Visitors to Southwest's "home gate" (http://www.iflyswa.com) can choose a destination, fare and travel time and pay by credit card. Users can travel ticketless or have a receipt mailed or faxed to them.
"This will be a learning curve," said Southwest VP-Marketing Dave Ridley. "People aren't going to rush to it overnight. We're not projecting big cost savings or revenue increases. This is just a typical Southwest ready-fire-aim approach."
ADS TO PROMOTE SITE
Southwest expects to launch ads promoting the site within three months, Mr. Ridley said.
Travelocity, a general travel site that opened in March from Sabre Interactive and Worldview Systems Corp., offers ticketing for a variety of airlines (http://www.travelocity.com).
The only other carriers to sell tickets on their own sites are the regional Alaska Airlines, which launched a similar service in December 1995, and British Midland Airways in the U.K.
United Airlines offers a private reservation service, accessed via CompuServe or separate software.