Muse Air will allow passengers to smoke during flights after a survey showed that passengers preferred smoking, airline officials said Monday.
"Our goal is to make our product appeal to the greatest number of people and to provide a pleasant travel experience for all our passengers," said Ron Thornton, Muse Air vice president-sales and marketing. "Passenger surveys have shown us that the public considers several factors, such as price, convenience and service, more important than non-smoking," he said.
Muse, which was purchased in June by Southwest Airlines, had banned smoking on its flights since it was formed four years ago, and the policy became something of a trademark.
But Thornton said the no-smoking policy may have discouraged up to 35% of the flying public.
The new smoking policy is scheduled to take effect Sept. 3.
Muse flies to eight Texas cities and to New Orleans; Tulsa, Okla.; Tampa, Orlando and St. Petersburg, Fla.; Las Vegas, and Los Angeles and San Jose.