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View Full Version : Does Southwest get cheaper as the dates get closer??


Lorikr65
04-25-2006, 07:15 PM
I am planning a trip in August but do not have air yet because it's $122 each way. I've noticed with SW that as you get closer to the date the prices seem to go down. Although, I've said this to a few people at SW and they disagree with me. Does anyone know how their pricing works. Thanks - Lori

ToTLaugher
04-25-2006, 07:58 PM
Bumping...

lpbm4
04-25-2006, 08:03 PM
I would *ASSUME* so. Do you subscribe for the Ding fares? These fares are offered about 1mo prior and you can get really cheap rates through SWA. For example, a flight from Midway (Chicago) can be about $69-99 one way. But with a Ding fare, buying about 1 to 1 1/2mos out, I've seen it as cheap as $49 one way.

Good luck!

midwestdee
04-25-2006, 08:15 PM
Wouldn't that be risky wiating until 4 - 6 weeks to buy your ticket? I don't think I could deal with the stress. I thought on other questions people had said SW would adjust rates if a deal comes up. Maybe someone can verify that.

mdhkitten
04-25-2006, 08:21 PM
In my experience they USUALLY do offer lower fares closer to the time of your travel dates, but not always. Make sure that you subscribe to their e-mail updates, which I usually get one of once a week. Just today they lowered the fares to Orlando during my trip. Also, subscribe to Ding, but be warned that once the Ding happens those fares seem to disappear like crazy! One other idea is if you are planning to fly on Southwest more than once in the next year, you could always book the fare for $122 and then if a cheaper fare comes out use the original tickets as credit towards the new fares and keep the remaining credit for an upcoming flight. I've done that before. :)

CarolA
04-25-2006, 09:08 PM
What I have noticed is that they offer lower fares for "selected dates" as you get closer. So for example I am flying on a Saturday in June and the rate has consisently gone up. The fare sale that came out today showed all of the "internet" fares sold out. If I could fly on a Tues or Wed I could probably get a Ding or something, but that option is open to me.

DMRick
04-25-2006, 09:12 PM
It really depends on if they have empty seats they don't think they will fill. And sometimes, when they have a last minute sale, when you actually go to the sale to reserve, there are very limited seats available, and only at the later times. Sometimes the fares go up, so I would book, and if they go down on the times I can fly, rebook.

C.Ann
04-25-2006, 09:18 PM
With the gas prices going through the roof you really need to keep an eye on ALL of the airlines.. That just had a segment on the news tonight that showed a SW fare and a legacy fare (can't remember if it was United or American) to the same destination and the SW fare was actually quite a bit higher.. I was really shocked!! The explanation - in part - was due to higher gas prices, so I'm assuming that SW's "locked in" prices have expired.. :(

Goofy22
04-25-2006, 09:27 PM
HI! I flew on Southwest this past October and November to Orlando! Normally Southwest posts there fares 3 to 4 months out! And usually they have a ding fare at this point which will be rather cheap! Take my advice download ding check it every day 5 or 6 xs a day youre bound to get a great rate! I paid $59 each way which worked out to be apprx I think $120 a person roundtrip! after fed excise fees 911 fees etc!!! Also check there clip and save and sign up for email specials etc...! You are bound to get a good deal! Also it is a fact like someone else said if you fly out on a tues or wed if you're schedule permits and get the cheapest rates avail sometimes you can even get those cheap rates on Thurs! weekends are the busiest flying days! We had a great experience with southwest and would do it all over again! We usually fly spirit being from the southern new jersey area but they wanted almost $700 roundtrip per person! Outrageous and we were on a budget!!! Also keep checking here on the budget board and the transportation board you will know when all the specials are happening! But word of advice you have to have DING DOWNLOADED on you're computer to recieve the ding rate! So make sure you do that! Hope this helps!!!

Lorikr65
04-25-2006, 10:13 PM
I have DING and I do get emails also so I should be all set there. I just don't feel like spending $1,000 on air for 4 people!! I thought about booking and if the price came down I could get credit. Then I'd just have to go to Disney again!! :cool1: Thanks for the information and wish me luck!! We are going Providence to Orlando in August.

geetey
04-25-2006, 10:25 PM
For our current trip, we booked STL to MCO for $99 each way in February for a May trip. In March Southwest had an airfare special of $69 each way, so we now have a credit for future flights. Since that March (not a DING) airfare special, the price has only gone up. 4-6 weeks would have been too late to ge the lowest airfare for us.

Even the DINGs have been higher than what we are currently booked at, so keep an eye on the Southwest emails, DING alerts and book when you are comfortable with the price.

Good luck! It's almost like waiting for AP rates to be released!

DMRick
04-26-2006, 01:32 AM
No, they haven't expired yet, but the really good price they locked in isn't as good as it was, and they only have a couple more years according to a recent article I read. Plus their other costs are going up, because of the gas prices, not just the gas for the plane. We are thankful we are flying on the $37 rate Tuesday, but since then I see the special prices have been more in the $59 range..which I'd still be happy with! If gas goes up a lot by our September trip, we'll have reward tickets to use.

The one thing to watch when other airlines match SW, is if the trip is direct or not. I did help someone get airfare yesterday on a ding, and it was matched if she wanted to go on another airline, but she would have gotten to her desination many hours and two stops later (with two young kids and all their stuff to drag off and on the plane)..and each airport charges, so the fare was actually higher..not by a lot, but those landing fees add up when there are four of you. I know from Albany we often have matching fares to Orlando, but not for all of the times and never direct like SW.

