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A few times per year Southwest has big airline sales where they discount many of their nonstop routes to set prices. They used to do this based on the length of the route, but now the actual length of the route doesn’t seem as directly tied to the price. Still, this is a great time to price Southwest flights for fall travel and cross your fingers that other airlines will match the fares, because that is a pretty common historical occurrence with these sales.
Fares start at $49, $99, $129, and $149 on select flights if you book by June 4 for travel from August 25 through December 16, 2015. Remember that Southwest points now have a variable value that seems to range from 70 – 80 points per dollar of a Wanna Get Away base fare, so while these sale fares do translate to lower points prices, that exact amount can vary a bit.
Even though points requirements are variable, I wanted to give you an idea of how these sale fares can translate to lower points prices, so on some test searches I did these sale fares on points translate roughly to 2,273 points for one-way $49 fares, 5,529 points for one-way $99 fares, 7,482 points for one-way $129 fares, and 8,784 points for one-way $149 fares. Those are all pretty good returns for your Southwest points in my book.
As an example, let’s say you wanted to take your family of four from Houston to Memphis. During this sale you could book a round trip on select days for just 4,480 points total per person. That means four people could fly round trip for just 17,920 points + about $44 in total taxes. That is crazy when you consider many traditional programs would charge 12,500 miles for each one-way domestic flight.
This is how you turn your hard earned miles and points into family vacations even if you aren’t working with huge points six or seven figure miles and points balances. Heck, you could bring 11 people on this trip on Southwest points with just the 50,000 point sign-up bonus you get from the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card if you put $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first 3 months! That is pretty incredible and easy, even for very large families! Read this post for details on all three versions of the Southwest credit card increased offer.
You will spot the cheapest days to travel on points or cash pretty easily if you use the “Low Fare Calendar/Flexible Dates” option to view a month’s worth of prices at one time.
Blackout Dates Include: September 3-5, September 7, and November 20 – December 1, 2015. Travel not valid on Fridays and Sundays. Travel to/from Florida or Nevada is valid only on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Travel to/from San Juan, Puerto Rico is valid only Mondays through Thursdays. See complete terms, conditions, and exclusions below.
If you have already purchased a ticket for these travel dates and want to check for a lower fare you can visit their change air reservation feature to get credit to use toward a future Southwest flight. Remember you can also revise an existing points reservation to get the points back if a lower points price is now available.
Terms and Conditions:
- Purchase from June 2 through June 4, 2015, 11:59 p.m. for the respective time zone of the originating city.
- Travel August 24 through December 16, 2015.
- Blackout Dates Apply: September 3-5, September 7, and November 20 – December 1, 2015.
- Travel not valid on Fridays and Sundays. Travel to/from Florida or Nevada is valid only on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. Travel to/from San Juan, Puerto Rico is valid only Mondays through Thursdays.
- Fares valid on nonstop service only.
- Displayed prices include all U.S. and international government taxes and fees.
- Points bookings do not include September 11th Security Fee of $5.60 per one-way flight.
- Fares not available to/from Portland, ME.
- Seats and days are limited. Fares may vary by destination, flight, and day of week and won’t be available on some flights that operate during very busy travel times and holiday periods.
- Travel is available for one-way Wanna Get Away® Fares.
- Fares may be combined with other Southwest Airlines combinable fares. If combining with other fares, the most restrictive fare’s rules apply.
- Sale fares may be available on other days of week, but not guaranteed.
- Fares are nonrefundable but may be applied toward future travel on Southwest Airlines®, so long as you cancel your reservations at least ten minutes prior to the scheduled departure of your flight. Failure to cancel prior to departure will result in forfeiture of remaining funds on the reservation.
- Any change in itinerary may result in an increase in fare. Standby travel requires an upgrade to the Anytime Fare®.
- Fares are subject to change until ticketed.
- Offer applies to published, scheduled service only.
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.