You are now free to move about...another country?
Has Southwest Airlines, the little Texas company that introduced cattle-call boarding, going all international on us?
The airline announced today it's taking the first steps to offering flights to Canada, which is a country somewhere to the north of the U.S. It has different money, some people there speak French, and they drink a lot of beer.
There is already a sneaky way to book Canada flights through Southwest and WestJet, its Canada partner, but the move announced today would take things further.
SWA is asking the federal department of transportation for a "certificate to provide foreign air transportation," which we thought they already had anytime a Yankee takes his first Southwest flight and tries to find his seat assignment.
The announcement says SWA and WestJet are planning only a "codeshare agreement," where you could book flights using both airlines, changing planes every 75 or so miles as Southwest tradition dictates.
The certificate also allows Southwest to operate planes in Canada airspace (they probably spell it "airespace" up there), but the airline says it "does not have any plans to do so at this time."
Southwest has never had international service. The closest it came was when it had a codeshare agreement with another airline for flights to Hawaii, which technically is part of the US, but the airline eventually failed.
-- Richard Connelly
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