Australian Summer Sale on Qantas
From Qantas (tel. 800/227-4500; www.qantas.com.au) this is a good one, and there's no advance purchase required. For outbound travel between 7 March and 24 October 2009, book by Monday, 16 March 2009. Fares from LAX and SFO are about $789 RT including all tax. Other Australian cities are included, as are other US gateways. There's still time to catch some Australian summer, and their autumn is right around the corner.
Southwest Spring Fever Sale
Think you've come down with a severe case of spring fever? Well, hey, what a coinky-dink, so has Southwest (tel. 800/435-9792; www.southwest.com). At least according to their latest Spring Fever Sale. Fares start at $39 one-way, for Tuesday/Wednesday travel between March 24 and June 24, and require a 10-day advance purchase. Round-trip fares include:
- Albuquerque to Portland $198
- Birmingham to Burbank $205
- Nashville to Columbus OH $78
- Boise to Santa Ana $205
- Buffalo to Ontario $205
- Cleveland to Seattle $205
- Spokane to Chicago $198
- Houston to San Jose $205
- Long Island to San Diego $205
- Los Angeles to Phoenix $96
- Minneapolis to Reno $205
- San Francisco to Austin $164
- St Louis to Omaha $78
All tickets must be purchased by March 16.
Southwest Sale to/from Denver
Also up from Southwest: A sale to/from Denver, with fares from $39 one-way for travel through May 20. All fares require a 14-day advance purchase, and are valid for travel everyday except Fridays and Sundays. Fares include:
- Denver to Albany $198
- Denver to Amarillo $98
- Denver to Buffalo $194
- Denver to Detroit $198
- Denver to El Paso $98
- Denver to Harlingen $198
- Denver to Midland $98
- Denver to Lubbock $98
- Denver to Chicago $142
- Denver to Norfolk $194
- Denver to Reno $158
Cathay Pacific Deal of the Month
We love Cathay Pacific's (www.cathaypacific.com) monthly deals, and their current offering does not disappoint. Fares to Vietnam start at $718 from the west coast, before taxes, for Monday through Thursday travel. Fly from New York, Los Angeles, or San Fran to Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. Stopovers in Hong Kong are also allowed, for an additional fee. All fares must be booked by March 31 for departures through April 30. Fares include:
- Los Angeles to Ho Chi Minh City $868, incl. all taxes
- Los Angeles to Hanoi $869, incl. all taxes
- New York to Ho Chi Minh City $1,043, incl. all taxes
- New York to Hanoi $1,044, incl. all taxes
- San Francisco to Ho Chi Minh City $718, incl. all taxes
- San Francisco to Hanoi $719, incl. all taxes
Expedia Drops Fees, Offers Free Hotel
Have you heard the news? Turns out we're in the midst of an economic suck-pit! Yes, stocks are falling, unemployment rising, and things are looking pretty grim. Still, no matter how bad it gets, we can't imagine not traveling. Can you? Even when we're down to our last Sacagawea dollar coin, we'll trade in our carry-on for a handkerchief tied to a stick, and start hopping trains. But before it comes down to that, we'll cut corners where we can, and that means steering clear of booking fees. Enter Expedia (www.expedia.com) with their latest "Free Nights and No Fee Flights" promo. In addition to waiving all booking fees for flights booked before or on May 31, they're offering a free night in over 700 participating hotels for stays of three to five nights. And if you're traveling with family or big groups, that can save you some serious cash.
All trips must be booked by April 9 for travel through May 15, and new deals will be added again on April 9 for travel through May 31. Got all that? More details over at Expedia.com.
Keeping Track of Ever-Mounting Fees
It used to be that free frequent flyer tickets were really free. But not anymore. Not only are airlines increasing the number of miles required, but they're constantly adding new fees for issuing tickets, changing them, not using them, requesting them on short notice, and flying confirmed same day stand by. Then there's bag fees, seat selection fees, pet fees, unaccompanied minor fees, fee fees, and heaps more. How can you avoid any last minute surprises at the airport? Check out Airfarewatchdog's newly updated Fee Charts and go prepared!
United Discontinuing Weekend Fare Alerts?
What could be behind this? Cost cutting? We've noticed that sometimes United doesn't even list their weekend deals on their site (you have to go hunting for them blindly). We can only guess why they're doing this. Will you miss them? Is this a stupid move?
Read their Dear John email to E-Fare subscribers here.
Should Airlines be Regulated Again?
Since deregulation in 1978, fares have gone down by quite a bit, and the process to establish new airlines has been made less bureaucratic. However, most of those airlines formed after deregulation have gone bankrupt, quality of service has deteriorated, and airlines are losing money. So, what should we do here? Are you willing to pay higher fares if it means a boost for passenger rights and protections? Vote in our reader survey and let us know what you think.
The Golden Rule of Fare Finding
Here's something we're constantly harping on and on about, and for good reason! Seasoned Airfarewatchdoggers know just how important a flexible date search can be when snagging low fares. Of course you know that we recently added our own flexible date search, and now you can watch a demo of us as we navigate a search on camera, because, hey, who doesn't love a visual aid?
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.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our Air Travel Forum today.