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 BALTIMORE, Sept. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) celebrated its new service from Baltimore-Washington International Airport today with a baseball theme as a tribute to the All-Star city. O. James Lighthizer, secretary, Maryland Department of Transportation, joined Ron Ricks, Southwest's vice president of governmental affairs for the festivities.
 The carrier inaugurated five daily nonstop and one-stop flights between Baltimore-Washington and Chicago's convenient Midway Airport, and five nonstop daily flights between Baltimore-Washington and Cleveland.
 To celebrate the event and highlight its $49 one-way unrestricted fare to Cleveland, Southwest treated 49 elementary school children to a day in the "Comeback City" at The RainForest at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, one of two such exhibits in the country. Festivities in the South Passenger Lounge of the airport preceded the departure of flight no. 1280 at 11:10 a.m. to Cleveland.
 "The 49 fifth-graders are from Linthicum Elementary School and many of them have never flown before," Ricks said. "We're thrilled to give these children an opportunity to take a trip that promises to be both fun and educational."
 In addition to the $49 one-way fare to Cleveland, the carrier offers an $89 one-way fare to Chicago. These unrestricted fares are available on all seats and are fully refundable. Even lower one-way fares are currently available to Cleveland for $19 and to Chicago for $39 for travel through Feb. 2, 1994. These lower fares are available on a limited number of seats and are changeable at no cost.
 Baltimore-Washington travelers can also experience savings by taking advantage of Southwest's "Friends Fly Free" offer. This flexible and convenient program allows a customer of at least 18 years of age who makes reservations including an overnight stay over and purchases a full fare ticket to take a friend of any age along for free. Reservations must be made at least one day in advance and seats are limited.
 "Southwest has a history of bringing low fares and frequent flights into a city," Ricks said. "We're delighted to bring quality air service to the Baltimore-Washington area at such a substantial savings."
 Baltimore is the 37th city served by Southwest Airlines in 17 states and its first on the East Coast.
 Southwest Airlines is the first and only major airline to capture the industry's "Triple Crown" for its 1992 performance, based on statistics published in Department of Transportation (DOT) Air Travel Consumer Reports. The "Triple Crown" consists of the best on time performance, best baggage handling record, and fewest customer complaints of all major carriers. Southwest operates 1,500 flights a day with an all-jet fleet of 156 Boeing 737s.
 -0- 9/15/93
 /CONTACT: Ed Stewart, 214-904-4187, or Joe Lamkin, 410-964-9400, both of Southwest Airlines/

CO: Southwest Airlines ST: Maryland IN: AIR LEI SU: PDT

PS -- NY039 -- 2195 09/15/93 11:29 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 15, 1993

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