Southwest Airlines Flies High

The travel agents have spoken loud and clear and have once again named Southwest Airlines as the Best Airline for Leisure in Recommend’s Readers’ Choice Awards.

With three straight wins in this category, it’s safe to say this airline knows exactly how to keep its customers happy—by adding new service and by expanding its wings, so to speak, beyond the U.S. into Mexico. This year, Southwest added new service at the new Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport with a total of eight daily, nonstop flights between cities including Houston, Nashville, Baltimore and Orlando; entered into agreements to acquire Air Tran, expanding the airline’s low-fare service into more domestic markets; and announced a partnership with Volaris, Mexico’s second-largest airline, creating, according to Southwest, 85 additional itineraries starting this month.

For 2011, the airline will begin service in South Carolina; launch eight daily nonstop flights from Newark International Airport—six to Chicago and two to St. Louis—beginning March 27; and add three nonstop destinations from Denver with daily nonstop flights to Columbus, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh (beginning June 5)