Going International

Southwest is Going South

With flights now heading nonstop to Aruba, what's next for Southwest when Hobby Airport expands in October?

By Maggie Berardo March 17, 2015

Image: Shutterstock

The other week, we here at Houstonia shared some advice on how to spend your first weekend in Aruba—courtesy of Southwest Airlines' new nonstop flight there. Now that we’re all back from spring break, let’s take a deeper look at the airline's international expansion plans and see what this means for Houstonians.

Southwest currently offers direct international flights to the Caribbean from Baltimore-Washington International Airport and Houston's own Hobby Airport. But with Hobby's new international terminal set to open in October, Houstonians can expect more options for convenient international travel to the south.

The expansion itself will cover a 280,000 sq. ft. area, include five new gates, and increase Hobby's total footprint by 40 percent. This October, Southwest will provide nonstop flights to Cancun, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, San Jose, Costa Rica, and Belize City—and that’s just the lineup through 2016! 

I talked to Southwest Airlines' Bethany Swanson about what the new terminal will mean for Houstonians. Swanson described high season in Aruba, when Yankees fleeing frigid, cold winters full of ice and snow make a beeline for the Caribbean island. Houstonians, on the other hand, tend to travel in summer to get away from the muggy heat, which happens to be when Southwest's best bargains happen to be (we found flights for $458 roundtrip during select dates in July). So book your summer vacation tickets now while you wait for the international terminal's completion in October and enjoy discount fares to one of the Caribbean's most popular destinations. 

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