Starting today and continuing through October 25, Southwest is having a “fresh fares” sale, with one-way non-stop tickets priced at $99 or less. Many Southwest flights within the US are on sale (including some to Puerto Rico). This comes on the heels of Southwest’s semi-annual nationwide sale 2 weeks ago and provides another chance for flight savings if you missed the earlier sale, if you’ve had new travel plans arise, or if you’re planning flights in late February/early March that were not covered by the previous sale.
Check now for possible low-cost bookings on Southwest with no checked bag fees. And also, check your existing reservations to see if they have gone down in price.
The links to Southwest’s regular site and the specific page for this fare sale are here:
Details & Analysis
Southwest runs limited sales often, and this appears to be a good one. Officially, sale prices are capped at $99, but we see other unadvertised routes that may also have reduced prices if you book during the October 16-25 sale window. Also, sale routes may also have reduced prices on dates that are officially “blackout” dates for the “fresh fares” sale. For example, we’re seeing some flights just before Thanksgiving on November 20-21 that aren’t much higher than the sale fares, even though those dates are blacked out from the sale.
If you’re a Southwest flyer, you’ll want to check rates now for any upcoming or potential travel plans. You’ll also want to check all of your existing reservations – whether made with cash or with Rapid Rewards points – to see if you can cancel your original reservation and re-book at a lower rate. The sale runs until October 25, but you’ll want to act sooner than later before all the good prices and routes are gone!
Here are the most important details of this massive Southwest fare sale:
- Must purchase tickets from October 16 through October 25 at 11:59 pm (your local time)
- 14-day advance purchase required for Continental U.S. flights, and 21-day advance purchase required for flights to/from San Juan, Puerto Rico
- For Continental U.S. flights, travel dates for this sale are: October 30, 2018, through March 6, 2019, with the following blackout dates: Nov 20-21, Nov 24-26, Dec 21-23, Dec 26-27, Dec 29-30, and Jan 1-2, 2019
- For travel to/from San Juan, Puerto Rico, travel dates for this sale are: November 6 through December 6, 2018, and January 14 through February 28, 2019.
- There are several restrictions on the dates of travel for this fare sale:
- Continental U.S. travel is not valid on Fridays and Sundays.
- Travel to Florida and Nevada is valid only on Sundays through Wednesdays.
- Travel from Florida and Nevada is valid only on Tuesdays through Fridays.
- Travel to/from San Juan is valid only on Mondays through Thursdays.
- Seats and days are limited and won’t be available on some flights that operate during very busy travel times and holiday periods
- Sale fares are valid only on domestic, non-stop service – international flights are not included in this sale
- Sale fares are not available to/from Orange County, California (SNA).
In addition to booking new flights with this sale, remember to check your existing Southwest reservations to see if they have decreased in price. If the price has dropped, you can either cancel and re-book at the new price, or select change your flight and then re-book to the same flights with the new lower price.
Under Southwest’s generous cancelation and change policies, if you cancel before your flight, you will receive Southwest credit for your previous fare, which you can then use to re-book. Similarly, if you change and then re-book to the same flights, you will receive credit for the difference in price (whether in dollars or Rapid Rewards miles). Southwest does not impose any fees for canceling or changing future flights. However, note that travel funds (such as the credit for canceling and re-booking at a lower fare) expire 12 months from the original ticket purchase date.
Until very recently, there was a huge advantage to cancel-and-re-book as opposed to changing, in that if you changed your flight, it would lock in the reservation and become non-refundable going forward. Now, however, flights booked after October 10 are still refundable if a change is made to the reservation.
When you book your Southwest flights, be sure to use a credit card that maximizes your points earning for airfare, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve (referral link), the Amex Personal Platinum (referral link), the Citi Prestige or Premier, or the US Bank Altitude Reserve.
Full details of the Southwest fare sale are shown here:
Sample Sale Fares
To give you an idea of what Southwest is advertising in its “Fresh Fares” sale, here are some sample sale fares.
First, here are the sale fares and destinations that Southwest advertises from Dallas Love Field (DAL):
Next, here are the two sale destinations that Southwest is advertising from Little Rock (LIT):
And finally, Southwest advertises no less than 23 sale destinations from Denver (DEN):
Will you be taking advantage of the Southwest “Fresh Fares” sale? Where are you going? Please share with other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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