With the gas prices going through the roof you really need to keep an eye on ALL of the airlines.. That just had a segment on the news tonight that showed a SW fare and a legacy fare (can't remember if it was United or American) to the same destination and the SW fare was actually quite a bit higher.. I was really shocked!! The explanation - in part - was due to higher gas prices, so I'm assuming that SW's "locked in" prices have expired.. :(

froggi
04-26-2006, 07:55 AM
We are flying SW next week and I just checked and the fare had went up from what we had paid.

travelin' tigger
04-26-2006, 08:02 AM
I just don't feel like spending $1,000 on air for 4 people!!
I'm waiting also - thought about booking and taking the credit if the rate goes lower, but I can't bring myself to put $261 on my cc. So, I'm just going to play the waiting game and HOPE for a late summer sale to come out.

Suzyq9241
04-26-2006, 11:15 AM
I am waiting also... My round trip is totaling 534.00 from NJ to Mco... My trip is August and if it is too expensive then I guess we drive....

chris1gill
04-26-2006, 11:59 AM
Airfares should drop, they have in previous years for that timeframe... We are looking for October & that timeframe is generally less expensive as well...

It's just a matter of playing the waiting game.... BLECH.....

Lewisc
04-26-2006, 12:16 PM
SW is doing a better job, from their perspective, of offering discounts on off peak flights that wouldn't otherwise sell out. I wouldn't expect the first N/S flight on a Saturday morning to be discounted much.

You have to decide what's more important your flight time/day or price. If you need to go on a specific day/time/N/S you might decide any fare under $250-$300 R/T is reasonable fare. If the fare goes down you can get a credit.

2kidsnutsfordisney
04-26-2006, 12:35 PM
I tried the waiting game with SW and finally realized that the stress of waiting and the time I was wasting checking fares all the time it was worth booking on another airline just to save the hassle of waiting on SW. We ended up booking Midwest Express for $178 per person round trip from Kansas City to Orlando (non-stop) with a confirmed seat assignment. At present those same exact fares on SW are nearly double and many of the fares are not even available. For us, even though we "might" be able to get a cheap fare on SW it would require waiting until the last minute and then you have that whole "cattle herding" issue just to get a seat. Good luck with getting cheap airfare :thumbsup2

Tinkerbelle32
04-26-2006, 03:27 PM
2kidsnutsfordisney- What is Midwest Express? I'm also looking for air out of Kansas City. Any help would be appreciated. tink

C.Ann
04-26-2006, 03:54 PM
Flying SW non-stop is why I don't even look at other airlines, however, for some people a savings of over $100 per person (depending on how many are in the party) may be well worth it to them to check what the other airlines are offering..

I have a friend who flies up here from Florida (no non-stop SW from her airport) and has recently gotten cheaper airfare on a legacy carrier.. She doesn't mind changing planes or having a lay over whereas I do.. I'm WAY too nervous for that when traveling alone - LOL..

I'll just wait it out for SW - when something looks reasonable I'll book it - and if they offer a better deal later I'll just make the necessary changes..

For those who aren't fussy though, take the time to look at ALL the airlines.. ;)

bobcat
04-26-2006, 07:18 PM
How hard is it to redeem your credit on SW if you book and then see a lower fare? It looks like we will be flying SW this year since Delta/Song is so iffy right now. I wouldn't mind booking a good rate now and having credit for later if I can get a better rate but I don;t want a ton of hassle to do it.

geetey
04-26-2006, 08:22 PM
EXTREMELY easy! You can do it yourself online!

Look here for more information. https://www.southwest.com/cgi-bin/exchangePnrEntry You need to have the confirmation number and name of the credit card holder. Hope that helps. :)

rigs32
04-26-2006, 08:27 PM
It's also possible that they're hoping to make some extra cash for those traveling over the summer. Flights are pretty cheap right now, but only for travel through mid-June. I'm going at the end of Sept, and I'm hoping that come July or early Aug, there will be a fall sale.

2kidsnutsfordisney
04-26-2006, 09:24 PM
2kidsnutsfordisney- What is Midwest Express? I'm also looking for air out of Kansas City. Any help would be appreciated. tink

Once you fly ME you will be spoiled!! They are a smaller airline (smaller than say American or Delta) and fly alot to the east coast. It is leather seating throughout the entire plane with two across seating. The kicker is that they bake and serve hot chocolate chip cookies on every flight (YUM, YUM). They also tend to fly into the non-major airports (sometimes) for example we flew them from KC to DC but instead on landing at Dulles we ended up at National. But for Orlando it is direct from KC to Orlando + the chocolate chip cookies all for $178 :cool1: Here is there link www.midwestairlines.com I guess their name is now midwest airlines it used to be midwest express :confused3 Hope this information helps!! Feel free to pm me if you have any other questions.

stauncie
04-27-2006, 12:55 AM
I tried the waiting game with SW and finally realized that the stress of waiting and the time I was wasting checking fares all the time it was worth booking on another airline just to save the hassle of waiting on SW. We ended up booking Midwest Express for $178 per person round trip from Kansas City to Orlando (non-stop) with a confirmed seat assignment. At present those same exact fares on SW are nearly double and many of the fares are not even available. For us, even though we "might" be able to get a cheap fare on SW it would require waiting until the last minute and then you have that whole "cattle herding" issue just to get a seat. Good luck with getting cheap airfare :thumbsup2



ACK! I just priced our December trip from Indy to MCo Dec 1 - Dec 11, and its $434.50 PER PERSON! ACK!!!!

Northwest is pricing at $204 per person, and I was thinking THEY were kinda high :rolleyes2