Delta Air lines (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com) is having a huge sale on travel before Christmas within the U.S. and Canada. Here are some sample round-trip fares without taxes and fees:
- Boston to/from Atlanta $167
- Chicago to/from Atlanta $127
- San Diego to/from Cincinnati $209
- Washington to/from Flint, MI $138
Travel must be completed by December 12, 2006. There is a one-night minimum stay and a seven-day advance purchase. Travel is valid any day of the week. Purchase your ticket by December 5, 2006. The even better news is that other airlines are beating Delta by a few dollars here and there. Yesterday, we saw such stellar fares as San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale at $52 one-way, Charlotte to Phoenix at $54 one-way, and Phoenix to Boston at $79 one-way. And Continental lowered fares between Salt Lake City to Cincinnati, two Delta hubs, to $149 round-trip, as a little "thank you" to Delta for being so, um, generous to the flying public. But before you get too excited, note that peak Thanksgiving holiday days are blacked out.
Asia from Los Angeles
Malaysia Airlines (tel. 800/522-9264; www.malaysiaairlinesusa.com) has launched a sale to many Asian destinations from Los Angeles. Here are some sample fares including all taxes and fees:
Depart February 17, Return February 27
- Los Angeles to Taipei $797 vs. next-lowest $818 on China Airlines
- Los Angeles to Delhi $1,325 vs. $1,354 on British Airways
- Los Angeles to Jakarta $1,043 vs. $1,035 on China Airlines
- Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur $1,038 vs. $1,005 on Delta
Good deals? Certainly, L.A. to Taipei is decent, but we've seen better deals on the other routes. Travel between January 16, 2007 and May 31, 2007. Purchase your ticket by November 30, 2006.
Scandinavia Sale from Newark
Scandinavian Airlines (tel. 800/221-2350; www.flysas.com) is having a sale on travel to Oslo and Stockholm from Newark. Below are some sample fares including all taxes and fees:
Depart December 1, Return December 10
- Newark to Oslo $502 vs. next lowest $491 on Continental
- Newark to Stockholm $535 with Continental matching
Depart February 14, Return February 25
- Newark to Oslo $502 vs. $449 on Lufthansa
- Newark to Stockholm $535 vs. $494 on Lufthansa
As you can see, these sale fares are being matched and beaten by other carriers. Depart between October 30, 2006 and December 13, 2006 or between January 8, 2007 and March 21, 2007. The maximum stay is 30 days. There is no specified expiration date to this promotion so it may end at any time. In general, fares to Europe have remained stubbornly high, although yesterday the Airfarewatchdog.com fare hounds did see an amazing deal from Newark to Cologne, Germany at $266 round-trip tax included, which might still be available if you book soon.
Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, & Shannon
Delta Air lines (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com) has discounted fares from Atlanta to Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, & Shannon. Below are some sample fares including all taxes and fees:
Depart December 10, Return January 12
- Atlanta to Copenhagen $609 vs. $746 on Continental
- Atlanta to Dusseldorf $413 vs. $625 on British Airways
Depart January 10, Return January 23
- Atlanta to Shannon $531 vs. $611 on American
As you can see, Delta is offering some very good fares especially considering they're on nonstop flights. To Shannon, travel may begin on or before January 15, 2007, and must be completed by February 15, 2007. To Dusseldorf, travel may begin on or before December 15, 2006, and must be completed by January 15, 2007. To Copenhagen, travel may begin on or before December 13, 2006, and must be completed by January 13, 2007. Purchase your tickets by November 21, 2006.
Will your flight be on time? That is the question, especially for passengers making connections in busy hubs. You can ask your airline reservation person for the historical on-time performance of any flight (it's a number from one to ten, with one being very, very bad), but you might be on hold for a very long time. Some U.S.-based airlines actually publish this information on their Web sites for some or all of their flights, but it's well hidden (hey, why trumpet bad news from your home page?). Instead allow us to direct you to the website of the Bureau of Travel Statistics, where you can find airline on-time statistics for all U.S. carriers. It is an invaluable resource with an unbelievable amount of data. You can search by specific flight number and airline to get a pretty good idea of the likelihood of an on-time arrival.
Additional reporting by David Shan.
George Hobica is a syndicated travel journalist and blogger whose website, www.airfarewatchdog.com, tracks unadvertised airfare wars and other fare sales.
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