Southwest Airlines In Charlotte: No Bag Fees, No Picking Seats
CHARLOTTE, NC- No bag fees, but forget picking your seat in advance.
Those are some of the changes passengers will notice when Southwest starts flying to the Queen City next year.
"It's always been the mystique of having Southwest in your city," said MANN Travels co-owner, Gary Silverstein.
Now, Charlotte joins the ranks.
Southwest Airlines is taking over Air Tran.The deal, worth 1.4 billion dollars, closed last year and the switch brings a number of changes.
"With Southwest, you can pay a little extra and get early boarding, but you don't get a seat. So, if you're the first person in line, you can then pick the seat you want," said Silverstein.
Southwest also cut Air Tran's business class -taking away the optional extra leg room and early boarding.
Experts say the move is a relief for travelers. When you bring in low cost carriers, it drives up competition with other airlines, then drives prices down.
"Downward pressure on fares. Not to say that every fare is going to be low at every time of day, but there will be a subset of fares that are kept low by competition," said Ted Reed, TheStreet.com transportation reporter.
Other possible savings - Southwest doesn't charge for changing flights or checking bags. Something Air Tran flyers are celebrating.
Southwest will offer six daily flights from Charlotte to Baltimore, Chicago, Orlando and Houston.
"It's a good thing in the way that it strengthens the Charlotte hub because more passengers will pass through the hub," said Reed.
One-way fares on the new routes are as low as 69 bucks, but you have to book them before October 28.
Air Tran flights at Charlotte Douglas end on April 13, Southwest takes over the next day.