updated 8/18/2009 2:45:08 PM ET 2009-08-18T18:45:08

Southwest Airlines Co. announced a fare sale to fill seats during the slow fall and winter seasons, but it blacked out many days around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

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Southwest said some seats on a few routes would sell for as little as $59 each way.

The fares apply to fights from Sept. 9 through Jan 7 but aren't available on Fridays and Sundays. Blacked-out dates include Nov. 24 through Dec. 1 and Dec. 18 through Jan. 4.

Tickets must be purchased by Sept. 3.

The airline said some seats would be sold at $59 each way on routes including Las Vegas-Phoenix and Baltimore-Manchester, N.H. It touted $89 one-way fares between Los Angeles and Seattle, and $109 one-way seats on Dallas-Chicago and New York LaGuardia-Fort Myers, Fla., flights.

Those fares don't include a federal excise taxes, airport and security fees.

Rick Seaney, CEO of FareCompare.com, said he expected to see other airlines matching Southwest's fares by Wednesday.

The sale prices were a bit higher than a two-day Southwest promotion in July.

Tom Parsons, CEO of discount travel Web site Bestfares.com, called the latest offer a "Bah Humbug" sale that won't help families with school-aged children travel during the holidays.

Parsons said AirTran Airways is also running a sale for travel through Dec. 16, with fewer blackout days around Thanksgiving. Tickets must be purchased by Aug. 25. And Frontier Airlines has a sale going into February, with a requirement to buy tickets by next Monday.

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