Tag: Southwest

Orlando airport travel rebounding gradually; Southwest to stop keeping middle seats open

Orlando International Airport leaders are celebrating some of the busiest days for travelers since the plunge in activity this spring because of the pandemic.

Airport director Phil Brown said the activity levels indicate the beginning of a multiyear recovery and “reflects a pent-up demand for travel” that he hopes will carry through to the holidays.

Airport leaders rely on the Transportation Security Administration’s screening figures as the most current indication of activity. More than 36,000 passengers were checked by TSA officers on Sunday, which, by that category, placed Orlando’s airport as the busiest in Florida and fifth-busiest in the nation, according to airport officials.

It was also the nation’s busiest day, topping a combined 1 million passengers screened by the Transportation Security Administration, which hadn’t dealt with such a volume since March.

But on the same Sunday last year, TSA officers counted 2.6 million passengers. Overall, the nation’s climb to 1 million passengers screened in a day has been gradual since a low of fewer than 88,000 passengers on April 14.

A sign of the uptick in air travel: Southwest Airlines on Thursday announced it would no longer keep middle seats open, beginning Dec. 1.

“It was easy for airlines to block middle seats early in the pandemic when there was very little customer demand for flights,” said Scott Keyes, chief executive officer of Scott’s Cheap Flights, a website service that notifies subscribers of low fares.

“But with demand slowly creeping back up for months, it’s becoming costly for airlines to continue blocking middle seats. At some point Southwest had to rip the band-aid off, and I would expect Delta, Alaska, and jetBlue to follow suit soon,” Keyes said.

Southwest Airlines said its decision to no longer block off middle is based on studies “that point to aircraft cabins as an environment where transmission of the virus is statistically improbable for two primary reasons: the uniform usage of masks; and sophisticated air systems that introduce fresh air throughout a flight.”

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines maintains a sizable lead in average daily departures from Orlando International Airport, with 70 nonstop flights to 28 cities. That’s a third fewer than a year ago.

American, Spirit, Frontier, Delta and JetBlue have similar numbers of daily flights in the mid-20s range. JetBlue operated nearly 40 flights daily last year. United is lagging behind with 17 average daily departures.

“We do see some increases in demand, as well as continued increases in customer confidence,” said Delta spokesman Drake Castañeda. “Delta continues to evaluate its schedule and is adjusting as needed based on customer demand, government travel directives and CDC guidelines.”

With tepid activity levels compared with the the start of 2020, both Orlando’s airport and airlines nationally are planning to shed more jobs, scale back costs and leave planes parked.

Orlando International Airport has not been cleared yet for flights to and from much of Europe. Service on U.S. and foreign carriers continues to Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Panama.

While conditions aren’t as

Continue reading

Southwest Airlines to start unblocking middle seats for holiday travel

Southwest Airlines announced Thursday that it will start fully booking popular routes, unblocking middle seats that it has kept vacant for months to make travelers feel safer during the pandemic.

The Dallas-based carrier cited several studies that the airline said shows the risk of getting coronavirus on an airplane is extremely rare when everyone wears a mask. In one case, the International Air Transport Association found 44 cases of Covid-19 transmission associated with plane travel, with most recorded before airlines adopted enhanced cleaning procedures and mask requirements, according to a news release.

“That’s 44 people out of the nearly 1.2 billion passengers who have traveled in 2020, or one case for every 27 million travelers this year. As IATA suggests, this is approximately the same risk category as being struck by lightning,” Southwest said in a statement.

Another study from Airbus, Boeing and Embraer found that an airplane’s airflow systems, filters and seatback barriers, along with wearing a mask, make flying safer than being in another type of indoor environment.

“We expect demand to be stronger around the holidays so it probably makes sense to make more seats available to customers in December,” Helane Becker, managing director and senior research analyst at Cowen, told NBC News.

Becker also cited the IATA study as proof transmission rates are lower in air travel.

The decision to open up middle seats comes as Southwest posted its biggest ever quarterly loss on Thursday. The airline reported a loss of $1.2 billion in the three months ended Sept. 30. During the same period last year, Southwest posted a $659 million profit.

“This practice of effectively keeping middle seats open bridged us from the early days of the pandemic, when we had little knowledge about the behavior of the virus, to now,” the airline said in a statement Thursday. “Today, aligned with science-based findings from trusted medical and aviation organizations, we will resume selling all available seats for travel beginning Dec. 1, 2020.”

Delta and Alaska are the only two U.S. airlines now committing to block middle seats through January. With Southwest now gearing up to run full flights during the post-Thanksgiving travel holiday period, some customers expressed concern about whether this was the right choice.

“This is disheartening. Even with the middle seat empty I was almost too nervous to consider return to SW air travel. Are you requiring 100% mask compliance?” one person wrote on Twitter. “I would definitely get off a plane if even one person is not wearing their mask.”

Another person questioned why middle seats are being unblocked when cases are starting to surge.

