Southwest 3-day fare sale: Winter flights from $49 one way, but very limited routes

The promotion, which comes four months after its annual fall fare sale, is designed to fill seats during three slow travel periods.

SHARE Southwest 3-day fare sale: Winter flights from $49 one way, but very limited routes
A Southwest Airlines jet gets ready to land at Tampa International Airport, in Tampa, Florida.

A Southwest Airlines jet gets ready to land at Tampa International Airport, in Tampa, Florida.

AP, File

Southwest Airlines is back with its annual winter fare sale, dangling fares as low as $49 one way to entice travelers to book trips outside the busy holiday travel rushes.

The nation’s largest domestic carrier launched the three-day fare sale, one of two mega sales it has each year, on Tuesday. It runs through Thursday.

Travelers will find fares as low as $49, $79, $99 and $129 each way depending on the route, in some caseslower, for travel between between Nov. 13 and Feb. 12 with huge blackout dates around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Thanksgiving is Nov. 28 this year.

Here’s where you can go for $49, $79, $99, $129 one way on Southwest

  • $49: Baltimore-Providence,Phoenix-Las Vegas,Nashville-Atlanta, Chicago-Detroit, Las Vegas-San Diego
  • $79: Atlanta-Dallas,New York LaGuardia-Baltimore
  • $99: New Orleans-Baltimore
  • $129: Chicago-Phoenix, Los Angeles-St. Louis

The promotion, which comes four months after its annual fall fare sale,isdesigned to fill seats during three slow travel periods: the pre-Thanksgiving lull, post-Thanksgiving travel slowdown before theChristmas and New Year’s travel crush,and the post-holiday slowdown before PresidentsDay and February school breaks.

Here’s the fine print on Southwest’sthree-day winter fare sale:

  • Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s travel is out of the question unless your travel plans are extremely flexible, i.e. you can visit ahead of the holiday and/or stay long.The blackout dates for the sale are Nov. 22-Dec. 3 and Dec. 19-Jan. 5.
  • Friday and Sunday travel is largely excluded, ruling out traditional weekend getaways. A quick search on Southwest’s website, though, shows scattered available flights on other days of the week depending on the route.
  • Sale fares to Las Vegas and several cities in Florida, bigvacation destinations, arelimited toSundays through Wednesdays,and return trips are only allowedTuesday through Friday. So forget about snagging a deal for a weekend bachelor or bachelorette party in Vegas.
  • Flight deals from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii appear scarce. I found very limited $139 one-way fares from Oakland to Honolulu.

Read more at usatoday.com.

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