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JetBlue's Life is Short Sale

JetBlue (tel. 800/538-2583; www.jetblue.com) may be having a sale, but few of these fares are at historic lows: they're just a bit lower than what they were before.

For example, we've seen Boston to Orlando much lower than the $248 round-trip JetBlue is now charging. In fact, JetBlue has a lower fare on the route for travel through Feb 28 for $159 RT, nonstop.

And JFK to West Palm Beach at $99 each way? Sun Country is flying that route for as low as $119 RT on nonstop flights. And even JetBlue has $139 RT fares nonstop for Jan/Feb travel if you fly on a Tuesday/Wednesday/Saturday.

JetBlue is also selling $250 round-trip's between JFK and Vegas via Travelocity and on its own site, but this "sale" lists the route at $328 round-trip, which is a tad on the pricey side. Some of the lower fares of the sale include:

SkyBus: New Routes, New Fares

SkyBus (no telephone, no kidding; www.skybus.com) is famous for its $10 fares, but seats are limited and sell out quickly. So to launch 2008 they've opened up a batch of new $20.08 fares for many travel dates. Of course these, too, will go fast, so you may want to move fast. Columbus to Oakland, for example, is now $40 round-trip, but only for travel in Jan and Feb. After that, some seats are as much as $300-$370 RT.

By the way, SkyBus has first come first seated seating, but for an additional $10 you get the board the plane first and get first dibs at prime seats.

EOS adds JFK-Paris & Newark-London

Once you fly on EOS (tel. 800/458-1277; www.eosairlines.com), it's hard to go back to business class on any other airline, or even first class on any other airline.

So we're glad that they're adding new routes in 2008, and just sorry that they don't fly everywhere (and that we're not rich enough to fly them everywhere). Service from Newark to London begins in the spring, and JFK to Paris in the fall, so we'll have to wait a bit.

Many airlines now fly with fully flat bed-seats, and some, such as Singapore and Jet Airways, are adding first class semi-enclosed "capsules" with enormous amounts of privacy and room. But the difference with EOS is that there are only a maximum of 48 passengers on each plane, and everyone is treated to the same high level of service. It's more like a private jet than anything else. So getting on and off the plane is a breeze, and everyone has the same large amount of personal space, more so if the plane isn't full.

Sometimes I feel guilty when I fly in business class on other airlines and they make the economy passengers wait while we deplane, or I feel envious when I deplane and walk through the first class cabin after a flight. On EOS, it's an egalitarian society -- a fairly well-heeled one, but equal nonetheless.

Plus, navigating London's Stansted Airport, where EOS lands, is just much easier to deal with than Heathrow.

When I flew EOS recently, upon landing at JFK there was no rush to get off the plane. In fact, it seemed that some passengers didn't want to leave. Save your pennies and fly them and you'll see why.

AirTran Sale

AirTran (tel. 800/AIR-TRAN; www.airtran.com) is having a sale, and though the majority of fares are quite good, their upper range fares seem to be on a steady climb. For example, LA to New Orleans at $348 round-trip isn't much of a deal, not when Southwest has it for $198 round-trip. In fact, Southwest's current sale beats this AirTran sale hands down on many of the long haul routes. And if you were to check Travelocity, you'd see that AirTran is selling that route and many others for the same price as Southwest, beating their own sale fare. And to make things even more confusing, these "sale" fares are only through early March, while their lower ones are good through May 8.

Sure, the higher fares are for travel 7 days a week compared to the lower fares being available Tuesday through Thursday on Airtran and Tuesday and Wednesday on Southwest. But, eh, for the savings, we'd be willing to work around those lower fares. Anyhoo, we've scraped away the not-so-good, and listed some of the better fares:

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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