“Very upsetting to learn this just as all the scientific, solid predictions are that cases are spiraling upward and will continue thru the winter,” they wrote. “With this policy I would not risk flying even for a family emergency. Hope you’ll roll this back.”

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said on Thursday that the airline is seeing “modest improvements in leisure passenger trends since the slowdown we experienced

Continue reading

Travel Planning Tools | Southwest Airlines












We are currently accepting air reservations through October 30, 2020. On May 28, 2020 we will open our schedule for sale through January 4, 2021. This date is subject to change! Please check back frequently.



Source Article

Continue reading

Southwest Vacations – Official Vacation Packages of Southwest Airlines

*Fare difference may apply. Only applies to flight component of package. Hotel and other package components change policies vary.

**Failure to cancel a reservation at least 10 minutes prior to departure may result in forfeited travel funds.

1Rapid Rewards® Members will receive special offer earnings of 600 Rapid Rewards points per room for every qualifying stay at Las Vegas M life MGM Resorts International Properties. A qualifying stay is defined as one or more consecutive nights at an MGM Resort destination regardless of check in/check out occurrences. Rapid Rewards points will be credited to one (1) person, per room. Rapid Rewards points are offered by select MGM Resorts International Properties and are in addition to the base vacation package points earned by each traveling member in your party. Upon check in at the hotel, you must request Rapid Rewards points and provide your Rapid Rewards account number. M life Membership is required and membership number must be attached to your reservation prior to check out. To request Rapid Rewards points for past stays, please contact MGM Resorts Member Services at comments@mlife.com. Missing Rapid Rewards points may be requested up to 6 months from the qualifying stay. Please allow 30 days after completion of stay for the Rapid Rewards points to be credited to your account. If you are not already a Rapid Rewards Member, you may enroll at Southwest.com®. If you are not already an M life Member, you may enroll at mlife.com. See Southwest.com for more details. If you have any questions, please contact MGM Resorts Member Services at comments@mlife.com. 

Source Article

Continue reading

Southwest Recreation Center – recsports.ufl.edu

The Southwest Recreation Center (SWRC) is a 140,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility. More than two million students have used the SWRC since opening in the Fall of 1994.

See how busy the SWRC is before you go. Check out our web cameras.

Features
• 14,000 sq. ft. Strength and Conditioning Room
• Six Indoor Basketball Courts
• Five Racquetball Courts
• Multipurpose Gymnasium for Indoor Soccer, Handball and Basketball
• 15,000 sq. ft. split-level cardio room with personal viewing screens
• First Floor includes state of the art cardio equipment, a functional fitness area with kettlebells, light-weight dumbbells, a throwing wall and benches
• Second Floor includes state of the art cardio equipment and a 1/9 mile indoor track
• Two Massage Therapy rooms
• Personal Training studio
• Fitness Assessment Center (FAC)
• Athletic Training room
• Three Activity rooms
• Men’s and Women’s locker rooms with digital locks
• Day lockers
• Social lounge equipped with seating areas, flat screen TVs, WiFi and a smoothie bar

Location
3150 Hull Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611

The Southwest Recreation Center is located at the corner of Hull Road and Bledsoe Drive across from the Harn Museum and the Center for the Performing Arts.

Strength & Conditioning and Free Orientations
Southwest Recreation Center and Student Fitness & Recreation Center are staffed with trained Fitness Associates and Fitness Supervisors to ensure the safety of participants and assist in basic exercise selection or performing exercise that may need to be spotted.

We offer free orientations for anyone interested in learning more about the weight and cardio rooms.
• Having trouble finding your way around?
• Puzzled about getting set up with weight equipment?
• Curious about how to enhance your workout on cardio equipment?

Ask a Fitness Associate in our facilities to conduct your orientation today. Group orientations are also available

The majority of funding for UF Department of Recreational Sports comes from A&S fees paid by most current UF students.  Non-student membership rates and access policies, including those for guests and spectators, are established to protect the interests of fee-paying students.

Guests to Member Facilities and Services

A non-member or non-fee-paying student must purchase a guest pass for access to services and programs including:

  • Southwest Recreation Center and Student Recreation & Fitness Center
  • Group Fitness Classes
  • Participation or spectatorship of indoor programming including indoor Intramural Sports and other special events

Purchasing a Guest Pass for Member Facilities and Services

  • Credit Cards: Guest passes for Member Facilities and Services can be purchased by credit card using our online check out or our lobby kiosks in SWRC and SRFC.
  • Cash or Checks: Visit Membership Services, located inside the Administrative Offices of the Southwest Recreation Center, during the hours listed below.

Business Hours

Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Phone: (352) 273-2436

Guest and Spectator Policies for Southwest Recreation Center and Student Recreation & Fitness Center

  • Persons wishing to be a guest must purchase a Recreational Sports guest pass. Options include a one-day $10
Continue reading