Southwest Is Putting Flights on Sale Following Holiday Week Chaos — and Fares Start at $49

To take advantage of the sale, passengers must book by Jan.12.

Southwest Airlines is discounting flights through the spring with one-way fares starting at just $49 as the airline continues to deal with the fallout of its Christmas week meltdown.

The sale must be booked by 11:59 p.m. PT on Jan. 12 and is valid on travel from Jan. 31 through May 17, according to Southwest. Travel is valid on different days of the week depending on whether customers are flying within the contiguous United States, to or from Puerto Rico or Hawaii, or to international destinations. 

Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX-8 on an airport tarmac

Ashlee Duncan/Courtesy of Southwest Airlines

The sale is available on one-way "Wanna Get Away" fares, and there are several blackout dates, which vary by destination. 

Travel between Austin and New Orleans, for example, between Phoenix and Los Angeles, between Chicago and Nashville, between San Diego and Las Vegas, and more start at just $49 each way. For a bit more, travelers can fly between New York City and Denver starting at just $110 each way, fly between New Orleans and Myrtle Beach starting at just $122 each way, or fly from Orlando to Turks and Caicos starting at just $131 one-way.

The sale comes weeks after Southwest was forced to cancel thousands of flights last month, stranding passengers during one of the busiest travel periods of the year. The airline has since apologized and said it will refund customers for unused tickets and other expenses. Southwest has also offered some customers who were affected by the Christmas week chaos a bonus of 25,000 points.

However, the Department of Transportation said it has received “thousands” of complaints from Southwest customers, including about issues with refunds, CNN reported. The DOT has sent each of those complaints to the airline itself and is demanding “substantive responses" to each within 60 days.

"Since the Southwest meltdown, the DOT has received thousands of consumer complaints about Southwest — including complaints about lack of ticket refunds and reimbursements for services when a traveler was stranded," the DOT told the network.

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