By John Grossi
In 2020, Southwest Airlines chose Long Beach Airport (LGB) as the first airport in the Los Angeles Basin to charter flights to Hawaii. The customer sentiment has been phenomenal.
“Not all airports are as transparent and forward-thinking as Long Beach Airport,” says Southwest Airlines representative Brad Hawkins.
Southwest is excited about their new expanded relationship at one of their favorite airports.
“We’re pretty open about our plans there in Long Beach. Step one was making sure our flights connect passengers up and down the coast. Then we started to branch out to places like Phoenix, Vegas, and Denver. The third step is getting out to mid-continent. We’d like to see places like Austin, Dallas, Houston, and New Orleans getting more access to Long Beach as we continue to get slots there,” said Hawkins of Southwest.
The Long Beach Airport accounts for an estimated $1.6 billion in economic impact and supports more than 10,000 jobs. The broader Long Beach Airport Aviation Complex (an area that includes all
business entities within a defined area north of Interstate 405, south of Carson Street, and bordered by Clark and Cherry avenues) generates $8.6 billion in economic impact and supports nearly 46,000 jobs in the region.
For residents, one of the amenities is that flying local just flat out makes life in Long Beach a little easier. In fact, the Long Beach Airport (LGB) slogan is “where the going is easy” and for all those who have discovered the secret of flying LGB, nestled between LAX and John Wayne Airports, that slogan rings true.
“The number one advantage of LGB is our easy-going experience. From curb to gate, on average, you get there in 20 minutes!” says Cynthia Guidry, Executive Director of the Long Beach Airport.
In addition to ease of time, she notes the overall customer experience as a reason Long Beach Airport is so beloved by its locals. “We are extremely well known for our easy-going and friendly customer experience. No other airport can attest to that. We have a great amount of outdoor space for our waiting passengers and our amenities are excellent - we promote a lot of local restaurants right here inside the concourse, showcasing the diversity of Long Beach to our travelers.”
New modernizations continue to happen as well, keeping Long Beach Airport a state-of-the-art facility. In spring of 2022, LGB will have a new ticketing building, new supportive facility for its baggage system, and a new meet-and-greet plaza.
Executive Director Guidry says while new and exciting innovations are happening all the time at LGB, remaining a part of the Long Beach community is paramount.
“It’s important for us to be recognized as a place of economic development but also balance quality of life issues,” she says. “We partner with many local organizations and have multiple businesses that we work with throughout the year. The Long Beach Arts Council, Long Beach convention & Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Long Beach, schools and of course we host the annual Festival of Flight- we’re always promoting aviation as a potential career to our youth!”