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Giving the Gift of Travel

Posted by A Tam on Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Want to purchase a travel certificate for that special someone who loves to travel or perhaps send an annoying relative, spouse or roommate on a long trip somewhere far away? We’ve compiled a list of airlines and online agencies that offer gift certificates or gift cards. For the most part, you can simply purchase them online. The exceptions are US Air and Delta. You have to purchase those at the airport or over the phone. Since most cards can be ordered online they can be delivered via email or sent by mail to the recipient for a fee. The only certificates that we found with expiration dates were sold by Travelocity, Delta, and Continental. Those specific certificates must be used within a year. The rest do not expire (at least not until the airline selling them does). See below for other restrictions as these can vary from one company to another.

 

Company/Airline How to Purchase How To Redeem Delivery Method Expiration Restrictions
Jetblue Online Online or Phone ($15 fee) Email or In person Never Cannot use on Vacation Packages
United Online Online or Phone Mail Only Never Use for United Vacations Only
American Online Online or Phone Mail (fee) or Email Never None- use for any flight
US Air Phone Only Phone Only Mail Never None- use for any flight
Air Tran Online Online/Phone/In Person Email Never None- use for any flight
Southwest Online Online/Phone/In Person Email or Mail(fee) Never None- use for any flight
Continental Online Online Only Email 1 year None- use for any flight
Alaska Air Online or at select Stores Online Only Email or at Select Stores None None- use for any flight
Delta In person only In Person Only or Travel Agent
1 year None- use for any flight.
Travelocity Online Online Email 1 year Use for Last Minute Packages only
Expedia N/A NONE NONE NONE
Orbitz N/A NONE NONE NONE
         
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
Categories: Airfare Tips

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OpenSkies: Free Companion Ticket from DC to Paris

Posted by A Tam on Thursday, May 6, 2010

The all business class carrier OpenSkies has a buy-one-get-one-free offer on its Washington D.C.-Paris route. Also, by using coupon code IADMAY10 you’ll get an additional 20% off. This combined offer is valid only for May travel. We have found biz seats as low as $1200 per person. (See below).  The biz beds can be had for ~$1900 per person. You must follow this link in order to book. Remember to enter the coupon code. This deal is good for travel as soon as this weekend, and is about on par (or maybe even less) than what you might pay for a last minute economy class ticket

The fare below is for 2 people, traveling May 9-May13th:

Categories: Europe/Africa/Middle East Airfares

Up to $400 off Bahamas flight + Hotel package

Posted by A Tam on Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Expedia is currently offering up to $400 off any flight + hotel package to the Bahamas.

West Coast (Washington, Oregon, California) to Freeport, Bahamas can be found in the low $300’s by using promo code BAH400. This includes your flight and accommodation for 4 nights and taxes.  Offer expires tomorrow.  Blackout dates include:  March 19, 2010 through April 10, 2010. Travel through Dec 22nd.

Use BAH300 for states excluding Washington, Oregon, California

Use BAH200 for Florida  

There doesn’t seem to be a single supplement, so it is more advantageous to book one person at a time for maximum savings. You’ll also get more than one room.  For example:  price for a one person booking is $700 minus the $400 coupon for a grand total of $300. If you book two people together, it’s $1400 minus the $400 for a grand total of $1000. So if you make two separate bookings you’ll only pay $300 X 2 or $600. We should note, too, that for a while at least the BAH400 code worked for the less expensive packages from Florida, essentially giving you a totally free vacation for some travel dates and lengths of stay.

Checked bag fees for airlines flying internationally

Posted by A Tam on Monday, January 25, 2010

 

If you think baggage fees on domestic US flights are high, you might be surprised what some international airlines are charging these days. Some airlines charge by the pound (or kilogram) after your bag weighs over a certain limit, and the fees can be quite high. For example, flying on Cathay Pacific from non-Americas destinations, you'll pay 1.5% of the adult economy class fare for each 2.2 lbs (1 kg) that a third checked bag weighs. If the fare is $2000, you'll pay $30 per kg, so if your third bag weighs 22 lbs (10 kg) it will cost $300 each way!

