Late summer airfare sale starts TODAY

Southwest 737 decked out in California state flag livery (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

Southwest 737 decked out in California state flag livery (Photo: Chris McGinnis)

By now we all know this summer is toast when it comes to airfare deals. That means bargain hunters have had to wait around for any honest-to-goodness bargains.

Those deals arrived today.

This morning Southwest Airlines and AirTran kicked off a big three-day fare sale for late summer (and fall) trips starting Monday, August 25 and running through Wednesday, December 17 that other airlines are sure to match. (UPDATE: So far, we’ve seen matching sale fare pages posted from JetBlue, Virgin America , Delta, United, American )

To get the deals, you must book now through Thursday, June 5 at midnight in your time zone.

Get two free round-trips on Southwest! Click here for details

These deals are great for late summer…and pretty good for the slower fall season. You can bet your sweet bippy that those late summer fares will be snapped up in just the first few hours of this sale, so act fast.

Or, if you get stuck and can’t find a sale seat, check competing airlines that might be slow to match the sale, and have not sold out.

Examples:

$100 round-trip between Chicago and Memphis or Baltimore and Boston; San Francisco and Las Vegas

$200 round-trip between Atlanta and New York or Ft Lauderdale; Seattle and San Diego or Austin and Denver; Oakland to Denver or Phoenix

$260 round-trip between Washington DC  and Houston Hobby

$300 round-trip between Atlanta or Chicago and  Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco

Find sale fares on Southwest Airlines website

There are restrictions: Sale fares are not available on Fridays or Sundays, the busiest days of the week for flying. Blackout dates are September 1 (Labor Day) and November 21-December 2 (Thanksgiving).

If you are planning to fly to/from Nevada or Florida, here’s a weird rule in Southwest’s fine print: “Travel to Florida or Nevada is valid Sunday through Wednesday only.  Additionally, travel from Florida or Nevada valid Tuesday through Friday only.  Travel between Nevada and Florida is valid on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only.”

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Chris McGinnis

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  • John R. Grout

    With their limited travel days to and from “Nevada”, Southwest is protecting their Las Vegas O & D gravy train. Last week, I scored an SFO-LAS-SFO fare under $200 on United for late July-early August (had to fly Tuesday to Tuesday)… now even trips on those days are $50 higher.

  • bbinsf

    Sigh…I need to travel August 22…

  • VoR61

    Will do. FYI, heard about you from Chris Elliott’s blog.

  • http://www.travelskills.com/ Chris McGinnis

    Hey Rox: You might find a few last minute deals to Europe in late August, but transatlantic fares usually don’t decline meaningfully from peak summer highs until everyone has completed their summer trips on mid Sept. –chris

  • http://www.travelskills.com/ Chris McGinnis

    Thanks V! It brightens our day to hear that we’ve helped someone save money! Please spread the word about TravelSkills to your friends and colleagues! — chris

  • VoR61

    Thanks so much. Took a few hours for the sale to show in our search, but we saved $150 on a ticket to O’Hare.

  • RoxinOak

    so what about fares to Europe? When do those late summer fares kick in?