Florida Sale to the Caribbean & Latin America
Floridians looking to traipse around beaches other than their own should definitely look into this sale. American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) has reduced fares on a heap of routes from Florida to the Caribbean and Latin America. Fares include:
- Miami to Curacao, Netherland Antilles $275 round-trip
- Miami to Nassau, Bahamas $170 round-trip
- Miami to San Pedro Sula, Honduras $232 round-trip
- Miami to Guatemala City, Guatemala $323 round-trip
- Managua, Nicaragua $277 round-trip
- Tampa to Kingston, Jamaica $270 round-trip
- Orlando to Kingston, Jamaica $270 round-trip
- Ft. Lauderdale to Port-au-Prince $226 round-trip
These are good for travel from October 8 through December 12, and must be booked by October 9.
Alotta Aloha Deals
Aloha Airlines (tel. 800/367-5250; www.alohair.com) has a sale on inner-island travel. Select routes to/from Honolulu are going for $19 each-way, which comes to $38 round-trip. This sale is valid for travel through November 30 (excluding Thanksgiving, of course). The rules state that you must book by October 3, but we had no trouble finding seats available at these sale prices:
Also worth looking into, Aloha is offering a fall sale from California to Hawaii. Tickets must be booked by October 9, and are good for travel from November 1 through December 20.
- Santa Ana to Honolulu $398 round-trip
- Santa Ana to Kahului-Maui $398 round-trip
- San Diego to Kahului-Maui $298 round-trip
- San Diego to Honolulu $398 round-trip
- Sacramento to Kahului-Maui $398 round-trip
- Oakland to Honolulu $238 round-trip
- Oakland to Kona $338 round-trip
Alaska Airlines Sale
We've seen some great fares to Ketchikan, Alaska, as part of Alaska Airlines' (tel. 800/426-0333; www.alaskair.com) new Permanent Fund Dividend Sale. This sale is good for travel all the way up to mid-September of 2008. Let's take a look at the fares:
- Seattle to Ketchikan $279 round-trip
- Seattle to Sitka $319 round-trip
- Los Angeles to Anchorage $418 round-trip
- Burbank to Ketchikan $299 round-trip
- Dallas to Ketchikan $379 round-trip
- Chicago to Ketchikan $379 round-trip
- Miami to Ketchikan $419 round-trip
- Washington Dulles to Ketchikan $419 round-trip
- Sacramento to Anchorage $418 round-trip
- Denver to Ketchikan $319 round-trip
And in the short time this sale has been available, other airlines are already beginning to match. Or try to, at least. So far, Alaska Airlines is still in the lead, in terms of both price and availability.
All tickets must be booked by November 20.
Fees for Fishing Poles, Bikes & Bowling Balls
Ketchikan is a bit of a fishermen's hot spot. So we imagine that many folks headed that way will do so with rod and reel in tow. How much will it set you back to check that thing? Well, it depends on the airline, of course. For example, should you book one of the above fares, you'll be pleased to know that Alaska Airlines allows one free item of fishing equipment, which they generously define as two rods, two reels, and one tackle box all to be one item of fishing equipment.
Most airlines are pretty lenient when it comes to fishing equipment, but what about larger items, like bicycles?
Southwest, will check your bike without a fee, just so long as you adhere to their packing specifications, provided you haven't already exceeded your bag allowance. Otherwise the going rate for bikes is around $80 average for travel within the US and Canada. Most airlines ask that pedals and handelbars be removed and boxed up, and should be able provide you with a slim box, used especially for bikes.
Afraid of flying? Southwest allows parachutes to be checked, free of charge, but asks that you refrain from wearing them during flight.
There's a rule for every odd whatchamagadget under the sun - from dry ice to church organs and bowling balls. Whatever odd item you're carting from A to B, it's always a good idea to check the web site of your carrier for the rule.
Allegiant to Las Vegas & Ft. Lauderdale
If you live in or near a city served by Allegiant Airlines, you may already feel pretty lucky. What would all that luck get you at the craps table? Find out, with these reduced fares to Las Vegas. And for those who prefer a nice sandy beach to The Sands, Ft. Lauderdale fares have also been reduced.
- Springfield MO to Las Vegas $158 round-trip
- St Louis IL to Las Vegas $138 round-trip
- Idaho Falls to Las Vegas $78 round-trip
- Green Bay to Las Vegas $198 round-trip
- Duluth to Las Vegas $178 round-trip
- Bismarck to Las Vegas $138 round-trip
- Billings to Las Vegas $138 round-trip
- Blountville/Johnson City to Ft. Lauderdale $98 round-trip
- Peoria to Ft Lauderdale $138 round-trip
JetBlue to You: Your Money's No Good Here
Beginning November 1, JetBlue will only accept major credit and debit cards for all in-flight purchases. Of course, they aren't the first to go cashless.
Earlier this year, Frontier Airlines also stopped accepting cash for in-flight purchases. Now passengers must pay for Direct TV, pay-per-view movies and alcoholic beverages with their debit or credit cards instead. And on their websites, Aloha, Airtran, Spirit, ATA, Alliegiant and Hawaiian Airlines notify passengers that they do not accept cash for in-flight purchases. Why the switch? It keeps the flight crew from scrambling for exact change, which expedites the in-flight service process.
Most other airlines still accept cash, but are also trying other options. For example, Continental gives passengers the option of purchasing "Continental Currency" coupons with a credit card at automated kiosks before departure. Each coupon is redeemable for one headset or alcoholic beverage (including beer, wine, or cocktails). Here's the incentive: the more you buy, the more you save. The "currency" is available for purchase in increments of one, two, three, or six coupons. The first two coupons are sold at regular price ($5 each), but you can get three coupons for $13 and six coupons for $25. That amounts to a $2 discount for getting three coupons, and a $5 discount for getting six coupons. The coupons can be used for up to one year from the date of purchase. So if you're purchasing headsets or beverages for a large group, or you don't want to hunt for an ATM before your flight, this option can be very useful.
Otherwise, most airlines are still operating on a cash-only basis. In addition, snack boxes, meals, audio headsets, and entertainment may cost a few bucks these days. Some airlines even charge for pillows and sheets, so don't forget to pick up some cash before you get on board if you plan on purchasing these amenities.
The Airfarewatchdog Book Club
Looking for something to read on your next flight? We suggest The Complete Travel Detective Bible by travel wiz Peter Greenberg, who you may know from his appearances on the Today show. Actually, the complete title is (deep breath) The Complete Travel Detective Bible: The Consummate Insider Tells You What You Need to Know in an Increasingly Complex World, if that gives you a better idea of what to expect. As a Frommers reader, this book is right up your travel savvy alley.
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 readers on our Air Travel Message Boards today.