Effective November 12, 2010, youâ€™ll be able to buy tickets to, from, and within Mexico at southwest.com! Southwest will be partnering with Volaris, Mexicoâ€™s second-largest airline, in order to offer their Customers connections between cities in the Western part of their network and five of Volarisâ€™ Mexican destinationsâ€”Cancun, Guadalajara, Morelia, Toluca/Mexico City, and Zacatecasâ€”connecting via Los Angeles, Oakland, and San Jose. This will bring up to 85 new roundtrip markets onto the Southwest grid, which will be phased in through November and December! And if your travels take you between cities inside Los Estados Unidos de Mexico, Volaris can take you between 23 Mexican airports, from Tijuana and La Paz in the West to Cancun in the East and Oaxaca in the South.
As interesting as the â€œwhat,â€ is the â€œhow.â€ You guys may remember a couple of years back when Southwest announced plans to enter into codeshare agreements, including Volaris. However, as Southwest started building the list of requirements and changes weâ€™d need in order to handle international operationsâ€”either codeshare or even online with our own aircraftâ€”they realized they just donâ€™t have the technology in their current reservations system to make international travel possible. So Southwest is now busily working to replace their reservations system, which will take at least a couple of years. But because Southwest is so eager to tap the Mexican market, they partnered with Volaris to develop International Connect, an â€œunder-the-hoodâ€ process that stitches our two networks together now! Booking international reservations will look and feel almost exactly like any other booking on southwest.com, but behind the scenes, the International Connect portal is conducting two separate transactionsâ€”one with Southwestâ€™s reservations system and one with Volarisâ€™â€”and tying the two reservations together with messages that enable through-checking of luggage and ensuring that our schedules remain in sync.
International Connect is an awesome interim stepâ€”true Southwest innovation at its best. It’s a convenient, easy way to give our Customers access to, from, and within Mexico. So plan a trip “south of the border, down Mexico way” with Southwest and our new partner, Volaris beginning November 12, via southwest.com. Vamonos, yâ€™all!