Southwest Holiday Sale

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If you are still looking for holiday flights Southwest has announced a holiday sale where they’ve discounted some of their flights for travel November 16-20, November 22-23, November 27-28, December 13-20, and December 23-January 2, 2013.

While I at first thought this was a marketing gimmick, I actually found some incredible fares. My family is going to Florida over the holidays and have had our Southwest flights booked since the day the schedule extension was announced to include holiday travel. Luckily I did this the first day possible as our flights going down to Florida are now completely sold out and have been for awhile.

Our return flights, however, have now gone down in price with this sale. A few days ago my parents and siblings flight was reduced from their originally booked $129 ticket to $105. Since the tickets were booked with points I immediately was able to change the flights and get the difference in points credited back to my moms account. Today, the fare has been discounted even less to $100. Only a $5 difference from the other day, but a total of 900 points going back to my moms account.

Mr. Deals and I are flying from a different airport and our flight home was $169. That same flight has actually increased to $215, but the earlier nonstop flight which has also been at $215 for awhile has been reduced to $136, which is great! We were actually debating on taking that flight anyways as it coincided better with my parents flight, but didn’t necessarily want to use more points. Now, I have gone ahead and booked the earlier flight with points while keeping the later flight as well. We figured we’d make a game day decision based on the weather. If it is a great beach day, I am more than happy getting a full day and not leaving till 7pm. If we’ve had enough of the beach and it is just a so-so day, we can now hop on the 10am flight. This is the beauty of using Rapid Reward points to book Southwest travel. Once I figure out which flight I want to take, I can cancel the other one with no penalty. I can make the decision day of if I want.

Even if you have Southwest travel already booked, double-check to see if the fare went down. This can be on a free ticket with points or paid ticket. If you find that the ticket is now less expensive you can either call Southwest and have them change the flight to the cheaper fare or do it yourself online. If you booked with points, you’ll get the difference in points credited back to your account. If you paid for the ticket, you’ll get a voucher to use for a future flight – it expires one year from the date you booked the ticket.

Has anyone else had any luck?!

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  1. I have a roundtrip ticket booked with points – do you know how to check and see what the point cost for each leg was? I can only see the total cost. One leg is now sold out, but the other one is cheap – I just don’t remember what I originally ‘paid’.

    • @David – you can call Southwest (1-800-I-FLY-SWA) and they can give you the price of each leg you paid. Even if one leg is cheaper you can still get the difference for that one.

  2. Arguably being booked for both the 10am flight and the 7pm flight is speculative double-booking, which is against the Web site terms & conditions. I won’t claim that I haven’t ever double booked, but I find it ethically questionable to hold on to the extra set of tickets until the day of travel for both tickets.

    By waiting until that late, Southwest has very limited opportunity to resell those seats, and conversely other members of the traveling public who may have been prepared to pay full fare for the convenience of a specific flight may have to make alternate less convenient travel plans because of the unavailable seats.

    Southwest’s willingness to oversell based on deep data analysis only partially mitigates the problem. A greater willingness on our part to speculatively double book thanks to the reusability of Southwest ticketless travel funds without assessment of change fees increases the noisiness of their predictions of how many booked passengers will actually board a flight. For example, “normal” people 🙂 returning from vacation would only have booked one flight. Southwest can probably predict that there’s a 95% probability the seats will be needed (5% chance something causes the travelers to miss the flight entirely). But by booking two flights, even if Southwest’s data analysis is deep enough to spot that you’ve done this, there’s a much wider range of probabilities that their analysis has to consider assigning to your being on the 10am flight, your being on the 7pm flight, or your missing the flights entirely.

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