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As I hoped, other major airlines including United, American, Delta, etc. are matching the big Southwest sale that offers nationwide fares starting at just $49 (or 2,240 points) each way. This doesn’t mean that every single route on every single airline will exactly match the Southwest sale prices, but that is the case on many routes and on many airlines!
For example, here United is matching Southwest’s Houston – Memphis fares with $92 round trips on a variety of dates. That is a great price for that route, but it is far from the only discounted route available. My spot checks out of Houston on United found matches on literally every route I checked that Southwest also served, though I would not be surprised if there was an exception or two hidden in there.
I’m seeing the matches not just on domestic flights, but also on international flights, even though those aren’t even really listed on the Southwest example sale page. Pardon another Houston centric example, but Houston – Liberia, Costa Rica is normally very pricey at $600+ round trip, but I am seeing matches of the $300+ round trip Southwest fares on a variety of dates later in the year. Again, that is just one of several example lower fares on various carriers to international destinations served by Southwest. This is a great time to do some fall airfare shopping regardless of your airline of choice since the low fares now extend far beyond Southwest.
This is a good example of when it would make more sense to pay with the points from a fixed value card like the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® than use traditional airline miles as you will not only potentially use fewer points and not have award availability restriction issues, but you will also earn elite qualifying and redeemable airline miles for your flights!
Keep in mind that the other carriers are unlikely to drop prices on a route/day that is not already discounted by Southwest, so that means that travel on Fridays and Sundays will often still price higher than other travel dates (though not always). While the Southwest sale continues until Thursday night, availability generally only gets more limited as time goes on so I would hop on this sooner rather than later if you find a price you are happy with!
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