Update: A credit card offer in this post, may no longer be available, but check the Hot Deals for the latest offers!
You can save money on travel with Southwest this fall. They’re having a fare sale with prices as low as $69 1-way, for travel between August 25, 2014 and December 17, 2014. But you have to book by May 29, 2014 (that’s today!).
Note: As with previous Southwest sales, travel on Fridays and Sundays is excluded, so you won’t save on a quick weekend getaway! And most fares are higher than $69!
I’ll explain the best ways to take advantage of this deal. And what restrictions to avoid!
If you’ve already booked tickets for fall travel, it’s worth checking to see if the fares have dropped for your trip. You can cancel and rebook at the lower fare without paying a change fee!
How to Get the Most From the Deal
Link: Southwest Fare Sale
This Southwest fare sale applies to new bookings for travel between August 25, 2014 and December 17, 2014. But you don’t have long to book – tickets must be bought before 11:59 pm (in the time zone of the city you’re flying from) on May 29, 2014.
Fares are as low as $69 each way including taxes. Although most fares are higher.
And because the points needed to book a Southwest award ticket are based on the cost of the cash fare, this means that it costs fewer points to book award tickets with this sale, too!
I checked to see what the regular fare was and it wasn’t much more expensive. The normal cheapest fare between Austin and Dallas is $77. So you’re not saving a huge amount of money!
Even if you’re not sure of your plans, you can book a ticket and cancel at a later date. If it’s an award booking, the points will get transferred back into your account. And if it’s a paid ticket, you’ll get a credit which can be used up to 1 year after the booking was made (as long as you cancel at least 10 minutes before your flight).
And 1 of my favorite things about Southwest is there are never any change fees when you change or cancel a ticket!
If you’ve already booked tickets for travel between August 25, 2014 and December 17, 2014, it’s worth taking a look to see if the price has dropped with this sale. You can always cancel and rebook at the lower fare without paying a fee.
Remember, you can save even more money if you 1st buy Southwest gift cards at office supply stores using a credit card that earns 5X points, like the Chase Ink Bold or Chase Ink Plus.
What About Other Airlines?
I went to Kayak and compared Southwest to other airlines on September 2, 2014, for Los Angeles (LAX) to Phoenix (PHX) 1-way.
Southwest is indeed $69. US Airways and Delta also list $69 1-way for their non-stop flights.
Some folks who don’t have the Companion Pass might pick US Airways or Delta to get extra miles, while others would choose Southwest for the 2 free pieces of checked luggage and Southwest points.
On October 1, 2014, Southwest flies from Indianapolis to Baltimore (BWI) 1-way for $133 on 3 non-stop flights. Kayak shows $140 1-way on the same route for US Airways. But US Airways isn’t a direct flight.
Some folks would choose to save $7 with Southwest, while others would happily pay $7 more for a guaranteed seat assignment and US Airways miles.
In this case, I’d choose Southwest because they’re my favorite airline and Emily and I save money with our Companion Pass. And we prefer direct flights. But other folks might have different preferences!
Drawbacks and Limitations
Friday and Sunday travel is excluded from this sale. So folks looking for a weekend trip are out of luck!
Southwest sometimes runs better sales where tickets cost as little as $49. That said, you could book now and wait to see if a better fare sale comes up before your travel dates. You can always rebook without a change fee.
There are a number of other restrictions on these tickets. For example:
- Travel to Florida or Nevada is valid Sunday through Wednesday only
- Travel from Florida or Nevada is valid Tuesday through Friday only
- Travel between Nevada and Florida is valid on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only
- Blackout Dates Apply: September 1 (Labor Day) and November 25 – December 2, 2014 (Thanksgiving)
- Fares not available to or from Islip/Long Island, NY
You can read all the terms and conditions on the Southwest website.
Need More Southwest Points?
Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred
Link: Chase Ink Plus
Link: Chase Ink Bold
If you’re running low on points, you can instantly transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest from your Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, or Chase Ink Plus cards. And the Chase Ink cards currently have a 60,000 point bonus if you sign-up before June 1, 2014.
Or you could get Southwest points by signing-up for 1 of the Chase Southwest credit cards. They’ve increased the sign-up bonus to 50,000 points, which can get you a lot of Big Travel with Small Money!
And those points count towards the 110,000 points you need to earn the Companion Pass, which is still the best deal around for domestic travel. With the Companion Pass, your companion flies with you for almost free on both paid and award tickets.
If you have the Companion Pass, this sale is a very good deal! You’ll save a lot of money.
This isn’t the greatest sale Southwest has ever had, and it’s not good for weekend travel, but if you’re planning a fall trip you could save some money.
Even if you’re not sure of your plans, you could book tickets now and change or cancel later without paying a fee. And if you already have a flight booked, it’s worth checking to see if the fare has dropped. You won’t pay a fee to change to the lower fare, either.
I won’t take advantage of this sale because I can’t get away during the week. But hopefully some folks will find this useful.