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Hawaii Five-O Sale for Winter

Did you know CBS is remaking Hawaii Five-0? And to celebrate, Hawaiian Airlines (tel. 800/367-5320; www.hawaiianair.com) is offering a Hawaii Five-0 Fare Special. This offer is valid for travel from Jan. 10 through March 10, which is right around the time you may have officially had it with winter weather. Book by Sept. 30.

Round-trip fares include:

Frontier Sale for Fall

Save on fall travel with the new sale from Frontier's (tel. 800/432-1359; www.frontierairlines.com). Travel is valid on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays through Dec. 15. Fares require a 7-day advance purchase. Avoid blackout dates of Nov. 24, and 27-28.

All purchases must be made by 11:59pm ET, Sept. 30.

Round-trip fares include:

New Service to Los Cabos from Alaska Airlines

Starting Dec. 4, Alaska Airlines (tel. 800/426-0333; www.alaskaair.com) will begin nonstop service between San Jose and Los Cabos. Flights depart San Jose at 10:30am and arrive in Los Cabos at 2:30pm. From Los Cabos, flights depart at 3:20pm and arrive in San Jose at 5:35pm. Service operates on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Introductory fares start at $99 one-way, valid for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between Dec. 4 and Feb. 6.

Round-trip tickets must be booked by Sept. 17.

20% Promo Code from Porter Airlines

Save 20% on your next trip with Porter Airlines (tel. 888/619-8622; www.flyporter.com). Just enter promo code DROP20 at time of purchase. Valid for online bookings, for travel through March 31. Avoid blackout dates Dec. 16 through Jan. 5.

All purchases must be made by Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Low Fare Guarantee Not So Guaranteed?

Q: I wanted to make consumers aware that United's Low Fare Guarantee (LFG) is primarily a marketing ploy and not much of a guarantee. I was purchasing a ticket from Washington to Bangkok. The top result on Bing's travel search engine was from Airfare.com (www.airfare.com). It was $100 cheaper per person than United's fares. However, I made the terrible decision to trust United's Low Fare Guarantee. I went through the trouble of taking screenshots, submitting a form, and reading the fine print that requires me to send a follow-up email in addition to the form submission.

The end result was that my claim was denied and I was out $200 on two fares. Worse, I did not heed the advice of my wife (who wanted to buy the cheaper ticket on Airfare.com) and now I must endure her ridicule and teasing (which I expect to last for years). As it turns out, United's fine print excludes "consolidators" and "travel agencies". As far as I can tell, that excludes pretty much all online competition. Isn't every online travel site a consolidator? United's response implied that I should contact any website with a lower fare, call them, find a person to confirm their status as a travel agent and their ticket terms, and then submit my claim.

In short, buy the cheapest ticket you can find and don't expect United to price match. Their guarantee is nothing more than a ruse to discourage comparison-shopping. My question: Any thoughts on how get my wife to stop teasing me for being gullible enough to trust United? Alternatively, any thoughts on how to get my money back?

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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