DOUGHERTY: 'You snooze, you lose' on bargain air fares

When Southwest Airlines says, “book it now,” they mean it.
Nancy and I didn’t have the money to pay for a “Wanna Get Away!” special to fly to Corpus Christi, Texas, to get us in the neighborhood of my daughter’s Gulf Coast beachfront wedding in July, so we waited a week. Wow!
I sure wish we’d figured out a way to “book it then” because by booking it today (Saturday, April 13) we’re paying almost twice what we would have.
By calling Southwest to ask if there would be an opportunity to get a better rate, I had my fears confirmed that the fares are likely to get higher as the wedding weekend nears, not lower. I asked if there might be any “web only” specials for which Southwest Airlines is famous, and she informed me that she has no way of knowing that because they don’t tell the phone center representatives about such specials in advance.
I’m not complaining about how the airline phone rep handled it. She did her job. I fly only occasionally and I always have been treated well by Southwest — they occasionally do offer great specials and I have taken advantage of them in the past. But it’s frustrating when you can’t take advantage of one because you’re “broke” that week, but the deal has disappeared by the time my checking account is healthy again.
C’est la vie.

— Mike Dougherty, Editor