December 22, 2003 -- Here at Frommers.com, we wrack our creative brains to find convincing metaphors with which to tie together what are, after all, basically lists of great airfares. But sometimes the metaphors evade us, and all we have are great domestic airfares.
That's the case today. Three airlines have sales going on, the fares are terrific, and the great fares are scattered across the nation.
Great Fares To and From Seattle and Portland
Alaska Air and JetBlue are competing with sales that'll bring sunlight to even the rainiest Northwestern heart. Grab your fourth or fifth cup of coffee and pay attention, because it's time to get out of town.
Both airlines are currently offering $198 fares between Seattle and New York, a great rate; Alaska also has a $198 Portland-NYC fare.
If traveling from raining to freezing sounds insane to you, we think Alaska's $248 fare from Seattle or Portland to Orlando is also pretty keen.
To get the Alaska fares, book by Jan. 8 for travel between Jan. 7 and Feb. 11. You must book online at www.alaskaair.com/www2/Promo/FarePromos/WinterEscapeSale.asp. To get the JetBlue fares good for travel through February 10, book online by January 31 at www.jetblue.com/specialoffers/superfly.asp#s7.
Great Fares To and From Florida
We've seen Florida sales like this before. Several airlines all start pitching in with low fares, everybody matches 'em, and before you know it, most of the country is lounging on South Beach without the appropriate amount of sunblock. You absolutely must shop around to find the best fares, but here are some we've seen to get you started:
- New York City to Fort Lauderdale/Orlando/Tampa/West Palm Beach: $138 on JetBlue
- Boston/Buffalo/Syracuse/Rochester to Fort Lauderdale/Orlando/Tampa: $158 on JetBlue
- Baltimore/Hartford/Manchester/Providence to Fort Lauderdale/Orlando/Tampa: $158 on Southwest
- flights from Baltimore/Manchester/Providence to Jacksonville/West Palm Beach are also $158
Expect Delta and Song to also have great fares on these routes, although they don't have announced sales at the moment. Spirit, meanwhile, just finished a sale on Friday, when we handed in this column; they may have announced another one over the weekend, so check www.spiritair.com. The JetBlue fares are good for travel through Feb. 10; book online at www.jetblue.com. Southwest fares require a 14-day advance purchase and must be booked at www.southwest.com.
... and Two System-Wide Sales From Southwest and JetBlue
The Battle of the Discount Airlines isn't just raging in Florida. It's all over the country. Southwest's current systemwide sale caps roundtrip fares at $198 for flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays; other days, flights are no more than $258. This sale applies to every airport they serve except Orange County, CA; naturally, expect the fares to be unavailable over popular holiday periods. Still, it's a great low-fare benchmark to know about. Buy by Jan. 19 for travel thorugh May 8. Buy online at www.southwest.com.
We've been hinting at the scope of JetBlue's current sale all throughout this column. Their network is thinner than Southwest's, but hey, you get assigned seating and satellite TVs. They're keeping the faith with $198 roundtrips between Boston and Denver or Long Beach, between Long Beach and Fort Lauderdale, between Washington Dulles and Long Beach or Oakland and between NYC and Denver, Las Vegas, Long Beach, Oakland, Ontario, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Seattle or San Juan, Puerto Rico (whew!). A seven day advance purchase is generally required, and you must buy by Jan. 31 for travel by Feb. 10. Buy online at www.jetblue.com.