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Mexico Sale from Alaska Airlines

Save on late summer/fall flights to Mexico with the current sale from Alaska Airlines (tel. 800/426-0333; www.alaskaair.com). Travel is valid from Aug. 20 through Oct. 3.

Travel to or from Ixtapa or Manzanillo is valid from Aug. 20, 2012, through Oct. 16, 2012. Sale fares to and from Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta are available for travel Sundays through Fridays except between San Diego and Puerto Vallarta which is available Fridays through Sundays. Sale fares to and from Mazatlan, La Paz, Loreto, Ixtapa, and Manzanillo are available for travel daily when flights operate.

No advance purchase required. All tickets must be booked by Aug. 3.

Round-trip fares include:

Southwest's Extend Your Summer Sale

The Extend Your Summer Sale from Southwest (tel. 800/435-9792; www.southwest.com) is valid for Monday through Saturday travel, from Aug. 21 through Dec. 13. Sale fares may not be available on all flights, such as those that operate during peak travel periods.

Avoid blackout dates: Sept. 3; Nov. 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, and 26.

All bookings must be made by 11:59pm PT, July 30. Sale fares are not available to/from Washington, Dulles.

Round-trip fares include:

Late Summer/Fall Sale from AirTran

The current Hang On To Summer A Little Longer Sale from AirTran (tel. 800/AIR-TRAN; www.airtran.com) is valid for domestic travel Monday through Saturday, from Aug. 21 through Dec. 13. For international routes, travel from Aug. 21 through Nov. 11.

Domestic blackout dates apply: Sept. 3; Nov. 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, and 26.

All bookings must be made by 11:59pm PT, July 30.

Round-trip fares include:

U.S. Flight Deals from American

From American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com), save on domestic flights with their current sale for summer/fall travel. Travel is valid Mondays through Saturdays, from Aug. 21 through Dec. 13.

Blackout dates are Aug. 31, Sept. 3, and Nov. 16, 17, 20, 21, 24, 25, and 26.

All tickets must be booked 11:59pm, CT, July 30.

Round-trip fares include:

From the Mailbag: The New Flex Search Sitch

Q: I am retired and can fly on a flexible travel schedule. In past years, I've used Travelocity (www.travelocity.com) and Orbitz (www.orbitz.com) to pick and choose the cheapest dates to fly, using a flexible "fare calendar" on those websites. But recently I found that this function has disappeared. Where else can I look to find "I'll fly whenever it's cheapest" airfares?

A: Read on.

Additional reporting by Tracy W. Stewart

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and blogger whose website, www.airfarewatchdog.com, tracks unadvertised airfare wars and fare sales, including the most helpful and always updated Top 50 Airfares.