CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - Southwest Airlines is the newest carrier to offer flights at Gerald R. Ford International Airport, officials announced Monday morning at the facility in Kent County's Cascade Township.
Southwest will convert wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways to the Southwest brand and double the service capacity. Starting Aug. 11, Southwest will expand from three to six the number of nonstop daily flights. The carrier also will add two new nonstop destinations -- Denver and St. Louis -- to a local nonstop service portfolio that already includes Orlando and Baltimore.
Southwest Airlines' website says these flights will be available --
- From Baltimore to Grand Rapids starting at $109 one-way
- From Denver to Grand Rapids starting at $149 one-way
- From Grand Rapids
- To Baltimore starting at $109 one-way
- To Denver starting at $149 one-way
- To Orlando starting at $119 one-way
- To St. Louis starting at $129 one-way
- From Orlando to Grand Rapids starting at $119 one-way
- From St. Louis to Grand Rapids starting at $149 one-way
The website lists many rules that apply, including these --
- Purchase from Feb. 4 through Feb. 17, 2013, 11:59 p.m. for the respective time zone of the originating city
- Travel valid Aug. 11 through Sept. 27, 2013
- Blackout dates apply: Aug. 29 – Aug. 30, and Sept. 2 – Sept. 3, 2013
- Fares valid on nonstop service only
The new westbound flights provide West Michigan travelers with more convenient one-stop connections to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and other major west coast destinations. Other major one-stop connection cities could include such destinations as Phoenix, Las Vegas, Portland, Dallas, and Houston.
"Our community welcomes Southwest Airlines with great enthusiasm," said Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board Chair Roger Morgan in a news release. "This is tremendous news to start the New Year."
"These service enhancements essentially provide business and leisure travelers with access to the entire Southwest network," said Brian Ryks, executive director of Gerald R. Ford International Airport. "The result of the new Southwest service will be more flight options, to and from more locations, at more competitive prices. Bottom line: This will make it easier for travelers to get where they want to go."
"We enthusiastically welcome Southwest Airlines," said Dick DeVos, chair of the Regional Air Alliance of West Michigan. "This is a compelling endorsement both that Gerald R. Ford International Airport continues to be a strong regional asset and that West Michigan supports quality commercial air service."
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