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Well, AirTran, I Do Declare...

AirTran (tel. 800/AIR-TRAN; www.airtran.com) is currently having a system-wide sale, good for travel through late spring. While the coast-to-coast fares are, eh, just so-so, the real savings can be found along the east coast, to southern cities like Savannah, Charleston, and Pensacola. Take a look:

You'll find the better deals available for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. All tickets must be booked by February 12, and are good for travel through May 20.

American Airlines Ski Sale

It may be hard to imagine now under all those layers of wool and down, but spring will be here before you know it. And if you're looking for one last winter hoorah, American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) just so happens to have a new sale to major ski towns like Gunnison/Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs/Hayden, Montrose/Telluride, and Jackson Hole.

This sale is good for travel beginning February 6 and, as far as we can tell, there's no expiration so come and get it, before these fares are sold out.

Key West in Winter

If zipping around a mound of snow is the last thing you'd want to be doing right now (in which case, we feel ya), American (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) is also having a sale to Miami, Sarasota, and Key West. And while the fares to Miami and Sarasota are easily beatable, the Key West fares are certainly worth a double take.

This sale is valid for travel through February 29, and before you go getting any romantical ideas in your head, blackout dates fall on Valentine's Day, February 15 through 18, as well as February 22 through 25.

February to June Aloha Sale

Not all airlines put Valentine's Day in the blackout bin. The latest sale from Aloha (tel. 800/367-5250; www.alohaairlines.com) is good for travel from February 14 all the way through June 5. Fares include:

In this case, the blackout dates fall around spring break, March 13 through March 31, and again May 16, 18, 23, and 26. All purchases must be made by February 5.

JetBlue Goes Fully Refundable

JetBlue (tel. 800-538-2583; www.jetblue.com) this week began offering new refundable fares through their website and third-party partners. This new option provides additional flexibility to people who want the ability to change or cancel their travel plans without penalty. This comes on the heels of Southwest's launch of their "Business" and "Business Select" classes of service in November which also allow for ticket changes and refunds. JetBlue appears to be playing a bit of catch-up in this space.

JetBlue allows unlimited changes to the ticket without penalty as well as a full refund at any time prior to the flight's departure. If you miss your flight and do not notify the airline, you will receive a full credit for the cost of the flight to be used at a future date within one year.

This appears to be a positive development, but in investigating the new fare structure, Airfarewatchdog.com has noticed that travelers need to carefully compare their options when considering the new refundable fares.

For example, we checked prices on flights from West Palm Beach to New York, JFK on a Friday in March and found that JetBlue's everyday fare was $99-$119 each way, while the refundable fare for the same flight was priced at $399 each way. That's up to four times the cost for the added flexibility, which is quite steep.

However, when we checked prices for New York, JFK to West Palm on the same Friday, prices ranged from $204 to $324 at their everyday fare vs. the same $399 for the refundable fare. In this instance, the price premium was not as great and may be worth the added cost for the additional flexibility.

We recommend doing your homework and comparing the lowest available JetBlue fares with the new refundable fares before booking. Depending on your specific situation and the prevailing fares at the time of booking, the new refundable fares may or may not be an option worth pursuing.

Single Urban Sophisticates, Spinstery Cat-Folk: Cover Thine Eyes...

Is JetBlue giving special deals to couples on the sly? Here's something noticed that when booking two or more passengers, some JetBlue flights drop in price as much as $15 each way. When we checked flights from West Palm Beach to New York, JFK on March 14, we noticed that the lowest fare when booking one passenger was $99 each way, while the lowest fare shown for two or more passengers was $84 each way. We have noticed this before, and it seems to be a nuance of JetBlue's reservation system, although it's never been officially documented anywhere to our knowledge. Yet one more thing to keep in mind when comparison shopping for airfare.

Are Frequent Flyer Credit Cards Worth the Plastic They're Printed On?

After a whole lotta hullabaloo when trying to cash in our miles, we got to thinking -- is this really worth the trouble? Not really. So what did we do? We found something better than miles.

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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