What's the deal with SouthWest plane fares jumping up in price so much?

Flight to Atlanta was $179 one way just the other week. Now they are $231 for same dates in May. Is it because I am looking today, Monday, at rates?

I guess SouthWest has a promo code: SPLASH

It reduced the May fare price from $231 to $170 but the promotion is only good for the next few days.

SW changes their rates daily depending on the popularity of a particular route. If ORD to MCO on a particular time/date is not selling they’ll adjust to fill. If it’s filling fast, they’ll raise the price.

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A friend of mine worked in Revenue Management at SWA and he said that fares can change hourly.

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This may help explain it. Besides I hear that they had to place a hold on some airplane purchases.

When Hawaiian started flying longer routes, like Hawaii, only certain planes can be used. These planes (used to be covered under ETOPS rules - now under different rules) must be able to fly on less that full engines for an extended time. If you look at flightware.com in the Pacific, you will find that most flights pass near Hawaii. That is because except for some islands to the south and west, Hawaii is the emergency landing site if a plane develops engine problems. We are a 4-5 hour flight from LAX with nothing between us and the west coast. So you could be 3.5 hours out of the west coast and if an engine issue comes up, you will more than likely return to the west coast unless the pilot things he can make it to Hawaii. Over the mainland there are all sorts of emergency locations to land and many planes don’t need the extended capability. So any new planes Southwest wants to use to the Pacific have to be capable of extended range.

Hawaiian drops some routes and Southwest will pick them up. Other airlines have issues with some planes grounded.

As others have said, fares can change drastically from day to day and even hour to hour. Southwest is an ok airline, but usually not the best price-wise. There are cheaper alternatives like Frontier and Spirit. Using these two airlines this past Labor Day weekend, I flew from Orlando to Norfolk for under $20, and the return trip was still under $40. :wink:

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