Southwest Lands in Two “Overpriced, Underserved” South Carolina Airports

Southwest Airlines

Dave Ridley made good on his word.

Southwest’s senior VP for marketing and revenue management said that the discount carrier chooses to add destinations based on whether a city’s airport is “overpriced and underserved” and does not go shopping for tax breaks and other incentives. And that’s just what Southwest is doing now that its announced service to two locations in South Carolina.

But Southwest can’t seem to help pissing people off. Its move comes despite the froth whipped up by state lawmakers and economic development officials in all three major metro areas of the Palmetto State. If you’ve been playing along at home, you’ll remember that meant legislation and regional incentives would provide Southwest financial support in case the carrier lost money during its initial years of operation. Lawmakers in the Midlands region (Columbia) blocked the bill believing only Charleston and the Upstate would benefit.

Guess what? With no incentive plan in place yet, Southwest says it’s ready to offer service to both Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport and Charleston International Airport. Details about departures, dates, and fares will be announced later.
True to his upbeat form, Ridley delivered this statement: “We look forward to serving the Palmetto State with Southwest Airlines’ unique brand of genuine hospitality, great value, a robust and reliable flight network, and our terrific employees who deliver excellent customer service.”

[Image: Don Lewis via Southwest Flickr]LD