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Southwest Airlines finally lands in Atlanta on Feb. 12

9:35 PM, Feb 1, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- On Sunday, February 12, Southwest Airlines finally lands in Atlanta.

Though the major discount airline has been eyeing the Atlanta market for many years, it took the $1.5 billion purchase of AirTran for Southwest to land a foothold at the world's busiest airport.

What does this mean for passengers flying into and out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport?

The biggest plus for Atlanta passengers is Southwest's policy of no extra fees -- which means flyers can change or cancel their ticket for free. In comparison, Delta can charge up to $150 for changing or canceling a ticket.

On Southwest, the first two checked bags are also free. On Delta, travelers pay $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second.

Making telephone reservations on Southwest are also free, while on Delta, passengers get to pay up to another $25.

When travelers get to the airport, there's another plus for Southwest passengers -- Southwest does not assign seats, and boards by pre-assigned groups. To get into one of the first groups to board, flyers can pay an extra $10.

Southwest's frequent flyer points never expire, and the carrier says there are no blackout dates. In comparison, Delta's points don't expire either, but they do have blackout dates around selected holiday periods.

Southwest has been advertising a fare sale as part of their kickoff, with one way fares for travel to Baltimore, Chicago Midway, Houston and Austin running $59 to $69 one-way for travelers who buy before Monday, February 6, and fly between February 12 and May 23.

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