TravelSheryl - Can You Solve A Southwest Mystery?


Sep 2, 1999
I am trying to make reservations for 5 of us to travel from Providence to Orlando - departing May 11 and returning May 18. Southwest is claiming that the only available seats are at the Refundable Anytime rates. When looking on the Internet, this seems to be true for any trips around that time from Providence or even Manchester, NH to Orlando or Tampa. Do have any idea why - are the seats really sold or is Southwest holding them for some reason? I can't imagine that they are really completely booked.

Thank you!
I am finding the same deal from Raleigh to Orlando for early April. It has been that way ever since they started their $30.00 Anniversary deal. I held off on some good Delta fares in hopes that Southwest would open up something. They didn't, Delta fares have gone up $50.00, but I am about ready to book Delta before they go up any higher. Sure as I do, Southwest will open up their better fares--it never fails.

I'm not Travelsheryl, but I am betting those seats are full thanks to their big sale that ended the 16th of January. I am sure they add inventory, so keep checking. Try after midnight, that is when the seats are replenished. I was able to get my $59 each way seats by setting my alarm for 2am and checking then (midnight your time). A SW employee told me to try it and it worked!! I was also able to get my brother a seat from SEA to TPA the same way when it looked like only the high fares were avail. Try a smaller number of seats and call to hold them (don't buy them!), that way you have until midnight the following night to keep checking for the rest of the seats. Then just call back and purchase the remaining seats. I also had to do that for one of our seats. The only bad thing is missing out on the double rapid rewards credit for the ones booked over the phone. Good luck!!`


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piratejacksmom's experience is one explanation, as I'm aware of airlines doing that. Unfortunately, I do not believe that's the case here.

Southwest Airlines has begun a very aggressive yield management program. What this means is that on some flights that they project to be sold out, they never make the lower fares available at all. The only fares that are ever available on certain flights/certain days of the week are full fare. This is not limited to Florida travel. It's something Southwest is doing systemwide on high load routes.

Believe me, I was very disappointed to learn this a few months ago. Southwest is no longer the lowest fare option in some cases now on advance purchases.

I knew they must be up to something. Thank you for the insight. They even went so far as to tell me that there were only 7 seats left on the flights I wanted and I should purchase the tickets right away. Of course I didn't believe them nor did I buy the tickets.
I have been watching every day, to monitor when Southwest releases dates for Thanksgiving travel... Now I know it will still be a while away, but I thought that the day they open up Thanksgiving, I would book my airfare, and while I didn't expect to get a great internet rate, I thought I would just get a discounted rate... So, in reality that may not be the case. I may only have available to me the fully refundable fare. Is this what I am learning here? I know we can't come home on sunday after thanksgiving, but I was hoping to come home on Saturday the 24th. Any thoughts out there?

DCL 4 day 11/18/2001
Southwest will not likely start selling Thanksgiving travel until July. While I can offer no guarantees, I don't think they'll block the lower fare classes on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend.

FYI. Last year I bought tix for Thanksgiving time on Southwest. They went on sale 6/22.
Thanks for the info on buying Thanksgiving air on 6/22 last year. So can you tell me, did you get one of the lower discounted prices, ro did you pay the full refundable fare price? Thanks.

DCL 4 day 11/18/2001
Bethsg: We got the $242.00 tix from Manchester to Orlando. Then, in like July or Aug. the price went down like $12 a ticket or so. I called and they verified that they had those same tix available that we had purchased, so they credited me the difference. You don't get the $, they just give you credit that they hold for 12 mos. that you can use to buy future airfare. We fly the Sun. after Thanksgiving (3 days after Thanksgiving).


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