Southwest Airlines And AirTran Airways Begin Connecting Networks

Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:00pm EST

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Southwest and AirTran Offer Customers More Flight Options on a Single Itinerary;
Achieve Another Important Milestone in the Ongoing Integration
DALLAS,  Feb. 14, 2013  /PRNewswire/ -- Luv is in the air! Southwest Airlines
(NYSE: LUV) announced today that it is taking the next step in its marriage with
subsidiary, AirTran Airways. Customers are now able to purchase a growing number
of itineraries between the Southwest and AirTran networks for travel on a single
itinerary. Soon, Customers will be able to book flights to any of the airlines'
combined 97 destinations, including international, in one transaction.

"Connecting the networks is a priority in 2013 and a major milestone as we work
to combine our two Companies," said  Bob Jordan, Chief Commercial Officer at
Southwest Airlines and President of AirTran.  "With a connected network, we can
offer Customers  more  itineraries,  more  destinations,  more  low fares, and a
taste of what's to come once the integration is complete."   

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways took the first step in connecting their
networks on  Jan. 26, 2013, by offering a small number of shared itineraries in
five markets.  The initial phase was successful, and the airlines are prepared
to launch in 39 cities on  Feb. 25, 2013.  The airline is on pace to fully
connect the networks in April.  

By connecting the Southwest and AirTran networks, Customers may:

* Add one or more AirTran domestic flight segments to a Southwest itinerary,
using Southwest booking channels (, 1-800-IFLYSWA, travel agencies,
Southwest's mobile site and apps, and Southwest Airlines ticket counters).  
* Book one or more Southwest flight segments connecting to an AirTran itinerary,
using AirTran channels (, 1-800-AIRTRAN, AirTran Airways ticket
counters, and travel agencies).  
* Use all Southwest channels to book an AirTran-only domestic itinerary.  
* Add an  international  AirTran segment to a Southwest itinerary within a
single reservation, through a Customer-friendly transfer of the transaction to
AirTran channels for booking, purchase, and ticketing by AirTran.  
* Earn currency in either loyalty program no matter which carrier they fly. (The
currency a Customer earns is determined by the carrier from which they buy their
ticket, even if flying on a shared itinerary.)

As is standard with industry "code share" arrangements, the Marketing Carrier's
rules and policies apply to reservations and ticketing.  The Operating Carrier's
procedures apply to boarding, seating, and the onboard experience. Southwest is
making one exception: any itinerary with a Southwest segment or that is
purchased through a Southwest point-of-sale channel will not have bag fees for
the first or second checked bag (weight and size restrictions apply). Customers
can find specific details and answers to frequently asked questions by visiting

Customers will continue to earn and redeem currency through the frequent flyer
loyalty programs of their Marketing Carrier, regardless of the Operating Carrier
they travel on.  Customers should be enrolled in both Southwest Airlines Rapid
Rewards and AirTran Airways A+ Rewards programs in order to earn currency from
whichever airline they purchase a ticket. Loyalty Members also have the ability
to transfer their currency between the two loyalty programs. For more
information about transferring loyalty currency, visit 

Southwest Airlines announced plans to acquire AirTran Airways on  Sept. 27,
2010, an acquisition that significantly expanded Southwest Airlines' low-fare
service to more Customers in more domestic markets, creating hundreds of
additional low-fare itineraries for the traveling public.  Since Southwest
Airlines closed the deal to purchase AirTran Airways on  May 2, 2011, Southwest
and AirTran Employees have worked hard to guarantee a thoughtful and smooth
integration process while providing the same high level of Customer Service that
Customers have come to expect. To date, Southwest Airlines has welcomed 29
percent of AirTran Employees to the Southwest Family, has converted 11 AirTran
Airways 737-700 aircraft to the Southwest paint scheme and interior
configuration, and has transitioned five AirTran Airways-served cities into
Southwest Airlines operations.   

The process of a full integration of the AirTran Airways 737 fleet into the
Southwest Airlines fleet (i.e. paint scheme and interior configuration) and
transition to a single ticketing system is a large and complex process that is
expected to be completed by the end of 2014.  Southwest Airlines realized  $142
million  of net, annualized, pre-tax synergies during 2012, and expects to
achieve  $400 million  in 2013 (excluding acquisition and integration expenses).

In its 42nd  year of service,  Dallas-based Southwest Airlines  (NYSE: LUV) 
continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer
Service delivered by nearly 46,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers
annually.  Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating
passengers boarded, and including wholly-owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways,
operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 97
destinations in 41 states, the  District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of 
Puerto Rico, and six near-international countries. Southwest is one of the most
honored airlines in the world, known for its commitment to the triple bottom
line of Performance, People and Planet.  To read about how Southwest is doing
its part to be a good corporate citizen, visit  to
read the Southwest Airlines One Report.  

Southwest Airlines
From its first flights on  June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of
unprecedented affordability in air travel quantified by the U.S. Department of
Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in
passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves.  On every flight, Southwest
offers Customers the first two pieces of checked luggage (weight and size
limitations apply) and all ticket changes without additional fees. Southwest's
all Boeing fleet consistently offers leather seating and the comfort of
full-size cabins, many of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi
connectivity and a new, eco-friendly cabin interior.  With 40 consecutive years
of profitability, the People of Southwest operate more than 3,100 flights a day
and serve communities around 78 airports in Southwest's network of domestic
destinations.  Southwest Airlines' frequent flights and low fares are available
only at

AirTran Airways
AirTran Airways, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Southwest Airlines Co., offers
coast-to-coast and near-international service with close to 600 flights a day to
54 destinations.  The carrier's high-quality product includes assigned seating
and Business Class. As Southwest continues to integrate AirTran's People,
places, and planes into Southwest Airlines, Customers of both carriers may book
flights at  and exchange earned loyalty points between both
AirTran's A+ Rewards and Southwest's Rapid Rewards for reward travel on either

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains forward-looking statements with respect to the
Company's integration of AirTran and the connection of the Southwest and AirTran
networks.  Specific forward-looking statements include without limitation
statements related to (i) the expected customer benefits associated with the
connection of the Southwest and AirTran networks and the anticipated timeline
for implementation of network integration; (ii) the anticipated timeline for
full integration of the AirTran fleet into the Southwest fleet, as well as for
the transition to a single ticketing system; and (iii) the expected benefits and
costs associated with the integration generally. These forward-looking
statements are based on the Company's current intent, expectations, and
projections and are not guarantees of future performance.  These statements
involve risks, uncertainties, assumptions, and other factors that are difficult
to predict and that could cause actual results to vary materially from those
expressed in or indicated by them.  Factors include, among others, (i) the
Company's ability to timely and effectively implement, transition, and maintain
the necessary information technology systems and infrastructure to support its
integration of AirTran; (ii) the Company's ability to timely and effectively
prioritize its other initiatives and related expenditures; (iii) the impact of
the economy, fuel prices, and customer demand on the Company's results
operations and business decisions; and (iv) other factors, as described in the
Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the
detailed factors discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in the Company's
Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended  December 31, 2012.  

SOURCE  Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines, +1-214-792-4847

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