If you tried to book a spring break direct flight from Boise to Portland on Southwest Airlines this week, you’d notice it’s no longer an option. Southwest released its April and May flight schedule this week, and that direct connection is absent.
“If you have a flight under two hours,” says Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins, “the traffic is just not there anymore.” Hawkins says travelers can still get to Portland on his airline, you’ll just have to go through Las Vegas or Oakland first.
Boise Airport director Rebecca Hupp is disappointed in the cut. She says it’s a challenge to convince airlines to maintain or expand air service out of any mid-sized airport, not just Boise, given the high-cost of fuel and airline consolidation.
Still, Hupp says she’s able to present airlines with compelling reasons not to cut services. “We can present them with information they may not have access to about the market,” Hupp says. One example; if there are specific companies doing business in both Portland or Boise, that’s one potential customer base that the airline doesn’t get information on from Department of Transportation data.
Hupp knows ultimately, the airline makes its decision based on cost analysis. She will continue to work with Southwest to see how that direct Boise-Portland flight could get added to the schedule in the future.
For now, Hupp says travelers still have the option to fly direct from Boise to Portland on Alaska Airlines five days a week.
Southwest has also cut flights from Boise to Seattle, Salt Lake City and Reno in the last couple of years.