Southwest three-day sale: Fares starting at $49 one way

Southwest Airlines will launch one of its twice-yearly mega fare sales Tuesday, with round-trip tickets as low as $98 on short flights.

The fall fare sale, which covers travel between Aug. 20 and Dec. 18, excluding Labor Day and Thanksgiving, features one-way fares of $49, $79, $99 and $129 depending on the route. 

It is designed to fill seats during the slow travel period after summer vacation season and before the busy year-end holiday and school break travel rush. Tickets must be purchased by Thursday, June 6.

The prices are similar to last year’s fall fare sale, but the airline is allowing travel deeper into December than it did a year ago. Last year’s cutoff date was Dec. 12.

Southwest’s other big fare sale is in early October.

The fine print of Southwest’s three-day late summer/fall fare sale

  • Summer travel is largely excluded unless you can get away after Aug. 20. Forget about Labor Day weekend. It’s blacked out.  
  • Forget about Thanksgiving travel, too. Sale fares are not available  Nov. 22-Dec. 2.
  • Not all cities are included, and nonstop flights are required in many cases.
  • Friday and Sunday travel is excluded, ruling out quick weekend getaways.
  • Sale fares to Las Vegas and most cities in Florida, big vacation destinations, are limited to Sundays-Wednesdays, and return trips are only on Tuesdays-Fridays. So forget about snagging a deal for a weekend bachelor party in Vegas.
  • Deals on international flights are limited to Tuesday and Wednesday travel.
  • Travel to and from San Juan, Puerto Rico, is limited to Monday-Thursday, affecting travelers taking a cruise out of the city’s port.

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