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Although we would never presume to predict where airfares are heading (we'll leave that for those with a more adventurous nature), we can tell you that airfares on many routes, both domestic and international, appear to have headed downward.

We recently saw, for example, peak summer travel from four cities (Toledo, Columbus, Cleveland and Houston) to Dublin for the very surprising tax-included price of $430 round-trip. That's for July and August travel on Delta. These fares may actually be available as you read this, and, if they are, you'll see them listed on our "to Dublin" fares page.

Continental Sale to Europe

Why are Ohio and Houston to Dublin fares so cheap on Delta? Could it be that Delta isn't pleased that Continental launched a pretty decent sale for summer travel to Europe? Cleveland and Houston are, after all, Continental hubs. Hard to say. The Continental sale is in both economy and BusinessFirst, with fares starting at $325 each way in economy and $899 each way in BusinessFirst. Taxes and fees are additional. For economy fares, purchase by March 11 and travel May 16 to September 12 with a 14 day advance purchase and a Saturday night stay and a maximum 30 day stay. For BusinessFirst fares, travel outbound June 28 to September 4 and complete travel by September 11 with a 60 day advance purchase.

Sample round-trip economy class fares with taxes out of Newark include:

While some folks might still not consider these fares cheap, for non-stop travel during peak summer they're quite a bit lower than they were last year at this time. But the real deals are for spring travel through May 2. Take a look at Continental's sale, which others are matching in select markets. Paris for example is just $415 round-trip and nonstop including tax. Continental isn't saying when this sale will end.

Southwest Sale

Southwest is having a sale a week these days, sometimes twice a week. The latest one ranges from $49 to $129 each way, better than some past sales, not as good as others, but good. Purchase by March 2 and travel through June 24 with a 14 day advance purchase. In past recent sales, Florida has been excluded but this time there's no mention of that. However, just randomly searching using Southwest's "Shortcut" flexible date search tool for flights from Dallas Love to Orlando we didn't notice that fares were any different for travel through June versus traveling through mid August. So, who knows?

Airtran is Having a Sale, Others Matching

As they do almost every week, Airtran is having a sale, this one for purchase through March 5. Ten day advance purchase, lots of blackout dates, you know the drill. This sale is different in that travel is clear through November 4. Some fares are better than others. For example, Atlanta to San Diego is $288 roundtrip while Atlanta to Phoenix is $198 roundtrip.

Cincinnati Fares Back Up

Remember when we told you that Delta had "permanently" reduced fares to and from Cincinnati? Well they did lower them a lot for a while, but now they've creeped back up. Still lower than the outrageous prices they used to charge, but we knew it wouldn't last forever.

Avoiding Lost Luggage Blues

Not only do airlines charge you for checked bags but if they lose your bags you probably won't get those fees refunded. And if you have "valuables" in those checked bags (cash, jewelry, irreplaceable items) they won't cover them in said lost bags. Unless, that is, you buy something called "excess valuation" (which Delta, for example, sells for $40 to $50 at the check in desk). But why check bags at all when in many cases you can send them domestically via FedEx Ground or UPS for much less than the airlines will charge you? Read how you can avoid being the airlines' next victim.