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Southwest begins “fly by” security lanes at select airports

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Written by editor

Southwest Airlines Co. said Wednesday it is rolling out priority security lanes for Business Select and Rapid Reward A-List Customers at certain airports later this month.

Southwest Airlines Co. said Wednesday it is rolling out priority security lanes for Business Select and Rapid Reward A-List Customers at certain airports later this month.

Dallas-based Southwest says the priority lanes, which are branded “Fly By,” are part of an initiative to enhance customer experience by allowing select passengers to move more quickly through the security check-in process.

The lanes will be available later this month at Baltimore/Washington International, Dallas Love Field, Phoenix Sky Harbor International, Orange County John Wayne, Denver International, San Francisco International and Los Angeles International.

The “fly-by” lanes are available to all customers who present an A-List identification card or a Business Select boarding pass, the airline said. Customers have to complete 16 qualifying round trips in a 12-month period to qualify for A-List status.

“We believe that our customers will appreciate the added benefit priority security lanes will provide,” said Kevin Krone, vice president of marketing and sales for Southwest. “Expediting passengers through security is just one example of how Southwest is enhancing the customer experience by offering added convenience for seasoned travelers.”

Additional airports will be added to the “fly-by” program in November.

Southwest was also named the most reliable airline, according to Forbes.com’s 2008 America’s Most Reliable Airlines report.Forbes compiled the list by gathering five years’ worth of data on on-time arrival, cancellations, complaints and mishandled baggage from the Aviation Consumer Protection Division of the Department of Transportation. Delays and cancellations, the factors most likely to ruin a flier’s day, were given double weight.

Rounding out the top 10, in order, was Continental, JetBlue, AirTran, Delta, Alaska Airlines, Northwest, American, United and US Airways.

Southwest is the largest carrier at Oakland International Airport, carrying more than 9 million passengers in 2007. The airline resumed flights out of San Francisco International Airport in 2007 after pulling out in 2001 because of high airport costs.