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Deal of the Week: Friends Fly Free (3/22/2002)

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Diana: I'm Diana Nyad, and you're listening to the Savvy Traveler. Our Travel-Expert-in-Residence, Rudy Maxa, is back with his Deal of the Week. Hi, Rudy.

Rudy: Hi, Diana.

Diana: Rudy, earlier in the show, we talked about airlines eliminating travel agent commissions. But there's one airline most travel agents never promote because they never paid commissions, and that's Southwest -- the country's largest discount airline. I understand that's the subject of your Deal of the Week.

Rudy: It is. For the first time since 1998, Southwest is offering its "Friends Fly Free" sale, which is by far the cheapest way for two people to fly around the U.S. And the sale is beginning a month earlier than most summer airfare sales do.

Diana: I remember that promotion from few years ago, but remind me of the details.

Rudy: You buy a round-trip ticket on Southwest at least 3 days in advance, and a companion gets his or her ticket free. This sale is on until April 8th, but you can fly anytime from April 2nd through August 3rd. Fares begin at about $120 round-trip.

Diana: Saturday night stay-over and holiday blackout dates?

Rudy: Nope and nope. You only have to stay one night at your destination.

Diana: Wow! So that means you could score these fares for Memorial Day and Fourth of July travel?

Rudy: Right. But the key is to act fast. And here's another reason to snag some tickets now: Unlike the previous "Friends Fly Free" sales, Southwest will give frequent-flyer credit to passengers.

Diana: What's the best way to score these tickets?

Rudy: You can call Southwest directly a 800-I-FLY-SWA or, better yet, book online at southwest.com.

Diana: Is it cheaper to book online?

Rudy: No, but you get double mileage credit if you do. Book four round-trips online and you get a free Southwest ticket. It's one of the most generous frequent-flyer programs around, primarily because once you have a free ticket, you can use it on any Southwest flight that has an empty seat. Unlike its competitors, Southwest doesn't limit the number of award flyers on each flight.

Diana: A great sale, a great deal, Rudy. Thanks. See you next week.

Savvy Resources:

Southwest Airlines

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