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Astounding Fares to Manila on United

Earlier this week it was London that was on sale for astounding fares. Now, for some reason, it's Manila, and from some unusual US cities, thanks to an unadvertised United Airlines (tel. 800/241-6522; www.united.com) sale. Lansing, and Grand Rapids, MI, for example, to the Philippine capital is just $400 round-trip on United (taxes add about $200). That's about a third of the normal fare. But Detroit is $510 round-trip.

This is not a system-wide sale. Boston is not included, but New York City ($510 plus tax) is, as are such far flung cities as Boise, Colorado Springs, and Fargo. In fact, your city is probably part of the deal, too, at fares that we are not likely to see in a long time. Travel is valid seven days a week although some dates will be sold out. A seven-day advance purchase is required; outbound travel through April 27 and return by May 31, 2006. Book only at Travelocity.com. Note: this is an unadvertised sale and could disappear at any moment.

Buenos Aires Sale Not So Bueno

We were less than impressed with Continental's (tel. 800/525-0280; www.continental.com) current sale to Buenos Aires. We tried booking numerous routes and dates (in fact, we spent about a half hour on this) trying to find seats at the advertised prices. If anyone has found these fares, please let us know and we'll stand corrected. Even so, Continental may have seats lower than other airlines, but not, we think, at the fares listed on their site, which range from $720 to $970 round-trip, before taxes. These fares, if you can find them, must be booked by May 21, 2006 and travel must be completed by June 15.

Deals to Dehli

However, Continental's sale to Dehli is a good one, but you must purchase by tonight, Friday February 17. Baltimore to Dehli, for example, is $769 round-trip before taxes on Continental as compared to $798 on American (and AA's travel period is shorter to boot); Los Angeles to Dehli is $960 base fare on CO vs. a next lowest $835 on Malaysia; but with taxes the Malaysia fare jumps to an unbelievable $1146. Continental's base fare¿with taxes¿is less at¿$1028. Next, we surveyed Newark to Dehli with March 21 outbound and March 28 return. Travelocity informed us that no seats were available on those dates, but we found some on Continental.com for a $769 round-trip base fare or $826 with all taxes. We tried same dates and route on Orbitz.com and the lowest we got was on Virgin for $1026 with taxes. And, of course, Continental has nonstop flights from Newark so it's a no brainer. For this one we suggest going straight to the source (Continental.com).

  • Travel outbound March 19-May 24, 2006
  • Complete return travel by June 30, 2006
  • Purchase round-trip by February 17, 2006

Spirit's San Francisco Service

Spirit Air (tel. 800/772-7117; www.spiritair.com) has just announced service to San Francisco, but they're going to have to do better than this to get our attention. These fares are hardly the stuff that dreams are made of. New York to San Francisco at $174 would be great if it were round-trip, but it's not: this is a one-way fare. ATA is selling the route right now at $109 one-way. San Francisco to Atlantic City at $174 each way is certainly lower than it was when Delta had the route all to itself, but it's still rather high. No doubt we'll see lower fares on these routes in the future since Spirit is known for some really good deals. These just aren't.

New Air Canada New York-Calgary Non-Stops

Air Canada (tel. 800/630-3299; www.aircanada.com) is launching new service from New York's JFK to Calgary starting March 1, 2006. Book by February 28 and flights are $140 one-way with no roundtrip purchase required. Travel between March 1 and April 30 with a seven day advance purchase. This fare appears not to be available (yet anyway) on Travelocity, where the lowest fare seems to be $322 round-trip, but we were able to find seats on Air Canada's site.

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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