Southwest Airlines brings lower fares to South Carolina

A photo of a Southwestern Airlines passenger jet at Los Angeles International Airport.

Now flying to an Appalachian Trail near you – for less! (Photo Credit: CC BY-ND/Dean Morley/Flickr)

When Southwest Airlines comes to town, competing airlines take notice. According to USA Today, it’s called the “Southwest Effect,” and it is a powerful market force. It is so powerful, writes USA Today, that within an hour of Southwest Airlines’ announcement that routes are being extended into South Carolina, the competition dropped its fares into the state by 30 percent or more.

Southwest Airlines comes to town, consumers win

Within an hour of announcing routes to destinations in South Carolina – Charleston and Greenville-Spartanburg – Southwest Airlines shook up the industry and forced competitors to offer cheaper air travel rates. Those looking to enjoy what the Palmetto State has to offer will be able to more easily afford air travel now that the Southwest Effect has blown in like a warm southwesterly wind. According to Charleston’s The Post and Courier, “within an hour of Southwest Airlines’ revealing details of its service launching from Charleston International Airport next year, local airfares plunged to $59 each way to Southwest-bound destinations — but only after March 13.”

Travel agents anticipate added business

John Powers of Travel Management Group in Charleston told local media that the move by Southwest Airlines has caused a veritable tsunami of savings. “All major carriers cut their rates by at least 30 percent,” he said. “And most slashed prices considerably more.” For instance, one-way flights for which competitors used to charge $228 have dropped all the way down to $59 to match Southwest Airlines.

ABC affiliate News 4 of Charleston shared similar reports of lower airfare for flights originating after March 13. One flight from Charleston to Chicago was $219, but dropped to $99. Even flights with stop-overs, like one to New York City, went from $400 to $129 one-way. Flights out of Greenville-Spartanburg should also see dramatic decreases, say travel industry experts.


USA Today

Symptoms of the Southwest Effect include lower fares

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