Southwest Air to Greenville, South Carolina?
Reading the above title indeed sounds a bit far out if you’re familiar with the Greenville, South Carolina Airport (GSP). Although it is by no means an absolute, Southwest Airlines and the Greenville Spartanburg Airport have been in discussions about bringing the discount airline to Greenville.
If you’re familiar with the Greenville airport, then you know that GSP airport isn’t a popular airport for local residents. Most people flying out of GSP are business travelers who are expensing their trip through their company. For the most part, GSP doesn’t cater to families and leisure travelers because the planes are small commuter-type planes and the fares are expensive. If you’re flying out of Greenville, you’ll usually be connecting onto a bigger plane on a east coast city like Atlanta or Charlotte. This coupled with GSP’s expensive fares translates into many travelers booking their flights in Charlotte or Atlanta. Rather than paying the steep prices at the Greenville Spartanburg Airport, many Upstate South Carolina residents drive to Atlanta or Charlotte where fares can be as much as $100 or $200 less expensive.
Over the last few months Southwest Airlines and officials at GSP have been discussing the possibility of the low fare airline coming to Upstate South Carolina. Bringing Southwest to South Carolina could have some major effects for both the airline and South Carolina. For Southwest, it would mean going to a territory they currently haven’t been to much. The southeastern United States is where Southwest flies the least. Since Southwest is a low-cost carrier, it could mean that fares across the board at GSP would be lowered, making it an easier choice for South Carolina residents to fly out of GSP, instead of Charlotte or Atlanta.
Whatever comes from the talks between Southwest and GSP, people are definitely eager. There are many news articles and forums about the potential partnership and there’s even been Facebook pages and groups created. The last low-cost carrier that came to GSP was Independence, which went bankrupt in 2005. Many have high hopes that Southwest would not produce the same results if they came to Greenville, since Southwest is already building a reputation as one of the leading low-cost carriers.