Southwest airlines goes international today

Today, after over four decades of providing domestic service, Southwest is officially going international. To those of you that want a bit of history, Southwest acquired AirTran nearly three years ago as part of an effort to become an international airline. All AirTran planes will eventually integrate into the Southwest brand forming a single network, reservation system, and loyalty program. Combined, Southwest and AirTran serve 97 destinations in the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

This should eventually increase competition for Caribbean and Mexican routes and that is a great thing because those routes are vastly under-served and ridiculously overpriced. Unfortunately, International service from Austin or Houston Hobby will not commence today. Hobby will begin international service next month, August 5th. Southwest will start International service out of Austin on November 2nd. Southwest has an interactive map with the routes and dates [here].

Consequently, to kick off this milestone, Southwest has announced a new vacation package promotion (Flight + Hotel) for Mexico and the Caribbean, here are the details:

Book a flight + hotel vacation package for three or more nights, and save up to $200 ($25 per night, up to eight nights) per reservation when using promotion code VACATION4U at the time of booking.

  • Book by July 14, 2014 by 6:00 p.m. CT
  • Travel between July 4, 2014 – January 4, 2015
  • Three-day advance purchase and minimum stay is required.

Link to Southwest Airlines Vacation promotional page [here].

Terms & Conditions

Up to $200 ($25 per night, up to eight nights) promotion code savings apply on flight + hotel vacation packages of three or more nights to any Southwest Vacations destinations in Mexico & the Caribbean. Savings is reflected in the package price when using promotion code VACATION4U at the time of booking. Length of stay for flight and hotel components must match. Promotion code intended for redemption by individual consumer only. Savings valid if booked July 1 – July 14, 2014 by 6:00 p.m. CT, for travel July 4, 2014 – January 4, 2015. A three-day advance purchase is required. Savings of up to $200 per reservation is only valid when using the promotion code VACATION4U at Seats are limited and may not be available on some flights that operate during peak travel times and holiday periods. Some flights may be operated by AirTran® Airways. Flight and hotel rates may vary by day of the week. Surcharges may apply to weekends, holidays, and convention periods. Flights available on published, scheduled service only. Rates may be subject to change until purchased. All Rapid Rewards® rules and regulations apply. Discounts are valid per reservation before taxes are applied. Offer not valid on existing reservations and may not be combined with any other offer. Subject to availability. Restrictions apply.