The busy summer travel season is already starting to wane, so travel providers now have their sights set on the upcoming fall and winter when rates and fares go down. This week alone we've seen five separate sales from as many carriers on fares good for primarily domestic travel. Often the announcements accompanying new sales are more interesting than the actual fares, but these all tend to bear some fruit.
The biggest promotion going currently is from big boy United (tel. 800/864-8331; www.united.com). The major carrier unleashed what amounts to a system-wide sale on its domestic and international routes good for flights through November 17, when seats begin getting locked up for higher-priced holiday travel (in the case of Hawaii and Canada, you have through December 15). You must book by August 12. Sample roundtrip base-fares before taxes include:
- San Francisco to Washington, D.C.: $244
- Chicago to Los Angeles: $218
- NYC to Maui: $598
- Denver to San Francisco: $198
- Denver to Puerto Vallarta: $206
- Washington, D.C. to Zurich: $610
Fares do not reflect additional taxes and fees, which will vary based on routes and schedules. The lowest fares are available for off-peak travel Mondays through Thursdays, and must be purchased 14- or 21-days in advance depending on itinerary.
Independence Air (tel. 800/358-3584; www.flyi.com) gives you a little less time to reserve a seat with its first fall sale of the season. You have until August 8, 2005, to one-way fares out of its home base of Dulles International outside Washington, D.C. The travel period is from August 9 through December 14, with some dates blacked out.
Sample one-way fares (before taxes and fees) out of or into Dulles include:
- $39 for Boston and Pittsburgh
- $49 for Greensboro NC, Jacksonville and multiple NYC airports
- $59 for Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach and Fort Myers in Florida; and Charlotte NC
- $69 for Chicago, Burlington VT, Charleston SC and Savannah
- $99 for Las Vegas and Seattle
- $109 for Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego
Additionally, if you fly twice roundtrip before October 1, you can qualify for a free companion fare good for travel from September 6 through November 15, 2005.
Delta's discount contender, Song (tel. 800/359-7664; www.flysong.com), announced its own sale on Monday featuring fares on Florida and its transcontinental routes. Travel is good between September 6 and November when purchased by August 10.
Pre-tax fares include:
- Boston to Las Vegas: $168
- Boston to LAX or San Francisco: $238
- Hartford CT to Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa or West Palm Bach: $98
- Los Angeles to Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando or Tampa: $188
- Orlando to San Juan, PR: $238
As usual, before deciding on any fare, we strongly suggest you compare itineraries and prices using your favorite airfare matrix site (currently, we're digging www.kayak.com). You'll also need to look separately at Southwest (www.southwest.com) and JetBlue (www.jetblue.com), two other carriers who've also recently announced sales; however, they don't appear on most -- or any -- outside reservations sites.
Talk with your fellow Frommer's travelers on our Air Travel Message Boards today.