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Biz Class to the Azores and Beyond for Just Under $300 Extra

Sascha Segan recently reported on business- and first-class transoceanic flights offering cogent reasons on when and how to travel upscale. SATA Grupo International has come up with a reasonably affordable offer making business class travel that much easier to attain -- with an added vacation stopover as well. For example, you could take a roundtrip business class flight from Boston to Lisbon this October for as little as $700, before October for $949. That hands-down beats other business class fares that typically run in the in the thousands of dollars (some as high as $4,800 roundtrip!).

What's more, since SATA (in the guise of the Azores Express) will fly to Lisbon via the Azores, you have a chance to see these fabled islands located two-thirds of the way across the drink to Europe (memory jogger: British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Bush and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar met there to affirm their countries' alliance just before we invaded Iraq). The Azores, closest point in Europe to New England, is full of 15th-century churches and manor houses, with a year-round mild climate (between 57° and 71°F), and boasts blue and emerald green lakes, volcanic cones and craters, and more. Simply put, they are wildly beautiful (and the local economy is starved for tourists dollars).

A coach ticket this fall on SATA can cost as little as $420 roundtrip, plus tax, out of Boston. For an additional $280 roundtrip, you can upgrade to business class. You travel on wide-body Airbus 310 planes, in a reclining business-class seat with lots of leg room and a foot rest, special catered meals, a selection of great Portuguese wines, in-flight entertainment, priority boarding and baggage handling, amenities kit, "white glove service," and use of the TAP Air Portugal Navigator Lounge in Lisbon. There are two flights weekly between Boston and the Azores (taking only four hours), with connecting service to Lisbon and Madeira.


For additional information and reservations, contact your travel agent or Azores Express at 800/762-9995, website (click on "English" at the bottom of the page to proceed, that is, if you don't speak Portugeuse).