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Great Sale to Hawaii

ATA (tel. 800/435-9282; www.ata.com) is offering a great sale to Hilo and Honolulu from select cities in celebration of their expanded service to Hawaii. The fares are really good since you can travel between late April and early June. So far, we're finding lots of availability, except for flights to Honolulu towards the end of May and in early June. A sample of their round-trip fares, with taxes and fees included:

Depart May 16, return May 23, 2006

  • Albuquerque/Hilo: $537 vs. $600 on America West/ATA
  • Chicago Midway/Hilo: $533 vs. $901 on United
  • Ontario/Honolulu: $375 vs. $542 on America West

Depart May 31, return June 7

  • Burbank/Honolulu: $497 vs. $571 on United/Northwest
  • Phoenix/Hilo: $495 vs. $718 on Hawaiian Airlines
  • Salt Lake City/Hilo: $535 vs. $615 on Delta/ATA
  • Oakland/Honolulu: $357 vs. $520 on Aloha Airlines

Travel between April 27 and June 8, and depending on your departure cities, fares may be even lower on off-peak travel days. Tickets must be purchased by April 24, 2006 at midnight EST, except for off-peak travel from Oakland to Honolulu, and Hilo, and Ontario to Honolulu, which must be booked by February 24 at midnight EST.

Aer Lingus Spring Sale to Ireland from $391

Irish carrier Aer Lingus (tel. 800/474 7424; www.aerlingus.com) is having a sale for spring travel to Ireland. Well kids, this sale is really good, but it's also really hard to find. We started with Boston to Dublin, which is advertised at $160 each way (of course, that's before taxes). Searching in April, we found exactly two dates that worked: outbound Boston to Dublin April 17, return April 26 for an all-in price of $391 round-trip. On Travelocity with the same dates, it's $539 round-trip, a big difference. Orbitz had $465 round-trip on United with a connection on Lufthansa in Frankfurt on those same dates. No thanks. So these fares are only available on Aer Lingus, and you have to be really flexible to snag them. They do have a fairly decent flexible search function, which helps a bit.

Here are the other deals on Aer Lingus, all one-way (round-trip purchase required, however) plus tax:

  • NYC/Dublin: $155
  • NYC/Shannon: $160
  • Boston/Shannon: $160
  • Chicago to Dublin or Shannon: $185
  • LA to Dublin or Shannon: $220

London Heathrow from $298 Round-Trip

If you missed the super sale to London from Virgin Atlantic Airways (tel. 800/821-5438; www.virgin-atlantic.com), you now have a second chance with an online only sale from Virgin's gateway cities of Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK, Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Dulles. Granted it's not as good as the first one -- fully refundable fares for travel during the summer, ranging from $400 round-trip to $470 round-trip depending on departure city with all taxes included -- but it's still a good fare nonetheless for spring and fall travel. Below is a sample of fares, including travel over Thanksgiving to London. Some examples:

Depart February 23, return March 3

  • New York JFK: $438 vs. $825 on Continental
  • D.C.: $437 vs. $556 on Air Canada
  • San Francisco: $497 vs. $778 on Air Canada

Depart March 17, return March 24

  • D.C.: $437 vs. $428 on United
  • San Francisco: $497 vs. $472 on Air Canada

Depart November 22, return November 29

  • Boston: $464 vs. $493 on British Airways
  • Los Angeles: $466 matched by British Airways
  • Miami: $483 matched by British Airways

Depart November 23, return November 30

  • Boston: $464 vs. $433 on British Airways
  • Los Angeles: $497 vs. $526 on British Airways
  • Miami: $514 vs. $543 on British Airways

The fares are still easy to find and, currently, plentiful. Travel through March 31, 2006 or between October 27 and December 15, 2006. No advance purchase is required, but there is a Saturday night minimum stay. Tickets must be purchased by March 26, 2006.

So-So Introductory Fare Between NYC and Casablanca

Royal Air Maroc (tel. 800/344-6726; www.royalairmaroc.com) is offering an introductory fare between New York JFK and Casablanca, Morocco for $499 round-trip before taxes and fees. However, this fare wasn't exactly available when we looked it up on their site. The lowest fare we found on three different travel dates was $757 round-trip ($599 round-trip plus taxes and fees).

The dates we used were:

  • May 17-24 (next lowest fare is on Delta for $782)
  • May 25 to June 1 (next lowest fare is also on Delta for $843)
  • June 2-9 (next lowest fare is again on Delta for $782)

So, you will save a bit of money, but just a bit. And the Royal Air Maroc website allows you to search three days before and after your initial choice to show you what other fares are available. Depart between May 17 and June 12, and all returns must be completed within 30 days of departure. Tickets must be purchased by May 1, 2006.

Spirit Sale for March Travel, from $18 Round-Trip

Spirit Airlines (tel. 800/772-7117; www.spiritair.com) is having a Syber Special for travel in March with fares starting at $18 round-trip on very select dates. While Spirit always has a few seats available at these ridiculously low fares, such as for travel between Fort Lauderdale and both Kingston and Punta Cana in this sale, they are hard to find for travel in both directions and the addition of fees and taxes boosts the final bill considerably.

Here's what we found, poking around Spirit's site:

  • Fort Lauderdale/Kingston (March 12-21): $154 vs. $199 on Delta
  • Fort Lauderdale/Punta Cana (March 15-22): $136 vs. $342 on American
  • Chicago/Fort Lauderdale (March 14-22): $189 vs. $183 on AirTran and United
  • New York LaGuardia/Nassau (March 14-22): $190 vs. $209 on Delta (strangely, Travelocity also showed a $209 fare with Spirit, so you're better off booking directly with Spirit)

We advise you to jump on this sale if you have flexible travel dates. Tickets must be purchased by February 26, 2006, 11:59PM EST.

Sales Features Chicago Midway

Southwest Airlines' (tel. 800/435-9792; www.southwest.com) weekly Click 'n Save specials are highlighting Chicago Midway this week. In addition, however, there are other lower fares, some for travel in March only, on scattered dates, between Chicago and several Midwestern cities. American (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) is matching or even one-upping Southwest on some routes from O'Hare, such as O'Hare/Nashville for $40 each way. The full story is on the Airfarewatchdog Chicago Midway and Chicago O'Hare pages.

Chicago Midway one-way to (on Southwest unless otherwise noted):

  • Buffalo: $39
  • Cleveland: $39
  • Columbus: $39
  • Detroit: $39
  • Indianapolis: $39 ($30 American from O'Hare)
  • Kansas City: $45 (American from O'Hare; $79 one-way on Southwest)
  • Louisville $29: ($30 on American from O'Hare)
  • Nashville $41: ($40 on American from O'Hare)
  • Omaha $39: (American matching from O'Hare through June 9)
  • Pittsburgh: $29 ($30 on American from O'Hare)

George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and blogger whose website, www.airfarewatchdog.com, tracks unadvertised airfare wars and other fare sales.

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