Southwest Airlines wants to fly to Long Beach, near Los Angeles

Southwest Airlines says it is coming to Long Beach Airport.

Southwest Airlines says it is coming to Long Beach Airport.

Southwest Airlines said Wednesday it wants to fly to Long Beach Airport, which would make it the second (I think) airline to fly to all five airports in the Los Angeles area. 

Long Beach Airport is slot-controlled, and carriers can only add flights if they receive city permission. Southwest said Wednesday it is seeking the necessary approvals, but according to a Long Beach Business Journal article, Southwest already has the OK to fly to Long Beach. 

A Business Journal story posted Wednesday mentioned that the airport made nine slots available, and Southwest asked for all nine. It did not get all of them, however.

"Southwest received four slots, JetBlue received three and Delta received two," the publication said. "According to the city, the allocations could change if one or more carriers do not accept the allocation."

Each slot can be used for one daily departure. It is possible it will not be worth it to Southwest to expand to Long Beach if it can only fly four flights a day. But who knows?

In its release, Southwest did not say where it would fly. 

Long Beach Airport is a gem. Most of it is open air, and on beautiful warm sunny days (we get a lot of them in California) there are few better places to watch planes ticket off and land. Conde Nast Traveler readers recently called it the 10th best airport in the U.S. Long Beach Airport even gets a 4.5 star rating on Yelp, unusual for an airport. 

For now, Alaska, JetBlue, American and Delta fly to Long Beach Airport. 

Long Beach Airport is delightfully quaint. Photo: Atomic Taco/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Long Beach Airport is delightfully quaint. Photo: Atomic Taco/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Southwest's release had some interesting facts on the airline's California profile. They include:

  • Southwest offers more daily departures from California airports than any other airline, with 678.
  • 160 of those flights are intrastate departures. 
  • 19 of Southwest's routes connect California cities. 

What do you think of Southwest's plan to fly to Long Beach?  And where do you think the airline should fly?