Southwest begins long-haul flights from Dallas

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DALLAS — Some passengers aboard the first long-haul Southwest Airlines flights from Dallas Love Field have been treated to shirts and vacation packages.

Southwest on Monday launched its first long-distance flights from its home base to seven U.S. cities, with eight more destinations next month.

Such flights were prohibited until now by a 1980 federal law that protected Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport by limiting flights from Love Field to a few nearby states. Those restrictions have now expired.

The initial schedule includes nonstop service between Love Field and Denver, Chicago Midway, Washington, D.C., Baltimore-Washington, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Orlando, Florida.

Southwest on Monday also announced plans to give away 1,000 free flights to celebrate the carrier’s new long-distance schedules.

The carrier began service in June 1971.

Southwest Airlines and Virgin America began long-haul flying from Dallas Love Field on Monday, as soon as a federal law restricting such flights expired. The new destinations:

  • Southwest: Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando and Washington. Starting Nov. 2, Southwest will add Atlanta; Fort Lauderdale and Tampa, Florida; Orange County and San Diego, California; Nashville; New York’s LaGuardia Airport and Phoenix; and on Jan. 6, San Francisco and Oakland, California.
  • Virgin Atlantic: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington. On Oct. 28, it will start flights to New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
  • Delta has been flying to Atlanta using smaller planes that were allowed under the federal limits at Love Field. Delta’s flight could end Jan. 6.
  • United’s regional arm, United Express, flies to Houston.
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