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Midwest Independence Day Sale

OK, sure, normally we see airlines raising fares for peak travel over holidays, not reducing them. Blame it on (or thank) the economy, the newly unemployed who can't really do a vacation this summer, and those off-putting strains of wacky pig and bird viruses. It all means better deals for you, and this Midwest Airlines (tel. 800/452-2022; www.midwestairlines.com) sale for travel over the July 4th holiday is certainly among them.

This sale is good for outbound travel June 26 through July 4, returning July 4 through July 7. All tickets require a one-night minimum stay and must be purchased by June 22.

Fares include:

Upgrade to Business Class on ANA

If you happen to be traveling to Japan anytime soon, don't miss out on this offer to upgrade. ANA (All Nippon Airways) is offering their Mileage Club Members a discount on an upgrade for trips from the U.S. to Japan. Half the miles are now required. A 50% discount!

Upgrade from Economy to Business Class on ANA:

  • 12,500 miles from Los Angeles or San Francisco (normally 25,000 miles required)
  • 14,000 miles from Chicago, New York, or Washington, D.C. (normally 28,000 miles required)

For a round-trip ticket, Japan Airlines (JAL) requires 50,000 miles for a similar upgrade while United requires 30,000 miles and Delta can cost between 25,000-50,000 miles depending on your purchased fare.

Boarding Period for this offer is June 15th to September 30, 2009. Boarding for Narita-New York begins July 1st. An upgrade can be requested up until the day prior to your departure. Valid for all ANA international routes except for Narita-Honolulu. All upgrades must be completed online.

To upgrade your existing ticket, login to your Mileage Club account to book your award reservation/upgrade.

Two AirTran Sales

AirTran (tel. 800/AIR-TRAN; www.airtran.com) currently has two sales running, the first of which is good for Tuesday/Wednesday travel through November 4, and requires a 10-day advance purchase. Blackout dates are June 26-28; and July 2, 5, and 6. All fares must be booked by 11:59 pm ET on June 30. Fares include:

Sale numero dos comes via AirTran's weekly web deals, with fares much lower than the sale above. The only problem? Sale expires June 19, which (looking at our watch) is, oh, today. Not a lot of time, true, but hurry and you can still snag a bargain. We especially like all those $218 round-trip coast-to-coasts.

Southwest Launches Service to New York LaGuardia

Starting Sunday, June 28th, Southwest (tel. 800/435-9792; www.southwest.com) will begin service to New York's LaGuardia airport from Baltimore/Washington (BWI) and Chicago Midway (MDW). 3 daily nonstop flights from Balitmore/Washington and 5 daily nonstop flights from Chicago Midway.

Taxes not included. 14-day purchase required. Purchase by 11:59PM PT, June 28. Travel valid from June 29 to October 28. Blackout days include July 2-6 and Sept. 3-8. Offer good for travel on Monday through Thursday. Seats are limited.

How to Avoid $100,000 Airfares

Would you ever pay $100,000 for a plane ticket? Uhm, probably not. At least not willingly. But when that wild-eyed donkey bucks you clean off some cliff, or the local doctor insists on rubbing tree frog plasm into your wounds, you might suddenly find yourself willing to pay any amount to be airlifted to your home doctor. "Fares" can easily reach $100,000 one way from some remote locations. That's why joining a medical evacuation program could be a real nest egg saver! More on that here.

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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