Analysis shows savings for consumers in new routes to Mexico, Central America, Caribbean

FareCompare has released its first findings of a comprehensive analysis of the Southwest Effect in new international routes, discovering significant savings for US consumers, the company said.

The company compared prices on new routes that the airline launched in the fall of 2015 for non-stop flights between Houston and some of Southwest´s new cities in the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico. The initial report is now available online at farecompare.com/southwesteffect.

FareCompare analyzes more than 17 billion itineraries daily to find the lowest available prices on existing flights. For this project, the team compared available airfare prices from Houston to eight new Southwest Airlines non-stop destinations from Houston – Belize City, Cancun, Liberia, Montego Bay, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, San Jose del Cabo and San Jose, Costa Rica.

The first analysis compared 70,410 airfare searches of the first quarter 2015 with the first quarter of 2016 searches to determine if baseline price changes had occurred. Prices were based on the average of the lowest detected prices for the advance purchase of between 14 and 34 days before departure, for stays from 4 to 14 days.

The second analysis compared a total of 233,704 airfare searches between January 2015 through mid-April 2016, using the same filters applied to the first analysis.

The Southwest Effect appears to extend to international destinations, at least in most cases. Overall, average lowest prices on round-trip flights to these destinations dropped significantly with the exception of fares to San Jose del Cabo, which rose slightly. Price drops for all destinations averaged out to USD155 or nearly 25 percent from year-to-year; when San Jose del Cabo fares are removed from consideration, the drop was slightly above 30 percent.

However, there are likely other factors at play as well, including other low-cost carriers in the market and the Zika virus scare. The full report is available now from FareCompare.

Headquartered in Dallas, FareCompare makes shopping for airfare easy and simple by comparing currently available fares from a wide variety of sources through one simple search. The company´s multiple products allow customers across the world to keep track of their favorite destinations and specific travel dates, plus find great low price deals that are not publicized through its best-in-class deal detection algorithms.