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American Discounts Caribbean 25%

This is truly a super duper deal. American Airlines (tel. tel. 800/443-7300; www.aa.com) is having a great 25% off insider sale to the Caribbean including St. Maarten, St. Lucia, St. Croix, St. Lucia, and St. Kitts. Use discount code DFSTSDEAL on AA.com only. The discount does not apply for travel November 24-26, December 19-24, December 26-27, December 29-January 6, and Saturdays. You must book by October 29 and travel from November 22 to February 13. Seats have been very easy to find, but will sell out. The fares from the New York and LA areas are especially extraordinary, even without the discount. But with it, they are stellar. Some sample fares, including all taxes and fees, roundtrip:

New York to:

Los Angeles to:

Wichita to:

Similar deals are available from almost all American-served airports in the lower 48 states. I'm no soothsayer, but I expect that we will see more "private sales" like this in the future, which makes me wonder about the future of online travel agencies, and of airline fare prediction and comparison sites that rely on traditional sources for their fares. These sites will not have fares like these. It seems that the airlines are trying to build brand loyalty and avoid paying fees to the OTAs with these sales.

Airlines Getting Away with Bait and Switch

You buy a 50 inch LCD TV from Best Buy and then a month later they knock on your door to replace it with a 19 inch older model, and tell you sorry, but there's nothing you can do about it. You'd be livid, right? Well, that's basically what Delta did to a friend of ours when he bought a nonstop New York to Denver flight. And airlines get away with this sort of thing every day, with impunity. Read the sad story here and let us know if you've had similar problems.

American DFW Sale

American Airlines is offering some decent and not so decent sales to/from Dallas Ft. Worth. The thing to remember is that even if these are not the absolute lowest fares in the market, they are almost all nonstops, and who wants to take connecting flights unless the fares are fabulous. For example, a connecting flight from Dallas Love to Honolulu right now on ATA/Southwest is listed at $590 round-trip and we've seen it as low as $250 during one of those tit for tat fare wars, compared to American's $750 RT nonstop. And DFW to Des Moines seems pretty darn pricey to us at $320 RT, but believe it or not some airlines are charging that much for connecting service. Dallas/Charlotte is even worse in this sale at $484 RT. US Air has flights in January, nonstop, for $230 RT, thanks very much. So take a gander, but buyer beware.

United First-Class Saturday Sale

Now here's an interesting sale the likes of which we've never seen. United (tel. 800/864-8331; www.united.com) is offering last-minute, first-class fares at significant savings, but only for travel on Saturday, October 27. Round-trip travel is not required. For example, Chicago to Washington is $431 each way and Boise/San Francisco $337. If that sounds high sale or no sale, consider that were you to buy a coach seat from Boise to San Francisco for that date, you'd pay $354 one-way on United and $412 on US Air.

Continental Texas Sale Bested by Southwest

Continental (tel. 800/523-3273; www.continental.com) is advertising a Lone Star State sale but in many cases we found that Southwest, which flies from Houston Hobby and Dallas Love, had lower fares. For example, Continental has Houston Intercontinental to Austin for $36 each way, vs. Southwest's Houston Hobby to Austin for $29 each way, both nonstops. Not a huge difference, but still.

SkyBus Expands to Greensboro

This scrappy little airline (www.skybus.com), famous for its $10 fares, has added several route to/from Greensboro, NC, a city desperately in need of a low cost carrier. Gulfport (near New Orleans) is still available for $10 each way as we write, although the best we could find to Ft. Lauderdale was $40 each way. See all the fares and routes on our Greensboro page.

Why Aren't All Airlines Listed on All Online Travel Sites?

It may not be immediately obvious, but not all online travel agencies and aggregators include all airlines. This is party because some airlines, such as Southwest, don't wish to be included. But in other cases, we suspect it's due to disagreements over how much the OTAs charge airlines in commissions. How else to explain that JetBlue is listed on Travelocity but not Orbitz (although Orbitz has listed JetBlue in the past). And why did United's fares mysteriously disappear for about a month from Travelocity's listings a couple of years ago? We've compiled a partial list, based on our best knowledge, showing which airlines you need to search via their own web sites, depending on which OTA or aggregator you use in the Airfarewatchdog Blog.