Southwest released some good news for air travelers today in that they will be expanding their route network to include more international locations, including Cancun and San Jose Del Cabo, in addition to service already planned for Aruba, The Bahamas and Montego Bay, Jamaica.
This is good news for the majority of my readership (as a lot of you are NY-based) because your Southwest points can be used for those tropical vacations you’re already planning, to escape next winter (especially if it is anything like this winter). Southwest flies from 3 area airports – Long Island/Islip, LaGuardia and Newark, so I expect options to be plentiful though with at least one connection in most cases.
The other reason this is good news is that it forces competitors to lower their prices in response to Southwest entering the market. United has a monopoly on several Mexican and Caribbean routes from Newark and if Southwest provides enough service from the NY area, I think prices will drop on these routes.
In short form, the value of your Southwest miles increases going forward as you will no longer be limited to just domestic flights using Southwest miles, and even for paid travelers, I expect prices to drop on certain routes as Southwest provides competition to some of the legacy airlines.