as to their preference, but let’s here from you all one more time.

I’ve created a poll in the sidebar to track, so please vote there.  In addition, share with us in the comments below your pick!  Please note, cheaters, that if you select one destination a million times, we’ll know the survey has been tampered with and you will be dealt with by tar and feather. All of the votes are logged by ip address.

Here are the cities we think are most likely to be future feeder markets for Panama City Beach:

Nashville, TN – tons of people from Nashville come down here already.

Birmingham, AL – tons of people from Birmingham come here already as well.

LaGuardia, NY (New York City) – There has been a huge interest in our area from people in New York in the last year.  This is highly evident in the pcbdialy analytics.

Chicago, IL (Midway) – We beleive this to be a huge sleeper market that’s actually already feeding fairly heavily into our area, beleive it or not.

Dallas, TX (LoveField) – Forget the Wright Amendment, who cares if they can’t really fly here until 2014, bring ’em anyway!

Here are some others that we added to the poll to see what YOU think.  If there are any destinations you think should be on this poll that aren’t, let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to add them.

  • New Orleans, LA
  • Orlando, FL
  • Jackson, MS
  • Columbus, OH
  • Indianapolis, IN
  • Detroit, MI
  • Raleigh/Duram, NC
  • St. Louis, MO
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172 Comments

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1 CHRISTINE December 4, 2009 at 9:12 am

Please add Baltimore and Philadelphia to the list, Southwest has a good presence at both of these airports. These cities could serve as connections for people flying to PCB from all over the Northeast…

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2 Robert Taylor December 4, 2009 at 9:20 am

Add BWI to the list. Its closeness to Washington and connection to our military bases would be a good addition to your list.

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3 jobeibi December 4, 2009 at 9:44 am

Your poll is broken. The header says to pick 4, but when I vote, I get an error message saying to vote for only 1.

Anyway, I agree with the two above. Baltimore must be added to the list. We need a cheap fare to the Washington, DC area for our military bases and supporting businesses.

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4 Cara Dee December 4, 2009 at 9:50 am

Definately BWI; its proximity to D.C. and all the eastern seaboard only makes sense. Of course, the fact that we fly there and back two to four times a year doesnt influence my decision at all!!

Cara

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5 Chris December 4, 2009 at 9:54 am

The poll is allowing only one selection instead of four. Also, please add Houston, TX (HOU) to the list; it’s our 4th largest city.

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6 Richard Scott December 4, 2009 at 9:57 am

I would add Boston and San Diego

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7 Paul Hickenbottom December 4, 2009 at 9:58 am

What about Houston, Texas – why wasn’t it considered?

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8 Lisa December 4, 2009 at 9:58 am

I would add Omaha, NE to the list. It is a vibrant community with money and no beaches.

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9 Kimberly Moran December 4, 2009 at 10:18 am

I AGREE OMAHA…..OMAHA…….and did I mention OMAHA…there is not a body of water around my old stomping grounds that is worth looking at !!!! I think you must tap into this market. The people from the midwest (this includes the Chicago area) are honest and hard working.

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10 Bob Canady December 4, 2009 at 9:59 am

I was limited to only one pick, Chicago is a definite choice

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11 Karen December 4, 2009 at 9:59 am

Houston, TX Hobby Airport should make the list for sure! So many people come to PCB from Texas and so many people that fly on Southwest from the west coast connect through Houston. Houston would be a huge market for PCB!!!!!

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12 Mildred December 4, 2009 at 10:00 am

What about Atlanta? I’d also like to see Memphis and/or Little Rock.

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13 Kimberly Moran December 4, 2009 at 10:21 am

I live in Atlanta and probably 90% of my guests are from the Atlanta metro area. So I cannot believe Atlanta is not on the list. Is this because of Delta ?

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14 Steve December 4, 2009 at 6:27 pm

I also live in Atlanta, own a few condos, and would love to have direct flights!!

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15 Jason Koertge December 4, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Sorry guys, Atlanta isn’t on the list because Southwest does not service ATL. This poll is Southwest Specific. There are other airlines that will definitely continue to bring Atlanta visitors to our area.

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16 Don December 4, 2009 at 10:01 am

I think Louisville, Ky would be a good choice. I am biased because I live there and own vacation property in P.C.B. however I have a lot of rentals and inquiry’s from people in the Louisville Area. There are several P.C.B. condo owners that live in Louisville. Geographicly its a good distance. Birmingham and even Nashville are too close to fly when you could drive in the same time it took to arrive/depart and fly.

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17 Ricky December 8, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Nashville is our number 1 choice from a rental management standpoint. We have tons of visitors that come down from a 50 mile radius of Nashville and lots more would be interested if they didn’t have to drive. Traffice to our VisitPCB.com website is heavily weighted from this area as well.

Plus, Don must not have driven from Nashville in a while as it is 7 1/2 to 8 hour drive versus a 1-hour flight each way. :}

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18 George E. Crowley December 4, 2009 at 10:04 am

Please add Rochester New York and Las Vegas NV to you ports.

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19 Julie December 4, 2009 at 10:05 am

What about Louisville? Half the people I know here have property in northwest Florida, and the other half vacation there whenever possible!

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20 Yvonne Beahon December 4, 2009 at 10:07 am

Dallas and New York are great choices! BWI would be another good one.

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21 Connie December 4, 2009 at 10:07 am

Miami of course. Alot of people in our whole
area would be interested in flying out
of here to go down south. The keys are
right there as well as commuter planes
flying out to the Bahamas.

