AIRLINE NEWS

Southwest extends $49 fare sale as airline recovers from its holiday meltdown

Zach Wichter
USA TODAY

Southwest Airlines is selling tickets for as little as $49 through Friday for travel beginning later this month and into the spring.

The deal聽comes in the wake of the airline's holiday travel meltdown, which saw thousands of flights canceled and passengers and bags left stranded for days.

Southwest has promised to compensate passengers and take steps to prevent a similar operational catastrophe from happening again.

Read on for more about the terms of the sale聽and instructions on how to claim your compensation from the airline if your own travel was interrupted.

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Southwest's $49 fare sale

Southwest's latest deals are available through 11:59 p.m. PST on Friday. The sale was initially set to expire Thursday, but it was extended.

Fares as low as $49 one-way are available for flights between Jan. 31 and May 17. Blackout dates are Feb. 16 and 20, with international travel and flights to San Juan, Puerto Rico, also excluded from March 9 through April 10聽and travel from the mainland U.S. to Hawaii blacked out March 16 through April 10.

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The deals are available only on certain days for some routes, most of them on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.聽

Check out the airline's website for full terms and conditions.聽

A Southwest Airlines passenger jet lands at Chicago Midway International Airport.

Was your Southwest flight canceled during the meltdown? Here's how to get your compensation

Southwest has a webpage set up for customers whose flights were canceled or severely delayed between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2.聽

According to the airline, travelers whose flights were canceled or delayed by more than three hours in that period are eligible for full refunds if they did not take a rebooked Southwest flight. Those customers also qualify for 25,000 Rapid Rewards points, which they must claim by March 31 through the airline's portal.

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In addition, Southwest will reimburse passengers for "reasonable" incidental expenses, including hotels, rental cars, other airline tickets and food as a result of operational disruptions.

The airline issued guidance to investors last week that it expects the meltdown will cost the company as much as聽$825 million.