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JetBlue to San Francisco

JetBlue Airways (tel. 800/538-2583; www.jetblue.com) has just announced it will start new nonstop service between New York JFK and San Francisco with great introductory one-way fares. Needless to say, other airlines are matching or will do so soon. Prices below are before taxes.

  • Boston to San Francisco $99
  • New York to San Francisco $99

Service begins on May 3, 2007. This fare is valid for travel through June 13, 2007. Book your ticket by January 22, 2007, 11:59 PM MST.

Tahiti Half Price Special

Air Tahiti Nui (tel. 877/824-4846; www.airtahitinui-usa.com) has a great fare from Los Angeles to Papeete, Tahiti, for $689 roundtrip, nonstop, all taxes included. This is a bargain when you compare it to the second lowest fare listed by Travelocity for Los Angeles to Papeete on these dates: $1,321 on Air France. That's almost double. But hurry; you must purchase by January 26, and travel outbound on either January 27 or 28, returning on February 5 only.

L'Avion $999 Biz Class Nonstops Newark to Paris

Exclusively business-class airlines have been something of a trend in recent years. Most of these, such as Eos and Silverjet, offer only New York to London routes, with the exception of Maxjet which offers service to London from Las Vegas, Washington D.C. and New York. This month brings about the launch of another business-class airline, L'Avion (tel. 866/NYC-ORLY; www.lavion.com), adding Newark to Paris Orly to the growing list of all-biz routes. And to kick things off, the carrier is offering $999 roundtrip fares, including tax to the first 999 passengers booking, good for travel through March 31 (no service Tuesday or Saturday, and seats were easy to book when we checked on Monday). By way of comparison, Continental was charging over $7,700 RT for a business class seat leaving Monday, January 22 and returning a week later, compared to L'Avion's easy to book $999. With the bright purple paint jobs on their fleet and online testimonials by fashion and art world folks, we can't help but be reminded of the glory days of Braniff International.

Northwest's Asia Sale

Northwest Airlines (tel. 800/225-2525; www.nwa.com) is having a sale on travel to Asia. Here are some sample fares including all taxes and fees:

Depart January 29, Return February 6

  • New York to Manila $987 vs. next lowest $989 on Continental (through Orbitz.com)
  • Portland to Tokyo $670 vs. $724 on United

Depart February 26, March 6

  • Detroit to Singapore $821 vs. $811 on American
  • Minneapolis to Hong Kong $907 vs. $1,102 on Korean (through Orbitz.com)

For the lowest fares, travel Monday through Thursday. Depart between January 15, 2007 and February 28, 2007. Complete all travel by March 30, 2007. Book by January 22, 2007.

Aeromexico Faresavers

Aeromexico (tel. 800/237-6639; www.aeromexico.com) is discounting three routes between the U.S. and Mexico. Below are some sample fares including all taxes and fees:

Depart January 19, Return January 27

  • Houston to Mexico City $333 vs. $343 on United
  • Phoenix to Guadalajara $375 vs. $380 on Continental

Depart February 8, Return February15

  • Miami to Mérida $482 vs. $470 on Mexicana

As you can see, other airlines are matching or beating these fares. However Aeromexico offers nonstop service. Depart between January 12, 2007 and February 26, 2007. Return between January 18, 2007 and February 28, 2007. Purchase your ticket by January 29, 2007.

Flight Plus Car or Hotel Packages

If you're in the habit of bypassing the package deals offered by booking sites, you may want to reconsider, especially for last minute (i.e., less than 7 days advance purchase) travel. For example, Site59 (www.site59.com), which specializes in last minute travel, often times has flight and rental car packages that are actually lower than the price of the flight alone. We searched for flight plus car from New York LaGuardia to Savannah for January 18 through January 21 and found $248 on Site59. We found roughly the same price for flight plus car on Travelocity, using the same dates (Travelocity owns Site59, so that's not surprising). Yet the exact same search on Travelocity, minus the car rental, was $424. We're not sure how this works, but we like it.

Take the Backdoor to Philly

Flying to/from Philadelphia? Consider using Wilmington, Delaware as an alternative airport. From Wilmington, Philly is easily accessible by train. Plus, Delta (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com) has lowered fares to Wilmington (fares accurate as of Jan 16, but subject to change) Take a look:

New York to Madrid

Another low international fare we've seen this week comes from an airline you may not be familiar with. From New York's JFK, Air Comet (tel. 877/999-7587; www.airpluscomet.com) flies to Madrid and Rome. Last week we found a good deal to Rome on Air Comet, which has since expired, and now we've found New York to Madrid for $441 including taxes, nonstop. That's a lot less than the competition.

Airfarewatchdog's Best of the Best

Each day, our hardworking airfarewatchdoggers cherry pick the very best of the thousands of fares they analyze and add them to this page, our airfare honor roll of sorts. Keep in mind, these fares work in reverse as well. For instance, if you see a Miami to Seattle fare on the list, it also operates Seattle to Miami. The domestic fares we list do not include all taxes, fees and surcharges; (most) international fares we list do include all taxes and fees. Here is a sample of some of our most recent top 50-worthy fares:

  • Minneapolis/San Juan $208 RT
  • Newark/Cologne, Germany $288 RT
  • Chattanooga/St Petersburg, FL $29 OW
  • Charlotte/San Francisco, CA $79 OW
  • Santa Ana, CA/ Nashville $69 OW
  • Washington Dulles/Spokane, WA $86 OW
  • Detroit/Los Angeles $168 RT
  • Fresno/Las Vegas $29 OW
  • Denver/Portland, ME $198 RT
  • St Petersburg, FL/Knoxville $29 OW

Note that many of these fares are on airlines, such as Southwest and Allegiant, that don't feed fare data to Washington, DC-based ATPCO, the Airline Tariff Publishing Company, a quasi-official airfare clearing house owned by many major carriers. That means they won't show up in Travelocity, Orbitz and Expedia or their like, or on any automated fare listing or prediction web sites. Fares can change or sell out at any moment, are not guaranteed, may not be available on all dates and flights, and are subject to prior sale. So it's a good idea to act quickly and check back often.

Canada Winter Escape

United Airlines (tel. 800/864-8331; www.united.com) is having a winter sale on travel to Canada. Here are some sample fares including all taxes and fees:

Depart February 13, Return February 21

  • Denver to Vancouver $550 vs. $464 on US Airways
  • San Antonio to Winnipeg $481 vs. next lowest $477 on Northwest

Depart April 18, Return April 25

  • Washington D.C. to Halifax $393 vs. $387 on Air Canada

As you can see, most of these fares are being matched or beaten by other airlines, and in any case, travel on these routes is pretty darned expensive, sale or no sale. For the lowest fares, travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. Complete all travel by April 30, 2007. There is a 7-day advance purchase requirement.

Additional reporting by Tracy W. Stewart and David Shan.

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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