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22 Axel December 5, 2009 at 7:58 am

This is about coming to PCB not going elsewhere. I heard they already have beaches in Miami.

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23 Mike December 5, 2009 at 11:42 am

Exactly Miami already has beaches….

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24 Jacob December 8, 2009 at 9:12 am

You’re absolutely right, this is supposed to be about getting people HERE, not necessarily from here (although Southwest may have a different opinion).

I lived in Miami and Fort Lauderdale for 20 years. People with families in South Florida take their families and kids to beaches North of there. News flash; South Beach is completely topless…not the right environment for your kids. Everybody I knew in SFL took their family vacations in Ft. Meyers, Naples, Hutchinson Island, etc. because they were easy to get to. Southwest would make us also easy to get to.

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25 anita December 4, 2009 at 10:07 am

Hope they pick LGA

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26 MARY December 4, 2009 at 2:35 pm

Lga! NY is a huge market. PCB is a great vacation and snow bird destination. LGA will draw from NY, NJ and Conn.

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27 LM December 4, 2009 at 10:08 am

Minneapolis, MN

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28 Gary Stoneking December 4, 2009 at 5:05 pm

I know we can’t be the only people from Minneapolis!

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29 William Whitehouse December 4, 2009 at 10:11 am

1/4 of the Snow birds in this condo are Canadians. What about Toronto????

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30 Kimberly Moran December 4, 2009 at 10:39 am

Good point…however, until PCB incorporates a better citywide transportation service the people from Canada will have to rent a car. WOW that would be so expensive for three or four months.

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31 Susie December 6, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Some people come from Canada for much shorter visits… Not everyone is retired and able to stay for months at a time!!!!

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32 Sharon Campbell December 4, 2009 at 10:12 am

Hopefully Southwest will smile upon us Cincinnati “midwesterners” who would be happy to drive to Indianapolis, Louisville, or Columbus for a direct flight to Panama City Beach! We have learned from experience that if you can’t get a direct flight, it makes more sense to drive.

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33 Cooper December 4, 2009 at 10:12 am

I live in Birmingham and while I would much appreciate the option/convenience of a direct flight, the focus might should be on markets that will provide the highest volume of tourism/travel with a higher probability of investing in the real estate market in the panhandle area. Ie – Dallas, Charlotte, Nashville, …Maybe even Chicago and NYC.

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34 Bob December 4, 2009 at 10:13 am

We need a route to the south like Ft. Lauderdale to be able to totally avoid Atlanta.

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35 Connie December 4, 2009 at 6:38 pm

I agree 100 percent

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36 SRI December 8, 2009 at 9:14 am

definitely Fort Lauderdale

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37 Mary Kate December 4, 2009 at 10:13 am

BWI please!! I know a lot of people from Northeast (flying from Hartford, Manchester, and Providence – all Southwest stops) have to stop in BWI before flying another leg into the Southeast or elsewhere. When I went to school at ‘BAMA, I flew from Birmingham to BWI to PVD for my trips home over the holidays and breaks. BHM is too close for a stop. Nashville, good; Dallas or Houston, good; Chicago, good and add BWI as this is a huge SWA stop from the Northeast.

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38 Kevin December 4, 2009 at 10:15 am

I hope they choose LAX. You can pick all the east coast you want but until we have a connection to the west coast, we are still isolated. LAX is international and would allow you to fly to Hawaii, Asia, Australia for a lot less than you would pay now. I would also love to see all of Hollywood!

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39 IXGCorp December 16, 2009 at 9:40 am

…or SNA (don’t forget that Orange County alone generates it’s own economy – it has its own isolated recources across the industry board). I know there are many potential property investors that are looking to spend on a sound community like in the Emerald Coast…

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40 John December 4, 2009 at 10:17 am

Jason, I think your suggested feeder markets for Southwest are spot on. Atlanta would not be a consideration since Southwest does not serve that market.

I love your website and the updates!

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41 jamnolfin December 4, 2009 at 10:26 am

We definitely need one Texas port as a gateway to the west. Its always been so expensive to fly out west from here. I chose Dallas but Houston would be good too.

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42 GBC December 4, 2009 at 10:27 am

BWI!!!!!

Baltimore Washington International

BWI!!!!!

BWI!!!!!

BWI!!!!!

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43 Garry Parkinson December 4, 2009 at 10:29 am

I would definitely think Chicago makes sense. It already has a large SW hub with people flying nonstop from other area’s in the Midwest such as Minneapolis, Detroit and St. Louis into Midway.

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44 linda December 4, 2009 at 10:30 am

PCB to Nashville Please!

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45 Phil December 4, 2009 at 10:32 am

Baltimore, Nashville, Chicago, and Dallas or Houston. Birmingham is too close – just drive!

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46 Lauretta Thompson December 4, 2009 at 10:34 am

I only hopr that Philly is included this would be great for me!

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47 bear December 4, 2009 at 10:34 am

need to fly in to seattle wa.

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48 Lauretta Thompson December 4, 2009 at 10:35 am

I wish Newark, NJ EWR was ioncluded that would be my first choice!

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49 Kimberly Moran December 4, 2009 at 10:36 am

I live in Atlanta but has anyone been to Fort Lauderdale in the last 10 years !!!! Well I have, and believe me I do not want all of the snotty, fast-paced east coasters on our beaches. I understand the mentality that you need to live in the big city (dog eat dog world) but the good folks from Nebraska, Iowa, and the Dakotas just don’t have have to live like in that kind of environment. Yeah I know there are plenty of agricultural areas in the Eastern part of the United States, however, I do not think the Midwest (OMAHA) should be left out of the mix.

