Airfare Wars

Southwest Airlines takes aim at Virgin America with new low fares

Southwest Airlines takes aim at Virgin America with new low fares

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Southwest Airlines is staking its claim as the lowest fare airline at Love Field, offering tickets as low as $79 for travel starting October 13, 2014. Courtesy of Houston Airport System

Southwest Airlines can't be too happy that Virgin America was awarded two gates at Love Field. Now it's retaliating in the only way it can: by luring customers with low, low airfare.

Southwest is now offering fares as low as $79 one way starting on October 13, 2014, i.e. the day the Wright Amendment finally falls by the wayside. These $79 tickets can be had if you're looking to go to Denver; fares to Baltimore, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando and Washington D.C. are $99.

Low-fare tickets to cities including Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale, Nashville, New York, Orange County, Phoenix, San Diego and Tampa Bay are also available, with travel dates starting on November 2.

The low fares are available only for travel through December 17, so no luck with Christmas break flights unless you leave really early. Oh, and you'd better act quick, as the fares will go away after Friday, May 23 — if not sooner depending on demand.

Southwest's renewed commitment to low fares is an obvious response to the cheap flights Virgin America offered when it was first awarded the two Love Field gates by the Department of Justice. With the two airlines going wing-to-wing in an all-out airfare war, customers are the big winners.