I just received an email that southwest is starting new non stop service from Houston (HOU) to Washington Reagan (DCA) and vice versa on August 4, 2013. On top of that, they are offering double points if you book by Aug 4 and travel from Aug4-Dec 31, 2013. To earn double points, you must register for the promotion here. This means that you will earn 12 points per dollar on Wanna GetAway fares instead of the standard 6. The bonus points do not count towards Companion pass or A-list qualification, however.
So what are the fares looking like? The cheapest I’ve found is about $162 each way on the weekdays excluding Friday or Saturday. Per the fare below, this will get you 3,646 rapid reward miles for roundtrip flight.
Not the greatest fare since you can find a cheaper fare on US Airways. Although it does have a stop, it is $40 cheaper and it leaves from IAH.
If you compare only non stop fares, then southwest would be better since the cheapest flight to DCA would be $449, which is a whole lot more!
For deals or fares that come out, it is always good to check to see if a promotion would most make sense for you financially and time wise. If you don’t want to spend 5-6 hrs on planes including lay overs, then the southwest non stop flight is the better deal.