Southwest Airlines Top Four Destinations – YOU VOTED

by December 15, 2009 • 23 comments

Well folks, the votes are in.  With just under 1,000 votes thrown into the pot, it would seem pretty apparent as to which destinations are clear favorites as to potential to serving this area.

There are a few notes I’d like to make mention, though.  On the original post there were many destinations suggested that didn’t seem feasible from a tourist serving perspective.  While all of us would love to have direct flights to areas that are close that would make traveling to them much easier than it is now, the initial purpose is to bring tourists to our area.  The more tourists we bring here, the more money that will come into our area.  The more money that comes into our area, the greater the possibilities of our area having opportunities.

I find it very interesting that the four top cities were consistent with what the pcbdaily staff had thought would be best, although the 5th top pick, Baltimore, surprised us – only because of our lack of knowledge of it and that’s it.

Anyway, enjoy the list, share it with your friends by copying the link in the address bar and make your comments below as to why you think these top destinations were picked.

  1. Chicago, IL (42%, 406 Votes)
  2. New York City (LaGuardia) (40%, 387 Votes)
  3. Nashville, TN (36%, 351 Votes)
  4. Dallas, TX – Forget the Wright Amendment! (23%, 227 Votes)
  5. Baltimore, MD (22%, 211 Votes)
  6. Orlando, FL (20%, 191 Votes)
  7. Houston, TX (16%, 160 Votes)
  8. St. Louis, MO (14%, 134 Votes)
  9. Birmingham, AL (12%, 120 Votes)
  10. San Diego, CA (11%, 107 Votes)
  11. Boston, MA (10%, 99 Votes)
  12. Indianapolis, IN (9%, 83 Votes)
  13. New Orleans, LA (9%, 83 Votes)
  14. Raleigh/Durham, NC (8%, 82 Votes)
  15. Philadelphia, PA (7%, 70 Votes)
  16. Columbus, OH (7%, 70 Votes)
  17. Detroit, MI (7%, 69 Votes)
  18. Louisville, KY (6%, 56 Votes)
  19. Cincinnati, OH (5%, 51 Votes)
  20. Seattle, WA (5%, 47 Votes)
  21. Minneapolis, MN (4%, 36 Votes)
  22. Jackson, MS (1%, 13 Votes)
  23. Omaha, NE (1%, 9 Votes)
Print Story

Related Stories

Additional Airport Stories

More Ways to Connect with Us

Leave a Comment

{

23 Comments

}

1 Lauretta December 15, 2009 at 8:53 am

When will Southwest make the official announcement. I know it is supposed to be in December jut can’t wait!

Reply

2 Ed Farris December 15, 2009 at 8:54 am

I can understand each of these except for Orlando! What sense does it make to have a direct flight from Orlando to promote tourism in PCB? If you live in Orlando you can drive and hour east or west to go to the beach. My son lives there and they do that every couple of weeks. The people there don’t need to escape a cold, beachless climate like farther north. C’mon think about it!
Also we are missing the boat with not including Pittsburgh – beautiful big airport that services Ohio and PA – missing a lot of tourist that currently only fly farther south because of direct flights to those areas.

Reply

3 Valerie December 15, 2009 at 12:33 pm

I agree with Ed regarding Pittsburg. This airport serves Western PA, and Eastern Ohio a large tourism market for the south that does fly direct into southern Florida.

Reply

4 Wes December 15, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I agree…I was hoping Pittsburgh would be an option! If it was, It would give me the chance to fly back home to “da burgh” multiple times a year!

Reply

5 James December 15, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I also agree with Mr Farris. There is a relatively large untapped market between Cleveland and Pittsburgh that could be served very well with service out of CLE or PIT. It seems to me that there is a lot of potenial if that market opened up via a SWA direct flight.

