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New nonstop Southwest flight brings Austin to more Colorado slopes

New nonstop Southwest flight brings Austin to more Colorado slopes

Southwest Airlines airplane jet flying
Southwest is connecting Austinites with Montrose Regional Airport, close to Colorado ski resorts Telluride and Crested Butte. Photo by Dylan Ashe/Wikipedia

Winter travelers may be busy this week keeping track of all the new flights out of Austin. On July 21 — just after American Airlines announced winter service expansions to VailSouthern California and Florida — Southwest Airlines extended its own schedule through March 8, 2023, with a new nonstop service to Montrose, Colorado.

Starting January 7, 2023, the Austin-Montrose flight on Saturdays will connect the ranch to the ski slope, dropping travelers off about a 70-mile drive to Telluride and 95 miles from Crested Butte. Two of the top ski destinations in the country, these western Colorado resorts have only been accessible to Austinites via American, Delta, and United airlines until now. The nonstop flight takes two hours and 20 minutes in both directions.

Southwest also announced another new nonstop service route from Long Beach, California, to New Orleans. This flight, Sundays starting January 8, 2023, takes between three and a half, and four and a half hours.

American and Southwest have been locked in a fierce competition at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, which is working on adding gates. The airport has been embroiled in a legal struggle with local government, which in June approved using imminent domain to shut down the South Terminal while these changes are made.

Flights out of Austin can be viewed on southwest.com.