Southwest launches fare sale for 40th anniversary

Southwest Airlines, the busiest carrier at Raleigh-Durham International Airport, is running a fare sale tied to its 40th anniversary.

Tickets start at $40 each way for flights up to 450 miles. Flights of 451 to 1,250 miles are $80 one-way, and 1,251 miles or more are $120 one-way. The sale ends Thursday at midnight and tickets are good for travel between Aug. 23 and Nov. 16.

There are other catches, including a limited number of tickets available at the sale prices and blackout dates around Labor Day and Columbus Day. Oh, and taxes and fees aren't included.

But still, given the recent surge in ticket prices as oil prices spiked, the sale is likely to attract travelers.

Tom Parsons, CEO of, told USA Today that the anniversary promotion is the "biggest airfare sale of 2011."

"This is the first time that I can remember in my 30 years of tracking airfares that I have seen airfares from over 100 U.S. cities as low as $40 one-way," Parsons said.