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50 Heather December 4, 2009 at 10:37 am

I would love to see Little Rock or Memphis. It would save my family and me a 10-11 hour drive every summer! And it would be a nice, quick weekend getaway for the hubby and me!

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51 Donna December 4, 2009 at 10:39 am

Nashville would be great (almost 8 hour drive). Birmingham is too close. Doesn’t Texas have pretty good of thier own? I hope they choose placed that will bring people that would not have come here otherwise. We need places that do not have their own local beaches.

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52 b December 4, 2009 at 10:39 am

Logically, if they fly IN , they will then fly OUT and the only two links listed to get US out to destinations south, like Mexico, Latin America and the Bahamas are Orlando (cheap seats south from there!) and Houston which also connects. Please think about how expensive it is for US to get anywhere without hav ing to fly through Ft. Walton or Atlanta! Makes sense to me!

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53 Donna December 4, 2009 at 10:39 am

Raleigh/Durham, NC
Greensboro, NC
Philadelphia, PA
Atlantic City, NJ

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54 Susan December 4, 2009 at 10:42 am

I think Washington DC and Ft. Lauderdale / Miami areas. DC would be good for our military and bring visitors from that broad area here. Easy access to Ft. Lauderdale/Miami areas would be nice to visit all the attractions down in that area.

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55 Connie December 4, 2009 at 10:48 am

hopefully Columbus, Ohio. There are a lot of people up
here I’m sure would take advantage of it. Also I could
get there more often than 1x a year. Sounds like something
“doable” for a group of girls to have a mini vacation!!

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56 Jim morin December 4, 2009 at 10:57 am

I like Philadelphia, maybe thats cause I’am from South Jersey. Boston would be great and I chose Detriot because my wife is from Korea and a lot of international flights from Japan, Korea, and China arrive at Detroit. Detroit is close to our Northern Friends, many Canidans would use Detroit. Ohio is a good choice also. I dont know if the numbers are still good but some years back I remember reading 80% of the US Population lives in the North East and between Philadephia & Boston, Chicago and the East Coast.

I’am here, maybe we could all get them other yankees to relax, not move so fast.

Many Europeans trave to Orlando. A lot more would vist NWF if they could get here by air rather than drive.

But then, its true we get most of our visitors now from Nashville, Houston, New orleans and othe points in the southeast. So its a real hard choice. BWI is also very inportant to our Military travelers. Tough Choices.

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57 Jacob December 4, 2009 at 10:59 am

I thought part of the impetus was to bring in more visitors to our area through the new airport and Southwest Airlines. I see a lot of talk about adding airports because a lot of people from there come here. How about adding hubs that will bring new buyers and visitors?

I agree with Kevin’s rationale on the West Coast access. We also need a South Florida connection to tap into the South and Central American and European markets that aren’t suffering from the same economy that we are.

Sorry Mildred and Kimberly but Southwest doesn’t fly to or from Atlanta.

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58 Carmen Morales December 4, 2009 at 10:59 am

FLL Ft. Lauderdale International should be added. If you want an international crowd that is where the Europeans will connect from.

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59 Tom December 4, 2009 at 11:02 am

Why not Louisville?

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60 Peter Hamilton December 4, 2009 at 11:10 am

I would like to see direct flights coming into Panama City Beach from either Buffalo &/or Toronto

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61 Dave Walter December 4, 2009 at 11:19 am

I like St. Louis, Mo. Could stop by from a Chicago or Baltimore/Washington starting point.

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62 Julio Paguada December 4, 2009 at 11:19 am

orlando
NY and or Chicago
A Texas airport (Dallas or Houston)

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63 Paul December 4, 2009 at 11:21 am

Add Fort Myers to the list. SW already services that area.

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64 Dan Dawes December 4, 2009 at 11:24 am

BWI…. A major Southwest presence and serves both Washington DC & Baltimore..HUGE!!

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65 Cara Dee December 8, 2009 at 7:22 am

Exactely…

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66 beverly hammer December 4, 2009 at 11:25 am

Please pick atlanta, ga or even columbus, ga.

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67 Shaun Mulligan December 4, 2009 at 11:31 am

Nashville, Chicago, New York (LaGuardia), Dallas I think will be the 4 Destinations. Time well tell. I also think with the extension of the runway to 10,000 ft. there will be direct International flights from Europe and South America that will cater to the Panama City & Destin beaches for vacation and possible real estate investments. Despite what “Recesssion” the US is currently in; our area at the current time is ripe for foreign investors who will see our area as an opportunity to buy while the prices are low.

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68 SAM December 4, 2009 at 11:33 am

NY AND CHICAGO

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69 captgeobob December 4, 2009 at 11:51 am

Evansville, Indiana

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70 Chris December 4, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I think SW will choose a Midwest city that is on the way to PCB from Chicago, Detroit, Wisconsin, etc. Indianapolis would be a great choice. The word is already out in the Indy area on what a great vacation spot PCB is. Direct flights from Indy would drastically increase the amount of PCB vacationers from the Midwest.

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71 SHERRIE HARGROVE December 4, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I HOPE THEY WILL CHOOSE NASHVILLE ITS WHERE WE LIVE AND YOUR WHERE WE WANT TO BE ON VACATION. SOUTHWEST IS ALREADY HERE SO WHY NOT??

