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Since You Asked: Rumors of SW Airlines coming to town ... still unfounded

Forgive me if you’ve answered this before, but I’m curious. When I bought a home in Ashland in 2020, my house inspector said Southwest Airlines was planning to build a terminal at the Medford airport. COVID slowed everything down, but do you know if this is in the plans eventually?

— Elaine H., Ashland

Jerry Brienza, departing airport director for Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport — and a big fan of Since You Asked — said rumors about Southwest Airlines coming to town have followed him around the country.

Previously helping run regional airports in Huntington, West Virginia, Pueblo, Colorado, and Palm Beach, Florida, Brienza said the rumors likely are fueled by sheer hope.

“To be blunt, SWA has a fan club that is dedicated and very loyal. SWA is a great airline that prides itself on customer satisfaction, fun and no baggage fees. I get the SW question constantly,” Brienza told the Mail Tribune.

“Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter the town or the airport that I work, Southwest Airlines rumors always abound. At this time, SWA does not have any plans to construct a terminal at the Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport.”

An aside, Brienza recently departed the Rogue Valley after running the Medford airport since 2017. He’s moved on to serve in business development for aviation-based Tailwind Concessions.

While Medford won’t have a Southwest Airlines terminal anytime soon, Brienza said his successor, who has yet to be named, will be part of helping to expand the airport in a handful of ways while juggling the ongoing labor shortages and post-pandemic recovery.

Plans for a terminal for Southwest, however, aren’t in the cards. At least not yet, anyway.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com.