February 6, 2004 -- Cross-country fares have now gone well below silly levels. As we've been reporting over the past few weeks, several airlines have been battling to offer $158 fares from New York and Boston to California and Phoenix. Now ATA (www.ata.com) is going even lower, and throwing in some great fares to the Midwest to boot. Meanwhile, Aloha (www.alohaair.com) and Hawaiian (www.hawaiianairlines.com) heat things up in the West with some super-low fares to Hawaii.
The Lowest Cross Country Fares Ever?
If you buy by Sunday, Feb. 8 and fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday between Feb. 17 and April 30, you can get flights between New York or Boston and Seattle, in either direction, for a mere $148 roundtrip before tax. This is the lowest price we've ever seen on either route.
For March dates we checked, ATA's fares were by far the lowest. No surprise here.
Flights between Newark and San Francisco are also $148. There, we found fares matched by an unadvertised special from United; you may also find comparable fares on JetBlue, American or America West.
ATA also has a slew of other interesting fares in their sale this week. For instance, flights from Des Moines to everywhere ATA serves are no more than $188 roundtrip. And Seattleites looking to visit friends in the Midwest will be glad to see a slew of $188 fares to cities like Dayton, Flint, Lexington and Toledo. But the cross-country prices really take the cake.
Say Aloha to Super-Low Fares to Hawaii
Locked in perpetual battle, Aloha and Hawaiian Airlines typically release sales at the same time. This week is no exception, with some excellent low fares.
Aloha's sale (found online at www.alohaairlines.com/firefly/flash_content/index.html) offers flights from Burbank, Las Vegas, Oakland, Phoenix, Reno, Orange County or Sacramento to Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, Hilo or Kona for $250.50 plus tax if you fly on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday; flights are $270.50 on other days of the week. (Aloha's Web site says the flights are $279, but we're counting in the 10% discount you automatically get for booking online.) You must buy using the link above and by Feb. 17 for travel through June 15. There's a three-day minimum stay and 60-day maximum stay, too.
Hawaiian, meanwhile, comes close to Aloha's fares with $269 specials from Los Angeles, Ontario and San Francisco to Honolulu, and also offers $279 fares from San Diego and Sacramento to Honolulu. (Their other fares don't match Aloha's sale.) But Hawaiian's fares are more restrictive: you can only fly to Honolulu, not other islands, you must fly by March 12 (Feb. 29 for Ontario), and you must sign up for Hawaiian's frequent flier program to get these fares. Book them at www.hawaiianair.com.
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