 

1st checked Bag

2nd checked bag

3 and up

Aer Lingus

US to Europe: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Within Europe:

€12-15 online

 €18 @ airport

 

US to Europe: $50 up to 23KG(50LBS)

Overweight bags between 23kg-32kgs (50lbs-70lbs): $50

 

Within Europe: €12-15 online.  € 18 @ airport

 

 

US to Europe: $50 up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Within Europe: €12-15 online.  € 18 @ airport

Aero Mexico

Within Mexico: Free up to 30KG(66LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit 165 pesos per KG will be charged.

 

US to Mexico:  Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Within Mexico: 165 pesos per KG.

 

US to Mexico: $40

 

Overweight bag fee: $40-120 depending on weight and destination.

From: US to Mexico: 3rd-5th $140

6th-7th $200 each. Up to 23KG(50LBS)

Aeroflot

US to Europe:  Free up to 50LBS

 

All other flights:  Free up to20KG (44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

US to Europe: Free up to 50LBS. Overweight bag fees $50 23 to 32 KG(50 to 70 LBS) $200 up to 45KG(99LBS).

From US to Europe: $150 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

Air Berlin

US to Europe: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Short Haul: Free up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags

 

Long Haul (3000+ miles): Free up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags.

 

US to Europe: $40 up to 23KG(50LBS). Overweight bag fee $65

 

If over limit: Short Haul: €10 per KG

If over limit: Long Haul: €20 per KG

US to Europe: $150 each up to 32KG(70LBS). More than 32KG $450 will be charged.

 

Air Canada

Within Canada: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US to Canada: Free up to 23KG (50 LBS)

 

US/Canada to Europe: Free up to 23KG (50LBS)

 

US/Canada to all other intl Destinations: Free up to 23KG(50 LBS)

 

Within Canada: Free up to 23KG(50LBS). Overweight bags $75 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

US to Canada: $30 Overweight bags $75 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

US/Canada to Europe: $50 Overweight bags $100 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

US/Canada to all other intl destinations: Free up to 50 LBS. Overweight bags $100 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

Within Canada: $100each up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US to Canada: $100 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US/Canada to all intl destinations: $225 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Air China

US to China: Free up to 50LBS

 

All other flights: Free up to 20KG (44LBS). If over limit, fee per KG imposed based on 1.5% of highest one way fare.

US to China: Free up to 23KG (50 LBS)

 

US to China: $165 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Air France

US to Europe/Africa/India: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Within Europe: 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

US to Europe: $50

US to Africa/India: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Overweight bags $100 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

US to Europe: $200 each, up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US to Africa/India: $200 up to 23KG(50LBS)

Alitalia

US to Europe /N Africa/ C. Africa: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

Within Europe: 20 KG TOTAL for all bags. €10 per KG if overweight.

US to Europe/N Africa: $50 Overweight bags $50 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

US to C. Africa: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

.

US to Europe/N Africa/C Africa: $200 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

American

All intl destinations: Free up to 23KG (50LBS)

 

US to Brazil/Asia: Free

US to Europe/India: $50

 

 

Varies depending on destination and weight. 

Austrian

US to Europe:  Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other flights: Up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If overweight pay fee for up to certain amount of weight: ex: €35 up to 15KG

 

 

 

US to EUR: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

Within EUR: If overweight, pay fee for up to certain amount of weight: ex: €35 up to 15KG(33LBS) €72 up to 32KG(70LBS).

 

 

US to Europe: $200 up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

BMI

All Flights: Up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

 

All Flights: Up to 20KG TOTAL for all bags.

 

 

British Airways

 

 

 

All intl flights: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

 

US to India/Nigeria/Ghana/Kenya: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $50 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

All other international flights: $48 online $60@airport.  Up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $50 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

Within Europe/Domestic UK: $50 Up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

US to India/Nigeria/Ghana/Kenya: $48 online $60@airport.  Up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other international flights: $112 online  $140@airport. Up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Within EUR/Domestic UK: $50

Up to 23KG(50LBS)

Brussels Airways

US to Europe/Africa: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Within Europe & Medium Haul from Europe (Tel Aviv, Moscow, Helsinki) : Up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags.

 

 

 

US to Europe/Africa: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

Within Europe:  If over limit, €10 per KG online €12 @ airport

 

Medium Haul from Europe: (Tel Aviv, Moscow, Helsinki) €12 per KG online, €15 per KG @ airport.

US to Europe/Africa: €150 up to 23KG(50LBS). €200 up to 32KG(70LBS)

Cathay Pacific

US to Asia: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other intl destinations: Up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit, fee per KG imposed based on 1.5% of highest one-way fare.

US to Asia: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $25 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

Varies depending on destination and weight.

Continental

US to all intl destinations: Free up to 23KG (50LBS)

US to MEX/Caribbean/S America: $27 online 30 @airport up to 23KG (50LBS) Overweight bags $50 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

US to Europe: $45 online 50@airport up to 23KG (50LBS) Overweight bags $50 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

All other intl flights: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $50 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

US to Europe: $150 each  up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other destinations: $100 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

Delta

US/ to all intl Destinations: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

US to Mexico/Caribbean/S America: S25 online $30 @ airport up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US to Europe: $50 up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other intl flights: free up to 50 LBS

 

Overweight bags $150 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS) $175 up to 45KG(100LBS)

 

All intl destinations: 3rd bag $200 4th –5th : $350 up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Easyjet

£9.00 per bag  online £18.00@airport up 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags up to 8 bags. Excess weight £10 per KG; sports equipment charged extra

£9.00 per bag  online £18.00@airport up 20KG(44LBS); Excess weight £10 per KG

Bags 3-8 (max. 8 allowed) £9.00 per bag  online £18.00@airport up 20KG(44LBS); Excess weight £10 per KG

Egypt Air

US to all intl destinations: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other flights: Up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit, fee per KG imposed based on 1.5% of highest one-way fare.

US to all intl destinations: Free up to 23KG(50LBS). If over limit, fee per KG imposed based on 1.5% of highest one-way fare.

 

US(east coast) to all intl destinations: $115 up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US(west coast) to all intl destinations: $125 up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

Emirates

US to Middle East: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

US to Middle East: Free up to 23KG(50LBS). Overweight bags $50 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

US to Middle East: $175 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Eva

US to Asia: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other flights:  20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

US to Asia: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

Varies depending on destination.

Finnair

US to Europe: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other flights: 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit, fee per KG based on 1.5% of highest one-way fare.

US to EUR: Free up to 23KG(50LBS). If over limit, fee per KG based on 1.5% of highest one-way fare.

US to EUR- $90-110 each depending on destination.

Japan Airlines

 

US/Canada/Guam to Asia: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Brazil to Asia: Free up to 32KG(70LBS)

 

All other flights: Up to 20 KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit, fee per KG based on 1.5% of highest one-way fare.

US/Canada/Guam to Asia: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Brazil to Asia: free up to 32KG(70LBS)

 

If over limit, fee per KG based on 1.5% of highest one-way fare.

Piece concept: Depends on destination $80-350

 

 

Iberia

US to Europe/Mid East/Africa: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other flights: 23KG TOTAL for all bags.  If over limit € 5 p. 5 KG

 

US to Europe/Mid East/Africa: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US to Europe/Mid East/Africa: €150 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

KLM

US to Europe/ Africa: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US/All other destinations: 23 KG TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

US to Europe/ Africa: $50 up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

 

US to EUR/ Africa: €200 up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Korean

US to Asia: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

US to Asia: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

Varies depending on route.

Lan

All intl routes: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All intl routes: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

$10-90 depending on route.

Lufthansa

US to Europe: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US to all other intl Destinations: Free up to 23KG

 

Within Europe/ Mid East/ Asia/Africa: Up to 20KG TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

US to Europe: $50 up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $150 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS). 32KG and up $350

 

US to all other intl destinations: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $150 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS) 32KG and up $400

 

Varies depending on route.

Mexicana

Domestic Mexico: Free up to 32KG(70LBS)

 

US to Mexico: Free up to 25KG(55LBS)

 

To Sao Paulo: Free up to 64KG(140LBS) TOTAL. Max 2 bags.

 

To Buenos Aires:  Free up to 32KG(70LBS) TOTAL. Max 2 bags.

 

To London: Free up to 46KG(101LBS) TOTAL Max 2 bags.

 

To C. America: Free up to 46KG(101LBS) TOTAL Max 2 bags.

Domestic Mexico:  400 Pesos

 

US to Mexico:  $40

 

To Sao Paulo: Free up to 64KG(140LBS) TOTAL. Max 2 bags.

 

To Buenos Aires:  Free up to 32KG(70LBS) TOTAL Max 2 bags.

 

To London: Free up to 46KG(101LBS) TOTAL Max 2 bags.

 

To C. America: Free up to 46KG(101LBS) TOTAL Max 2 bags.

Domestic Mexico:  3rd –5th bags  1500 Pesos Each

 

US to Mexico:  3rd –5th bags  $150 Each up to 25KG(55LBS)

 

To Sao Paulo:  3rd –5th bags  $150 Each

 

To Buenos Aires::  3rd –5th bags  $150 Each

 

To London:  3rd –5th bags  $150 Each

 

To C. America:  3rd –5th bags  $150 Each

 

 

Air New Zealand

Within NZ: Free up to 25KG(55LBS)

 

NZ To Australia, Asia, and London (Via Hong Kong): Up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags.

 

NZ To Tahiti, US, London(Via LA): Free up to 46 KG(100LBS)TOTAL up to 2 bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

Within NZ: $15NZD

 

To Tahiti, US, London (Via LA): Free up to 46KG(100LBS) TOTAL up to 2 bags.

 

Overweight charges will depend on destination and how many bags you check-in.

Within NZ: $50NZD

Qantas

Within Australia:  Free up to 23KG(50LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

US/Australia: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other intl Flights: Up to 23KG(50LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

US to Australia: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) If bags are overweight, per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

US to Australia: $150 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

Royal Jordanian

Departing from US: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other intl destinations:  Up to 20KG(50LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

Departing from US: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $100 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

Departing from US: 3rd bag $175 4th-5th bag: $250 each      

6th and over: $400 each

Up to 23KG(50LBS) each

 

Ryanair

€15 online €35 @airport up to 15KG(33LBS); €20 Per KG in excess

€35 online €70 @airport up to 15KG(33LBS); €20 Per KG in exces

€20 Per KG payable @airport only

Scandinavian

US/Canada to all destinations: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other flights:  Up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

US/Canada to all destinations: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $150 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

US/Canada to all destinations:  $200 each up to 23KG(50LBS) each. Overweight bags $350 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

South African

US/Canada to Africa: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other destinations: Up to 20-30 KG TOTAL for all bags depending on destination.  If over limit charge will be 1.5% of normal one-way fare per KG. Some exceptions apply. 

