JetBlue Sale and Continental's Typo Response
JetBlue (tel. 800/538-2583; www.jetblue.com) is having one of their periodic sales, with fares from $39 each way (e.g., Boston to Columbus) up to $129 each way (Washington to Oakland).
What's especially fun is that Continental matched some of these fares out of Newark, and even beat them, with, for example, Newark to Portland ME, Burlington VT, Rochester NY, Buffalo and Syracuse for $38 RT plus tax. Only a few seats/dates were available at those crazy low fares, but they were definitely bookable. We think they might have been typo fares (they meant to hit the one-way button but did the RT button instead).
Continental Sale to Tokyo in Early May
We've found a bunch of really good (relatively) fare sales to Tokyo on Continental (tel. 800/525-0280; www.continental.com) via their Houston nonstop. These fares can be hundreds less than alternatives, and are good from many cities. But here's the trick: the lowest fares seem to be available leaving around April 30 or May 1 and returning around May 6 or 7. Other days are available, but if you begin your search with those dates you'll have better luck finding the cheap seats faster.
Some sample fares, all round-trip with taxes:
There are more listed on our city pages and feel free to find fares from your city.
Alaska Airlines 15% off Special
Here's the deal: Alaska Airlines (tel. 800-426-0333; www.alaskaairlines.com) will take 15% off your fare between airports they serve in Idaho and Oakland, San Jose, Fresno, San Francisco, and Sacramento; and between Southern California (LA, Long Beach, Burbank, Ontario, Orange County, San Diego, and Santa Barbara) and airports they serve in Montana. Use e-cert code EC01907 before April 15 for travel between April 24 and June 20 only.
New Aer Lingus Routes
Aer Lingus (tel. 800/223-6537; www.aerlingus.com) has announced the launch of three new routes between the U.S. and Dublin, bringing the Irish airline's total U.S. departure points to seven. As of September 3, service from Washington Dulles will begin, with four flights a week, and with fares starting at $575. Service from San Francisco begins on October 28, with three flights a week, and with fares starting around $475. Flights from Orlando also begin on October 28, with three flights a week, and with fares starting at $477. These fares are all round-trip, including tax, and are good for travel in the first month of these new routes.
Keep in mind that Dublin is probably the most convenient and inexpensive port of entry to Europe. Without changing airports (as you would have to in London) you can continue on to any of the more than 100 destinations served cheaply and frequently by Aer Lingus and Ryanair.
Cheap Fares Within Europe
Yes, fares to most European cities from the US remain high. But once in a while, we find reasonable deals, such as a recent fare from New York JFK to Madrid and Barcelona for $450 round-trip, peak summer dates, tax included, on Air France, or last year's $378 summer-with-tax round-trips from the East Coast to London.
But what if London or Madrid isn't where you want to go? Then you hop on a budget European airline to get where you want to go, at fares that are often ridiculously low, even when taxes (and baggage charges) are added on.
For example, Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) often has 20 cent fares from London's Stansted Airport as well as smaller Luton Airport to various cities on the Continent. Usually, there are restrictions and blackouts, but the fares are easy to find if you do a flexible search. With taxes, these fares end up more like $20-$40, but still, they're cheap as can be. So you fly from the US to wherever happens to be on sale, and then use a discount European airline to go on from there to where you really want to go. The savings can be significant. You'll find other budget Euro carriers under the "European Low Cost Carriers" heading of our route maps page.
Of the many all-business class airlines to emerge over the last few years, Eos Airlines (tel. 800/458-1277; www.eosairlines.com) seems to be doing quite well. Not only were they recognized by the UK Civil Aviation Authority as being the most punctual airline for travel between New York and London (which is the only route they fly, by the way), but beginning April 15, Eos Airlines will add an additional flight to peak travel days on this route. From New York's JFK, this third flight will depart at 10:55 pm on Sundays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and from London's Standsted at 1:00 pm on Sundays, Mondays, and Fridays.
MAXjet Summer Sale
And speaking of that sudden boom in the all-business class market, MAXjet (tel. 888/435-9629; www.maxjet.com) is offering reduced fares on summer travel between New York and London for $599 each-way as well as Washington DC and London or $499 each-way. These fares are, of course, based on a round-trip purchase, and are good for travel from April 16 through September 15 for New York, and from May 24 through October 28 for Washington, DC.
From New York to London, traveling from June 13 through June 20, we found a fare of $1,346 round-trip, including taxes. We followed up with the same dates on Orbitz and actually found a better fare of $1,192 round-trip, with taxes, on MAXjet. Either way, it's much better than the next lowest business class fare, which is $2,310 on Icelandair.
We had no problem finding that $499 each-way (or $1,146 round-trip, with taxes) advertised sale fare from DC to London on the MAXjet site for travel on July 19 through July 26. Keep in mind, the best coach fare listed on Orbitz for this trip is $950, so that jump to business class really isn't so astronomical, especially for peak summer.
No, Really. We Said Goodbye
Are we the only ones who are mightily annoyed by Travelocity.com's pop up for lastminute.com, which they also own? Every time we search for a fare on Travelocity, that annoying "You say goodbye. We say hello" ad appears. Don't they realize how anti-consumer this is? Even our browser's pop up blocker can't stop it, which makes us wonder how Travelocity gets around this. We've written customer service asking them when they'll realize that this annoys more people than it helps. Not that we don't love Lastminute.com, because you can indeed find last minute bargains there. But do we need to be reminded of it so often? C'mon, Travelocity, enough already.
$1,000 Towards all Your Globetrotting Escapades
If you haven't heard, Airfarewatchdog.com (www.airfarewatchdog.com) is running a very clever (at least we think it's clever) contest. To win $1,000 and other great prizes, all you need to do is write an effective ad that conveys, in a specific and limited amount of words, why airfarewatchdog.com is such a great site. So put on your spectacles read the rules, grab your quill and ink, and have fun. The winning ads, by the way, will be chosen not by us ultimately, but by the number of clicks they receive from the general public over a two-week period. The marketplace will crown the winner! Neat, eh?
--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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