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Southwest Announces LaGuardia Routes

Southwest has announced details of its much-anticipated LaGuardia service: Flights will begin June 28, with five daily nonstops to Chicago (Midway) and three daily nonstops to Baltimore. Passengers can then connect to a combined 45 destinations. The airline is offering a $49 introductory fare sale through April 20.

Well, you asked for it, and you got it. Just about every city SmarterTravel readers asked for will be served (via connection) from LaGuardia. As expected, Southwest will offer connections to nearly all of its Florida, California, and Midwest destinations. In fact, customers will be able to fly to almost all of Southwest’s destinations, with the notable exception of most cities in the Northeast.

As for people living in and around New York, Chicago, and the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area, Southwest’s entry on these competitive routes could bring fares down. The Chicago Sun-Times reports, “The new service from Midway is a full-frontal assault on United Airlines and American Airlines, which have long had a stranglehold on the vast majority of corporate travel to LaGuardia from Chicago. And as it has done in every market it enters, Southwest is likely to drive down the cost of tickets to New York — even last-minute walk-up fares.”

With the mystery solved, all that remains to be seen is how Southwest actually performs at LaGuardia. My guess is the service will be successful, but it will be interesting to see if New York’s chronic delays cramp the airline’s style. But that’s for another day.

So, Southwest, with LaGuardia out of the way, what about Boston?

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