Southwest Airlines' first flight arrives in Memphis - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Southwest Airlines' first flight arrives in Memphis

Southwest's first flight into Memphis came with a water cannon salute. Southwest's first flight into Memphis came with a water cannon salute.
The inaugural flight also got a royal welcome from the "King". The inaugural flight also got a royal welcome from the "King".
Passengers on this first flight said they're looking forward to the Southwest's reputation: free checked bags and low cost fares. Passengers on this first flight said they're looking forward to the Southwest's reputation: free checked bags and low cost fares.

(WMC-TV) – Southwest's first flight into Memphis got a royal welcome, complete with a water cannon salute and lots of happy passengers including the "King" – an Elvis impersonator.

Passengers on this first flight said they're looking forward to the Southwest's reputation: free checked bags and low cost fares.

Karan Gill flew on Southwest's inaugural flight.

Reporter: "Do you think you're saving money?
Gill: "Oh absolutely, absolutely I mean we've seen the prices the airfares here the last few years, just going thru the roof."

"I think I booked 21 days in advance so the rate was I can't even compare it to the other airlines," stated passenger Mary Glenn.

Southwest's coming to Memphis is something mid-Southerners have been waiting to see for a long time.  Airline officials think they have what it takes to be successful.

"We have 15 employees here that are from Memphis and you will see them at the airport every day," said Don Landson with Southwest.

Southwest begins in Memphis with six flights going to some five destinations, linking passengers with almost 90 cities around the country.

As the first group of happy passengers made their way into the Memphis terminal, another group got ready to board the plane for the next leg of the inaugural flight.

John Glenn headed back to Orlando and was already talking about coming back to see his grandchildren.

"Definitely we fly a lot to Memphis.  Five to six times a year," said Glenn.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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