Reply

6 Jacob December 15, 2009 at 9:32 am

I personally am not surprised that your poll reflected what you thought, when you only allowed (or steered) people to vote on specific locations that you picked. I think you guys do an outstanding job and you provide a fantastic service, but it would have been a more accurate poll if you would have added all the SW locations to your list; but you seemed to want to ignore some locations that were requested multiple times. I’m just sayin’…

And, to expand on your comments about bringing in tourist dollars, what we really need to focus on is “new” tourist dollars; not the same folks that are already coming here (sorry, no offense). But, the bottom line is that Southwest will have their own matrix for calculating what makes the most business sense for them as an airline.

Reply

7 Paul Cannefax December 15, 2009 at 10:33 am

Boy wish they had a flight right now from Salt Lake City. I’d be on it, it has been bitterly cold here with the high of 16 degrees. Today we have balmy temperatures. 35 degrees believe me that feels warm after being so cold. And the first day of winter hasn’t even came.
What top destinations did Southwest choose?

Reply

8 Ted December 15, 2009 at 10:38 am

While I generally agree with Jacob’s comments, I believe he underestimates the impact of monies brought into the area by “existing” tourists. For example, a family of four flying into Panama City from Chicago is required to take a connecting flight at a cost that is considerably higher than, for example, flying direct to Ft. Lauderdale. Consider if you will, the economic impact if that additional money presently used for airfare might be spent in boosting the local business community? I believe this to be sizeable amount of money!

Reply

9 Janet Kramer December 15, 2009 at 11:31 am

I can’t believe that Memphis and Little Rock were not on your list!

Reply

10 Janet Kramer December 15, 2009 at 11:31 am

Why would anyone need to fly there from Birmingham!

Reply

11 Rob December 15, 2009 at 12:30 pm

I noticed on SW’s website last week that they were going to be releasing their new flight schedules on December 16th. Hopefully that will include the new PCB routes. Being from Minneapolis (yes, I was one of the few that voted for that one…), hopefully a connecting route through Chicago will be one of the routes.

Reply

12 Rob December 15, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Well, yeah Baltimore should be a surprise. Baltimoreans are the furthest northerners that are still in the South! Since MD is south of the Mason-Dixon line, its technically a Southern state.

Seriously, Baltimore would be a good choice because of its proximity to DC, and not actually in DC. BWI is much easier to get in and out of than Reagan National.

Reply

13 Melanie Driggers December 15, 2009 at 1:16 pm

I definitely agree with Pittsburgh being on the list. There are alot of us living here now, and alot of Pittsburghers visit this area. If you don’t believe me — go to “Calypso’s” restaurant and sports bar when there is a Steeler football game in progress! The Steeler fan club there takes up half of the place! Also — you would not believe the number of people up North who are not aware of our white beaches and emerald green waters. Alot of them don’t even know where PCB is located in the state of Florida! Its not stupidity — its just the eastern beaches mindset. When they do come down here — they are in awe of what they have been missing!

Reply

14 Cara Dee December 15, 2009 at 3:59 pm

As long as it is within a 2 hour driving distance of Baltimore, I dont care! BWI would be perfect, we use SWA all the time out of BWI, but Philly wouldnt be too bad. Beats driving to Jax on this end of it 5 and 6 times a year!

And THANK you all for proving that people north of Kentucky DO actually vacation here! I have been in an ongoing argument with someone that believes that I am lying about anyone from the N.E. (my hometown near Baltimore) and beyond would EVER consider coming to rednecky PCB. She insists everyone up there turns thier nose up at my beloved PCB…LOL

Reply

15 Poolside December 15, 2009 at 7:31 pm
16 David Shearon December 15, 2009 at 11:10 pm

Panama City Beach needs to touch all markets that South Florida does not control. Pittsburgh, Ohio,Iowa, Illinois, Indiana maybe even Kentucky. Nebraska and Oklahoma. Concentrate on core areas that will fill planes for direct flights to Panama City Beach. The TDC Walton Bay Okaloosa counties need to work together to show case the area for tourism. Other than the military, tourism is our main industry.

Reply

17 jeff wallace December 16, 2009 at 5:39 am

so relieved to know Nashville will be on the list.

