Southwest Airlines plane
Finding the Deals When to Shop The Sales Airfare Alerts The Bottom Line

You may already know that generally the best time to shop for airline tickets to get the cheapest possible domestic fares is Tuesday afternoon. But let’s get more specific. Let’s talk about deals on Southwest Airlines.

Where to Find Southwest Airfares

Southwest currently flies to more than 90 destinations in the U.S., Caribbean and Mexico but if you want to buy tickets on the popular carrier, you must go to Southwest’s site; it’s the only airline that does not share airfare data with comparison sites.

  • TIP: Do not pay for that Southwest ticket until you compare prices with other airlines, because no airline – including Southwest – always has the best deal. You have to compare.

Look for Deals on Tuesday

Southwest generally files its signature Click ‘N Save deals once a week late Monday night in the 8 p.m. eastern domestic airfare distribution (there are 3 domestic airfare distributions each weekday at 10 a.m., 1pm and 8pm); these prices then hit Southwest’s reservation system in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

  • TIP: Southwest sale fares – like those of other airlines – may be limited to specific routes and certain  travel days, plus they are always limited in number. If you like what you hear about a sale, hurry (but don’t forget to compare fares before you ding your credit card).

Competitor Matching

If Southwest doesn’t have the lowest price, it may match a competitors’ sale price on the same route, and this will usually occur by 3 p.m. eastern time. Hurry, because most sales – Southwest’s and other airlines’ – usually end by Thursday night.

  • TIP: Southwest has been known to extend fare sales at the last minute. If you think you missed out on the deals, go back to Southwest’s site and check again.

How to Stay on Top of Sales

One way is to stay on top of airfare deals is to follow Southwest on social media and follow FareCompare on Facebook and Twitter.

  • TIP: Learn about the cheapest deals for specific routes in real-time by signing up for airfare alerts. It’s fast, it’s free. The, if you like what you see, act quickly because good deals disappear fast.

Bottom Line

While the best time to purchase tickets on can Southwest vary a little, a general rule of thumb is to shop Tuesday at 3 p.m. eastern time when the airline has matched other airline sale prices. And do set airfare alerts because sometimes deals come out of nowhere; it can payoff big to be ready for them.