Travel Blog - Morris Murdock Travel - Cruises, Vacations, Tours & More

Over the course of our history, our Company has welcomed several new Family Members, with AirTran Airways being the most recent.  In 1994, a similar integration took place when Morris Air of Salt Lake City became part of the Southwest system.  With the addition of Morris Air, Southwest was able to enter 20 new markets in seven states.  This represented the largest growth of its kind in our Company’s 22-year history.

2_0Morris Air originally started as a charter airline in 1984 and was founded by travel agency owner June Morris.  The travel agency (Morris Travel) saw tremendous growth in the 1970s in the wake of airline deregulation, as the airlines were able to slash fares and make deals with high volume travel agencies.  Morris saw an opportunity to enter the leisure travel market as a charter flight operator.  Doing business as Morris Air Service, the first charter flight was from Salt Lake City to Hawaii.  The company quickly expanded to 14 flights a week to six destinations such as Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, and Anchorage. At a time when the cost of air travel in the region started to soar, Morris helped keep airfare in check.  An example of this was the Anchorage–Seattle Market, where other carriers’ fares ranged between $418 and $741.  Morris’ highest fare was $399 for a walk-up ticket.

3 smallerIn 1992, Morris began to take steps towards exiting the charter market and starting a scheduled airline service when it pursued financing to purchase its first 737-300s.  Flights prior to that often utilized aircraft operated by Sierra Pacific, Ryan, and Continental Airlines.  The company officially took to the skies as its own airline on December 2 that year as Morris Air, following a successful run of eight years as a charter operator.  With a business model very similar to that of Southwest, Morris Air continued to be successful as a low-cost, “no-frills” airline.  The airline’s first president was David Neeleman, who also went on to be the founder of a number of other airlines, such as JetBlue and Azul.  June Morris served as CEO.  Morris Air initially provided service to 25 western cities with 1,200 employees.

In late 1993, Morris Air continued to grow throughout the west with service to 22 markets.  With ambitions of expanding our network, Southwest announced an 4 smaller_0acquisition of Morris on December 13, 1993.  Following Department of Justice approval, the acquisition was completed only 18 days later on New Year’s Eve.  In classic Southwest style, a “wedding” in Las Vegas was officiated by “Elvis” himself on February 17, 1994, forever joining the two companies.

Morris Air continued to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary for much of 1994.  June Morris joined Southwest Airlines as a Board Member, where she remained until her retirement in 2006.  The integration was completed on October 4, 1994 when Boise, Tucson, and Salt Lake City were converted to Southwest cities.  The merger was viewed by many as one of the most successful in the history of the industry.

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Article originally posted on on January 1, 2017.

Being a mother of 3 in a chaotic household sometimes you just need to get away from the constant meal prep, never ending pile of laundry and the nonstop need of 3 great kids. What better way to get away than 7 days of sailing the Pacific Ocean on the beautiful Ruby Princess. Imagine having your meals prepared for you, laundry service, and some relaxing time reading that book you never seem to get to. My Husband and I decided that was exactly what the both of us needed, dropped the kids with Grandma and flew to LAX to board our ship.

Our trip began as we landed in LAX and the Princess Representatives was there to greet us. As we boarded the bus that would take us to the ship we worried that maybe we were a little young for the cruising demographic. It didn’t take long after we got on the ship to realize we would fit in just fine and there were plenty of people of all ages.

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My husband I decided to celebrate our 30 year anniversary in Hawaii. He had never been and I have been to Oahu and Maui so we decided on Kauai. Over the years I have sent many, many clients to Kauai and have a few favorite resorts.

I decided on the Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Bay. The Marriott is a first class resort set on a beautiful beach right where the cruise ships dock. The rooms are very large and the service and amenities are second to none. Kauai is a very lush and tropical island with many beautiful beaches. Some of the highlights while touring the island were Anini Beach on the North shore, the boat ride through the Fern Grotto, absolutely stunning and of course Waimea Canyon, a must see. We are hoping to return to Kauai again soon.

My Mother and I recently enjoyed a cruise Amawaterways cruise Melodies of the Danube aboard the beautiful AmaStella. It was an incredible way to explore parts of Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

We arrived a day early and stayed in Budapest at the Boscolo Budapest, Autograph Collection. What a beautiful hotel! Not only was the hotel conveniently located and beautifully decorated, but the service was impeccable and the breakfast delicious. I understand that the hotel’s New York Café it has been voted the most beautiful café in the world by multiple publications. While eating breakfast in the café Hungarian violin music started playing and it took me a minute to realize it was live! I’m a violinist myself and I was such a fun surprise! I would definitely recommend staying at the Boscolo Budapest if you visit that interesting city.

During our cruise aboard the AmaStella we enjoyed wonderful service and top quality accommodations. I was impressed with the cultural touches such as food which was specially tuned to the locations we visited (all of the food on the ship was fantastic), and local musicians and dancers which were brought on board to really give us a taste of the local culture. I felt like even though we were only briefly in each location the cruise did a fantastic job of maximizing our experience with the tours, food and shows. The guides were professional, funny, and very knowledgeable. Also each tour stop had a few options available depending on the desired activity level of those participating. The cruise made our lives easy and although we were always busy with tours or eating delicious meals, I found it was very relaxing. The time aboard was a perfect bonding time for my Mom and I, and I especially loved the Mozart concert in Vienna. As a musician it was everything I could have wanted and more.


After being in the air for 17+ hours on flights from Salt Lake City to Sydney, one might rightly think that spending time on solid ground would be your first choice for seeing Australia; however this was not the case on my recent Amazing Aussie Adventure and Educational Conference sponsored by our friends and travel partners at Travel2. I got to experience a portion of this beautiful and diverse country affectionately known as the “Land Down Under” not “down under” but rather from “up above”; on a gondola, a canyon rim, an iconic bridge, a helicopter and a hot air balloon.

My arrival into Sydney was at 8:00 am, and I was ready to beat the jetlag with a full day of immersing myself in the New South Wales lifestyle. Our Destination NSW host, Tenille, met us at the airport and we were off to the Taronga Zoo where I got my first up-close views of koalas, kangaroos, and wallabies.

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