Southwest, AirTran put fall travel on sale
DALLAS -- Southwest Airlines Co. and its AirTran subsidiary launched new sales on Tuesday for travel during late summer and the typically slower fall season.
The sales were announced as an attempted fare increase led by United and Continental collapsed.
The Southwest and AirTran deals are being offered through Aug. 1, although seats are limited and not available on all flights.
The AirTran sale covers flights between July 30 and Nov. 16 for most cities, with the lowest prices on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Some short trips, such as Atlanta to Richmond, Va., are $59 at off-hours. Peak-time flights between Milwaukee and Cancun start at $134 each way, the airline said.
Southwest's sale also starts at $59 each way for some short trips, and covers travel from Aug. 23 to Dec. 14 except Fridays and Sundays. There are 18 blackout dates around Labor Day and Thanksgiving.
Airline pricing is complicated and constantly changing, and sales aren't always what they appear.
In Southwest's case, the lowest sale prices are $35 to $50 cheaper each way than some Houston-Denver and Houston-Los Angeles flights the day before the sale takes effect.
But on some Chicago-Boston and Chicago-Denver flights, Southwest's website showed available fares one day and one week before the sale starts that were $24 to $52 less than the advertised special rate that begins Aug. 23.
The sales were announced a day after an effort by United and Continental to raise fares on many U.S. routes by $4 to $10 per round trip collapsed. The price hike seemed to be sticking over the weekend but crumbled after Southwest, which raised some prices, and American Airlines first matched, then rescinded the higher fares.
Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com, said all the airlines rolled back their increases by late Monday night. He said after Southwest only partially matched the increase and American retreated on Monday, "the hike was doomed."
Airlines want to raise prices to offset high and volatile jet fuel costs, but the strong growth in travel demand earlier this year has slowed as fares rose and the economy remained sluggish. Traffic declined in June at United, Continental and Delta, compared with June 2010.
Seaney said he expects United to continue attempts to raise prices over the next few weeks.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Disney TV Animation going strong after 30 years
- Penn State mens basketball wins fourth in a row, improves to 6-1
- Homework: Gifts and Greens Market is Dec. 4-6
- Steelers notebook: Defense has a retro feel
- Homes for the holiday: Christmas house tours abound
- Gazing at the grass in winter is a vision in grace
- National Portrait Gallery asks public to vote for art
- Ryan says journalism, fiction ways to tell story
- Ray Rice wins appeal, suspension vacated, can return to NFL
- Book details Steelers’ history in black and white
- Why the Oscars need more movies like ‘Hunger Games: Mockingjay’