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Delta's JFK Expansion

Delta Air Lines (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com) is expanding its presence at New York's JFK airport by adding several new destinations with great introductory fares. By the way, we found slightly higher fares on these routes using Travelocity.com, so we suggest you use Delta.com only to book. Here are some sample fares, before taxes and fees. Most are for nonstop service, in many cases using regional jets. All fares below are round-trip prices.

  • Albany,NY $198
  • Buffalo $118
  • Cleveland $138
  • Manchester,NH $198
  • Portland,ME $118
  • Richmond $118
  • Rochester,NY $118
  • San Diego $258
  • Syracuse $118
  • Washington Dulles $118

This is an excellent sale with fares that are lower, in most cases, than those of JetBlue (against whom this expansion is clearly targeted) and have better availability than the next lowest fares on American. Travel dates vary depending on when new service begins (check the site for details). Fares also work from New York-LaGuardia in some cases but not with nonstop service. There is a one-night minimum stay requirement. Book by June 7, 2006 with a 14 day advance purchase.

And speaking of Delta, we've just discovered that they've added a reasonably good flexible date search function, which we suspect operates on ITA Software (the same outfit that fuels Orbitz.com, although it's not as flexible as Orbitz's own flex search). You can choose dates within a three day range both before and after your preferred departure and return dates. You can also search for weekend travel within any given month, as well as surrounding airports, but you can't search flexible dates and surrounding airports at the same time. Well, beggars can't be choosers we guess.

Kayak.com Adds Flexible Search

And speaking of flexible search, on Tuesday May 30, www.kayak.com launched a flexible search function (requires free registration). As with Delta's, Kayak's tool allows you to search three days before and after your initial search dates for both departure and return. Unlike Delta's flex search, you can specify alternate airports simultaneously with flexible dates. Kayak's media release claims that they are the "first travel search engine to launch air fare 'flexible search' functionality." We're not sure exactly how they define 'travel search engine,' but clearly Travelocity, Orbitz, Cheapair, and, to a limited extent, Expedia, have offered flexible date searches for years.

$40 Discount to London

British Airways (tel. 800/247-9297; www.ba.com) is offering a $40 discount on round-trip travel to London from its U.S. gateways. Below are some sample fares with the discount including taxes and fees:

Depart November 15, Return November 22

  • New York (JFK) to London $443 vs. $427 on American
  • Los Angeles to London $613 vs. $597 on American

Depart November 22, Return December 5

As you can see, comparable fares on American Airlines pretty much beat or match BA's discount when taxes are figured in. Travel October 26, 2006 to December 19, 2006. The best fares are on Mondays through Wednesdays. Book by June 5, 2006 with 7 day advance purchase requirement. We'd say that this sale is no great shakes, but we thought we'd mention it to save you the bother of looking at it yourself.

Summer Sale to Ireland

American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) has discounted fares to Shannon, Ireland to celebrate its new nonstop service from Boston, but we're not jumping up and down for joy just yet. Below are some sample fares including all taxes and fees:

Depart June 6, Return June 14

Depart August 15, Return August 21

As you can see, other airlines are offering about the same fares, give or take a few bucks; but even so these fares are fairly reasonable for a trip across the Atlantic in summer time (and, of course, from Shannon you can jump on www.ryanair.com to fly cheaply to many European destinations). Travel June 1, 2006 through September 30, 2006.

However, Delta and US Air are offering a $453 RT base fare ($625 RT with taxes) for a few dates in early and mid June from Baltimore to Shannon and US Air has Boston to Shannon with departures in mid-June and returns in June or July for $427 RT base or $533 RT with taxes, which really is a good deal for summer travel (connections via Philadelphia).

20 Percent off Alaska Airlines Flights

Alaska Airlines (tel. 800/252-7522; www.alaskaair.com) is offering a 20 percent discount on flights between Montana and Southern California and flights between Washington State/Oregon and Denver. To receive the discount, enter e-certificate code EC03206 when making reservations at www.alaskaair.com. Travel between September 6, 2006 and November 15, 2006. Offer expires June 4, 2006. And you can book only on Alaska's website.

Low Fares to Germany

Continental Airlines (tel. 800/523-3273; www.continental.com) has discounted its fares to the 4 German cities it serves with service via its East Coast hub, Newark International Airport. The fares are especially good from the East and Midwest to Cologne, from which you can connect by high speed rail to anywhere in Germany or beyond. Below are some sample fares including all taxes and fees:

Depart July 17, Return July 23

Depart July 25, Return August 6

  • Newark to Frankfurt $1,050 vs. $956 on British through Travelocity
  • Las Vegas to Berlin $1,338 vs. 1,290 on Delta

The fares to Cologne are great; however the fares to the other three cities aren't anything to email home about. For Berlin, Frankfurt, and Hamburg, depart May 26, 2006 through August 19, 2006. Book by August 5, 2006 with 14 day advance purchase. For Cologne, depart July 6, 2006 through August 19, 2006. Book by August 12, 2006 with 7 day advance purchase. All fares require a Saturday night stay and a 30 day maximum stay.

Business Class to Scandinavia

Scandinavian Airlines (tel. 800/221-2350; www.flysas.com) is having a sale on Business Class and Economy Extra Class seats from Houston to various destinations in Scandinavia and Finland.

Depart June 20, Return June 27

  • Economy Extra to Copenhagen $2,080
  • Business Class to Copenhagen $2,680 vs. $2,695 on United.

Depart between May 19, 2006 and August 31, 2006. All fares require Saturday night stay and complete all travel within one month from departure. Purchase by June 12, 2006.

Super San Juan Sale

We're seeing some crazy low unadvertised (which means they could disappear at any moment) fares from various cities to San Juan, Puerto Rico, mostly on Delta (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com) and American (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com). The Delta fares are valid for travel various days through July 31 with a 7 day advance purchase; the American fares are good through mid-April, 2007. And if you happen to live in San Juan, these fares work from Puerto Rico as well.

Click on the "deep links" below to be brought to the booking area for each fare on Travelocity. All fares listed below are round-trip:

Delta's Sale to Bermunda, Manchester UK, and Sao Paulo

Delta Air Lines (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com) is offering sale fares to Bermuda, Manchester, and Sao Paulo.

Some comparisons for you:

Depart June 14, Return June 28

  • Atlanta to Bermuda $399 vs. next lowest $393 on Continental
  • New York to Bermuda $383 vs. $339 on American

Depart July 3, Return July 12

  • New York to Manchester England $471 vs. $485 on American (this is a great deal for peak summer travel across the Atlantic)

Depart August 9, Return August 22

  • New York to Sao Paulo $639 vs. $639 on Continental
  • San Francisco to Sao Paulo $969 vs. $764 on Continental

So, while Delta's fares are being matched other airlines, they're still pretty decent for summer travel. To Bermuda and Manchester, depart June 2, 2006 through July 31, 2006 and travel must be completed by August 31, 2006. To Sao Paulo, depart through December 8, 2006 and travel must be completed by January 8, 2007. Purchase by June 9, 2006.

USA3000 $10 Off Sale

USA3000 (tel. 877/872-3000; www.usa3000.com) is again offering a $10 discount on all flights booked by June 5 for travel between August 31, 2006 and December 10, 2006. USA3000 serves the Caribbean from Baltimore, Chicago O'Hare, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Newark, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or St. Louis. Use the discount to reduce their already low fares. This airline sells all its fares one-way. To redeem, type in the promo code Fall in the yellow box when booking.

Additional reporting by David Shan.

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and blogger whose website, www.airfarewatchdog.com, tracks unadvertised airfare wars and other fare sales.

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