October 27, 2003 -- The City of Light glitters in winter, and US Airways has stepped up with some truly extraordinary fares for last-minute trips to Paris. Base fares start from a low $209 roundtrip out of five eastern cities, and a pretty stunning $309 out the west.
You'll have to move fast to snag one of these seats. Fares are available or purchase only through Wednesday (Oct. 29). You have to fly out on a Friday-Wednesday, Oct. 27 -- Nov. 16, and return any day but Sunday, Nov. 3-22. The roundtrip prices below lack the usual $100 tax, but even with tax, they're cheap.
- Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C.: $209 (around $300 with tax)
- Hartford, Richmond, Rochester (NY): $249 (around $341 with tax)
- Charlotte, Columbus, Raleigh: $269 (around $361 with tax)
- Los Angeles, San Francisco: $309 (around $401 with tax)
Other airlines are advertising higher fares, but they've surreptitiously lowered their fares to try to compete with this US Airways sale. They usually don't make it, but there are still reasons to check other airlines. From Boston, Air Canada undercuts US Airways' fare by $9. And we found flights from New York to Paris on Air France only $22 more than the US Airways deal -- and the Air France flights are nonstop, while the US Airways flights require a change of planes in Philly.
On the other hand, flights from Columbus were more than $100 cheaper on US Airways than on any other airline. And flights from LA were $50 cheaper on US Airways than on other airlines.
To get this great deal, go to www.usairways.com/promotions/esavers/intl_par.htm.
The only deals that compete with this US Airways fare are packages for couples, where agents can spread out their costs over air, hotel, and pairs of travelers. The cheapest package we know of right now is from Off-Peak Traveler (www.offpeaktraveler.com/index.php?m1=1&m2=38&city=5), offering six nights in Paris starting from $449 plus tax ($568 including tax), per person, double occupancy.
Try to split out the airfare to compare to the US Airways deal, and you're paying about $86 per night for your hotel room here. You may be able to do better with effort: we list more than two dozen budget hotels in our Paris guide for $100 or less, and the hotels used by package tour companies are usually not the most charming or central hotels a city has to offer.