Southwest launches annual fall fare sale, with one-way tickets starting at $39

USA TODAY Southwest Airlines typically has two major fare sales a year, in June and October. 

The airline launched this year’s June sale on Tuesday, a few weeks later than normal, but there’s an upside for travelers: Starting fares are lower than in recent years, given the coronavirus pandemic that has crushed travel demand.

The nation’s largest domestic carrier said one-way fares begin at $39, compared with $49 last year and in 2018. On longer flights, it is touting sale fares of $79 and $99 each way, but fares vary widely by route and travel date. 

The three-day sale generally covers travel between Aug. 11 and Dec. 17, excluding travel around Thanksgiving. Last year’s sale also blacked out Labor Day weekend travel, but this one does not.

The biggest fine print beyond that: Sale fares are generally not available on Fridays and Sundays, ruling out traditional weekend getaways. More days of the week are blacked out for flights to and from Las Vegas and Florida, popular vacation destinations.