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Southwest is having a big sale on all of its flights that ends today at 11:59 PM ET. The sale is good for travel from August 26 – December 18. Almost everyone benefits from this sale. Make sure you know how to benefit if you already have Southwest flights booked, you might want to take a trip this fall, or even if you are loyal to another airline!

Southwest is having one of its best sales of the year for travel August 26 to December 18 that ends today at 11:59 PM.

How to Take Advantage of the Sale if You Have Upcoming Travel Plans

That’s easy! Book your flight today. The sale price on flights is determined by the distance of each nonstop segment.

There aren’t many caveats to the sale either. You still get two free checked bags on all Southwest flights (and AirTran flights sold on southwest.com), you can fly every day except Friday and Sunday, and there are only a few blackout dates and cities.

The blackout dates are September 2 and November 26 through December 3. Lowest advertised fare not available to/from Dayton, OH; Washington (Reagan National), DC; New York (Newark); Philadelphia, PA; Washington (Dulles), DC; New York (LaGuardia); West Palm Beach, FL; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Fort Myers, FL; and Seattle, WA.

I was looking at booking a one way flight from Chicago to Los Angeles a few days after the Chicago Seminars end. Midway to LAX is exactly 1,750 miles, so it falls in the $129 band. As expected, most (but not all) nonstop flights are priced at $129 on the Tuesday I searched.

One nonstop flight–the 6:05 PM flight–is $159. Southwest does limit the quantity on the sale seats on each flight. Many of Southwest’s “1 stop, No Plane Change” flights are $133. And all the rest of the direct flights are $129.

One feature to keep in mind about Southwest’s loyalty program is that each point is worth a fixed value, so when Southwest has a paid-ticket sale, the price of award tickets drops also. Here are the same flights in points. (There would be a $2.5 tax of the direct award flights.)

I’m not sure where I’ll head from Los Angeles, so I ordinarily wouldn’t speculatively book a cash ticket with exorbitant change or cancellation fees yet. But Southwest will let you cancel cash tickets for a full refund in the form of Southwest credit good on future flights. Even better, a cancelled Southwest award will just mean that you get your points and taxes back.

So there’s no reason not to book now. If the price drops later (unlikely), you can just rebook and pocket the savings.

How to Take Advantage of the Sale if You Have A Southwest Flight Already Booked

If you already have a Southwest flight booked, search your flight’s price now. If it has dropped, you can cancel your old ticket and book the new one, pocketing the difference in the fare in the form of a future credit on Southwest.

How to Take Advantage of the Sale if You Are Loyal to Another Airline

The good news is that legacy carriers often match Southwest sales on certain routes, and this happening with this sale. (Too bad they don’t match two free checked bags during the sale…)

For instance, from Chicago to Los Angeles, United and American are both matching Southwest’s $129 fare, though Virgin America and Spirit aren’t. (Note also that Southwest’s flights leave Midway, and the other airlines fly from O’Hare.)

I have United Silver status, so it might make sense for me to book the flight on United instead of Southwest. If you have status or want status, check whether your preferred carrier is matching Southwest on your route.

Recap

Southwest is having a great sale for fall travel that ends today! Make sure you make your travel plans today to lock in these low, free-to-cancel fares with Southwest or take advantage of your carrier matching Southwest.

For full info on the promotion, see the promotion’s page on Southwest.

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