Southwest, Airtran Combine Booking Network

It's taken some time, but Southwest Airlines said it has integrated AirTran's booking network with its own, allowing customers to purchase trips to the airlines' combined 97 destinations, including international, in a single transaction.

The newly connected itineraries are on sale through Southwest and AirTran sales channels for service starting on April 14.

Dayton International Airport now has seven daily non-stop flights on AirTran to Atlanta, Baltimore, Orlando and Tampa Bay. Southwest offers one daily nonstop flight to Denver. Katie McDonald, airline spokeswoman, said Tuesday the integration makes it easier for customers to see all flying options on both networks. There are savings on bag fees through connected itineraries, she added.

"We began rolling out shared itineraries in January in a handful of markets, and we've gradually ramped up the initiative where we now connect our entire network across both Southwest and AirTran," Bob Jordan, chief commercial officer at Southwest Airlines and president of AirTran, said.

Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways began connecting their networks on Jan. 26, offering a small number of connected itineraries in five markets. On Feb. 25, the airline launched connected itineraries in 39 cities.

An integration of AirTran Airways' 737 fleet into the Southwest fleet and transition to a single ticketing system is expected to be completed by the end of 2014.

Copyright 2013 - Hamilton JournalNews, Ohio

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