Alitalia Sale from New York, Chicago, & Boston

Tracy Stewart, March 29, 2007
Fares from Washington DC:

    Alitalia is having a sale on travel from New York, Boston, and Chicago to select international destinations. This sale is good for departures from April 1 through May 31, and requires a Saturday night stay, as well as a maximum stay of 1 month. All purchases must be made by April 1. Here's a little round-up of these fares:

    • Boston to Budapest $654 round-trip, with tax: We searched for April 3 through April 12 on Alitalia and found $895 round-trip, with tax. Just as we were about to give up, we noticed a box above our fare results which read "Save 241 USD. Are you flexible?" And by leaving one day earlier, we found the advertised $654 fare. That's much better than what we found on Orbitz. Using the same dates, SwissAir was the lowest fare at $838 round-trip, with tax.

    • New York to Paris $574 round-trip, with tax: Our initial search on Alitalia, using April 4 through April 10 as our travel dates, turned up a whopping $1,790 round-trip fare. Again, choosing the 'are you flexible?' option above our search results gave us a fare of $1,449, departing one day later. But get this! We then clicked on the $1,449 fare for further details and were magically teleported to a very bookable $623 round-trip. What kind of fun-house trick is that? Next, we searched the same dates on Orbitz and found a lower fare of $545 round-trip, with tax, with United/Lufthansa.

    • Chicago to Sofia $621 round-trip, with tax: We searched for April 17 through April 26 on Alitalia, and found $1,048 as the lowest fare. Again, choosing the 'are you flexible?' option above our fare results, we were able to find a lower fare of $630 round-trip, with tax, available one day before and after our initial selection. And this time, the cheaper fare wasn't hidden either. A follow-up search on Orbitz listed a lower fare of $611 round-trip, with tax, using the same dates, on United/Lufthansa.

    • Boston to Tunis $811 round-trip, with tax: Alitalia listed the lowest fare as being $1,221, again with the option to save a bit if we were flexible with our dates. Being flexible managed to bring our total down to $1,144. And that's what we found to be the lowest on Orbitz too, excluding their $11 booking charge.

    Although we're pleased that Alitalia now advertises their sale fares at the total round-trip sum, including all taxes, we can't help but feel that these advertised sale fares require an extraordinary amount of effort to find. And in most cases, these sale fares aren't the best available for these routes.