Did Holly Break Into Gary Kelly’s Email?

New York_317.jpg

Well, well, well.

Longtime readers of PlaneBusiness Banter know that I have, more than once, knocked Southwest Airlines’ and their efforts to court business travelers — if the airline was not going to have a presence in New York City.

Not too long ago, I was listening to three businessmen on their way to Dallas lament about the fact that yes, they would fly the airline more if they just flew to New York. But as it was, they were “stuck” with flying American because they had no choice.

Yes, well, my point exactly. Corporate travel managers found it hard to take the airline seriously as well, if they couldn’t send their employees to New York.

No surprise then that when three of us media types were asked at the recent Southwest Airlines’ Halloween celebration in their “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?” skit what city we’d like to see Southwest fly to — I wrote down LGA.

Ask CrankyFlier . He saw it.

CEO Gary Kelly, who was standing right behind me in his ZZ Top garb must have thought I’d been eavesdropping on his communications. One thing for sure — he certainly got quiet. (After helping me out on the five Great Lakes question.)

Today — the airline announced that it has agreed to pay $7.5 million for bankrupt ATA Airlines’ landing slots at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Southwest would get 14 slots in the deal, enough to operate seven takeoffs and seven landings per day at LaGuardia.

The deal is dependent on approval by U.S. bankruptcy court. If approved, Southwest expects to begin flying to LaGuardia next year.