A slew of seats are up for grabs on routes to Europe, Japan and the Middle East.

You have until February 18 to buy American Airline's (tel. TK; sale fares on its new route to Nagoya, Japan. Regardless of your original US departure point, displayed sample fares all start from under $600; all flights are routed through Chicago's O'Hare Airport, then on to the Land of the Rising Sun. Fares include roundtrip flights from:

  • Chicago, Cincinnati, Des Moines, Green Bay, Indianapolis, Omaha, St. Louis & more from $459
  • Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte NC, Denver, Memphis, Newark, Oklahoma City & more from $509
  • Baton Rouge, Little Rock, Lubbock & more from $559
  • Multiple Florida cities from $589

Fares do not include taxes and fees of about $100. Tickets must be purchased a minimum of three days in advance and are good for outbound travel between April 3 - May 31 with the latest return being no later than August 31.

For those who snatch up this deal, you'll be rewarded with Japan in the springtime when the cherry blossoms rain down like so much perfumed snow. The Nagoya area, in western Honshu, is dotted with castles and Shinto shrines. Beginning in mid-May, it's also home to ukai fishing, an ancient form of nocturnal fishing where the fishermen releases cormorants tied to strings -- the birds search out and retrieve trout, which you can dine upon in local restaurants. If that's too pastoral for you, Tokyo is just a short, two-hour bullet-train ride away.

El Al (tel. 800/223-6700; announced sales today good for flights this winter and spring into Tel Aviv. Through March 31, two people flying together can get per person fares starting from just $555 out either JFK or Newark. Similar double occupancy fares exist for Chicago (from $599) as well as Miami (from $649). Other winter fares on Delta codeshares are available from several other gateways running between $650-$750 before taxes.

If you purchase by February 10, you can enjoy springtime savings as well for flights between April 1 through June 15, 2005. Roundtrip fares, before taxes and fees of around $121.50, start from that winter rate of just $599 out JFK or Newark airports; $749 from Chicago; $774 from Miami; and $799 from Los Angeles. All are direct flights.

British Airways (tel. 800/AIRWAYS; has returned with its popular London layover program whereby passengers get two free nights' stay in selected London hotels on their way to or from London -- or anywhere BA flies within Europe (including Paris, Rome, Madrid & Amsterdam).

Sample roundtrip pre-tax fares into London include:

  • NYC from $250
  • Boston form $170
  • Philadelphia form $190
  • Baltimore & D.C. from $210
  • Chicago from $240
  • Dallas, Detroit & Houston from $380
  • Atlanta from $400
  • Denver, Los Angeles & San Francisco from $420

The airfare component is available for travel through March 13, but the hotel stay is valid through October 27, 2005. In either instance, the booking deadline has been extended to February 10, 2005. The best savings are for midweek departures purchased online (to avoid additional charges for making reservations over the phone).

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