Southwest is having a 72 HOUR flash sale for domestic flights that ends at 11:59pm tomorrow October 15th. Personally, I try not to jump on flash sales because that's exactly what they are...a flash in the pan meant to rouse people into spontaneously booking a trip. A quick look through the prices for Southwest and I found a $79USD ONE WAY ticket from NY to Chicago. I just found deals for $86USD ROUND TRIP from NY to Chicago on Spirit Airlines for the same time frame last night. That's half the price of Southwest!
I ignited my inner 5th grade nerd and created an experiment. What if I were to delve in one step deeper and compare prices for the exact same dates? I'd use a search engine to compare.
I started with Southwest and checked the dates of November 4 -10th. With their cheapest options, I found tickets for $145USD round trip. Not bad, but I think we can find cheaper.
I then went on to look through Orbitz, my go to search engine for it's 24 hour free cancellation policy. They didn't have the same times, but dates remained the same. I found flights for $102.18 USD with Spirit.
Now, I already know that Spirit's flights should be cheaper due to my research from last night and I've mentioned in my PLAN section that sometimes search engines will garner additional costs. Let's see what happens when I cut out the middle man and go directly to the source.
LO AND BEHOLD. Spirit is $68.20USD ROUND TRIP for the exact same dates. You'll have to sacrifice some sleep for your return trip, but hey- that's what you get when you're spending less than a steak dinner for your airplane ticket.
Do some research before jumping on a flash deal. They do offer great deals, but you may be able to find a better one with a little research. Also, keep an eye on airports, Spirit and Southwest fly to two different airports and in this case are only 45 minutes away from each other. Depending on where you are staying the difference in cost might add up to the cost of a taxi cab anyway.