Save $10 off USA3000 Fares
USA3000 (tel. 877/872-3000; www.usa3000.com) never overlooks an opportunity to save you $10 with a catchy new discount code. This week, it's DAD in honor of fathers everywhere. Plug in DAD in the promo code box on their site now through June 18 and you can take $10 off every flight through December 9, 2007.
Save $10 off JetBlue Fares
JetBlue (tel. 800/538-2583; www.jetblue.com) and American Express often team up to offer good discounts and here's a nice one: you can get $10 off any transcontinental one-way fare ($20 off round-trips) for fares charged to any Amex Card with this special offer.
Just purchase a transcontinental flight before June 30 and fly before June 30 except Friday or Sunday. Don't have an Amex Card? Well, maybe it's time. One benefit of American Express is that they can replace a lost card within 24 hours (or on the spot if you're near an American Express office), as I recently re-discovered when I misplaced my wallet (I eventually found it in a hidden pocket in my Jack Spade messenger bag, but that's another story). Plus, their cards for small business have superior online management tools so you can slice and dice your expense reporting in many different ways. But I digress.
Low Fares to England this Summer
Air Canada (tel. 800/630-3299; www.aircanada.com) doesn't fly nonstop from the US to London or Manchester, UK, but they do have some enticingly low fares to England right now. See samples of these fares, ranging from $610 from the East Coast to $778 from the West Coast, with taxes included, and further details here. Their fall and winter fares are also lower than other options at present. So if you don't mind changing planes in Toronto or Montreal, this may be just the ticket.
Why Get Gouged for Economy Class When You Can Fly Business?
If you prefer flying nonstop to England (or anywhere in Europe) this summer, there's a good chance that, depending on your chosen travel days, you'll be shocked by fares of $2,000 or more round-trip. It's not unusual to pay that much, even in economy class. But many of the new all business class airlines, such as MaxJet, SilverJet, Avion, and EOS charge that or less for business class flights to Paris and London. We were searching for a flight from Newark to London leaving on July 9 and returning on the 13th, and discovered that British Airways was charging $1,801 for a nonstop flight sold via Orbitz.com. But SilverJet (tel. 877/359-7458; www.flysilverjet.com) was asking $1,955 round-trip for its superior business class product on those very same dates. Hard to believe? See the screen grabs for yourself. Sometimes, business class can be even less than economy for peak summer travel. Which would you rather?
Late Fall/Winter Los Angeles to London Sale
Air New Zealand (tel. 800/262-1234; www.airnz.com) is offering sale fares on this route at $699 or thereabouts, round-trip including tax, via its comfy nonstop Boeing 777 service. These fares, available only through Air New Zealand's web site, are about $100 less than competing flights on Virgin, United, American, and British Airways. Plus you get that famous friendly Air New Zealand service. Stop me if you've heard this one before, but upon boarding my last ANZ flight, as I was trying to stuff my rather bulky carryon in the overhead bin, I was accosted by a flight attendant who admonished me, "Oh no you don't! That's my job!" He then snatched the bag out of my hands and found room in the bin. True story.
Summer Fares to Scandinavia on SAS
You'll also save money flying from Newark, Chicago, and Washington to Stockholm or Copenhagen this summer if you book directly on the SAS (tel. 800/221-2350; www.flysas.com) web site rather than on third-party sites. For example, we found a flight from Newark to Stockholm leaving July 5 and returning July 13 for $747 round-trip including all taxes, whereas the same flight via Orbitz was $1143 (!) on SAS or $988 on Continental. You'll save even more with their "Late Summer and Early Fall Special." Leave August 12 to October 27 for flights to Copenhagen or August 19 to October 27 for Stockholm. For example, we found Newark to Copenhagen leaving August 20 and returning August 30 for $607 roundtrip including tax on nonstop flights, although this time Orbitz wasn't much more at $637 for the same flights (although Continental wanted $1,113).
When Airlines Misbehave
What happens when an airline re-schedules or eliminates a flight from its timetables? We're not talking about one-off cancellations, but the total elimination of a flight for evermore. It happens with increasing frequency as airlines attempt to tweak schedules and reassign equipment from unprofitable routes in order to maximize revenue. And that leaves flyers holding the bag for extra expenses, which the airlines flatly refuse to cover: extra nights in hotels and resorts, for example, or a scramble for a last minute (and expensive) replacement fare. But then it gets worse. Read about the woman who, when her originating flight was scratched from the schedule, attempted to get a refund from American, but to no avail. Does travel insurance cover situations like these? Sometimes. But one of your best lines of defense might be to buy your ticket with an experienced travel agency that has connections and clout with the airlines. Sure, you'll pay a fee, but the good ones will go to bat for you when you get screwed. By the way, if you've had a problem getting a refund of a fare (non-refundable or otherwise) when an airline has cancelled your flight and you no longer wish to travel because of the cancellation, we'd like to hear from you.
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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