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Southwest's new schedule up, and I mean way up

Egret1986

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Too far to drive for us.

And I'm not willing to spend the money on the airfares at this point. I had high hopes for some decent fares. It looks like it's not going to happen. We'll probably cancel the exchange.
 

bogey21

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I live in the DFW area and have flown SW since their very begining. Although it is more convenient for me to fly AA out of DFW, the significantly lower SW fares made the trip to Love Field acceptable.

Guess what. Yesterday I bought tickets over the Xmas holidays to St Louis and AA was cheaper for same dates and time of day.

Strange!!

George
 

Egret1986

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Just checked back and it's obviously my dates that are a major factor.

I checked a couple weeks later on the schedule and the lower fares are available. I do have the option of driving 2 hours to another airport and get airfares more in line with what I was hoping to get on Southwest. The lower fares on this Airtran flight is also a non-stop flight (as was the SW flight). I just have to decide now if my destination to Cocoa Beach for Spring Break is going to be worth the hassle of a 2-hr drive to and from the airport or just forget about the trip. I would have to pay double with Southwest to avoid this drive, which I'm not willing to do.
 

tombo

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From what I have read Southwest locked in their fuel prices for a couple of years out, which gave them a big advantage several months ago when fuel was so high. Now fuel has dropped and Southwest is locked in to a higher rate than other airlines are paying making it harder for them to be as competitive as they used to be.
 

nodge

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Holy smokes!

I was holding off booking March flights from Portland to Phoenix until today, and was online literally seconds after SWA opened the schedule up to include my planned travel dates.

I've got a bunch of SWA award flights I was planning to use, but despite SWA having 10 flights (some with connections of course) between PDX and PHX for the dates I want to travel (which aren't "black-out" dates for SWA award travel), not a single "standard award" was available on my planned days of travel (on either end) or the days before or after my planned days of travel.

The cheapest round-trip fare (with fees and taxes) on SWA was $561.00/ticket!

I hopped on-line to Alaska Air, and using a combination of 2-for-1 Alaska Air credit card coupons (1), miles (30,000), and cash, I was able to snag 4 roundtrip tickets for the days we want to travel for about $800 (all in), and for non-stop flights that leave at reasonable times no less.

It's OK for SWA to be quirky by having these feeding frenzy schedule openings and the like, so long as it remains CHEAP and quirky. No one will put up with expensive and quirky (except maybe for a few SAAB drivers who seem to like it that way).

-nodge
 
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riverdees05

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Yes, we were looking at to sets of flights, got on right after they extended there schedule and was not impressed with their prices. Decided not to purchase and will look around for a while. Maybe they will have some sales when they don't sell out at their lower fares. Need an esay way to check the other airlines extra cost, like cost for 1st bag, 2nd bag, etc. May have to start working on getting exchanges within driving distance for future exchanges. Southwest has been our airline of choice and have gotten some really good pricing in the past.
 

Carolinian

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I have never travelled on SW, but I have used many of the European LCC's. I am not seeing a similar problem with them. Tickets are still dirt cheap if you plan ahead.

Ryanair has said it wants to set up a US-based airline, and when it does, it will probably eat SW's lunch.
 

dioxide45

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From what I have read Southwest locked in their fuel prices for a couple of years out, which gave them a big advantage several months ago when fuel was so high. Now fuel has dropped and Southwest is locked in to a higher rate than other airlines are paying making it harder for them to be as competitive as they used to be.
Southwest did a great job hedging on fuel prices when they were low several years ago, so they were able to price well below the competition. Looks like they got burned this time. I remember watching a show on CNBC about AA, they were interviewing the CEO and the interviewer asked if he would be happy when the SW fuel contracts were up. He really didn't respond but you could tell what he was thinking.
 

JAKEANDERIC

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The ONE thing that is still good about Southwest is that they do not charge an unaccompanied minor fee. On some airlines, that can add $200 to the fare! ouch!
 

isisdave

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I'd been waiting to book a flight in March from southern California, any airport, to BWI. Nothing cheaper than $550 was available on SW. I got a $306 fare from Delta. I have a $150 credit on SW, but it's cheaper to abandon (or postpone) using that! Crazy.

For the second year in a row, we're cruising from San Diego in January, a one-hour drive. The cruise is as cheap as last year; I wonder what part of a cruise fare is allocated to fuel.
 

amanda14

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Fares Stink

We typically fly from LI MacArthur because it is so convenient, but Jet Blue was $100 dollars less for our ticket down to tampa in April 2009 and with the in flight tv, assigned seats, new terminal etc - I am willing to splurge on the limo to take us to jfk instead of leaving car at long term lot at MacArthur.

Although the flight home we are taking Southwest into LI Mac because the pricing was negligible.
 

elaine

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I am so bummed

last year we got DC-Orlando 1 way for $99 each the week before Easter---this year with taxes, it's almost $200 each way!! I guess SWA got smart and blacked out Easter weeks from the lower fares--yikes!
 

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Holy smokes!

I was holding off booking March flights from Portland to Phoenix until today, and was online literally seconds after SWA opened the schedule up to include my planned travel dates.

I've got a bunch of SWA award flights I was planning to use, but despite SWA having 10 flights (some with connections of course) between PDX and PHX for the dates I want to travel (which aren't "black-out" dates for SWA award travel), not a single "standard award" was available on my planned days of travel (on either end) or the days before or after my planned days of travel.

