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Southwest's Countdown to Savings Sale

Instead of the usual short-lived sale, Southwest (tel. 800/435-9792; www.southwest.com) is having an extended Countdown to Savings two-week sale with select routes starting at $59 one-way. This week's fares are valid for travel any day of the week if available from Nov. 14 through Feb. 14, 2012 There is a 10-day advance purchase restriction. Fares must be purchased before Nov. 14, 2011 11:59 pm PST. Blackout dates apply: Nov. 20, Nov. 23, Nov. 26-Nov. 28, and Dec. 22-Jan. 3, 2012.

Sample round-trip fares include:

AirTran's Go-Somewhere-Your-Office-Isn't Sale

Similar to the sale above, AirTran (tel. 800/AIR-TRAN; www.airtran.com) is having a two-week-long sale. Fares require a 10-day advance purchase and are valid for travel any day of the week if available from Nov. 14 through Feb. 14, 2012. You must purchase by Nov. 14, 2011, 11:59 pm EST. Peak holiday travel is blacked out: Nov. 20, 23 and 26-28, Dec. 22-Jan. 3, 2012

Sample round-trip fares include:

Excellent International Sale from Chicago

Airfares from the U.S. to foreign destinations have remained stubbornly high, thanks in part to taxes and airport fees among other factors. But Airfarewatchdog has noticed a few really good fares here and there, and winter travel fares have been softening a bit.

Turkish Airlines has a great sale from Chicago right now for travel to many of its international destinations. This sale officially ends on Nov. 15, but you'll want to grab seats as quickly as you can because some dates will sell out before then. Travel is between Jan. 10 and March 10, 2012 to Istanbul at an amazing $505 round-trip and until March 31 for other destinations.

Here is a sampling of round-trip fares:

These fares won't stick around for long, so grab 'em while you can!

Ski Sale on American

Now that snow has already fallen in parts of the country, maybe you're up for a little ski trip. American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) has given us their More Snow for Less Green Sale for travel between Dec. 15, 2011-April 2, 2012. Blackout dates apply: Dec. 22, 2011-Jan. 3, 2012; Feb. 15-22; March 8-11, 15-18, 2012. A three-night minimum stay and 21-day advance purchase is required. Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights. No expiration date is listed, so these fares could disappear at any time. The following routes are also available in the reverse direction.

Sample round-trip fares include:

Alaska Airlines' Fares to Go

Alaska Airlines (tel. 800/426-0333; www.alaskaair.com) has released its latest Fares to Go. Travel rules vary by route, but generally, domestic mainland travel is valid Nov. 30-Dec. 14, 2011 and must be booked by Nov. 7, 2011. Travel dates from/to Hawaii vary by route and must be booked by Nov. 4, 2011. Peak holiday travel dates are blacked out.

Sample round-trip fares include:

From the Mailbag: Taxes & Fees

Q: Would you please give us a breakdown of all the taxes that are added to airline fees? I can't think of any other service/product you can buy for which the taxes can almost double the total price. What's up with that?

A: Read on.

Additional reporting by Peter Thornton and Ricky Radka

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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