Southwest Launches Major Sale

Southwest Airlines has a big sale on for travel from Dec. 2 to Dec. 16 and Jan. 5 to Feb. 10. Tickets must be purchased by Thursday, Oct. 29, at midnight, Pacific Time.

Short-haul flights are starting at $25 each way, which is as low as I have ever seen. From Bradley, that includes Baltimore and Washington / Dulles. Fares to Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are $50. The remaining sale fares from Bradley are $75 and $100 each way. They’re available every day except Sunday. More details on southwest.com.

Of course, those fares don’t include taxes and fees. So the Baltimore fare, for example, would wind up at $71.20, round trip.

This signals Southwest’s intention to follow its own course on fares and scheduling. While other big carriers continue to cut capacity, Southwest seems determined to cut its fares as necessary to keep its planes flying full without dropping more flights. The airline has trimmed 5 percent of its capacity, much less than other carriers, but is flying more passengers because its flights (and I can attest to this) are flying at very high load factors.

Southwest also continues to push its “bags fly free” policy.

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