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72 Joyce December 4, 2009 at 12:14 pm

West Palm Beach ot Fort Lauderdale

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73 SRI December 8, 2009 at 9:26 am

FT LAUDERDALE or WEST PALM BEACH

SOUTH FLORIDA
SOUTH FLORIDA
SOUTH FLORIDA
SOUTH FLORIDA

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74 Joan Martin December 4, 2009 at 12:15 pm

For the last 25+ years, my family and friends have gathered at Pinnacle Port. We usually have about 40 people that make the trip each June. We are getting older and it would be great to be able to fly into Panama City Beach, without having to drive to Walton, like we did this year.

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75 Jeff December 4, 2009 at 12:16 pm

Add Miami or Ft. Lauderdale

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76 Jim Ballard December 4, 2009 at 12:17 pm

I would add Louisville, kentucky…everyone here(my self included)loves PCB! I have been there several times, & it always feels like home. Jim :o)

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77 Rob December 4, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I would love service direct to BWI, Baltimore is my hometown and I go up there a couple times a year. And friends and family could visit me more often.

BWI is a hub for Southwest, as other posters have mentioned. But SWA doesn’t really operate a hub-and-spoke route system.

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78 Jason Koertge December 4, 2009 at 12:31 pm

Holy macaroni! I decided to hop by and see how things were going and I find 63 comments. I assure you we will go through these later and get any suggestions added to the poll! We’ll keep this baby life until they make an announcement!

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79 Jacob December 15, 2009 at 10:08 am

Hey Jason, GREAT blog! But, you “assured” us you would get “any suggestions added to the poll!”. You announced your interim results today, and you didn’t add any suggestions. It is GREAT to see SO MANY people interested and supporting this thing.

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80 Cayden February 25, 2014 at 6:38 pm

I had no idea how to approach this be-foernow I’m locked and loaded.

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81 April December 4, 2009 at 1:08 pm

Add Denver, CO – we need some flights from the west.

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82 Chris December 4, 2009 at 5:34 pm

Absolutely! Denver and/or Minneapolis/StPaul. I would have added Chicago, except that our flights go into O’Hare

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83 Danette December 4, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Please add Louisville to your list. A lot of people go there for vactions every year. The population of the Louisville metro area is around one million people.
Thanks

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84 karen russ December 4, 2009 at 1:24 pm

cincinnati international (cvg) to pcb

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85 dan December 4, 2009 at 1:27 pm

add CVG to your list thousands of people from this area.

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86 Don Ridgeway December 4, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Lots of folks rent my condo from the midwest. Indianapolis would be great. Home of the Colts !!

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87 Terry December 4, 2009 at 1:54 pm

I don’t suppose Vancouver has much of a change, but hey, I’d settle for Seattle. (Both have zero chance of being one of these four, but I can dream)

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88 Joanna Banks-Morgan December 4, 2009 at 2:14 pm

Orlando. We definitely want to tap into the European tourist market and the way Europeans structure their American vacations is as two center holidays. Usually a week at the theme parks in Orlando, and a week on a Florida beach. We have to make it easier for them to get here from Orlando to enjoy the benefit of their stays. Europeans currency is stronger, so they have more money to spend, and they take longer vacations, so they’ll be here longer spending that cash!

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89 Donna December 4, 2009 at 2:21 pm

In my opinion, people who live in states closer to Florida would most likely choose to drive to P.C.B. anyway. Who doesn’t love a day long road trip? So it seems we should want the destinations connecting to our new airport to be the largest cities furthest from us.

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90 Sharon Ernst December 4, 2009 at 2:29 pm

There are so many people from Louisville, Kentucky that are frequent visitors (several times a year), and property owners in Panama City Beach, I cannot believe you did not add us to your poll. I don’t want to have to drive (3) hours to Nashville, or (3) Hours North to Indianapolis to be able to fly. OMG! I have been dreaming and talking about this airport to everyone for years, and really hope Louisville, Kentucky makes the cut. If we are included it will allow us to come many more times a year because we can take long week-ends in addition to our normal three or four 12 hour drives we tolerate to visit.

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91 TINA December 4, 2009 at 2:49 pm

LOUISVILLE, KY WOULD BE GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!! I WOULD LOVE FOR IT TO BE THE GREATER CINCINNATI AIRPORT, BUT BEING FROM THAT AREA I KNOW THAT SOUTHWEST DOESNT FLY OUT OF THERE, IT HAS TO BE LOUISVILLE………..

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92 Victor Roque December 4, 2009 at 2:49 pm

You need a flight from the Midwest and I’d pick Pittsburgh PA. Big airport, nice facilities, and easy to get to.

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93 Deborah December 8, 2009 at 8:36 am

I agree with Pittsburgh,Pa being a good choice.
Northern people use this airport to fly to Fla.
My family is from Erie, Pa.
Buffalo, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are the main hubs to travel anywhere.
Only an hour to 2 hours to get to anyone of them.
Yet I sure would love Erie !

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94 Rosa Grullon December 4, 2009 at 2:49 pm

Will be great if I can fly from Ft Lauderdale, Fl.
My daughter and family live in Alabama and often visit Rosemary Beach. Will be great to meet them there, since it is a 9 hour drive for us.
Rosa Grullon

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95 Kenny Whatley December 4, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Please add Houston, TX. That is a big connection point for many airlines from western states to the southeast.

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96 Tracy Richey December 4, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Please add Detroit, MI, that way the grandparents can visit more often, thanks!

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97 Roger December 4, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Louisville, Kentucky needs to be on the list for sure! Tons of people from Louisville go to PCB especially during summer months.

