The much-anticipated arrival of Southwest Airlines at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport will not bring more flights or cheaper fares, says Aviation Director Jerry Orr.
Southwest will fly six flights a day from Charlotte beginning next April. But AirTran - which Southwest is replacing - flew seven flights daily, including three to Atlanta. Southwest will fly to Baltimore, Chicago, Houston and Orlando, but not Atlanta.
And contrary to the popular perception of Southwest as a low-cost carrier, Orr says AirTran flights are cheaper. So, Southwest will not drive ticket prices down in Charlotte.
Still, Orr says, “Every presentation I make to a group, someone asks 'When is Southwest coming to Charlotte?' We want all of our passengers to be happy. So if Southwest serving here makes people happy, we’re all for it.”
Southwest routinely gets high marks for customer satisfaction. The airline is known for cheeky service, in-flight snacks and allowing customers to check two bags free of charge.