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Alaska Airlines' Fares to Go

Alaska Airlines (tel. 800/426-0333; www.alaskaair.com) has released its latest Fares to Go, with fares starting at $89 one-way. Travel Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday, between May 4 and June 2. Fares require a 14-day advance purchase. Travel to and from Mexico requires no advanced purchase. Fares to and from Mexico are available for travel daily. Travel between Anchorage and Seattle, Fairbanks and Seattle, or Anchorage and Portland must be nonstop.

Tickets must be booked by April 25.

Sample round-trip fares include:

30 Hours in Munich Sale

Sun Country (tel. 800/752-1218; www.suncountry.com) is back with another one-off quickie deal to Europe, and this time it's 30 Hours in Munich. Fly from Minneapolis to Munich for $456 round-trip, including all taxes. As before, this flight is a one time only gig, good for travel from Friday, April 22 through Sunday, April 24. Like their previous Euro flights, planes will make a fuel stop in Gander, Newfoundland each way.

First-class upgrades are available at the airport for an additional $200 per leg, or purchase in advance for $800 round-trip, before taxes.

Virgin America's Fares to Fly By

Virgin America's (tel. 877/359.8474; www.virginamerica.com) latest Fares to Fly By start at $69 one-way, before taxes. Offer is good for travel from May 4 through June 15, and again from Aug. 24 through Oct. 27. Blackout dates are May 27, May 31, Sept. 2, and Sept. 5. Tickets must be purchased by 11:59pm PDT April 25. For domestic U.S. travel, sale fares are only available for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Nonstop Los Angeles-Cancun service does not operate on Monday and Thursday. Nonstop San Francisco-Cancun service operates on Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Round-trip fares include:

OpenSkies Biz Seat Sale for Summer

Shopping around for tickets to Paris this summer? For about what you'd spend to fly Economy on most airlines, all-biz-class carrier OpenSkies (tel. 866/581-3596; www.flyopenskies.com) is offering seats in peak summer for $1,598 round-trip, as part of their Red Hot Summer Saver Sale. Depart from New York or D.C. from July 10 through Sept. 10.

All bookings must be made by May 12.

Tickets require a 21-day advance purchase, as well as a Saturday night minimum stay. This offer is subject to availability, and tickets are non-refundable.

Excess Valuation for International Flights

For most people who check bags when flying, the $3,300 of lost baggage coverage offered by airlines (by U.S. law) on domestic flights is enough to cover any loss or damage. But if your flight is to an international destination, even if it includes a domestic connecting portion, different compensation rules apply. For most international travel departing from the U.S., baggage liability is limited to approximately $9.07 (USD) per pound for checked baggage and $400 (USD) per passenger for unchecked baggage. Different (slightly more generous) rules apply for travel from the European Community. But for almost all international travel, these protections won't cover your loss if you have expensive clothing or other items in your suitcase. That's why you might need to buy excess valuation from your airline when you check in for your flight. For coverage options airline by airline, check out our excess valuation baggage chart.

From the Mailbag: 100,000 Bonus Miles v. Taxes & Availability

Q: I see that British Airways and Chase Visa Card are again offering 100,000 bonus miles for signing up for the credit card. In the past, however, I've found that it's hard to "spend" miles on British Airways for the dates I want to travel. Also, when I am able to get seats, the taxes are quite high, so the ticket isn't really free. The annual fee is $95, so is it worth signing up or should I pass on this offer?

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.

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