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98 Penny December 4, 2009 at 3:57 pm

Definitely Jacksonville, Florida. There are many people from the area who have to make that 5-hour drive to their vacation destination in PCB.

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99 Greg December 4, 2009 at 4:35 pm

I think Louisville, KY should be a destination that Southwest flys in from and apparently so do several others on this web site.

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100 Curtis December 4, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Please add:

Boise, ID
Phoenix, AZ

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101 Robert December 4, 2009 at 7:04 pm

Kansas City!!!!

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102 gerald December 4, 2009 at 7:04 pm

probly a lot from oversea flight coming to the world most beautiful beaches

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103 Ann December 4, 2009 at 7:33 pm

Since Destin is known as “Louisville South” I suggest that Louisville KY be given consideration!!!

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104 Johnny K. December 4, 2009 at 7:34 pm

What about Louisville, Kentucky? It’s the 16th largest city in America and Panama City Beach is a hot spot for Louisville residents to go to.

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105 Johnny K. December 4, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Louisville is the 16th largest city in America and Panama City Beach is a hot spot for Louisville residents to go to.

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106 Dick Mink December 4, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Just courious… Louisville is not on the list. There are 5 million people within 100 miles of the Louisville airport and Panama City Beach has been running TV adds in this market for months. It is a 10 hour drive to PCB from Louisville and we vacation on the Emerald Coast… so that is just about right for a South West 737 super.

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107 Bearabull December 4, 2009 at 8:52 pm

I think the cities need to be beyond the present cities that are less than an 8 hour drive if you want to start attracting new tourists. It should also be large cities that can fill the flights.
Washington DC
Chicago
New York
Las Vegas
I was thinking of a city in California, but they already have the whole Pacific coast.

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108 IXGCorp December 16, 2009 at 10:24 am

Last thing I want do is sound like a commercial…
…the Pacific Coast is great, but pricey even if you spend more on airline tickets to get here it is a trip definitely worth making for vacation, scout out property or both it balances out!

Living in SoCal for many years we have:

1. Played on the beach in “Surf City” Huntington Beach, Ca. (no sugar white sands), Surfed (good wave action but when it rains they close the beaches when it gets really dirty [bacteria among other things] in the runnoff that ends up in the ocean-many, not just surfers get sick); the more you go north along the Pacific Coast the colder the water gets-wetsuit territory; Don’t get me wrong it does have its fun in the sun…Californians still need to check this up & coming NW Florida areas…

2. Bicycled (road & mt. bikes): We have the Iron Man here; don’t have to fight with traffic & there’s too much smog, pavement & cement before you reach any countryside or beach sand-although it has GEREAT mountain terrain in the Coronado & Angeles National Forrest (singletracks for Mt. Bikers)

3. Better Spring break for the whole family density in PCB areas…instead of south of the border now-a-days with all that is going on down there.

4. Better sense of “getting away” when on vacation here from the hustle & bustle

5. We love the Natural Springs system for canoeing

6. Great Southern Hospitality – many take the time to say “Hello” more; generaly very Neighborly & polite

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109 Gail December 4, 2009 at 9:49 pm

New York (LGA) is a must! Your reader Mary already mentioned what a huge market this would serve: New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Plenty of people with money from this area. They will vacation, spend, spend, spend and buy condo’s. We need the money to turn the beach and real estate market around. Southwest Airlines, if you are listening, I would love to be on the first flight from LGA to the new PC airport. I have been flying into the area since 1981 from Connecticut and I can’t wait for Southwest to go nonstop.
Jason, thanks for your webpage and information. Happy Holidays to all.

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110 Brent December 5, 2009 at 12:52 am

Yes I would have to agree to this

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111 Mike December 5, 2009 at 11:47 am

I agree. The New York Metropolitan area would bring in a ton of $$$$. Have flights coming in from LGA. and Chicago O’Hare or Midway too!

Great site Jason!

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112 Tania Cocito December 4, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Please add Newark International Airport tons of people fly out of there to visit Florida all year! I almost didnt want to go down 2 years ago cause of the hassle of taking two flights. I feel that might change and more people from NorthEast NJ will come out to get to know Panama City!

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113 rebecca December 4, 2009 at 11:10 pm

what about denver

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114 Tammy December 4, 2009 at 11:33 pm

My votes were for LaGaurdia – will pull in a ton of New Yorkers & surrounding areas that DESERVE to relish in what PCB has!

Nashville of course (I live in Knoxville – 3 hrs away from Nashville) this is SO centrally located to many states & cities that visit PCB but hate the drive on 231 (10hrs or more) and would help ‘Southeners’ take mini-vacations more.

Dallas would be great! Houston would be good BUT…have lived there and and know that it is around 3 hrs to Dallas which, by choosing Dallas, still would pull in the Houstonians. Dallas has so many surrounding areas that would LOVE PCB! Believe me Galveston is a nice place but doesn’t even compare to a vacation in PCB with the WHITE sand & blue water!

Last choice would be Chicago – a great main hub for many people!

Lets hope that Southwest (in the future) will add more areas in the near future! PCB is on the runway to growing in a huge way!

