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Fall Fare Sale from Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines (tel. 800/426-0333; www.alaskaair.com) is having a Fall Fare Sale with fares for as low as $49 one way before taxes. These fares are good for travel between October 24 and December 17, and all purchases must be made by October 23. Round-trip fares include:

Midwest Airlines Sale

The latest sale from Midwest Airlines (tel. 800/452-2022; www.midwestairlines.com) is good for travel all the way through May 20 (at least in most cases) with fares starting at $89 each way. All fares must be purchased by October 21 and require a 14-day advance purchase. Of course there are the usual holiday blackout dates, as well as a Friday or Saturday night stay. Round-trip fares include:

AirTran Sale

You'll have to hurry to catch the last of the AirTran (tel. 800/AIR-TRAN; www.airtran.com) 2-day sale, good for travel through December 17. All fares require a 10-day advanced purchase, and are not valid for Friday or Sunday travel, or on November 26, 29, 30 and December 1. Purchases must be complete by October 17 at 11:59pm ET. Fares include:

New York to Europe Sale from American Airlines

Out-of-work New Yorkers looking to blow their severance package with a trip to Europe (frugally, of course) should check out this sale from American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com). All tickets must be purchased by October 17, and are valid for outbound travel between October 26 and December 17. Round-trip fares include:

More on Consolidator Fares

According to some, the best times to find consolidator fares are when 1) you're traveling coach internationally, 2) you're traveling last-minute, or 3) both. Because consolidators don't actually buy the seats, they're usually granted their window of opportunity early in the booking process (to fill up a limited number of seats to hedge the airline's bet on passengers) or late (to make up for the passengers the airline estimated would book, but didn't). Your travel agent can even find consolidator business class seats last minute, for up to a 50% discount.

Read more of two-part article on consolidator fares here in the blog, and catch up with our first installment here.

Additional reporting by Tracy 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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