Southwest Airlines - Cheap Fares

By: Millard Hiner
Southwest Airlines is a great option for air travel. While low cost fares are routine for Southwest, they also offer deep discounts and many special deals and programs. You may have encountered Southwest deals while using the usual travel discount sites, but the best bet may be to search their own website first. You can hardly beat the Rapid Rewards program Southwest has for regular flyers on their carrier. Earning a free ticket only requires a mere eight round trips for budget fares, and those who use the Business Select Class need only four round trips to earn a free flight! There is also the companion ticket program called Rapid Rewards Companion Tickets. A member can take along a companion for free! All they must pay is the mandatory Federal airport tax and local tax for these complimentary tickets. Couples and business associates may find this especially desirable. Unlike other air carriers, Southwest does not load rewards travel with many restrictions and tickets are handled like regular ones. About the only difference is that you don't get a roundtrip credit on a free or companion flight. There is no short expiration date to worry about and can be used even at the last minute, requiring only one hour before a flight departs to be valid.

The website for Southwest has a great many other specials in addition to the great rewards program. There is a "Destination of the Day" offered at a great price and this always is an especially low fare. Prices may be as low as fifty percent of the usual fare for these daily specials and can be used for advance purchase in most cases. It's worth checking out each day! Southwest also offers a special price class called "Wanna Get Away?" that can also be half or sometimes even less than other fares on the same flight. For these specials seating is limited and unlike regular fares tickets can not be refunded. They can however be exchanged for credit for future travel. These seats are only available directly on the website and are the cheapest "routine" fares offered.

You can also sign up for what is called the Southwest Ding! system. These are the best of all deals and you install software on your computer for these very time sensitive deals. The software is quick to install and has no adware or spyware to bug you. Best of all it is compatible with Mac and nearly any PC operating system for easy use. It is also a fairly small program that won't eat much disk space. A small Ding! Icon will alert you visually and audibly when a special is available. A small envelope appears for you to click on and the sound alert can be silenced if you prefer. Clicking on the icon takes you directly to the special on the Southwest website. You only get alerts for destinations that you choose. You enter your home zip code and can load up to 10 destinations on your alert list. You can also change the list as many times as you like. All offers on Ding! are great bargains. While Ding! Doesn't yet come for wireless devices, you can use it at work or at home and mostly will not have firewall problems although support will help you if you do. The system has a very helpful FAQ page as well. Ding! is also very easy to remove should you choose to discontinue using it. Don't get too upset if you miss an offer since new ones come up quite frequently. Ding! has such low fares it is really worth giving it a trial.

If you don't want to use Ding! and install software, there is an e-mail alert program called "Click'n'Save." You simply sign up and get special offers and deals in your email on your computer or e-mail enabled wireless device. You need not be part of any other program to use Click'n'Save. Sign up for this program is free and simple. You may not get quite as great deals as with Ding! but there is no need to install a thing. . Southwest fares change with the seasons and there are always discounts for 14 day and 21 day advance purchases. Special offers now can be even cheaper than driving with current gas prices, like Houston to San Antonio for a mere $29 each way or the same fare from Dallas to Tulsa as examples. Even if you don't care to use Ding! or Click'n'Save you can find these specials just by checking often for the specials right on the Southwest Airlines website. Southwest is well known for friendly and professional staff and customer service but perhaps they should be even better known as the home of really cheap fares with no tricks and few hassles. It can be more fun to fly when you know you have gotten the best possible deal with Southwest!
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