I am unfamiliar with the

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115 Paul Mason December 5, 2009 at 4:04 am

I think they should definitely consider Memphis or Atlanta – I know first thoughts are they are too close but they would be major stepping stones from many other locations all over the US. Many other carriers already fly to these airports for great prices, multiple times a day. I just think If passengers up in the northern areas are going to cough up the money to fly direct to PCB (Sorry – North West Florida!) i would think they would rather go down to Miami, Nassau, Tampa or more tropical resorts for the same value or possibly less. Houston or Dallas will be a definite option for the directors of Southwest airlines, two of the busiest international airports in the US and easy stepping stones from other southwest airports. It Would be great for European passengers to be able to get to PCB with just two flights and get PCB on the map for Millions of Europeans that love to travel, Atlanta would be the best option for this to workout, I know London to Atlanta is very popular.

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116 Axel December 5, 2009 at 7:55 am

Baltimore is a major SWA hub…it should be selected for sure to feed from many other cities…classic hub and spoke air system. What are their other hub cities? To make this work for SWA and us, those should be the cities.

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117 Paul December 5, 2009 at 9:22 am

Please add Hartford, CT (BDL) to the list as there are many from the CT and Western Mass. area going into PCB.

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118 Ed Farris December 5, 2009 at 10:06 am

Please add Pittsburgh International airport to the list. Too many southern states on the list that are drive-“from” states and always have been – they will continue to come. We need more from the midwest and the Northeast. Also it should be JFK and not LaGuardia – JFK is a much better airport with less problems.

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119 Patrick December 5, 2009 at 3:34 pm

How about: Los Angeles, California, Washington DC. Miami, Florida.Las Vegas Nevada.Denver Colorado?

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120 Dan The Man December 5, 2009 at 7:35 pm

Montreal for all the canadian snowbirds.

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121 Gerald R December 5, 2009 at 10:40 pm

Nashville, B’ham, Louisville are naturals. They have been driving here for years. Now,if we can just get Southwest in ATL.

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122 J D Webster December 6, 2009 at 8:57 am

Jason, you left Jacksonville and Tampa off your poll. The two biggest St. Joe offices in Florida are in these two towns. It should have been a no-brainer! Also, SWA has 6 non-stops per day going from New Orleans to Jacksonville and PASS RIGHT OVER US. Similar number from Birmingham & Nashville to Tampa and they also PASS RIGHT OVER US.

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123 neil johnson December 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm

We live in UK and own a house in PCB.
We dont care where the SW flights are from (as long as we avoid Atlanta);
For us a direct flight to New York or Philladephia would really suit us and we could get to PCB with one stop, Better still a direct flight from Birmingham (Englad) to PCB—that would be a dream come true.
The European market needs to be addressed,(particularly the UK)–the Brits will love PCB and will spend lots of money there and buy up houses belive me (once the economy has picked up a little)

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124 CC December 7, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I agree, but think Orlando would be a better overseas fit. There are already heaps of non-stop flights coming into Orlando from all major international cities.

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125 sire December 6, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Even though close to New Your, Bradley Field (Hartford, CT) may be a good option. A larger airport than most think. Also Vegas.

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126 Don December 6, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Now that Southwest Airlines has committed to serving the NW Florida area efforts should be made to bring in additional airlines. Also, Delta Airlines should be encouraged to step-up their service to the area. Delta has served the area for many years and they deserve a lot of thanks for this, but incentives should also be offered to Delta to bring in larger aircraft and with lower rates. If NW Florida becomes a major fly-in destination as well as a major drive-to destination our area will boom. It is time our area receives the recognition it has long deserved.

As one of Frommer’s Top Destinations for 2010, the Florida Panhandle Beaches, “contains some of the most diverse recreation choices along Florida’s drastically under-appreciated Gulf coast, and some of the best options for visitors seeking an affordable family vacation.”

Read more: http://www.frommers.com/articles/6469.html#ixzz0YyWswyTr

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127 Jerry Eyler December 7, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Any better update as to when SWA will announce the locations?

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128 CC December 7, 2009 at 1:23 pm

I think direct flights to and from Orlando would be the BEST! This would allow foreign visitors coming in from all over the world easy access to our beaches.

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129 M. Heinowski December 7, 2009 at 1:26 pm

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Yes we have an Airport!

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130 Elton December 7, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Coming from the northeast I know that PCB is not a well known destination, probably because there are no direct flights out of the NYC metro area. Southwest direct from LGA would definitly be a plus for opening the area up to people who would normally go to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale.

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131 cindi December 7, 2009 at 6:27 pm

i think an area wide tally of visitors should be done by state and then make the decision based on that, along with connecting international airports from these states. use the hard data available.

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132 Cara Dee December 8, 2009 at 7:25 am

I still firmly believe that BWI is already one of the cities that will be serviced; I forget where I heard that. Otherwise, it does no good at all for me, and I would be sad! Still cannot have my kids on a connecting flight alone

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133 Nancy December 8, 2009 at 7:29 am

If you consider North, East, South, and West then Orlando, Baltimore, Dalls, and Chicago. Drive to cities may not be considered but I would hope that we could get to S FL via direct air.

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134 chuck December 8, 2009 at 7:41 am

For those who come to PCB during the winter months and live further north and now drive two to three days to get there, it seems silly to have flights from places like Birmingham when it is only a few hours away.

How about from Manchester, NH or Minnieappolis/St. Paul, Detroit?

Atlanta is a hub for Delta, it would make more sense to go from there. I live in the Northeast, enjoy PCB, but you almost can’t get from here to there without paying an arm and a leg and spending a whole day traveling with 2 to 3 or even 4 stop overs.

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135 dan December 8, 2009 at 7:43 am

cincinnati imternational (cvg)

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136 Tracy December 8, 2009 at 8:28 am

I understand the non-stop cities must have maintence at their locations…and not all cities do..but BWI, Chicago/St. Louis, Nashville/Louisvile, then Dallas (but with Dallas restrictions, Austin is busy, busy and has all the west coast connections!) Is it true we won’t get on-site maintence for a couple of years?

