Southwest Airlines finally lands in New York City

Jason Cochran

It may sound ridiculous to some, but Southwest Airlines is finally entering the big time. The carrier just announced that on June 30, it will start flying from LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

Shockingly, Southwest managed to achieve its airborne ubiquity without properly serving, oh, the biggest city in the country. The nearest Southwest airport to the City that Never Sleeps is in Islip, Long Island, which is about 50 miles east and out of reach of plenty of inhabitants, many of whom don't have cars.

Few New Yorkers I know have ever known the pleasure of Southwest's general admission seating plans, super-relaxed fight attendants, its no-fee checked baggage, or its bargain-basement airfares. No one I know has ever gone to Islip to catch a Southwest flight except as part of some kind of travel experiment or dare. The bankruptcy of ATA, though, opened the way for Southwest to acquire the defunct flyer's coveted gates.