Southwest Airlines Strategy?

Oct 19th, 2005, 05:58 PM
  #1  
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Southwest Airlines Strategy?

Hello Travel Experts -
I have been watching SWA's site for several weeks now waiting to jump on booking for winter vacation week in February. They have been booking through 2-3-06 for weeks now and I am wondering if anyone can help "predict" when they might make the jump to parameters 2-17 and 2-26 - I'll book two one ways if I have to. I know you have to book at 12:00:01 am to get the best fares - but it's driving me crazy checking every evening! It will certainly make our trip to warmer climes more doable if we can catch those fares.
Thank you!
neexp is offline  
Oct 19th, 2005, 06:08 PM
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Sign up for their program called "Ding!" which will email you when the dates go on sale. I think you have to be a Rapid Rewards member.
ChristieP is offline  
Oct 19th, 2005, 06:24 PM
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Christie - thanks, I just signed up! Will this provide "advance" warning for when the tickets will go on sale, or only once they've gone on. I have noticed in the past these low fares sell out within minutes -
Thanks again!
neexp is offline  
Oct 19th, 2005, 06:26 PM
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I thought of another way to get notified: use Orbitz's Deal Detector. Sign up for the flight you want after Feb 3 and set a fare below what the current non-SW fare is. Because the other airlines match SW fares (even though SW does not work with Orbitz), as soon as SW extends their schedule, the other airline fares will fall, Orbitz will see it, and you'll get an email.

I just tried looking for a flight on Orbitz in the last week of Southwest's schedule and then looked exactly two weeks later. It's Wed-Wed, there's no real reason for the fare to be higher but it's about $50 higher outside of Southwest's schedule. I'd bet a lot that it will drop to match Southwest's as soonas they extend.

If you want to be notified ASAP, sign up for Travelocity's notifier too - then you'll get notified first by Orbitz or Travelocity...to go book at fare on Southwest!!!

Andrew
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Oct 19th, 2005, 06:34 PM
  #5  
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Another great idea - thank you. My DING, however, is not DINGING, and I've got to do some firewall detection, etc., to activate it. Then I'll do these two as well - I wasn't aware that airlines drop pricing even for peak weeks to match SWA - I now have some tools to help get these fares - thanks so much!
neexp is offline  
Oct 19th, 2005, 07:16 PM
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I called SWA and the guy in reservations told me when he thought the date would change and sure enough... Can't guarantee that the person you talk to will be willing to divulge the info but its worth a try.
amwosu is offline  
Oct 19th, 2005, 07:39 PM
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I tried to figure out the same since I needed some low fares on SW. No way will they divulge the dates; but the new fares usually get released on Tuesdays. So maybe Monday night is the only night you have to stay awake late!
tennislvr1 is offline  
Oct 19th, 2005, 08:01 PM
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amwosu - major teaser there! Sure enough....what????????? Do tell!
tennislvr - ah, mondays only would be wonderful......
neexp is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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Oh I didn't mean to tease. That was several months ago when I was looking to buy not the current dates. Sorry.
amwosu is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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I"m a member of Rapid Rewards, have & use Ding, signed up in Travelocity, SmarterLiving, get SW Click & Save alerts.

Nowhere do I get better notice that the scheduling window has been extended than by simply going to the reservation site and trying a date as far out as the scrolldowns allow.

I have bookmarked

http://southwest.com/cgi-bin/buildItinerary2

and just check for a oneway Albany-Baltimore for Feb 28 and I get the warning that "Our schedule is currently open through February 03, 2006." I know that one day the dropdown month will be March or April.

If it's important to you, it's not much of a chore. Since usually SW own people have no idea when the reservation window will be extended I doubt you can reliably get that info here either.
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 01:17 PM
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rb_travelerxATyahoo, it is a chore when they have to do it every night at 12:05AM to get the bargain fares before they sell out.

Keith
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Oct 20th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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(Keith) Wouldn't they also need to be up to read the email alert that SW had just published new rates, extended the resv window, or were holding a sale just as well??

If they weren't up, and assuming the mail came thru quickly, those special fares would be sold to all those who DO check around midnight. SW seems to hold their cards pretty closely when it comes to that date. At my previous job my boss taught p/t and his wife was a f/t teacher ... I remember watching for that window for a LONG time before it ever opened and they still were booked quickly; even full price seats. Back to the O.P., I will make a prediction: Nov 8 - free and worth every cent paid for it! Maybe we should have a lottery!
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Oct 20th, 2005, 02:13 PM
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I heard on the TV news this morning that SWA will be adding Missouri non stop to Dallas and reinventing their Denver station in early 2006.My TA tells me that the biggest joke in the Travel Industry is that one of these days, there will be one airline left...and it will be SWA!! Remember, I said "JOKE".....
BeachBoi is offline  
Oct 25th, 2005, 07:19 AM
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Does anyone remember what date the current schedule came out? Does this date have any bearing on when the new schedule may come out???
awf118 is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 12:03 PM
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Now booking thru March 31, 2006

(it wasn't so hard or bothersome)
rb_travelerxATyahoo is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 01:44 PM
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And it isn't minutes after mthe change took place.
Keith is offline  
Oct 27th, 2005, 02:45 PM
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I did get a Ding message (which I chose to ignore for awhile) today informing me that "You are free to move about the country through March 31, 2006" -- or something to that effect. Maybe not a perfect or immediate way of finding out but it's still be best so far.

I don't know when they ACTUALLY became available and ALB-MCO flights for those dates show availability AT FULL PRICE but I have my doubts if they were ever offered at any discounted price; why would they?
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Oct 27th, 2005, 08:17 PM
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rb- thanks for the heads up. I'm now set for a late Feb. trip to Phoenix!

And lets note that flights from Feb. 4-March 31 became available on Oct. 27. Maybe there is some rhyme or reason to the schedule posting?....
amwosu is offline  
Dec 20th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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On Dec. 20 Southwest started booking flights out to June 9th. Still looking for a pattern.
amwosu is offline  
Dec 21st, 2005, 07:37 AM
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Thanks for the heads up. I need April tickets to Phoenix.

Keith
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