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137 Jeff December 8, 2009 at 8:44 am

Fort Lauderdale. It takes 9-10 hours to drive .

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138 Brenda December 8, 2009 at 10:10 am

Dallas,Texas because hundreds of people come from here to Panama City – also this is the home of Southwest!

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139 marie nowak December 8, 2009 at 10:29 am

Philadelphia or Atlantic City, Please!!!!!

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140 Brett Kennedy December 8, 2009 at 10:31 am

How about Denver, Colorado a perfect travelers could travel from Dever to the beach and travelers from Panama City Beach to the mountains to ski

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141 MJT December 8, 2009 at 10:54 am

It would be smarter to connect to larger markets like Chicago and New York and other connecting markets first that are farther away than a day’s drive. Then let the other smaller, closer markets fill in as needed in time.
I’m just happy that SW will be landing here! PCB will never be the same after summer 2010…

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142 Janet Kramer December 8, 2009 at 11:28 am

Please add Memphis to your list–everybody here goes to PCB & Destin.

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143 Sandy December 8, 2009 at 12:01 pm

They would be foolish not to include either Baltimore or another Washington departure. BWI would be the most likely one. It also doesn’t make much sense to me to include Birmingham, since it is a fairly easy drive to PCB. We need to target markets in large cities to get new visitors!

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144 Lauretta Thompson December 8, 2009 at 12:16 pm

I will be moving full time to PCB in about two years. A direct flight to Philly would put me very close to my daughter who lives in Trenton. How wonderful if we could have a direct flight and not spend 8 hours getting to PCB from Philly.

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145 Kryptoid December 8, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Come on everyone, lets be fair to the entire country. We should spread the love a bit, so consider these 4 key locations.

1. LAX – huge market that has not been tapped into, and would open up the Southeast US to the West Coast, they have money too, which helps, plus people from Orange Country, San bernardino country, riverside county and more will be able to use LAX. Also, like Kevin stated, you could connect to Hawaii & Japan easily, basically connect anywhere easily from LAX.

2. Houston TX – Will bring a huge amount of people to the area, and again they’ve got money, oil money, plus would open up to a lot of other connecting flights (i.e. LAX, west coast)

3. NY – As the admin says, theres a huge interest in this area from New Yorkers, and they have money, and would love visiting here in the off season, when they have tons of snow.

4. ATL – Now this is our closest market that would allow alot of quick weekend trips from Atlanta, it also depends on if Delta is going to still have their flight to ATL, if they do, then have a back up city, say KY, or OH.

But realistically, does the TDC have actual numbers or real stats on interested locations across the states? this should help in determining.

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146 Lisa S December 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm

How about the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mtn. states? Salt Lake City/Denver or Portland/Seattle?
I used to live there and boy, would I have loved to visit Florida beaches many times! Plus we can then go there to escape the heat a bit during the summer or get our snow fixes during the winter. Lots of Southerners are now located in these areas and long for a way to visit our area more often. Plus they tell their friends. How else do you think I got here?

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147 Mark Roberts December 8, 2009 at 12:42 pm

Ad St. Louis. Just drive through Destin or PCB and count the Missouri license plates and the demand will become obvious.

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148 Colin Hall December 8, 2009 at 12:52 pm

I currently own a property in Panama City Beach and the UK.
How about somwnere in the UK, this would greatly help me and my family when we want to holiday here, along with any of my friends, this would also increase the economy and the touriest industry here, Its a great place.

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149 Bill C. December 8, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Please add Las Vegas. A direct flight from P.C. would mean that my wife and I would go more often.

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150 Thomas T December 8, 2009 at 3:49 pm

I am thinking the following four:

Orlando – For the European Travelers.

New York – For the north-eastern travelers, also the European travelers coming in from the north.

Dallas – To connect us to The Mid-West, West Coast.

Chicago – For the Chicagoians, and the surrounding large cities – not to mention the Canadians not far from Chicago.

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151 Kerry December 8, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Atlanta would be great but Southwest doesn’t fly out of Atlanta. I live in Atlanta and I flight to another nearby airport which makes it difficult. My weekend sprints to the beach would become more frequent.

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152 Sandy December 8, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Everyone has their own point of view, but I think some people are missing the point….which is to bring more visitors from markets that are not close enough to drive here (this excludes Jacksonville, FL, Atlanta, Birmingham, Orlando, etc., etc.) We need to look at the bigger picture. I have many friends from Dallas who love to come to NW FL, but now vacation west of PCB because flights are cheaper into Ft. Walton. There’s a ton of money in Dallas, plus many businesses…which would also help us extent PCB as a convention possibility!! Same applies to New England, where many people from Boston, Vermont, Massachusetts want to come to NW, Florida…but “you can’t get here from there.” Why on earth would we want another flight to Atlanta…everything Delta goes into Atlanta??!!

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153 Cathy December 8, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I heard a rumor from a Southwest employee that said two of the locations would be Nashville and Baltimore. Not sure about the other two.

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154 Linda December 8, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Providence or Boston would be great. I will take either one, but prefer Providence. Right now flying into PCB is too expensive and we have to fly into Pensacola. I am tired of the long flight then a two hour drive to PCB. Most people drive to PCB and I don’t think that will change with a flight from their city. People who do not live within driving distance of 6 hours are the ones you want to target.

