Southwest Airlines have been a major player in the U.S. market over the past few decades, but today it takes its first step into the big, wide world. As of July 1, Southwest has begun service to Aruba and Montego Bay, Jamaica, from Atlanta, Baltimore, and Orlando. In the coming months flights to the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic from other gateways will follow.
Since announcing these new routes, Southwest has opened up more affordable options for flying to Mexico and the Caribbean. A quick look at fares shows August round-trip rates between Atlanta and Montego Bay starting at $297, and between Baltimore and Aruba starting at $393. For comparison, the next best rate between Baltimore and Aruba we found was $433 on American Airlines, and $351 for Atlanta to Montego Bay with the same airline.
To kick off the new service, Southwest is offering flight and hotel packages that give you even more savings -- up to $200 (or, $25 per night for up to eight nights). Through July 14, book a flight and hotel vacation package for three or more nights using promotion code VACATION4U at the time of booking. We plugged in a three-night midweek August trip from Atlanta to Montego Bay and found rates starting at $357 per person (based on double occupancy) staying at the Negril Palms Resort. All-inclusive rates begin at $486 per person at the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean and go up to $1,435 per person at the Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios.