Save up to $500 on your next Air New Zealand flight their 72-hour promo code sale. Travel is valid from June 15 through November 7.
Discounts vary by ticket class. For Economy travel, use promo code Spring200 and save $200. For Premium Economy, use promo code Spring300 and save $300. For Business Premier, use promo code Spring500 and save $500.
All tickets must be booked by 11:59pm PST, June 13.
As seen by the image below, we found seats departing Los Angeles on August 12, returning from Auckland on August 27, for $920 round-trip, nonstop, including all taxes.
This popular South Florida airport yields many an affordable airfare, meaning that plenty of travelers heading anywhere from Palm Beach to The Keys or on a cruise end up treading its concourses. Here's a mini-guide that'll have you navigating Fort Lauderdale like a pro.
South Florida is no transit wasteland; arriving passengers at Fort Lauderdale can hop a free shuttle bus at their terminal and, within a few minutes, be standing on a platform waiting for their train to Miami or West Palm Beach. It will likely come as a surprise to no one, however, that negotiating both the Broward Transit system (they're the bus people) and the Tri-Rail schedule (that's the train) takes a fair bit of focused energy. Sure, they both operate on reasonable schedules, all day long, and sure, you'll save money – the bus shuttle is free, fares to Miami are just $3.75 each way – but at what real cost? Besides the waiting you'll do, also know that the Tri-Rail stations are mostly in terribly inconvenient (and generally terrible) locations that require yet another bus ride or train ride or a potentially expensive taxi ride, once reached. If you're just sticking around Fort Lauderdale, you may be interested to learn that there's no direct bus to the beach area from the airport. You have to catch Broward Transit's Route 1 bus into town, then transfer at the rather colorful downtown transit center. Bonus: It doesn't even pick you up at your terminal – you have to walk or shuttle over to the Rental Car Center departures level to the airport's only public bus stop. Taxi!
Cruise passengers departing from Port Everglades or sun seekers just heading for certain local hotels may be all set with pre-booked or complimentary transfer services; for the rest of us, there's GO Airport Shuttle, the exclusive operator of shared-ride services from Fort Lauderdale. They operate vans all over South Florida and promise a wait of no more than 30 minutes from the time you check-in at their arrivals-level desk; fares to Fort Lauderdale's beach hotels average around $15, with Miami Beach not much more expensive at a little over $20 (fares may fluctuate depending on exact distance.)
Fares are regulated by local government and can be rather reasonable – approximately $12 into Port Everglades if you don't feel like standing around waiting for your cruise shuttle bus, often under $20 to the beach hotels in Fort Lauderdale.
If you're renting a car, it is worth considering how much you'll be paying to park at your destination. Valet parking, often mandatory at downtown hotels and beachfront resorts, can run you upwards of $30 per night. If you decide to opt for a car rental at Fort Lauderdale, head down to the arrivals level and catch the airport's one-bus-serves-all shuttle. If you've arrived at Terminal 1, you can walk directly into the rental car center, conveniently located at the heart of the fairly compact airport.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International is all about getting you in and out – hanging around, not so much. But there have been, in recent times, a couple of admirable attempts to boost the airport's culinary cred. Take, for example, the recently-opened Food Network Kitchen. This sleek, test kitchen-ish space in Terminal 3 features locally inspired eats – try the decent Florida Shrimp Po'Boy – and healthy takeout items that include a baby kale salad and steamed edamame with sea salt. Stuck in Terminal 1? Head to Concourse B where Pasha's, a popular local chain does Mediterranean fast-casual fare that won't leave you with a food hangover. (The hummus is pretty good.) Need a good Café Cubano? Walk over to the rental car center, where the tiny Cuban Corner on Level 2 will fit the bill.
Where to go drinking
It's almost painful to recommend any of the on-premises watering holes, considering your proximity to some seriously fun beach bars, like the out-there and fun Le Tub on Hollywood Beach, just a few minutes away by taxi. Forced to stick close to the terminals, there are places that ought to be good – let's not even mention them – but they just plain aren't. Seriously – you should just go to Chili's, located pre-security at Terminal 3. It's fine. Have a margarita.
Shopping at the airport is almost exclusively limited to newsstands and other uninspired fare. This is pretty surprising, considering the hordes of bored cruise passengers who often spend hours here, waiting for their flights home. A couple of interesting shopping options exist, though – in Terminal 2, for example, the automated U*tique Boutique vends high-end essentials, from sunglasses to perfume.
Free, throughout the airport – can be slow at busy periods.
Get away from it all
It is South Florida – get out into the sunshine! The airport's Sunny View Sitting Area isn't quite as glamorous as you're probably expecting, but it is a pleasant, grassy spot located outside of Terminal 3, within walking distance of the rest of the airport. Grab a table and have a picnic, or just work on your tan. Need air conditioning, but can't bear the crowds? Buy your way into one of the airline lounges – airlines sell day passes for as little as $25.
The long layover
With four hours or more to kill before your check-in time, the choice is clear: Go do something. Dump your luggage at the airport's convenient Bags to Go service ($6 per bag for the day), grab a cab and head over to Fort Lauderdale's beachfront, barely six miles from the terminals. Hop out as soon as you can for a scenic beach hike up to the very popular W Hotel, where the pool bar and café (opens 11am) is a great spot to while away whatever time you have left, indulging in cocktails and people watching. When you're done, just head downstairs and have the bellman hail you a taxi. Best mini-vacation to Fort Lauderdale, ever.
Best airport hotel
There aren't any hotels on airport property, which isn't a big deal, considering the airport’s proximity to most of the beach hotels and resorts. But if you want to cut your travel time in half, and some do, go ahead and check into one of the hotels close to U.S. 1, a short drive north of the airport entrance. The smart Hyatt Place Fort Lauderdale 17th Street is tops in the affordable category; it offers the best value, with free wireless internet, breakfast, an airport shuttle (7a-11p), Hyatt Grand beds (very comfortable) and pleasant, modern room décor (www.hyatt.com).
For more about Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, visit www.fll.net. See what's doing in Fort Lauderdale at www.sunny.org.
Much like the city it serves, Chicago's largest airport is big, bustling and efficient – unless there's traffic. And there's usually traffic. But seriously – if you can't get there from O'Hare, or if you can't get from there to O'Hare, wherever there is might just be nowhere: In 2012, O'Hare was the fifth busiest airport in the world. That's a lot of people coming from and going to a lot of places. Coming in for a landing? You'll want a guide to help you get in, around and out.
Chicagoans are wont to grumble about the local transit services, and while the CTA network may be aging, trains often overcrowded and service rather limited at times, it does exist, it does work and it will get you where you need to go. Also? The Blue Line train runs right into Terminal 2 (you can walk from Terminals 1 and 3), ferrying you into the Loop in just 45 minutes, past all the terrible traffic on the Kennedy Expressway.
Sticking around for a while? Buy one of the CTA's unlimited ride passes, available in the train station. The longer you stay, the better the deal -- $10 for one day is okay, three days for $20 is better and the 7-day for $28 is the best value. These passes work on suburban buses as well as all CTA services. If you just need one ride downtown, buy a pay-as-you-go Transit Card. Note, however, that while the typical rail fare is $2.25, passengers boarding at O'Hare pay $5.
While many cab companies serve the airport, they're mostly metered and regulated by the city; the base fare is $3.25, each additional mile will be $1.80 and you pay $0.20 for every 36 seconds of waiting time. You pay $1 for the second passenger and $0.50 for every passenger after that until the cab is full. Note that there is also a $2 airport tax on each trip. What this means, in plain English: The typical fare to the loop will be $40, or maybe more – note that with traffic, a cab can often take longer than the train. (At best, you're looking at a half-hour drive.) If you'd like to save a little money, shared ride fares are available for $24 per person to the Loop, Near North and McCormick Place. Note: The city requires all affiliate cabs to accept credit cards now, which is a very good thing.
If you've got lots of luggage in tow but want to spend a little less than the cost of a cab, the GO Airport Express shared-ride shuttle is a good bet; you don't need to make reservations when arriving at O'Hare, but note that you do need them for return trips. For one person and a couple of bags to an address in the Loop, the cost is $32 on the outbound, $30 for the return. Need to make a flight at Chicago Midway? Omega Airport Shuttle offers service on the hour, all day long for $45 per person. (You can save a bundle of money, if not time, by hopping the CTA Blue Line to the Loop, where you can transfer to the Midway-bound Orange Line at Clark and Lake Station.)
If you're just hanging around the city and don't mind using transit and doing a bit of walking, you're truly better off avoiding a car rental at O'Hare. Not only is renting expensive, visitors are often surprised to find just how bad Chicago traffic can be. Or how tough (or expensive) parking can be, particularly in any neighborhood near the center of town or on the North Side, near the lakefront. In addition, rentals here can get very pricey at peak times, with a whopping eight taxes and fees piled atop each base rental fare. Quoted $80 per day for an economy car? (Don't laugh, that's what the O'Hare Enterprise location quoted us on an upcoming summer weekday.) Eighty dollars is ridiculous on its face, but the fun really begins when you realize that on top of that, you'll pay nearly $40 in tax. Bottom line: If you can avoid renting at O'Hare, do so – or at least wait until you're in town, where local rental offices don't carry so many of those crazy surcharges that the airport locations are required to levy. If you can't live without wheels, head down to the lower level outside of baggage claim, where rental agency shuttle buses congregate.
Two words: Tortas Frontera. Two more words: Rick Bayless. There is a lot of food at O'Hare, some of it is not half-bad. But there's really only one truly great place to eat – this outstanding Mexican sandwich joint from one of Chicago's most popular chefs. From delectable cochinita pibil (Yucatan-style pork) to simple but delightful breakfast sandwiches, Bayless and his team find a way to make airport dining not only good, but darn near memorable, too. Well-sourced food from solid local sources, tasty aguas frescas plus better-than-they-have-to-be margaritas and good guacamole make this one stop shopping for happy. Best of all, there are now three locations inside the airport – Terminal 1 (B Concourse), Terminal 3 and, as of last month, Terminal 5. Wherever you are, Tortas Frontera is just a short walk. (Short by O'Hare standards, anyway.)
Where to go drinking
There are plenty of places to grab a cold beer – the Berghoff Café (Terminal 1, Concourse C) always seems to have a couple decent regional beers on tap, that's a great place to start; but if you're looking for something a little more sophisticated, the recently-opened Beaudevin wine bar (also at Terminal 1, Concourse C) is worth seeking out. Comfortable bar stools, an almost-elegant chandelier, a player piano and lots of wines by the glass will have you forgetting all your airport-related troubles. Over in Terminal 3, Bubbles Wine Bar is similarly grown-up and worth a visit.
For a better class of Chicago memorabilia, there are two good options – the Chicago Historical Society Gift Shop in Terminal 3 and the Field Museum Store in Terminal 1. Or, you could just hit up Garrett Popcorn Shop (Terminals 1 & 3) for a Chicago souvenir that won't last long, but will taste very good. For proper shopping, keep your eye on Terminal 5, currently undergoing quite the transformation with shopping center giant Westfield at the helm. Expect Fifth Avenue / Rodeo Drive quality brands, along with iconically Chicago edibles (and drinkables) at Intelligentsia Coffee and Vosges Haut Chocolate. If you're not flying in or out of T5, the airport's landside People Mover automated train will bring you there.
Yes, but it isn't free. The cost is $6.95 for 24 hours, via Boingo – save a little time and hassle and sign up in advance at Boingo.com.
Best airport hotel
Really, the best airport hotel is always the one that involves the least hassle when it comes to getting back to your terminal. And on that front, the Hilton Chicago O'Hare performs beautifully: Walk right in from Terminals 1-3, walk right back out whenever you like. The Hilton can be expensive, depending on the time of year (or how many flights were cancelled that evening) but it's not half bad. Rooms are standard, but there are a couple of acceptable bars and restaurants, 24-hour room service, a good fitness center and indoor pool. Plus, if you have energy for a trip downtown, the 'L' train is within walking distance.
Get away from it all
In desperate need of a moment – or three – of zen? The Hilton's not just for overnight stays; anyone with an hour or two to kill should consider buying a day pass to the Hilton Athletic Club. For $20, you get steam, sauna, pool, Jacuzzi, fitness center and an all-around pretty decent place to veg out.
