Southwest Triggers Sales On Late-Winter Fares

Major airlines today moved to match a fare sale started by Dallas-based Southwest Airlines.

The carriers face weak demand for travel during the recession.

Southwest -- through Monday -- will sell seats to almost everywhere it flies starting at $49 to $99 each way.

Tickets must be bought at least 14 days before flying, travel must be completed by March 11 and seats are limited.

Fort Worth-based American Airlines and Houston-based Continental Airlines have matched the Southwest fares.

Delta Air Lines appeared to match the Southwest move.

Delta posted a systemwide fare sale on its Web site that runs through Monday -- same as the Southwest sale.

Southwest launched the sale after this week's announcement that it lost money in the fourth quarter -- its second-straight losing quarter after 69 straight profitable ones.

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