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Southwest can no longer be dismissed as a domestic-only airline.
Although the flights won’t be in operation until July 1, Southwest this week began selling tickets to Aruba, the Bahamas, and Jamaica.
Southwest’s initial foray into international service will feature nonstop flights between Atlanta and Aruba and Montego Bay, Jamaica; between Baltimore/Washington and Aruba, Nassau, and Montego Bay; and between Orlando and Aruba and Montego Bay.
That’s just the beginning. By the end of 2014, most of AirTran’s flights will have been absorbed into Southwest, including AirTran’s international services to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Southwest hasn’t divulged specifics, but remains committed to operating Boeing 737s and is likely to expand service to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America in 2015.
The international flights are good news for Rapid Rewards members looking for out-of-the-country options when redeeming their points. At press time, a roundtrip Wanna Get Away award ticket from Atlanta to Aruba in mid-July could be booked for 18,360 points.
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