The long layover
With the CTA Blue Line train terminus located right inside the airport, the choice is clear – should you find yourself with four hours or more to kill, spend it in the city. You could just do the architecture-in-the-Loop thing, or the shopping-on-Michigan-Avenue thing, but to get down there, you'll be traveling through some of Chicago's hippest 'hoods – why not hop off early and explore a side of town that too few tourists ever see? The Damen Avenue stop puts you at the heart of the Wicker Park/Bucktown scene, one of the coolest between the coasts, but even closer to the airport is the Logan Square district, served by the station of the same name. While the very-residential neighborhood's charms are slightly more muted than further in towards town, Logan Square is a great place to just hang out among some of the city's coolest customers. The fun starts right across the street from the train station at Longman & Eagle, an all-day café and bar that's been one of the most popular addresses in town for a few years running. No need to wait for the evening, though – brunch is served seven days, and they do a bar snack menu in the late afternoons before dinner starts up. Best of all, you're only 25 minutes from Terminal 2 by train. Should you lose your way back to the airport, they've got a handful of chic hotel rooms upstairs that rank among the most appealing in the city.
Fly from Seattle to Hong Kong for $717 round-trip, including all taxes, on United.
We found seats departing Seattle on September 5, and returning from Hong Kong on September 12. Other dates are also available in fall/winter, from September through February. This fare may be hidden when searching via Hotwire. Clicking on the lowest listed fare will reveal the even lower price seen below.
Fly from Philadelphia to Austin for $147 round-trip, including all taxes, on United.
We found seats departing PHL on September 10, returning from AUS on September 17. Plenty of other dates available from late August through December. Travel is valid any day of the week. No minimum stay!
Lines at the airport – is there anything less fun? They're inevitable, sure, but did you know that some of them are easily avoidable? Not the security line, of course – trying to skip that one could get you on the 6 o'clock news, these days. If you're checking bags, though – for that one, no need to stand around. Just talk to your friendly curbside skycap.
You've probably noticed them working outside the terminal in all sorts of weather. Perhaps you've never bothered to enlist their services, either because you don't know what it is they're standing around for, or you do know, and you assume that the extra cost isn't worth it.
Maybe in the old days, when you could just dump half your life on the conveyor belt and watch it slip away to Cancun ahead of you, sure – maybe skycaps were a little bit of a luxury. These days, however, with airline charging nosebleed-high fees for checked luggage, the bag drop lines can be painfully long, filled with passengers furiously trying to figure out how to repack their stuff, or picking fights with the guys behind the desk because the idea of paying $100 to get a bunch of clothes to their destination makes them furious and they've taken leave of their senses. It can be a real scene.
Skycaps to the rescue! They're standing right there – avail yourself. Pay your bag fees online, if applicable (it helps to get over the sticker shock before you arrive at the airport, you've got enough on your mind on the day of travel ) and just drop everything off at the curb.
While there can sometimes be lines at the curb as well as inside, they're never as long. And while you didn’t hear it here, skycaps tend to be a little more generous than the airline representatives inside should your bags just so happen to be a couple of ounces over the weight limit, or if you're an inch or two beyond the standard 62 linear inch limit after which bags are charged an extra “oversize” fee. Their services, quite simply, can save you more than time.
Best of all, most airlines don't charge for curbside check-in (some still do, but it’s minimal, see chart). Of course, whether or not there's a fee, it's definitely standard practice to tip your skycap $2 per bag or more.
And for goodness' sake, please tip – these guys could use the extra dough: the typical hourly salary of a skycap runs anywhere from the your typically pathetic minimum wage to $10 per hour. They really do work for tips. To boot, they're not employed by the airlines, so they don't enjoy the union protections afforded airline employees. They're not unlike the valet parking guy at your favorite restaurant, but they do a lot more heavy lifting, and they spend a lot of time dealing with people who generally aren't nearly as cheerful as your typical restaurant patron. So, you know – be nice.
For a look at which airlines offer skycap services – and what other time-savers are offered curbside – click on over to our handy chart.
Fly from Baltimore to Phoenix for $195 round-trip, including all taxes, on United.
We found seats departing BWI on September 3, and returning from Phoenix on September 10. Other dates also available from September through December. Valid for travel any day of the week. No minimum stay required.