Southwest Airlines, which acquired AirTran Airways last year, said it plans to increase fees on AirTran and Southwest flights to boost revenue.
Dallas-based Southwest launched flights to Atlanta in February 2012 and operates about 29 flights a day from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. AirTran Airways operates about 172 flights a day from Hartsfield-Jackson. That’s down from about 220 flights operated by AirTran from Atlanta in 2010 when the Southwest acquisition was announced.
The company plans to increase AirTran’s fees and increase Southwest’s overweight baggage fees, charges for “EarlyBird” check-in and other fees, to take effect next year.
Meanwhile, Southwest, which has no assigned seats, also plans to put in a charge for early boarding positions at the gate next year.
And Southwest, which has long touted that it has no change fees, said it now plans to put in a fee next year for no-shows who want to take a later flight and don’t cancel in advance.
Combined, Southwest expects the moves to bring in an additional $150 million to $175 million in revenue annually.
Southwest also said it plans to link its flights with AirTran’s — allowing connecting itineraries — starting in January. It expects the AirTran and Southwest flight networks to be fully connected by April.
That will trigger more flight schedule changes, on top of the AirTran routes already canceled since the acquisition. Southwest has closed AirTran operations at 17 airports so far.
AirTran won’t be fully integrated into Southwest until the end of 2014.
Burrell Ellis, twice elected to the top post in Georgia’s third-largest county under a pledge of progress, was indicted Tuesday afternoon on 15 counts of political corruption that could bring a stunning end to his once-promising career.