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Today Southwest Airlines has opened up its booking schedule through the 2014 holidays and all the way to January 4, 2015. This means it is a very good day to consider checking flight prices with Southwest and locking something in if it looks good to you.
For example, my family plans to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC this November, and flights for that busy Thanksgiving travel week can be booked on Southwest round trip from Houston – New York for around 17,500 points each. Compare that to the 25,000 miles that would be required with most other traditional airline programs, and you can see it can be a great value – especially since Southwest has no blackout dates for awards, bags fly free for everyone, and you can redeposit and rebook the trip with no penalty using points. If you are running low on Southwest points, remember they can be transferred 1:1 from the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. You can also get a credit toward a future flight if the price drops and you rebook a cash reservation.
On top of all that greatness, if you have a Companion Pass with Southwest then your companion can fly with you for just taxes/fees! In the example above, that means that two people could go to NYC for the week of Thanksgiving for just 17,500 total points. If Southwest is a convenient option for your family, that deal virtually cannot be beat.
Since the points price is tied directly to the cash price of the flight, it makes sense to lock something in now that will work, and then continue to monitor and rebook as needed if the price drops, or your plans change.
If you want to work toward your very own Companion Pass that is earned at 110,000 eligible points in a calendar year then know that the Southwest credit card sign-up offers such as the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card are currently all at 50,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first three months and paying the annual fee. That is over $700 toward Wanna Get Away flights and it gets you almost half way to a Companion Pass.
(This offer has changed. Please see Top Credit Card Offers Page for updated offer.) You can find working links for the other three versions of the Southwest cards in this Flyertalk thread or get more information in this post.
Will you be using Southwest for some of your holiday travel plans?
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