Good airfares for fall ‘23 just got better

Photo (c) Thomas Barwick - Getty Images

And looking for good fares just got easier, too

The traveler’s golden “Shoulder Season” has made its first appearances. After Southwest Airlines unleashed a surprise 40%-off flash sale for travel this fall, other airlines are already raising their hands and saying, “Us, too!”

ThePointsGuy (TPG) reports that Aeromexico, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue, and United Airlines are all matching Southwest by offering deals to warmer destinations across Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. 

One great thing about these sales is that they cover a wide swath of locations, making them convenient for nearly everyone who lives close to a decent-sized city in the country.

TPG says these deals include flights departing from several hubs, including Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. Another plus is that some of these fares are good for up to spring of 2024.

The only iffy thing is that the rug could be pulled out from under these deals at any time, so if you’re interested, you best be making your reservations now.

ConsumerAffairs put these sales to the test on Google Flights and there are considerable savings to be had.

For example, a roundtrip flight from Indianapolis to Miami in early July runs about $375, but in late September, it goes to as low as $156. Cleveland to Phoenix now is costing about $253, but we found roundtrip tickets as low as $138 if we waited until late October.

A new search engine spots the 'perfect' times to travel

Searching for airfares isn’t much fun, but KAYAK has introduced a new “Best Time to Travel” tool that helps consumers find out when to fly and when to book to get the best price.

The widget is helpful in that it can help remove the toil and trouble of going to multiple search engines to gather those data points by yourself. The company says the tool sifts through the billions of pieces of data that others have already used for searches. 

When ConsumerAffairs took the tool for a trial run, it certainly seemed to have a payoff. For example, when we looked at booking a flight from Cincinnati to Rome, its suggestion was to take our trip from 10/3 to 10/16. The reasons it gave were that airfare is lower than normal --  $1,106 during that period compared to a monthly average of $1,192 -- weather will still be good (an avg. of 62F), and it's likely we wouldn't see a lot of crowds.

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