Reply

18 Poolside December 16, 2009 at 11:51 am

The four cities are: Houston, Texas; Nashville, Tenn.; Baltimore, Md.; and Orlando. Service will begin May 23, 2010.

Reply

19 Ted December 16, 2009 at 12:43 pm

I’m very disappointed to note that Chicago wasn’t chosen for one of Southwest’s first four inaugural cities into PCB. While I realize that the due diligence conducted by Southwest made for other selections, I can’t help but think that Chicago would have been a greater draw than Orlando? Hopefully Chicago will be added to their non-stop destinations (soon).

Reply

20 rob-missouri December 16, 2009 at 3:17 pm

It was interesting to see what cities people thought WN would be flying to.

I was in the airline business for nearly 40 years and have two sons and two brothers who are
commercial pilots. (None of them fly for Southwest).

There a term in the industry called, O & D passengers. It stands for originate and destination.

Someone mentioned Little Rock and Memphis. From this new airport Southwest, (their two letter code is WN) with a 150 seat 737-700 would probably carry 30-40 people per flight. Remember,
we are talking two flights, 7 days a week with them, unlike Allegiant from Las Vegas, which flies to cities 2-3 days a week with only one flight each day.

Many people say Southwest is not a hub and spoke airline…..wrong. Southwest has several huge
hubs, like Baltimore, Chicago/Midway, Houston/Hobby, Phoenix, Las Vegas, ect., and many
mini-hubs. Nashville would be a good example. Southwest has around 50 flights a day to nearly 20 cities. This means there would be connecting flights to Philly, Detroit, Raleigh, Hartford,
Providence, Cleveland, etc. So, Nashville is a mini-hub for Southwest.

For example, if I wanted to fly from Orlando to my hometown of Sacramento, California, on
Southwest I would need to change planes in either Chicago, Phoenix or Las Vegas, since WN
has no stops to Sacramento from Orlando. That connection, (and thousands everyday just like it) is called a Hub city.

BWI would be a good choice for both O & D traffic, serving the huge complex of greater Washington D. C. and connecting traffic to many Northeast cities where WN flies.

Orlando is not a surprise since it too is a large mini-hub for WN with flights all over the country.

I must admit that I thought Chicago/Midway would have been on the list before Nashville,
but knowing Southwest, it will be added soon, along with Denver and perhaps even Phoenix
or Las Vegas, which are huge hubs for WN. (Thoses cities would cover all the California cities, cities in the Northwest, and Salt Lake, Reno, Boise and Spokane.

It will be a very positive thing for people living in that area of Florida and people flying there but
not such good news if you are working for a regional airline at one of the nearby airports.

The only problem I see is that the airport will not be able to get too big too fast since there will
only be one runway avialable for both landing and departing flights, but that may be many years away.

Reply

21 Ken Dalley December 17, 2009 at 8:12 am

I think they are missing a huge Canadian market that flys out of Buffalo to Florida.Buffalo should be one of the destinations.

Reply

22 sunni247 December 20, 2009 at 12:06 am

I am very glad they included orlando in the list. Yes its true you can drive about about 65 miles either way to a beach if you want to. However it’s not the same as pcb. I have a lot of family and friends that live up there and several friends who have moved here to orlando for work. We can fly to miami or puerto rico for that matter for less than 100 dollars but if you want to fly to pcb you’re paying 350-425 for a ticket from orlando.I check all the time. I’m a native floridian and Ilike to vacation in florida, but the 5and ahalf hour to 6 hour drive is a bummer. I think with the current economy a lot of people do want to vacation but need to stay closer to home. there are 2,054,574 people that live in central florida. We also have the largest university (UCF) by enrolled student in the state. A lot of people want to get away somewhere close and beautiful. We get tired of disney and often want something else to do in our homestate. Plus Daytona beach and cocoa beach don’t compare at all. You can bet I’ll be visiting often!I hope the prices are good. You can only visit south florida so many times you know!

Reply

23 ANG20 January 13, 2010 at 10:13 pm

Was ALBUQUERQUE on that list encompassing cities to vote for?

Reply