Spring Fling! $49 flights on Southwest.

ConsumerAffairs

Beat the crowd: Travel hacks for winter savings

Southwest Airlines has launched a Spring Travel Sale, offering discounted flights starting as low as $49 one-way.

This sale is available for travel dates ranging from late February to late May 2024, with specific travel windows varying depending on the destination. The sale includes flights across Southwest's network, including domestic travel within the United States and to select international destinations such as Mexico and the Caribbean.

Key details of the sale include:

  • Fares starting at $49 for one-way travel in the Wanna Get Away class, with higher fares for other classes such as Wanna Get Away Plus and Anytime fares

  • Promotional Companion Pass offers, allowing travelers to bring a companion for just the cost of taxes and fees on flights booked during the sale period

  • A requirement for a 21-day advance purchase

  • Nonrefundable fares, with options for future Southwest credit in case of cancellation

  • Blackout dates and restrictions on travel days, such as not being valid on Fridays and Sundays for continental U.S. travel

  • Rapid Rewards Members can earn additional points on their travel, with some fares offering 8x the usual points

Winter travel continues to make sense for budget-conscious travelers

Is it snowing where you are? A little too cold for your bones? Scott Keyes from Going tells ConsumerAffairs that traveling in the off-season winter months can be just as good if not better than traveling during the peak summer season. 

Keyes says there are better – much better – fares, a la the Southwest sale. “Our data shows that, while there are slightly fewer deals that we send out during the winter months -- though not by much -- the average cost of those deals tends to be cheaper than deals that we send out during the summer,” he said.

“The stats can vary from year to year, but in general, we’ve found that winter deals are as much as 5% cheaper than summer deals.”

Plus, once you get into a destination, costs also tend to be cheaper during the off-season – as in tours, hotels and transportation services – and you’ll be less crowded!

“We know that not everyone can travel during the winter; for instance, families are often restricted to school breaks,” Keyes noted. “However, traveling even just slightly earlier or later in the peak season—like in late May, late August, or early September—can make a huge difference in how many people you’re up against for tickets and reservations.”

And the weather? Winter could be more optimal than the summer.

For those who’ve traveled to Europe in the summer know that it can be too hot in some places. Athens Greece and Rome Italy can get more brutally close to 90 degrees. The off seasons offer more moderate weather, like the mid-50s to 60s in Spain and Portugal.

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