April 2, 2004 -- East, west, north, south: whichever quadrant of the country you live in, we've got some low domestic fares for you today. A fare war between United spinoff Ted, (www.flyted.com) and West Coast rival Frontier (www.flyfrontier.com) starts the ball rolling, followed by a Florida-based sale from US Airways (www.usairways.com), a seemingly endless nationwide sale from Southwest (www.southwest.com), and some standard low fares from JetBlue (www.jetblue.com) and Spirit (www.spiritair.com).
A fair warning: Many of these fares have been matched by competitors. For instance, wherever Frontier and Ted compete, rival carriers generally match fares; US Airways and Southwest are locked in a death grip on many routes; and America West matches a lot of fares to and from Las Vegas and Phoenix. Today's column summarizes the publicly announced sales, but remember to shop around comparing between the big three (Expedia.com, Orbitz.com and Travelocity.com), carriers' sites and comparison tools like Sidestep.com and ITAsoftware.com
West Coast Fare War!
United wants you to know: Ted's here. Frontier wants you not to care. Delta and JetBlue want to remind you they too fly to Denver. Between the three airlines, you'll get plenty of low fares west of the Rockies this week. Highlights include (all fares roundtrip, before tax):
- Boston: $148 on JetBlue
- Minneapolis: $148 on Frontier
- Las Vegas, Ontario, Phoenix or Reno: $158 on Ted
- Los Angeles, Orange County or St. Louis: $158 on Frontier
- Fort Lauderdale or New Orleans: $178 on Ted
- Kansas City: $178 on Frontier
- Orlando or Tampa: $198 on Ted
- New York City: $198 on several airlines
- Las Vegas: $58 on Ted
- Albuquerque, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Tampa: $158 on Frontier
- Ft. Lauderdale, Indianapolis: $168 on Frontier
- Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, El Paso, Ft. Myers, Houston, Milwaukee, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Omaha: $178 on Frontier
Low Fares in the Heartland
Frontier's sale also covers flights to/from three cities touched by the mighty Mississippi and Missouri rivers in our nation's heartland.
To/From St. Louis
- Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle: $178
- El Paso: $188
- Boise: $198
To/From Kansas City
- Boise, Denver, El Paso, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Portland, Reno, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, Tucson: $178
- Las Vegas: $168
- Phoenix: $188
- Albuquerque, Austin, Boise, El Paso, Houston, Portland, Reno, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, Tucson: $198
Fine Florida Fares
US Airways, Southwest, Ted, Spirit and JetBlue are all players here, trying to fill seats as the weather in Florida gets steamy and hotels empty out. Floridians can use these low fares to escape to the North or West, and people from the rest of the country can use them to visit that grandmother everyone has in Palm Beach County.
- Chicago: $158 on Ted
- Columbus, OH: $118 on US Airways
- Los Angeles: $158 on Frontier
- Orange County: $158 on Frontier
- Pittsburgh: $138 on US Airways
- Washington: $158 on Ted
To/From Ft. Lauderdale
- Boston: $138 on US Airways
- Buffalo, Syracuse or Rochester: $158 on JetBlue
- Denver: $178 on Ted
- Greensboro, NC: $118 on US Airways
- Indianapolis: $118 on US Airways
- Los Angeles: $166 on Spirit; $168 on Frontier
- New York: $146 on Spirit
- Orange County: $168 on Frontier
- Philadelphia: $98 on US Airways
- Washington: $106 on Spirit
To/From West Palm Beach
- Baltimore: $98 on US Airways
- Manchester, NH: $98 on US Airways
- Raleigh, NC: $118 on US Airways
Lots of Sales, Lots of Fine Print
The Frontier sale is on until Sunday, April 4 and applies for travel through May 26. Most fares require a 14-day advance purchase; buy them at www.flyfrontier.com.
The Ted fares must be purchased by April 9 for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Saturdays between April 26 and June 11. Buy at www.flyted.com.
The US Airways fares are good for travel between April 12 and June 17; flights from Philly are good from May 9 through June 17. The fares require a 14-day advance purchase, and may disappear at any time.
Fares on Spirit must be booked by Sunday, April 4 and are good for travel from April 18 through May 17. Book online at www.spiritair.com.
That Delta fare must be purchased by April 11 and is good for travel through July 31. A 7-day advance purchase is required. Good chunks of April, and the days surrounding Memorial Day and July 4 are blacked out. Buy at www.delta.com.
... And That Sale to Everywhere
Like the Energizer Bunny, Southwest's all-weather, nationwide sale just keeps on going. The general rule is that roundtrips on pretty much any of their routes are somewhere between $78 and $198, although seats are limited and may have sold out by now at those fares. The sale is on until April 8, so book now if you can; you can book tickets for flights leaving any time in the next several months, as long as you book 'em 14 days in advance. Go to www.southwest.com to book.
Do you have a question or comment about this article? Have you found fares even better than these? Tell us about it on our Air Travel Message Boards today.