GSP begins new era with Southwest

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, April 11, 2016

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Southwest Airlines departure times from GSP to Atlanta beginning Tuesday.

Southwest Airlines departure times from GSP to Atlanta beginning Tuesday.



Enlarge photo

Southwest Airlines arrival times from Atlanta to GSP beginning Tuesday.

Southwest Airlines arrival times from Atlanta to GSP beginning Tuesday.


GSP begins a new era with Southwest Airlines Tuesday.

Southwest will have three departures and three arrivals serviced by Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) with Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta Airport (ATL) as the hub for all flights.

Southwest Airlines announced a new business model for regional airports last October to focus on opening its market to nation-wide travelers by flying into larger hubs. “In a nutshell it opens up the Southwest network and gives travelers an opportunity beyond Atlanta,” said Rosylin Weston, GSP Vice President of Communications.

GSP’s originating flights to Baltimore, Chicago and Houston end Monday night. “Our hope is that this new option with Southwest will help travelers get to even more destinations,” Weston said.

Originating flights from GSP have departures at 6:50 and 11:20 a.m. and 7:15 p.m. “Travelers can connect to other airports like LaGuardia, Washington, D.C. (both airports), Las Vegas, Phoenix, Orlando, Jacksonville, Denver and many other destinations,” Weston said. Southwest has about 95 connections through Atlanta.

Arrivals into GSP are 10:50 a.m., 6:45 and 11:20 p.m.

Southwest began flying into GSP in April 2011. Passenger traffic has expanded to just under one million travelers a year and is expected to grown to two million by 2020. A $125 million airport terminal project (Wingspan) and expansion is scheduled for a November grand opening.

The acquisition of AirTran Airways and subtracting and adding flights to GSP has occurred throughout the partnership. “Sometimes it's hard for a community to understand how airlines make decisions,” Weston said. “We encourage travelers to continue to support the service we have.”

Weston said the terminal improvements will impact passenger check-in, baggage and amenities. “One big part of the renovation is the new centralized screening passengers checkpoint," Weston said. "This new checkpoint should have more lanes to get through that part efficiently. We have great parking at great prices and will continue to monitor that for our passengers.

“We always look at existing airlines and ways to improve and expand,” Weston said.

GSP is branding its Grand Hall as a destination for all passengers. Restaurants with local and national themes, vendors, and art centered on the upstate’s theme – textiles, water and technology – improved airfield garden, and views with natural lighting will provide a strong visual.

“Once inside we want passengers to enjoy flying into and out of GSP,” Weston said. “We are spending a great deal of time creating artwork that speak of who we are as a community,” Weston said.

Last month GSP announced a 7.5 percent passenger traffic growth compared to the same time in 2015. Preliminary April statistics may show an increase double that.

Southwest uses Boeing 737 planes that seat 150 passengers. That compares to regional jets seating about 75 passengers.

“The larger the plane, the more seat capacity,” Weston said. “The more service we get the more options we can offer.”




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