Southwest halting direct service from Philly to Boston

In January, Southwest Airlines Inc. stopped offering direct trips from Philadelphia to airports in New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Now, the airline is ending its 90-minute flights to Boston.

Southwest is ending direct service to Boston Feb. 11 because the numbers aren’t adding up for the company, said spokesman Brad Hawkins.  

“Due, No. 1,  to fuel costs,” he said. “Everyone can feel it when they go to the gas pump. Imagine what the fleet of airliners — what the compounding effect of that is.”Hawkins said travelers willing to take connecting flights would likely be routed through Chicago, which would more than double the length of the trip. But the airline could no longer justify running direct flights that weren’t filling up, Hawkins said. A low-cost carrier, Southwest has pressured others to cut fares. As Southwest leaves the market, Julie Steinberg of Rosenbluth Vacations expects ticket prices to rise.

“Now that Southwest is pulling out, it’s fair game. US Air[ways] can charge anything they want. That’s the only way you can get to Boston,” she said.

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