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Air New Zealand Sale & Pacific Island Stopovers

Air New Zealand (tel. 800/262-1234; www.airnewzealand.com) is having a sale to Auckland, good for travel August 1 through September 21, with base fares starting at $998 round-trip. Add other New Zealand cities to your itinerary for an additional $50 to $100. Departures from or via Los Angeles have the option of adding stopovers in Samoa, Tonga, or the Cook Islands for $100 each stop. All fares must be purchased by July 28, and sample round-trip fares include:

West Coast Fares to Mumbai, India

Korean Air (tel. 800/438-5000; www.koreanair.com) is offering some great late summer fares from select west coast cities to Mumbai/Bombay, India. All fares must be booked by July 31, and are valid for outbound travel August 21 through September 30. And here's something you don't see on a sale fare everyday: no blackout dates! Changes are allowed for a fee of $75, and refunds for $150. Fares, with taxes and the works, include:

AirTran Late Summer Sale

Been too busy to book that big summer vacay you planned? Well, here comes the latest sale from AirTran (tel. 800/AIR-TRAN; www.airtran.com), good for travel all the way through November 12 (except for September 1! Blackout date!). You?ll find the lowest fares available for purchase on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. And there are some particularly good fares to San Antonio, if you've been meaning to get there. All fares must be booked by July 29, and include:

South Florida Sale to Caribbean & Latin America

If you didn't get around to booking any of the other times they've run this very same sale, American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) is giving you another chance. Fly from Miami or Ft Lauderdale to select destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America for cheap. The latest incarnation of this sale is good for travel through October 2, and expires July 21. Round-trip fares include:

New Baggage Fees & How to Avoid Them

Hawaii carrier Go! is the latest to announce plans to charge $10 for checking one bag. Throw it on the pile of their existing baggage fees, which include a $17 fee for checking a second bag for interisland flights, and a $25 fee for second bags heading to the mainland.

And as you may have heard, Northwest jumped on the first-bag-fee bandwagon last week. So maybe now you're finally ready to consider shipping your baggage instead. It's secure, convenient, and could just save you some cash. Get the full story in the Airfarewatchblog, along with our Shipping Vs. Checking comparison chart.

Your Airline Wants to Sell You Insurance, But What's it Worth?

People who never before considered travel insurance might look back on this turbulent summer as the one that pushed them over the edge. And if you've shopped around for an airline ticket lately, you can't help but have noticed that somewhere in the process your airline has offered to sell you what looks to be a fairly cheap insurance policy, usually for $9, $12, $15 or a similarly affordable amount, per trip. Should you bite? Not before reading this.

And while we're on the subject of travel insurance, we hear a new sad tale about how someone thought they were covered by trip insurance, but later found out that a hidden loophole allowed the insurer to refuse coverage.

How about the woman whose mother was diagnosed with cancer just before a trip? She claims that because her mother wasn't a US citizen and lived outside the US, the insurer denied coverage when she was forced to cancel her trip (her mother wasn't traveling).

Or did you know that some policies deny coverage for all amateur sporting events and training? So when a mother learned that her teenage son was seriously injured during football practice and decided to cancel her trip, her insurer refused to cover her (again, the son wasn't the one traveling).

Why was your travel insurance claim denied? Let us know!

Additional Reporting by Tracy W. Stewart & David Landsel

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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