DALLAS — Get ready to pack your bags and head off to a new destination via Southwest Airlines.
The Dallas-based carrier announced on Monday that new non-stop flights from Love Field Airport will include Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando, Las Vegas, Baltimore, Denver and several other locations.
Non-stop flights to Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic and Mexico City will also be offered.
The airline is offering $99 tickets for its new flights, which take off starting in October and November.
Seats are available now. By law, when you run a promotion like this, 10 percent of the seats on a plane have to be available at that price. So while $99 is the big headline of the day, the longer-term story sounds like lower prices across the board for North Texas travelers in the foreseeable future.
"Today — and I mean right now — you are free to book non-stop travel out of Dallas Love Field to those new, faraway, non-stop destinations for the first time in our history," said Southwest spokesman Kevin Krone.
The $99 one-way destinations coming online October 13, are:
- Washington Reagan
- Los Angeles International
- Chicago Midway
- Las Vegas
On November 2, Southwest begins flying non-stop from Love Field to:
- New York LaGuardia
- Ft. Lauderdale
- San Diego
- Orange County
"That $99 fare will be out there, and we hope a lot people take advantage of it," Krone said, adding this advice: "Book quick and enjoy the travel."
Krone conceded that while these are promotional fares, "That’s what we’re famous for — low fares — and we want to make sure everyone knows Southwest has low fares."
Southwest has drawn attention for higher overall fares in recent years. Travel expert Rick Seaney, with FareCompare.com, says the new destinations from Love Field will have a dramatic effect on pushing down everyone’s prices, including Virgin America at Love Field and American Airlines at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
"If you’re willing to be proactive, get that October, November, December ticket. It’s going to be the cheapest you’ve ever seen it, and on certain types of days, on non-stops, which is the convenience that you covet," Seaney said.
And he’s talking not just Southwest, but everyone. FareCompare has already seen Virgin dropping its prices to compete with Southwest.
Southwest's ticket special ends on May 23.
"There are some big gifts for everyone in this holiday schedule: our initial nonstop offerings for a liberated Love Field in Dallas, and nearly triple the flights we currently offer at Reagan National Airport," Southwest Airlines executive Bob Jordan said. "We're also bringing Southwest service to the final two international destinations on the network we created after acquiring AirTran Airways in 2011. That integration will be completed on-plan by the end of this year."
Many of the flights will begin taking off in October once the Wright Amendment expires.
In a recent article, The Dallas Morning News pointed out that over the next several years, Southwest has the opportunity to add 50 new destinations.
The Wright Amendment has been in place since 1979 and has limited the number of airports that Love Field could service through non-stop flights.