These are the only 3 times to pay attention to Southwest fare sales

I’m usually pretty underwhelmed by Southwest’s airfare sales, considering they happen so frequently, are packed with fine print, and are rarely anywhere near the best prices I’ve seen. Maybe I’m just spoiled by Frontier’s dirt cheap sales, but I almost never click through my SW emails anymore.

But there are a few situations in which I would pay attention to their sales:

  1. If you have a lot of Southwest miles saved, sales are a good time to book award flights since the cost in points is dependent on the dollar price of the flight. The cheaper the flight in dollars, the fewer the miles you’ll have to spend on the award.
  2. If you’ve already booked a flight on Southwest, keep an eye out for the rebooking opportunities fare sales can offer. If the price on the ticket you already purchased goes down, Southwest allows you to rebook it at the lower price.
  3. If there is a specific, underserved or overpriced route that you’re looking to fly, Southwest may be the most affordable airline serving it. In that case keeping an eye on the sales could be worth the effort.

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For this week’s sale, I went through the list and found what looked to be the best deals.

Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.23.43 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.27.14 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.27.31 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.28.49 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.29.41 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.30.15 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.30.49 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.31.35 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.32.58 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.33.18 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-08 at 2.34.11 PM

I searched many of these routes on Google Flights, and in almost every search I was able to find a cheaper flight, often on United or Virgin Airlines (to my surprise).

The flights that Southwest prices were cheaper on were usually the smaller market flights.

For example, Nashville to Panama City, FL is on sale from Southwest for $100 roundtrip for specific dates, while the cheapest flight I could find on Google was $164.

On the other hand, some specific routes are just expensive, and Southwest can be a small jackpot in those cases. For example, the cheapest flight on Google for San Diego to Oakland is $135 ($100 more for a non-budget airline), and that’s on Spirit Airlines. Southwest has that route on sale for $100 RT for specific dates.

One big issue with Southwest’s sales is the fine print. There’s a lot of it, and finding flights that comply can be very tough. Here’s some of the fine print for this week’s sale:

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Here’s my post on which sites I use to find the cheapest flights.

I’d love to hear if you’ve had a different experience with Southwest fare sales, or if there is anything I missed.

4 thoughts on “These are the only 3 times to pay attention to Southwest fare sales

  1. I try not to get caught up in these fare sale stuff. The Tuesday/Wednesday/Saturday travel dates absolutely killed this sale for me. I was looking to take advantage of this for a quick weekend getaway. But then I read the fine print, ugh.

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  2. Pingback: A look at Frontier Airlines elite status & award redemptions | easyjourneys

  3. Pingback: What’s the deal with the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass? | easyjourneys

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