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155 Bearabull December 8, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Memphis and Atlanta already have direct flights. Still think you need to go farther to attract new visitors and big cities that will fill up the planes. Also, regarding Canada and the Snowbirds. I don’t see snowbirds using it as they want there cars. Canadians that come for shorter trips would be more like to use the airline.

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156 Capt Rick December 9, 2009 at 12:34 am

Very interesting comments and opinions being aired here Jason…well done my friend. I hope that whatever else happens, that SouthWest does for our community what everyone is hoping they can accomplish…and that is to bring visitors to our area in large numbers. Keep in mind though…this could have been done to a very large extent with the airport we have now. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy that the new airport is coming and fully understand the potential…but in retrospect if PISSES ME OFF that Delta basically held the proverbial thumb on us for so many years and now that Southwest is coming in, all of a sudden Delta announces that they are going to lower their rates to stay competitive. Well Delta can KMA…it will be a cold day before I purchase another Delta ticket. Good luck Southwest and thank you in advance!!!

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157 duggan0 December 9, 2009 at 3:07 pm

How about Atlanta, GA? Can’t forget Georgia~!!!!

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158 Lan Bach December 9, 2009 at 5:03 pm

I will like to include Fort Lauderdale/Miami as a destination. Many students from North Florida had to leave for college and are residing in South Florida. It will be nice for us students residing in South Florida to visit our families/parents via PCB airport instead of driving 10 hours.

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159 Doug December 9, 2009 at 10:25 pm

I’m sure Southwest has access to the data from TDC or ResortQuest, etc., but I live in Louisville and know that hundreds of families from here vacation in the area every year. It is a 10 hour drive and I am sure this would be a very active market. Birmingham is too close.

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160 Jenn December 9, 2009 at 11:01 pm

I live in Birmingham and agree with everyone, its really too close. As much as I would like to fly some weekends I can see how Nashville would be a better fit. I say Nashville, DC, Dallas, Chicago and /or Ft Lauderdale.

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161 Mike Cain December 9, 2009 at 11:39 pm

I would prefer JFK for NYC and overseas connecting flights. Likewise Orlando to the south for the same reasons. I think Houston would be the best connection to SW flights to the west coast and Chicago for the midwest and Canada. In any case we are glad to have Southwest.

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162 Jim B December 10, 2009 at 8:00 am

DALLAS!!!! Read the Texas papers, Dallas is the home of Southwest and that’s the state without recession problems.

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163 MARY December 10, 2009 at 11:35 pm

St. Louis, for sure. Sooo many people from STL make the drive here every year for their vacation. We have been coming since 1972, and would love to fly Southwest direct to PCB instead of driving the 800 long miles. How wonderful would that be!!!!

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164 Lyle December 15, 2009 at 9:24 am

Chicago and New York make a lot of sense. However, I would also add St. Louis and maybe a Omaha. Nashville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis etc. are within easy driving distance. We need to add locations that can offer added visitors to the Emerald Coast.

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165 tim December 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm

Cincinnati is the correct spelling

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166 P December 15, 2009 at 1:38 pm

Boston sounds good to me. It would be nice to visit family and friends for a long weekend, IF THE PRICE IS RIGHT OF COURSE!!!! I’m sure there are plenty of people that will be willing to travel here and spend their money if they could get on flight and be here in less then three hours.

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167 IXGCorp December 16, 2009 at 9:20 am

San Diego is ok but add LAX ,SNA or ONT…we have to open it up for those on the west coast! There is alot of talent that you would want here and there are many potential opportunities here for those in SoCal that are looking for something like we have on the Emerald Coast – I was one of them that found what I was looking for here (super close to the water, and really – you don’t know what a traffic jam is here even during Spring Break, no crime, no cement jungle here, don’t get me started on the pollution, I could go on…you get the picture.

If you compare the median home price $500K for an older home (mainly Orange County) in SoCal to here – you get way more here at the low $200K’s and a newer home and we still aren’t talking about their $500K beast being this close to the water! Even renters in SoCal throw away $900.00 for a 1 bedroom apt! Here you get 2 more bedrooms in a nicer place for close to the same…

2010 are full of opportunities for Bay & surrounding Counties – you have great communities here that will be supplemented with opportunities upon increasing airtraffic from accross the nation.

I would pay the $500 airline ticket and the extra 20 hours in the air everytime from LAX, SNA or ONT!

Happy Holidays See you at Pier Park to bring in the New Year!!! ; )

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168 IXGCorp December 16, 2009 at 9:23 am

…correction: I would pay the $500 airline ticket and the extra (meant 2 not 20) hours in the air everytime from LAX, SNA or ONT!

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169 jet January 8, 2010 at 2:47 pm

ok, Atlanta, I know some think ATL is not a good idea, well, it is the heart and artery of the busiest airport in the world, so more opportunities of course that comes with the territory. Don’t be afraid of Delta, get your piece of the pie as well just like the other major airlines LOL

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170 jet January 8, 2010 at 2:52 pm

If SouthWest are not careful, Delta will take over with a major hub there, they already fly small planes at the older airport, so it only make sense to start flying their larger jets there since they are somewhat established there already. they could start direct flights there with their bigger jets, it doesn’t have to be from Atlanta, basically almost anywhere in the country because Delta already flies to most places anyway.

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171 jet January 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Almost forgot, AirTran also can compete with SouthWest, they may also fly to Panama City and establish a hub there as well.

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172 jon January 27, 2010 at 1:11 am

Southwest wants 4 gates in Greensboro NC PTI

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