Southwest Airlines arrives at Bellingham International Airport – –

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Southwest Airlines arrives at Bellingham International Airport – –


Southwest Airlines will begin flying from Bellingham from November to Las Vegas and Oakland, Calif., Hoping to take advantage of an expected reopening of the borders.

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Southwest Airlines will begin flying from Bellingham from November to Las Vegas and Oakland, Calif., Hoping to take advantage of an expected reopening of the borders.

In the past, British Columbians have used Bellingham International Airport in Washington State, about an hour and a half by car from Vancouver, as a cheaper departure point to places like Hawaii, Palm Springs and Las Vegas.

As recently as 2016, up to 60% of passengers departing from Bellingham were Canadians.

Southwest Airlines started out as a low-cost, no-frills airline, but has increased its fares. It always offers the first two pieces of checked baggage free of charge. There is also no seat allocation, although you can pay an early check-in fee to board earlier and get a greater choice of seats.

In its announced Bellingham flight schedule, Southwest Airlines noted that customers traveling from nearly 40 airports in its network will be able to land closer to southern British Columbia.

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The airline also announced flights limited to $ 39. A check of Southwest’s low-cost schedule for November flights to Oakland shows one-way fares ranging from $ 39 to $ 228. These are for the lowest level Southwest tickets which are non-refundable. Premier tickets can be much higher, $ 500 or more for a one-way ticket, but allow you to board first and provide cash refunds and same-day ticket changes.

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“The Southwest service at Bellingham positions us just south of Metro Vancouver,” Southwest Airlines President and CEO Gary Kelly wrote in a letter to Southwest employees earlier this year.

“After the Canadian border reopens, we expect a return from value-conscious travelers who already come to this alternative airport to escape the high fares and taxes – and this is very, very typical of southern destinations. -Where is.”

Canada recently said it was considering easing quarantine travel requirements for Canadians and permanent residents returning to Canada as early as July as the first step in a phased reopening.

It is not known when all COVID-19 border restrictions could be lifted.

Sandy Ward, chairman and chief executive officer of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism, said on Saturday that Southwest Airlines said the flight schedule was good news.

She said this is especially the case because Southwest’s extensive network provides connections from Las Vegas and Oakland across the United States.

When the border reopens, Ward said she believes adding Southwest to Bellingham Airport will bring benefits on both sides of the Washington-British Columbia border.

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“It’s good news all around,” she said.

Like many airports, Bellingham saw a sharp drop in passenger traffic in 2020 due to COVID-19 with just 99,673 passengers, down from 343,628 in 2019.

Bellingham had up to 600,000 passengers in 2016.

The traffic at Vancouver International Airport surpasses that of Bellingham. In 2019, more than 26 million passengers passed through YVR. That dropped in 2020 to just over seven million because of the pandemic.

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