Southwest Airlines fare sale: Flights starting at $29 one way

Planning a trip in 2021? Southwest just launched a fare sale with tickets starting at $29 one way

With the busier-than-expected holiday travel season over, Southwest Airlines is wasting no time trying to fill up its planes in 2021 as the pandemic continues.

The nation's largest domestic carrier on Monday launched a four-day sale with fares starting at $29 one way for travel into the spring. Southwest, like other airlines struggling with depressed travel demand, has had a flurry of fare sales during the pandemic, but this one is notable because of the $29 deal.

The last several Southwest fare sales, which included some dates in 2021, have had starting fares of $39 and $49.

You won't find $29 fares for a coast-to-coast Southwest flight, of course, but the deal is available on short flights between cities across the country, if not every flight, every day.

A sampling: 

  • Baltimore to/from: Boston
  • Atlanta to/from: Raleigh/Durham, N.C.
  • Chicago to/from: Minneapolis 
  • Denver to/from: Salt Lake City
  • Phoenix to/from: Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Los Angeles 
Southwest Airlines is having a fare sale for winter and spring travel, with fares starting at $29 one way on short flights.

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Yes, there's fine print on Southwest Airlines' fare sale

As with all airline fare sales, there is fine print galore.

The biggest: the cheapest tickets are generally available for travel only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays for nonstop flights within the continental U.S. Sale fares for flights to Hawaii, Mexico and Puerto Rico are generally offered on more days of the week.

There are also blackout dates around popular travel times, including Presidents Day and spring break.

How do I nab the cheapest tickets for my flight?

Here are some tips for scoring the best deal during this or any fare sale:

  • Use Southwest's low fare calendar for a glance at starting fares by travel date if your travel dates are flexible. And if your travel plans aren't flexible, you'll immediately see whether this sale works for you. 
  • Shop other airlines, as carriers tend to match one another's prices on competing routes. And keep checking. Matching prices don't always display immediately.
  • Use Google Flights or another travel search site to find the best deals on your routes.

Can I get a refund if the pandemic worsens and I don't want to fly?

Worried about buying a ticket and having to cancel your trip if the pandemic worsens or travel restrictions are put in place where you live or in your destination? 

Southwest and other airlines don't give you your money back unless they cancel a flight, but they will issue a travel credit under more flexible ticket-change policies put in place during the pandemic.