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There has been nonstop news coming from Southwest this week. It closed the loophole of transferring hotel point to earn companion pass, but changed its mind two days later to temporarily allow such transfer. It is adding new services from Cincinnati and removing services from two cities. Today, it announced new daily nonstop services from south Florida to four Caribbean islands!

New nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale to four Caribbean islands

In an effort to expanding its south Florida presence, Southwest is adding new daily nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale to Montego Bay, Belize, and Cancun, alongside existing service to three cities in Cuba–Havana, Varadero, and Santa Clara–as well as Nassau, The Bahamas

Southwest Caribbean routes

Southwest also filed today an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to serve Owen Roberts International Airport on Grand Cayman daily from Fort Lauderdale beginning June 4, 2017, provided the service receives requisite governmental approvals.  

My family spent a week in Grand Cayman in June 2015. It was our first trip to the Caribbean and we absolutely loved it! We rented a boat for a day and went fishing, snorkeling and swimming with the stingrays! We talk about the trip often and would definitely go back in a heart beat!

Grand Cayman Stingrays

Cheaper than Avios redemption

American Airlinea flies from Miami to all the Caribbean islands that Southwest serves. But the cheapest one-way flight would cost 7,500 British Airways Avios. Keep in mind taxes are high for flights to and from the Caribbean, regardless of the airline you fly.

I checked the price for a few Southwest routes and they are cheaper than using Avios! If you have the companion pass, it is even cheaper!

[SEE ALSO: What is Southwest Companion Pass and how to get it.]

  • to Montego Bay, $99 or 1,872 points plus $49.20
  • to Belize, $79 or 3,600 plus $5.60
  • to Cancun, $89 or 2,592 plus $29,94

Taxes are usually high for Caribbean islands, especially on the return:

  • from Montego Bay, $133 or 1,872 points plus $85.51
  • from Belize, $137 or 3,600 plus $69.21
  • from Cancun, $102 or 2,592 plus $46

(READ MORE: Comprehensive guide to the cheapest Caribbean airport taxes and fees)

Southwest also extended its schedule for booking through August 12. So book your summer trips to the Caribbean now!

 

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