In a recent statement, Southwest Airlines announced a significant expansion of its summer schedule.
Starting June 4, 2024, the airline will launch nonstop routes between Orlando and several Caribbean and Central American locations, including Punta Cana.
This announcement is certainly good news for travelers planning to visit Punta Cana next year, as Southwest Airlines is renowned for its affordability and customer-friendly policies, such as no change fees and allowing two free checked bags.
But that’s not all.
In line with these enhancements, the airline has also simplified the process for customers to attain status in 2024, reducing the number of qualifying flights required to reach both A-List and A-List Preferred status.
Furthermore, Southwest has made it easier for travelers to accumulate points with qualifying credit cards, and, as a limited-time promotion, registered travelers flying by November 30 will receive double Companion Pass qualifying points on those flights.
What The New Southwest Nonstop Flights Mean For Punta Cana Tourists
As one of the most popular airlines in the U.S., Southwest has a strong presence in the domestic market, and its affordability and convenience make it a popular choice among travelers.
So, with the introduction of these new international flights, travelers visiting Punta Cana will be able to enjoy Southwest’s signature customer-friendly service outside of the domestic market.
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This expansion is just one of several recent moves by airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, and JetBlue to meet the growing demand for travel to the Dominican Republic, especially the increasingly popular destination of Punta Cana.
Until now, Delta Airlines was leading the pack this year, announcing plans to increase the number of flights to the Dominican Republic by 30%.
Delta ranks as the best domestic airline in the U.S., a reputation it has garnered due to its reliability and premium service, according to a recent study by luggage storage company Bounce.
However, Delta’s flight deals are typically pricier compared to Southwest Airlines, which, according to the same Bounce study, ranks second, just behind Delta Airlines.
With Southwest, round trips to Punta Cana from Fort Lauderdale average at around $300 USD, while Delta’s deals average around $500, according to Skyscanner.
Of course, these prices are subject to change, and no official pricing has been issued for Southwest’s new flights from Orlando yet.
However, by looking at these figures, it’s safe to say that Southwest’s flights will be one of the best choices for budget-conscious travelers visiting Punta Cana.
The Dominican Republic’s Massive Air Connectivity Boost
This year, the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism reported a whopping 7.6 million visitors from January to September, steadily approaching their coveted goal of 10 million visitors.
Of course, much of the country’s popularity has to do with its numerous tourist attractions, which include stunning Caribbean beaches, luxurious all-inclusive resorts, and a plethora of exciting activities to choose from.
However, this remarkable achievement can also be largely attributed to the government’s relentless efforts to improve safety and a significant investment in both infrastructure and accommodations.
And as the Dominican Republic keeps shattering tourism records, strengthening air connectivity has become one of the top priorities, according to the country’s Tourism Cabinet, led by President Luis Abinader.
Moreover, the Dominican Republic is actively negotiating the open skies agreement between the country and the U.S.
This agreement would make air travel much more affordable and convenient for both locals and American travelers, which account for the majority of visitors.
In light of all these developments, an affordable Punta Cana getaway is quickly becoming a possibility for many travelers.
Until now, several American travelers have often opted for cheaper Caribbean destinations such as Cancun.
But with the introduction of new nonstop flights by affordable and reliable airlines such as Southwest and the potential success of the open skies agreement, flying to this exceptional Caribbean destination will be easier – and much cheaper – than ever.
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