Southwest Airlines Recaps Holiday Travel Period
Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) reports the travel period for Thanksgiving holiday travelers went better than expected, officials said today.
"The credit goes to the 33,000-plus Employees of Southwest Airlines who put forth a Herculean effort to make the holiday travel season in November as hassle-free as possible," said Dave Ridley, Southwest's vice president of ground operations.
Southwest's loads during the travel period were healthy, and while the load factors were down from the record year ago numbers, the airline was pleased with traffic levels, he said. The airline will report its monthly traffic for November next week.
Wait times for Customers were, in most cases, within the one to two hours the airline was advising for travel on peak days at peak times. Many airports reported Southwest Customers being processed at the ticket counter and through security checkpoint in an average of 30 minutes. Travelers making future travel plans should be advised that early morning flights usually require longer checkin times.
The weather nationwide was mild during the busy travel week, and that contributed to ontime performance numbers in the 90 percent and higher range for Tuesday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday's ontime performance numbers were 74.2 percent and 79.2 percent, respectively.
"Our people worked hard to deliver a great product to our Customers during this busy season," Ridley said. "We cited only a few isolated airport and air traffic control issues that slowed us down."
The operational success of the Thanksgiving travel period leads Southwest into another busy travel month in December. Ridley said he was proud of the effort put forth by Southwest Employees, and he said added resources of extra security personnel, more Southwest staffing, and added security checkpoints at high-volume airports helped ease the crowds and lines.
As for December, the airline said its bookings look encouraging, but Joyce Rogge, senior vice president of marketing, emphasized that "we're having to work harder this year to stimulate travel. There are still plenty of opportunities for great savings on Southwest during the December holidays."
SOURCE Southwest Airlines
Web site: http: //www.southwest.com