-nodge
Had the same problem. Been waiting for the schedule to open so we could use our FF awards to get from Raleigh to Palm Springs the end of March. Was going to fly into ONT. Nothing available at 11:15am this morning. Checked SNA and nothing avail going there either. Finally ended up getting tickets to LAX. Rental car is about $50 cheaper out of LAX but I guess I'll use that up driving to Palm Springs and back. At least we got a 1:00pm departure out of LAX back home so we don't have to get up at the crack of dawn and drive three hours. Oh well.
 

janej

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I was looking for DC to FLL for a spring break cruise. It was about $244 each way.
 

susan1738

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First time, not impressed either

This is the first time I actually remembered to go check the flights on the day they came out and see if I could get us a weekend-getaway flight for cheap. No such luck. I was not impressed at all. :( We'll have to wait and see what happens with the other airlines fares, and book later.
 

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Looks like we were all busy on the Southwest website today. I found ridiculous prices of $620 roundtrip Sacramento to Jacksonville. When I tried to book a rapid reward ticket, nothing was available for my dates. Then I used their rapid reward ticket finder or whatever it is called that brings up a calendar of dates that are close to your requested dates that have standard awards available. It said there was availability the day before I wanted to leave and one day after I wanted to come home, but when I clicked on those dates, it said there were no standard awards, just the type that cost double RR credits. So I called Southwest, and although I could not book the standard award online, they could book it for me over the phone. It is worth a try.
 

Egret1986

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Well I'm booked for Spring Break and satisfied with the tickets and happy we're going

I checked a couple weeks later on the schedule and the lower fares are available. I do have the option of driving 2 hours to another airport and get airfares more in line with what I was hoping to get on Southwest. The lower fares on this Airtran flight is also a non-stop flight (as was the SW flight). I just have to decide now if my destination to Cocoa Beach for Spring Break is going to be worth the hassle of a 2-hr drive to and from the airport or just forget about the trip. I would have to pay double with Southwest to avoid this drive, which I'm not willing to do.
Even though the Airtran tickets were half the cost of the Southwest tickets, I was opting to not do this trip and cancel the exchange since it required a two hour drive each way to fly in and out of, plus the fact that it was a late flight departing to Florida and an early flight departing to come back home, which basically cuts a whole day out of the vacation. I checked Airtran again tonight and those ticket prices were no longer available. I checked Southwest again. Still no low priced tickets. I decided to check Kayak and up popped the tickets through Airtran that I had been looking at earlier in the day. Lo and behold, with all taxes and fees included each ticket was $168 roundtrip through Cheaptickets, as opposed to the $224 roundtrip that I had seen earlier in the day. The difference in price $224. So that was like purchasing 3 and getting one free. I immediately booked and am very happy! Since the flight leaving is later in the day, we can make the drive nice and leisurely without having to leave at the crack of dawn. And since the flight home arrives early in the day, we won't be dog tired having to drive home at night. Plus, it's non-stop (just under 2 hours), so I'm thrilled.:cheer:

So don't give up, folks. Just keep watching fares through different airlines and possibly altering airports.
 

hibbert6

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No Trip for My Students

I was planning to take my students to Washington DC for Spring Break. January fares on SW to BWI are as low as $272 each way from the SF Bay area. But today, the best fare was $382, with much less desirable flight times. Too much for my kids - blew the trip budget. Guess I was too optimistic in my planning. Oh, well.

Dave
 

Floridaski

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Southwest Easter fares very high!!!

Yes,
I was one of the many checking Southwest every minute on Nov. 6 for fares from Fort Lauderdale to Denver. For the past several years we have been using Southwest for our trips out to Colorado. I was SHOCKED at the prices, it was going to cost $ 484.00 dollars each for a round trip into Denver.

I had received an e-mail from American Airlines a few days earlier for very low fares for Thanksgiving. The American fares for Thanksgiving were $208.00 round trip per person for FLL to DEN. I was at the time holding FF tickets from Southwest for our Thanksgiving Colorado trip.

So, I called Southwest within 5 minutes of the schedule loading and changed our Thanksgiving FF tickets to Easter and I DID get the flights I needed. Thankfully, currently Southwest does NOT charge any fee to make flight changes to FF awards. I still find Southwest the easiest by far to deal with, I did call an agent so that she could quickly grab the seats I wanted. The Standard Award tickets do sometimes sell out, but they almost always have a day before or after with availability. I have never had an issue with not being able to find a routing with Southwest within a day of our travel. Sometimes we may have to go to Chicago to get to Denver - but hey free is free and I am not going complain about FREE!

I then was thankfully able to book 3 seats on American for Thanksgiving at $208.00 per person. Kind of wacky and not at all what I had planned on doing - but it made sense financially to make the changes. Of course we will have to deal with the check baggage fees, but we will just live with that. We are going to leave our ski gear in Colorado this year in our owners locker and that will help with the baggage fees.

Good luck to anybody else still looking for Easter, but then again back in July I was stuck with super high fares for Thanksgiving - that is the reason why I used 3 Southwest FF rewards for the Thanksgiving trip. Perhaps they will adjust down as people do NOT pay the higher fares. We are all watching where and how we spend our money!
 

Patri

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Absolutely ridiculous prices. Their no-baggage fee is irrelevant now. I found moderate AirTran rates BWI to PHX in Feb. using FF miles. And they do not charge for the first bag.
 

JudyS

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I was just checking from Detroit - Orlando. Prices around Easter were high, but other prices were reasonable. There were some really low non-holiday prices on that route between now and the end of February.

Southwest's fares are often not that great on long-haul flights, especially if you have to change planes. They are really designed for direct, relatively short flights, rather than the long-haul hub-and-spoke itineraries that many other airlines favor.
 

elaine

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on the flip side

I just booked Christmas (12/23 and 12/29) on SWA from Orlando-DC for $99 each way for my parents! $200 RT for Christmas travel--these prices are way lower than anytime the past year!
 
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