CONTEST: Was it 2010, 2015 or 2022? ‘Cruise line executive has a ‘Let them eat cake’ moment on NCFs: “It is what it is”’

CONTEST: Was it 1995, 2000 or 2008? ‘Southwest looks at flying to Canada but ValuJet packs it in’

Two budget-friendly airlines had Canada on their horizon when this headline ran – but only one of those airlines is still in business today.

The headline for this edition of ‘It Happened This Week’ is: ‘Southwest looks at flying to Canada but ValuJet packs it in’


Southwest Airlines, the first major discount airline in U.S., got its start in 1971. But it wasn’t until almost a quarter of a century later that it set its sights on Canada. The new Open Skies agreement between Canada and the U.S., signed just a few months before this story ran, meant that Canadian and U.S. airlines could establish direct links between any pair of cities on either side of the border. Open Skies dramatically widened flight options for Canadian travellers, and made travel advisors even more indispensable than ever.

As reported in this issue of Travelweek, Southwest’s low prices had already resulted in fare wars in the U.S. – and reduced commissions for U.S. agents. Southwest founder and president, Herb Kelleher, said: “We would be interested in going to Canada when you can fly whenever you want for whatever prices you want.”

All these years later, Southwest has no Canadian cities in its network.

Meanwhile another discount carrier, ValuJet, was calling it quits on its Montreal-Washington Dulles service, just a few months after it got the route in the wake of Open Skies. Load factors were low and the route’s key markets – business travellers and government workers – weren’t booking the discount airline with just two flights a day.

Here’s a clue: the ValuJet brand was gone by 1997, just a couple of years after this story ran, when it merged with AirTran Airways. Years later, Southwest bought AirTran Holdings.

Did the headline appear in Travelweek in 1995, 2000 or 2008?

Fill out the contest form below, with your guess and your email address. We’ll announce the answer and the winner next week, along with the next contest headline. Last week’s headline about Y2K ran in July 1999. Our winner for Week #18 is Norm Payne with Uniglobe Premiere Travel in Ottawa. Congratulations Norm!



Every Wednesday in Travelweek Daily, we’re posting an article from Travelweek’s archives, spanning the years 1973 – 2023. Guess the correct year the story ran, and you could win a $50 Amazon gift card. There’s a new headline and a new chance to win every single week.

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