From today (October 30) through Thursday, November 1, Southwest has a new fare sale. Most importantly, the sale fares now extend all the way until May 22, 2019. With these new sale dates coming available, you can book your springtime travel, maybe even including a trip with the kids right after they get out of school! The sale appears to be widespread over most if not all of Southwest’s domestic network, plus it also includes international flights.[For some reason, the banner for this sale only talks about December & January. However, the sale’s terms and conditions state that it extends through May 22, 2019. And indeed, when we tested the sale, the sale fares did show up through May 22, 2019.]
Check now for possible low-cost bookings on Southwest with no checked bag fees. And as always, 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
We’ve had several posts at Middle Age Miles about Southwest fare sales, and they always seem to be well-read. We certainly don’t want to be repetitive, but we do want to alert you to new opportunities to save money when they arise. For this week’s Southwest sale, the new opportunity is the ability to book sale fares into mid-to-late May 2019. This opens up a full 2½ months beyond the time frame for last week’s Southwest sale, which extended only until March 6, 2019.
Another change from last week is that international fares are included in this week’s Southwest sale.
Be sure to note that you only have 3 days, until Thursday, November 1, to take advantage of this Southwest sale. But even though the sale runs for 3 days, you’ll want to act sooner than later before all the good prices and routes are gone!
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.
Here are the most important details of this week’s Southwest fare sale:
- Must purchase tickets from October 30 through November 1 at 11:59 pm (in the time zone of the originating city for your flights)
- 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: November 13, 2018, through May 22, 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 20 through December 6, 2018, and January 14 through March 6, 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
- International travel is valid only on Mondays through Thursdays, with the following exceptions:
- Travel to Cancun, Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta is valid only on Sundays through Wednesdays
- Travel from Cancun, Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta is valid only on Tuesdays through Fridays
- Travel to/from Mexico City; Liberia, Costa Rica; and San Jose, Costa Rica is valid daily
- 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 non-stop service
- 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 will remain 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 this week’s Southwest fare sale are shown here:
Sample Sale Fares
To give you an idea of what Southwest is advertising in this week’s sale, here are some sample sale fares from Dallas Love Field (DAL):
Will you be taking advantage of this week’s Southwest fare sale to book Spring 2019 travel? Where are you going? Please share with other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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