Grab your bags, Southwest fires volleys in new airfare war

- Southwest fired the opening volleys in the latest airfare wars. But what are other airlines doing?  Consider this: It takes only one horse to start a stampede.

Labor Day ends the traditional heavy travel season for airlines. That means that fall causes many fares to fall as airlines now have more capacity that passengers. Southwest Airlines kicked off a three-day sale, a sale that ends midnight Thursday.

Roundtrip fares, from Bay Area airports to pre-selected domestic destinations are as low as $98 to $258, roundtrip. International flights start at $198 round trip; also ending Thursday midnight.

Carol Feiner is owner of the Airport Travel Agency in San Francisco Airport's International Terminal. She's been a travel agent for almost four decades; 30 years at SFO.

"They're all cutting the fares. In California United, Virgin America and they've all matched the Southwest fares. Going to New York it's all the major carriers. Even going to the east coast, New York it's under $300 round-trip." says Carol Feiner.

As is often the case, when you can fly, where you can fly and the number of seats available at these fares are limited. "If you look at these fares, the structures, the sale is this week, Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday of this week, but their first day you can travel on them is November 30th. 

Basically, the fares are good basically between Thanksgiving and Christmas and after that, then again after New Year’s. They're only good certain days of the week." says Ms. Feiner.

Feiner also says roundtrips to San Diego and L.A. can be had for $136, after New Year’s, $96. Portland: $136.

Shop around and if you think you want to go consider this. "Act now because especially for California it's a three-day sale you got to do it this week that doesn't mean there won't be another sale for further on." says Feiner.

Overseas travel is good too because many discount airlines serve faraway places, especially after the first of the year.

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