Southwest Airlines: Help Keep Nonstop, Low-Fare Service Between Kansas City and the Nation's Capital

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Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) is calling on its Customers in the greater Kansas City area to join an online petition – found at www.kctodc.com – that asks the U.S. Department of Transportation to grant Southwest the permanent authority to continue operating the only daily, low-fare, large-jet nonstop service between Kansas City International Airport (KCI) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).

Without Southwest's daily nonstop service between the Nation's Capital and the "Paris of the Plains," Kansas City area travelers would be left with three regional jet flights (with an average capacity of 63 seats per flight) offered by US Airways.

"Three other airlines are seeking the KCI-DCA slots exemptions in question but would use them to serve other markets to/from Washington, D.C.," said Ron Ricks, Executive Vice President & Chief Legal/Regulatory Officer. "Specifically, if awarded the slots exemptions, these other airlines would fly between DCA and either Jacksonville, FL; Long Island, NY; or Myrtle Beach, SC. Kansas City is now in competition with these other cities for service to/from DCA."

Southwest is operating the service on a temporary authority since February, when the route became available after Frontier Airlines abandoned the KCI-DCA market. Flight access to DCA is restricted and airlines are required to obtain "slots" or "slot exemptions" in order to serve Washington, DC's only "downtown" airport.

At KCI, Southwest Airlines operates nearly 70 nonstop departures a day to 22 cities including Washington, D.C. and employs more than 230 People.

ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO.
In its 43rd year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by nearly 45,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded and operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 96 destinations in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and five near-international countries via wholly owned subsidiary, AirTran Airways. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2012 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at southwest.com/citizenship.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. With Southwest Airlines, Bags Fly Free ® (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply), and there are no change fees when you need to change your flight. Southwest's fleet offers leather seating and the comfort of full-size cabins, a majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi connectivity over the United States, which enables live and video-on-demand TV currently FREE compliments of DISH, and a new, sustainable cabin interior. Southwest acquired AirTran Airways in May 2011 and by the end of 2014 intends to complete the full integration of the AirTran network into Southwest. With 41 consecutive years of profitability, the People of Southwest and AirTran operate more than 3,600 flights a day. Southwest Airlines' frequent flights and low fares are available online at southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA.

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