The airline is offering fares as low as $49 through Oct. 22.

By Alison Fox
October 14, 2020

Editor's note: Those who choose to travel are strongly encouraged to check local government restrictions, rules, and safety measures related to COVID-19 and take personal comfort levels and health conditions into consideration before departure.

Southwest will add new routes in both Chicago and Houston next year, even as airlines continue to struggle with the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline plans to expand its reach in Chicago by flying in and out of O'Hare International Airport (ORD) starting in the first half of 2021. Southwest has been operating out of the Windy City since 1985, flying through Midway International Airport (MDW).

Southwest will also add routes to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston next year. The airline, which currently flies into Hobby Airport in Houston, originally flew to IAH on its first day of operation in 1971, but stopped serving the airport in 2005.

Service to IAH is expected to resume in the first half of 2021 as well.

"Southwest owes decades of success to our Employees and Customers who have supported our business in Chicago and Houston," Gary Kelly, the chief executive officer and chairman at Southwest Airlines, said in a statement released this week, adding, the new service "furthers our commitment to both cities as we add service to share Southwest's value and Hospitality with more leisure and business travelers."

southwest plane
Credit: Southwest Airlines

Southwest — known for its amazing Companion Pass deal — is also encouraging people to take a much-deserved vacation with its "Wanna Get Away" campaign, offering fares as low as $49 each way through Oct. 22. Travelers can fly between famous cities like Las Vegas and Salt Lake City or New York and Chicago for these super low prices.

And the best news is these staggering deals through the continental U.S., Puerto Rico, and even international destinations are available for travel through March 4, 2021, with some blackout dates.

The announcement comes as Southwest has committed to blocking the middle seat in the cabin through at least Nov. 30 in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The airline has also continued its policy of requiring passengers to wear masks in the airport and on the plane.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she’s not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.