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Southwest Airlines fall sale: One-way fares starting at $59

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 8/16/2022 Caroline Tanner
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It’s been a minute since I’ve written about Southwest Airlines — the airline I grew up flying thanks to its hub at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL). This fall, whenever I need to go home, I’ll definitely be flying Southwest because of its cheap one-way ticket options.

Whether you are looking to book last-minute travel this fall or anticipate needing a post-holiday vacation, consider this timely sale from Southwest. The sale advertises one-way Wanna Get Away fares starting at $59 and Wanna Get Away Plus fares as low as $79, for travel booked by Aug. 26.

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Deal basics

(Screenshot from Southwest Airlines) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from Southwest Airlines)

Airline: Southwest Airlines.

Routes: All Southwest routes, excluding Hawaii interisland travel.

How to book: Directly through the airline sale page.

Travel dates: Sept. 6, 2022-Feb. 15, 2023, for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Not valid for holiday travel Nov. 17-29 and Dec. 15-Jan. 9.

Book by: 11:59 p.m. CDT on Aug. 26.

Travel must be booked at least 21 days in advance, for nonstop service when available, or on a single connecting service. If you use Southwest Rapid Rewards points to pay for the fare, note that the advertised fares do not include taxes and fees.

Read more: In a summer of extremely full flights I found myself on a Southwest 737 with just 9 passengers

Sample flights

If your travel dates are flexible, I would suggest first browsing Southwest’s Low Fare Calendar based on your destination and desired travel month.

(Screenshot from Southwest Airlines) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from Southwest Airlines)

From there, you can quickly identify when the lowest-priced flights are available for your route. Some examples of discounted one-way flights available include:

  • Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), starting at $59.
  • Midway International Airport (MDW) to Nashville International Airport (BNA), starting at $59.
  • LaGuardia Airport (LGA) to Miami International Airport (MIA), starting at $78.
  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Denver International Airport (DEN), starting at $78.
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to San Francisco International Airport (SFO), starting at $78.
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO) to LGA, starting at $94.
  • MDW to AUS, starting at $94.
  • LGA to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), starting at $106.

Although this sale says it’s for one-way flights, you can search as you normally would for round-trip flights by using the Low Fare Calendar, and you’ll still likely find the same-priced flight each way. For example, you could stack two one-way flights to make a round trip from Los Angeles to Denver in October; there are several flights for $78 throughout the month on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as shown below.

(Screenshot from Southwest Airlines) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from Southwest Airlines)

From there, select the travel dates that work best for you and be sure to pick the cheapest fare type. In this case, it’s the Wanna Get Away fare for $78 each way. Or, you could pay $20 to upgrade to the Wanna Get Away Plus fare.

Related: Southwest Airlines flight credits will no longer expire, an industry 1st

(Screenshot from Southwest Airlines) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from Southwest Airlines)

Once you select your flights, double-check that the round-trip flight reflects two one-way fares for $78 each.

(Screenshot from Southwest Airlines) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from Southwest Airlines)

In this case, the round-trip flight will be $156, which includes $38 in taxes and fees.

(Screenshot from Southwest Airlines) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from Southwest Airlines)

Note that this same flight would cost 9,788 Rapid Rewards points plus $11.20 in taxes and fees. Based on TPG’s current valuation of Rapid Rewards points at 1.5 cents per point, using points, in this case, would yield minimal savings. Therefore, I would recommend taking advantage of this sale and paying the cash fare. Save your points for a redemption opportunity that would allow you to save more money.

As mentioned, this sale is for both Wanna Get Away and Wanna Get Away Plus fare types, which are the carrier’s two cheapest fare types. The fares are similar, but Wanna Get Away Plus offers travelers a higher earnings rate (8 points per dollar) and allows for same-day flight changes. All Southwest fares include two free checked bags and two free carry-on items.

(Screenshot from Southwest Airlines) © The Points Guy (Screenshot from Southwest Airlines)

Maximize your purchase

If you book this deal, be sure to use a credit card that earns bonus points on airfare purchases. Southwest frequent flyers should consider the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card (both earn 3 points per dollar on Southwest purchases) or the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card (2 points per dollar on Southwest purchases). Or try The Platinum Card® from American Express (5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with the airline or through American Express Travel, on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) or the Citi Prestige® Card (5 points per dollar on airfare). Check out this post for more ways to maximize airfare purchases.

The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line

Although this deal requires some searching, you can find low-priced flights starting at $59 for select Southwest routes. Rates apply for travel through mid-February. Unlike most deals, you have the luxury of time with this one, since travel can be booked through Aug. 26. Even so, these well-priced flights likely won’t last, so be sure to book sooner rather than later.

Read more: How to change or cancel a Southwest Airlines flight

Featured photo by Paul Bersebach/Getty Images.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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