Deal Alert: Nationwide fare sale for fall/winter flights

As the cooler fall and winter months approach, airlines will continue to entice flyers with lower fares to keep planes

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Photo: Chris McGinnis

Southwest Airlines Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at SFO Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 at SFO

Travel demand and fares always tumble during the slower fall and winter months, and this year is no exception. [FULL STORY & LINKS]

Today, Southwest Airlines kicked off the first big late fall and winter fare sale, and I expect other airlines to start matching these low fares in the next 24-48 hours. (see TravelSkills for links & details)

So if you felt priced out of peak summer season, take a look at what Southwest has on offer during early November and the “dead weeks” between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and then into the cold, dark early winter months.

Southwest kicked it off yesterday with with fares starting at $100 roundtrip. From there, roundtrip fares rise in several steps to around $280. These fares are about $20-$40 less than a similar sale Southwest offered in October 2016-- a sign that fares will continue to decline during slower fall and winter months. 

While these fares are slightly higher than those we've seen in previous un-announced spot sales, what's better about this is the big window for travel, which extends all the way through the middle of February. 

Sample approximate round trip fares from the Bay Area & California include:

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Chris McGinnis tracks fares for sign up for his fare alerts or follow him on Twitter @cjmcginnis

$100: All intra-California and CA-Las Vegas or Reno flights, also Portland

$160: SFO, SJC or OAK- Seattle, Phoenix, Dallas

$180-200: SFO, SJC or OAK-  Albuquerque, Boise, Denver, Spokane

$220: OAK- Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

$260-$280: SFO, SJC or OAK- Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Columbus, St Louis

$300: SFO or OAK- Kansas City, Nashville, New Orleans 

Expect other major airlines to match these low fares over the next 24 hours. (We’ll update the TravelSkills blog with competitive matches as they roll out.)

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