Southwest Airlines Celebrates 20 Years in Chicago!

Airline Announces Slew of New Service at Chicago Midway With Fares Starting at $39 One-Way

CHICAGO, March 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) celebrates 20 years at Chicago Midway today, and Chicago Customers are getting all the gifts! Today, Southwest announces a plethora of new service from the Windy City giving Chicago Customers even more flights to even more Southwest cities.

“Southwest made Chicago Midway a main focus for growth in 2004. This dramatic increase in flights shows our dedication to that growth, and our new gates will help accommodate our expanding schedule,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chief executive officer. “The ability to add these 18 new flights over the next five months is a testament to our Employees’ hard work and our Customers’ loyalty and dedication to Southwest Airlines.”

Southwest’s new service breaks down as follows. To take advantage of these new flights click: http://www.southwest.com/jp/systemwide_mdw2.shtml?src=PR_MDW20th_031705

Beginning May 4, 2005:
* One new daily nonstop flight between Chicago Midway and San Jose.
* One additional daily nonstop flight between Chicago Midway and Tampa
Bay (for a total of seven daily).

Beginning May 31, 2005:
* One new daily nonstop flight between Chicago Midway and Austin.
* One new daily nonstop flight between Chicago Midway and New Orleans.
* Two additional daily nonstop flights between Chicago Midway and
Philadelphia (for a total of seven daily).
* One additional daily nonstop flight between Chicago Midway and
Albuquerque (for a total of two daily).

Beginning June 17, 2005:
* Two new daily nonstop flights between Chicago Midway and Buffalo.
* Two additional daily nonstop flights between Chicago Midway and
Houston Hobby (for a total of six daily).
* One additional daily nonstop flight between Chicago Midway and
Islip/Long Island (for a total of four daily).

Beginning July 5, 2005:
* Two new daily nonstop flights between Chicago Midway and Albany, N.Y.
* One new daily nonstop flight between Chicago Midway and Tucson.
* One new daily nonstop flight between Chicago Midway and Sacramento.
* One additional daily nonstop flight between Chicago Midway and Los
Angeles (for a total of seven daily).
* One additional daily nonstop flight between Chicago Midway and
Islip/Long Island (four a total of five daily).

“This incredible amount of new service in the coming months will make traveling more convenient for our Customers,” said Kelly. “Additionally, these new flights will bring Southwest Airlines to more than 3,000 daily nonstop departures nationwide.”

Southwest always is offering low fares, and the new nonstop service features even lower introductory fares. For example, new nonstop flights between Chicago Midway and Buffalo are available for as low as $39 one-way (for travel beginning June 17, 2005), and new nonstop flights between Chicago Midway and New Orleans are available for as low as $79 one-way (for travel beginning May 31, 2005). Go to http://www.southwest.com/ to take advantage introductory fares in all new markets.

The introductory fares are available for purchase March 17, 2005, through May 27, 2005, and are valid for travel through Sept. 12, 2005. Tickets must be purchased at least 14 days before departure and within one day of making reservations. Seats are limited and will not be available on some flights that operate during very busy travel times and holiday periods. Fares do not include a $3.20 segment fee per takeoff and landing. Fares do not include airport-assessed passenger facility charges of up to $9 one-way and the federal September 11 security fee of up to $5 one-way. Tickets are nonrefundable but may be applied toward the purchase of future travel on Southwest Airlines (except for tickets purchased through our Group Tickets program). Fares are valid on published, scheduled service only. Fares may be purchased one-way and may be combined with other fares. When combining fares, the most restrictive conditions apply. Any change in itinerary will result in an increase in fare. Fares are subject to change until ticketed.

Other Chicago Midway statistics of note:
* Chicago Midway will get four new flights to Pittsburgh when Southwest
begins service in Pittsburgh on May 4, 2005.
* Southwest’s last major flight increase at Chicago Midway was
October 31, 2004. At the time, Southwest offered 145 daily nonstop
departures from Chicago Midway to 30 cities. As of July 5, 2005,
Southwest will offer 192 daily nonstop departures from Chicago Midway
to 41 cities.
* Today, Southwest begins new daily nonstop flights between Chicago
Midway and Norfolk, Va., and Salt Lake City. Southwest also begins
additional nonstop service to Baltimore/Washington, Orlando, and
Phoenix.
* With this new service, Chicago Midway will move to Southwest’s third
busiest airport (from fourth) in terms of daily departures.
* Southwest occupies 25 gates at Chicago Midway and currently offers
166 daily nonstop flights to 32 cities.
* Over the last 20 years, Southwest has grown to capture more than
47 percent of the Chicago Midway market share.
* Chicago is Southwest’s fastest growing city, as well. Since Chicago
Midway service began on March 17, 1985, with seven daily flights to
St. Louis, Southwest has increased its service here 2,271 percent in
terms of daily flights.
* In third quarter 2004, Southwest flew more than 1.5 million Customers
at Chicago Midway.
* Of the 59 cities Southwest serves, 57 are accessible from Chicago
Midway.

Southwest Airlines also is heavily invested in the Chicago community. In 2004, Southwest’s direct economic impact in Chicago was more than $319 million (salaries and benefits paid to Employees, fuel, landing fees, and other expenditures). Most of the contributions come from the airline’s large Employee base. In addition, Southwest also has an investment commitment of more than $570 million in Company resources dedicated to Chicago.

Nearly every aspect of Southwest’s operation can be seen at Chicago Midway. Southwest has added a provisioning base, pilot base, flight attendant base, maintenance base, reservations center, recruiting office, and other departments to accommodate its tremendous growth over the years. Southwest Airlines is actively recruiting locally for airport positions to support the airline’s growth at Chicago Midway.

And that’s not all! Today, Southwest Airlines is celebrating its 20th birthday in Chicago by honoring Customers both at the airport and downtown. Southwest Airlines’ Customers traveling through Chicago Midway will be entertained with gate games and prizes along with birthday cookies and gifts! Additionally, Southwest will be hosting a birthday party downtown. Airline Employees will be out in full force with gifts, candy, and will be giving away Southwest Airlines’ tickets every 20 minutes!

With the last wave of new service additions July 5, Southwest will operate 192 daily nonstop departures from Chicago Midway. Systemwide, Southwest currently offers 2,900 flights per day.

Southwest.com is celebrating its ten-year anniversary this month! Southwest has led the way in online innovations for its Customers. Currently, Customers who book their travel via the Internet can subscribe to Southwest’s Click ‘n Save e-mail updates as well as Southwest’s newest technological innovation — DING! The new program, DING!, delivers Southwest’s hottest deals directly to Customers’ desktops allowing Customers to get a jump on the latest southwest.com sales! For more information, visit http://www.southwest.com/ding .

http://www.southwest.com/

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