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Northwest Off-Peak Holiday Sale

The glitter has barely dried on your Sarah Palin Halloween sash and already the airlines are rolling out the holiday sales. And hey, that's ok, because if you haven't already started planning your holiday travel (and really, the earlier the better), now's the time. Northwest (tel. 800/225-2525; www.nwa.com) has just introduced an off-peak holiday sale, good on select dates between November 20 and January 5. All tickets must be purchased by November 26, and round-trip fares include:

Central America, Caribbean, Mexico Sale from South Florida

American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) is once again running their Caribbean/Mexico/Central America sale from South Florida. The latest incarnation is good for departures between October 28 and December 16, returning no later than December 18. All tickets must be purchased by November 3, and round-trip fares include:

AirTran Winter Wonderland Sale

And speaking of holiday sales, AirTran's (tel. 800/AIR-TRAN; www.airtran.com) Winter Wonderland Sale is good for travel through February 11, with blackout dates where you'd expect them: November 26, 29 and 30, and December 1, 20-30, and January 3 -- 4. All tickets must be purchased by November 11 and include the following round-trip fares:

Mexico Sale from American Airlines

Not ready to say so long to those warmer temps just yet? Haul your chilly extremities to Mexico, via the latest sale from American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com). This sale is good for travel through December 18, excluding November 22 through November 30. This sale ends at 11:59pm CT, October 31, so get a move on already! Some of the better round-trip fares of this sale include:

Free Companion Ticket on British Airways

Here's a pretty terrific deal from British Airways (tel. 800/247-9297; www.ba.com), good for flights from the US and Canada. Purchase a round-trip ticket in most classes of service (except non-refundable fares) between now and December 31 and receive a voucher by email for a Free companion ticket. Travel for the qualifying ticket must be completed by December 31. Note: You must be a British Airways "Executive Club" member to take advantage of this offer. If you are not a member you can easily sign up by clicking here.

Here is how it works:

1) Buy a round-trip ticket at qualifying World Traveler Fares that must be used by Dec 31, 2008. See British Airways site for details.

2) Get your E-voucher or regular voucher. Takes 6-8 weeks by email and 8 weeks for regular mail.

3) Book a ticket from January 5 until June 30 for travel from January 15 until Dec 15, 2009. Member and companion must book all flights and classes of service together on all segments. Companion ticket does not include taxes.

"Hey look kids! There's Big Ben, and there's Parliament!"

Ok, so please don't be that person who quotes European Vacation on your vacation. But we're exempt here, because a.) we're not on vacay and b.) we just wanted to tell you that our brand new UK site, Airfarewatchdog.co.uk (www.airfarewatchdog.co.uk), launched this week! And it can be a big help to you, too, when you're planning your next 'cross-the-pond jaunt. Say you want to fly from your hometown airport to Valletta, Malta but fares are looking impossibly high.

And let's face it: Fares from your town to Malta are probably always going to be a little up there. Ah, but then you notice that the flights from your town to London are totally doable. And how much is it onward from London to Malta? Airfarewatchdog UK has found a $31 round-trip fare from London to Valletta, and that's including all taxes (all fares listed on the UK site are all-inclusive, although be warned, UK airlines have come up with extra fees that we haven't even dreamed of here in the US, such as a fee for checking in at the airport instead of online at home, and using a credit or debit card).

You'll notice that the UK site looks very much like the US site, and that we have low fares and airlines that other sites don't bother with, such as easyJet and Ryanair. When we find a low fare, we send you right along to the selling airline's web site, no middleman. That's because the cheapest UK airlines are just like Southwest and Allegiant here in the US: they only sell their best fares on their own sites. We've definitely planned our fare share of trips by booking inexpensive connections through London, and saved ourselves a heap of money by doing so. If you've got your eye on a specific destination that you'd like to track fares to via London (Gatwick,Stansted, Luton, Heathrow, or elsewhere in the UK), sign up for our UK City-to-City Alerts and/or newsletter.

Unbelizeable Low Fares to Belize, Australia

If you missed out on American's recent amazing sale to Belize, here's your second chance. The weekend blockbuster bargains that included a $144 round-trip fare from Newark are unfortunately no longer part of the sale and probably weren't ever meant to be, but as you can see on our Belize page there are still some good deals to be had and not just on American.

And, if you missed that $480 round-trip Virgin fare from Los Angeles to Sydney last weekend, we're sad to report that those too are long gone. However, both United and Qantas have some decent fares ($742 round-trip, including all taxes!) to Sydney. Check our Sydney page for details.

Additional Reporting by Jacob Kasnett and 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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