Southwest Route Map Analysis

Southwest Route Map Analysis

Overview

This travel tool is designed to show the Southwest Airlines Route Map over different booking periods. While Southwest does have an interactive route map on their website it is difficult to see how many flights are between cities and what routes disappear during different months. For example, from Indianapolis Southwest runs a nonstop flight to Fort Lauderdale during the April and June booking periods but the nonstop route is suspended in August.

Instructions

On the route map see the entire Southwest Airlines network or filter down to specific cities with the City – From and City – To filters. Change the booking period to see nonstop flights throughout different times of the year. Show only new routes for the specific booking period with the additional filter. When hovering over a route the number of daily one flights is shown. The thicker the line and the greener a line is the more flights there are between the cities. Please note that indicated as 0.1 daily flights mean 1 flight per week, almost always a Saturday flight.

Outside of the main route map there are 3 additional tabs for different views.

  • Route Map – Default view and shows typical route map view
  • Capacity Map – Shows the total number of flights from a city by different size circles
  • Market Charts – Shows the number of flights between cities over time by filtering to a specific city as multiple line charts
  • Data Table – Shows the number of flights between cities by each booking period in a table

Booking Periods

Southwest has set times to open up their schedules and they post an analysis on www.blogsouthwest.com. From these posts I was able to capture all the route updates from each schedule release. Typically once a schedule is released there are little to no changes.

The dates in my tool are from the first month that the booking period opened up. To give an example the April 2016 period is for the schedule release for flights between April 2016 to June 2016. To track the next schedule extension check this link which will show the date when it releases and for what flight dates you can book.

List of booking periods in tool. Flights are valid from the month indicated to the next booking period month.

  • April 2016
  • June 2016
  • August 2016
  • November 2016 – End of current booking period is 01/04/2017

Hope this is useful for people! I plan on updating it as more flights are added.