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Southwest launches 48-hour fall sale

Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor  July 7, 2009 09:19 AM

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Southwest Airlines, which will launch service from Logan starting Aug. 16, announced
a big 48-hour sale, with one-way fares going for as low as $30, $60, or $90 based on length of travel.
The move bucks a recent industry trend, which saw the major airlines raising ticket prices over the past couple of weeks as the beleaguered carriers once again find themselves facing volatile fuel prices.
The terms of the Southwest sale go like this: For flights up to 400 miles, you could pay as little as $30; 400-750 miles $60; and more than 750 miles $90. These fares don't include taxes and fees, and you must purchase before July 9 for travel from Sept. 9 through Nov. 18. Also you can't travel on Fridays or Sundays.
The complaints with this kind of deal tend to focus on the fact that sale fares tend to be in rather short supply. But here in Greater Boston we have an advantage because Southwest doesn't begin flying till next month, so, for the most part, there's no shortage of seats available for the fall.
I plugged in a few September and October dates for flights to the Midwest and California and found a number of openings at sale prices.
This sale could also kick off a smallish price war on competing routes, according to one airline analyst who was quoted in a Reuters story.
"While airline ticket prices have stabilized recently from their free fall, airlines are by no means out of the woods as oil prices remain volatile and demand precarious," said Rick Seaney, chief executive of FareCompare.com, in an e-mail this morning. "Later today we should see significant airfare matching activity (even for the modest 2-day purchase period on the Southwest sale) as legacy airlines will not want to be undercut."

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16 comments so far...
  1. Its still pretty cheap to fly Southwest even on Fridays/Sundays and outside the sale period. Booked 2 tickets for Labor Day Weekend to Chicago for 199 each.

    Posted by n.h. July 7, 09 01:29 PM
  1. Is this news or a paid advertisement? Just curious...

    Posted by Tardo Ricardo July 7, 09 02:12 PM
  1. Why don't you state when the sale starts?

    Posted by Bill July 7, 09 02:52 PM
  1. Wish I had the money to go anywhere ... it's tough right now for so many people ...

    Posted by barbsboy July 7, 09 03:10 PM
  1. Why don't you state when the sale starts?

    That's because it has started. It is on. Didn't he say he bought tickets?

    Posted by Russ July 7, 09 03:24 PM
  1. News or paid advertisement?

    Well, given this column states it is for "Travel news, tips, deals, and dispatches", I think this qualifies as a "deal", no?

    Posted by Greg July 7, 09 03:38 PM
  1. Hey Bill, since it ends July 9 you might figure it's running now. Would you like them to help you log on to the SWA web site?

    Posted by namaste July 7, 09 03:41 PM
  1. If you like flying Southwest... yick.
    I'd rather spring for the extra $50 and be on JetBlue.

    Posted by nm July 7, 09 04:09 PM
  1. Or you can fly to Chicago whenever you want for $204 on United.

    Posted by Sceptic498 July 7, 09 04:58 PM
  1. Say all you want about Southwest... they are still MILES ahead of the European low-fare carriers (RyanAir, WizzAir, etc.). They make Southwest look like Virgin and Lufthansa.

    Posted by CGN July 7, 09 06:46 PM
  1. Thanks for the heads up!! Just got a GREAT fare/schedule!! WOO HOO!!

    Don't forget....you don't have to fly out of Logan either - Manchester, NH and Providence, RI are alternate airports for those who hate (as do I) trying to deal with Logan!!!

    Posted by CT July 7, 09 07:02 PM
  1. i LOVE the hostility on all the boston.com message boards. its what gets me through my day.

    Posted by wilcs July 7, 09 10:33 PM
  1. I live in Honolulu. I would love to work it out financially, vacation days have no impact as I have days to burn, is it worthwhile to book flights in this "sale" so I can make it back to the East Coast (Boston) for a week or so with my daughter whom hasn't seen her uncles, aunts, or cousns since she was an infant, almost 10 years. Or, is it another gag. Looking for that "aloha spirit" on-line. Any suggestions please would be appreciated and prayed for.

    Posted by Tim W. July 7, 09 10:45 PM
  1. Yeah, Southwest. $90 to get there...$450 to fly you home.

    Posted by mgkmba July 7, 09 11:18 PM
  1. When's BlueStar coming to Boston?

    Posted by jimboj July 8, 09 12:37 AM
  1. When of will Jet Blue be flying out of Manchester?

    Posted by Don July 9, 09 09:45 AM
 
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