Southwest Applies for New Washington DC-Las Vegas Service

A Southwest Airlines 737 lands in Las Vegas
Tomás Del Coro from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Southwest Airlines has set its sights on connecting the nation’s capital with Las Vegas.

The airline is applying to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for a new daily nonstop service.

This is proposed to operate between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Harry Reid International Airport (LAS).

The move capitalizes on one of the five new round-trip slots granted to DCA by the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2024.

A Shake-up for Travelers

Southwest’s entry into this route promises to shake things up for travelers. Currently, only one airline offers a nonstop flight between DCA and LAS.

Southwest anticipates significantly lower fares, building on its existing strength of over 260 daily departures from Las Vegas this summer.

This extensive network creates convenient connections for passengers heading to various western destinations, including Hawaii.

Adding another layer of convenience, Southwest also proposes a unique one-stop service. This will operate with no plane changes between DCA and Sacramento International Airport (SMF) via LAS.

This would be the only option for direct travel between California’s capital and Washington D.C.

Bob Jordan, President & Chief Executive Officer at Southwest Airlines gave comment. “For over 50 years, Southwest Airlines has been a leader in connecting people with life’s important moments.”

“We achieve this through competitive fares, friendly and flexible policies, and the exceptional service of our employees. We’re confident our proposal to the DOT will maximize benefits for travelers.”

A Southwest Airlines 737 takes off.
Photo Credit: Southwest Airlines.

Tourism Industry Support

Gaining support for the application are key figures in Nevada’s tourism industry. U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen is a strong advocate for increased flight options at DCA. She expressed her backing for Southwest’s initiative.

“I’m glad to support Southwest’s application to provide nonstop service between DCA and Harry Reid International Airport. Bringing more flights to Las Vegas creates more options for visitors to come to our state and helps sustain critical tourism jobs.”

Rosemary Vassiliadis, Clark County Director of Aviation, echoed this sentiment, highlighting the potential to boost tourism and cater to business and leisure travelers seeking new nonstop options.

“Southwest Airlines continues to be the largest commercial carrier at LAS, accounting for more than 34% of our annual passengers,” explained Vassiliadis.

“The potential to expand this critical service to and from DCA will provide business and leisure travelers with more convenient options and accessibility for nonstop service that hasn’t been available in the past.”  

Southwest plans to operate the service daily using Boeing 737 aircraft with a capacity of 175 passengers.

The airline stands out for its unique baggage policy, allowing customers to check up to two bags for free, with size and weight restrictions.  

It also boasts generous travel funds and frequent flyer points that never expire. Furthermore, Southwest has a long-standing commitment to customer satisfaction, having never charged a change fee.

“We believe this new nonstop service will bring lower fares and greater accessibility for travelers between Washington D.C., Las Vegas, and the western United States,” concluded Jordan.

“Customers on both ends will benefit from competitive pricing and a hassle-free travel experience with the airline that pioneered friendly and reliable air travel.”

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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