By Keith L. Alexander
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 14, 2006; D04
Southwest Airlines announced fares yesterday for its new service from Washington Dulles International Airport to Chicago's Midway and to Las Vegas, Tampa and Orlando, beginning Oct. 5.
The airline said it would fly 12 daily nonstop flights from Dulles to Chicago, Orlando and Tampa with one-way fares starting at $79. It will fly to Las Vegas for as low as $99 one way. The fares require a 14-day minimum advance purchase and exclude taxes and other charges.
Southwest's move is expected to initiate a fare war to destinations served by such Dulles competitors as US Airways, JetBlue Airways, AirTran Airways and United Airlines, which operates its East Coast hub at the airport.
Southwest's Las Vegas fare was about $30 less yesterday than the lowest fare offered by JetBlue, according to JetBlue's Web site. Southwest's fare to Orlando was about $10 less than United's and Air Tran's, according to Orbitz.com. And Southwest's fare to Tampa was about $20 less than United's.
Southwest announced in April that it planned to begin flying out of Northern Virginia. The airline will have two gates on Dulles's B concourse.
Although Southwest's advance tickets were cheaper than competitors', many of its walk-up fares -- most often purchased by business travelers -- were higher than some of its rivals'.
Southwest's last-minute, one-way ticket to Las Vegas from Dulles was $319; JetBlue's Web site had a fare of $179, which unlike Southwest's was not refundable. A Southwest ticket to Orlando was $196, but fares to Orlando on AirTran and United yesterday were $109.
Southwest offered the lowest walk-up fare to Chicago Midway, at $171 each way. United charged $234, according to Orbitz.