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Here's a roundup of both short- and long-term sales on domestic foreign routes. Consider especially some standout fares to Central America.

Southwest Airlines has extended its "Systemwide Sale" to the purchase-by date of February 3, begging the question, when does a sale fare become the regular price? As usual, tickets must be purchased a minimum of 14-days before travel. Travel is good through June 6, 2005 and includes all destinations except for Orange County and its newly acquired codeshare to Honolulu with ATA. For reservations, call 800/435-9792 or visit www.southwest.com.

AirTran (tel. 800/247-8726; www.airtran.com) is holding a mayfly of a sale that runs only two days ending on Wednesday, January 26 and features departures out of four metro areas -- Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas/ Fort Worth and Philadelphia -- to points along the East Coast, Midwest, Florida and California. Sample fares, before taxes, include:

From Atlanta

  • Memphis $118
  • Dayton, Miami, Newport News & Sarasota $138
  • Milwaukee, Minneapolis & New York $158
  • Los Angeles & San Francisco $218

From Baltimore

  • Dayton and Rochester $78
  • Boston $98
  • Fort Lauderdale, Pensacola & Tampa $158

From Dallas/Fort Worth

  • Los Angeles and Las Vegas $168
  • Akron, Chicago & Savannah $198

From Philadelphia

  • Boston $78
  • Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers, Jacksonville, Tampa and West Palm Beach $178

Sale fares require a ten-day advance purchase and most travel must be completed by May 25, 2005 (except in the case of some Florida cities, which are blacked out after March 2 due to Spring Break travel).

For a funky list of destinations, look to saved-by-the-hair-of-its-chinny-chin-chin USAirways (tel. 800/428-4322; www.usair.com), which late last week announced it had hammered out the last of its negotiations with unions to bring its financial situation under control well-enough to keep operating through June, 2005. You can read a statement from the CEO at www.usairways.com/about/clear_skies_ahead.htm, where you can learn about some double FF miles offers as well.

Obviously, customers had a little faith in them even prior to the announcement, as its "Spring and Winter" sale broke transaction records for the company. Full details on those offers are available at www.usair.com/pro/specials/winter_spring_sale.htm.

What we're really excited about, though, are its fares to Central America, since they've made it cheaper to get to a few places where your dollar stretches nicely. Guatemala City can be had starting from $229 before taxes out of Baltimore and Boston, $245 out of Fort Lauderdale, and on up the price scale to $338. Panama City starts from $268 out Fort Lauderdale and runs up to $338 out of Charlotte. San Jose, Costa Rica is on the sale roster as well with fares starting from $199 out of Fort Lauderdale if purchased by February 7, with travel good through March 31, 2005.

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