Rivals match Southwest's sub-$100 sale fares

11:17 AM, Jun 12, 2013   |    comments
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(USA Today) -- Rivals appear to be selectively matching Southwest's latest fare sale, which includes fares as low as $97 round trip on routes of 500 miles or less.

Southwest rolled out the sale yesterday, offering distance-based sale prices - which also are offered on subsidiary AirTran.

They break down as follows:

$49 each way (500 miles or less)
$99 each way (501 to 1,250 miles)
$129 each way (1,251 to 1,750 miles)
$149 each way (More than 1,750 miles)

A Wednesday morning spot-check of fares shows Southwest's traditional airline rivals matching on many routes, such as Detroit-Baltimore ($98 round trip on Delta), Dallas-Houston ($97 on United) and Los Angeles-San Francisco ($98 on Delta, United and Virgin America).

Still, the matching efforts appear to be selective. Between Chicago and St. Louis, for example, Southwest's $98 round trip sale fare is well below the next-cheapest fares ($204 on American and United) found during our spot check.

On other routes, however, Southwest's rivals appear to have undercut the low-cost giant. Take the Seattle-Boston route, for example. Southwest's sale fare of $328 round-trip is about $80 more than the lowest fares being offered by United ($243) and Delta ($250) as of Wednesday morning.

Southwest's fare sale will come to and end at midnight on Thursday (June 13), and it's likely that rivals' fare-matching will end then as well.

The spot-check of fares was conducted on Kayak.com and Southwest.com around 10 a.m. ET on Wednesday morning. Fares are for flights departing on Sept. 24 and returning Sept. 26. Scroll down for the details of what we found in our spot check. Unless otherwise noted, all fares are for nonstop flights.

Baltimore-Detroit
Southwest: $98
Others: Delta $98, United $120 (1-stop)

Los Angeles-San Francisco
Southwest: $98
Others: Delta $98, United $98, Virgin America $98

Dallas-Houston
Southwest: $96
Others: United $97, Spirit $127, American $157

Chicago-St. Louis
Southwest: $98
Others: American $204, United $204

Chicago-Minneapolis
Southwest/AirTran: $98
Others: Delta $98, Spirit $98, Sun Country $98, American $238, United, $238

Boston-Washington/Baltimore
Southwest/AirTran: $98
Others: JetBlue $98, US Airways $146 (to Washington Reagan National), United $162 (to Washington Dulles)

Salt Lake City-Denver
Southwest: $98
Others: Delta $98, Frontier $98, United $118

Phoenix-Las Vegas
Southwest: $98
Others: Delta $162 (connecting), US Airways $186

Atlanta-Orlando
Southwest/AirTran: $98
Others: Delta $98

Grand Rapids-St. Louis
Southwest: $98
Others: United $120 (connecting), American $162 (connecting), Delta $162 (connecting)

Washington-Austin
Southwest: $257
Others: Frontier $266 (connecting), JetBlue$270 (connecting), United $277 (connecting), American $280 (connecting), Delta $280 (connecting)

Atlanta-Los Angeles
Southwest/AirTran: $298
Others: Delta $298, United $357 (connecting)

Portland (Maine)-San Diego
Southwest/AirTran: $334 (connecting)
Others: United $368 (connecting), JetBlue $376 (connecting)

Seattle-Boston
Southwest: $328
Others: United $243 (connecting), Delta $250 (connecting), American $320 (connecting)

(USA Today)

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