 

US/Canada to Africa: Free up to 23 KG (50LBS) Overweight bags $50 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

 

US to Africa: $125-150 depending on final destination

 

Up to 23KG(50LBS) each

Swiss

US to Europe/Cameroon: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other intl flights: 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

US to Europe/Cameroon: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $150 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

US to Europe: $200 each

US to All other destinations: $250

 

Up to 23KG(50LBS) each

Taca

All flights: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

All Flights: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $55 between 23 to 31KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

Bags 3-4: $175 each

5+: $200 each

 

Up to 23KG(50LBS) each

 

Tap Portugal

US/Canada to Europe: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

Within Europe: 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

 

US/Canada to Europe: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US/ Canada to Europe: 3+ $150 each up to 23KG(50LBS) each

Thai

To from US: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other flights: Free up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

To From US: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $119 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

 

To from US: 3+ $119 each,

 

Up to 23KG(50LBS)

Turkish

To from US: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other flights: Up to 20KG(44LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

 

To from US: Free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $80 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

To from US: $150-225 each Depending on destination. Up to 23KG(50LBS)

United

All intl flights: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

US to Europe/Russia/India:  $45 online $50@airport.

 

US to Mexico/Caribbean: $27 online $30@airport Overweight bags $125 between 23 to 45KG(50 to 100LBS)

 

 

All other flights: free up to 23KG(50LBS) Overweight bags $150-400 depending on destination and weight. 

US to Europe/S.America/Asia/Australia:  3rd-4th: $200 each 5th-6th: $250 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US to Africa/Middle East: 3+ $250 each up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

To Caribbean/Mexico: 3rd-4th $125 each

5th-6th : $250  up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

USAir

US to Europe: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

US to S. America/Mid East: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

US to Europe: $50 online $55 @ airport

 

To S. America/Mid East: Free up to 50LBS Overweight bags $50 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS) $100 between 32 and 45KG(50-100LBS)

 

US to Europe: $100 @ airport up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

To S. America/Mid East: $100 @ airport up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

V Australia

US to Australia Free up to 2KG(70LBS) TOTAL up to 2 bags

 

All other destinations: 23KG(50LBS) TOTAL for all bags. If over limit per KG charge is imposed. Price depends on destination

 

 

US to Australia: Free up to 32KG(70LBS) TOTAL up to 2 bags. Overweight bags $100

US to Australia: $100 US Each

 

Virgin Atlantic

 

 

All routes: Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

 

All destinations to Africa:  Free up to 23KG(50LBS)

 

All other routes: $48 online $60@airport. Overweight bags 50 between 23 to 32KG(50 to 70LBS)

 

 

 

 

 

Africa:   $48 online $60@airport

4+: $48 online $140@airport

 

All others: 3+: $48 online $140@airport

Categories: Airfare Tips

Donate to Charity for Miles.

Posted by A Tam on Thursday, January 14, 2010

 

In light of the tragic earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday, a few airlines are asking for donations to aid in the recovery effort. This is not only a great way to help out, but you'll also get a few miles in return, which by the way will keep your account active and prevent your miles  from expiring.  American and Spirit are giving some miles in return for cash donations. Below is a list of links to airlines that are currently accepting donations.  Most hotel programs also accept donations in the form of points, so you might want to check those out as well.

Cash for Miles.

Sprit Airlines- Minimum $5 get 5000 miles in return – Choose to Donate to Yele, Unicef, or American Red Cross

American Airlines-  Every $50 donated you will get 250 miles.

Donate Miles

United Airlines

Delta Airlines

Us Air

Continental

Why booking a Round The World(RTW) ticket might make sense.

Posted by A Tam on Saturday, October 10, 2009

Are you planning a trip around the world? Maybe you need to visit a client in London, Hong Kong, and a few other places. If one of these is true, you might want to take a look at booking a Round The World ticket. While at first glance it might seem fairly expensive, but if you do the math and break it down you will understand why they are typically a very good value when planning a trip to multiple continents and countries. It will yield significant savings especially when traveling to places where Round Trip tickets are expensive. Some examples include:  Africa, Islands in the middle of an ocean (Easter Island, Mauritius), and places in central Asia like Nepal. For the most adventurous travelers, there are travelers who have used RTW tickets to go to Arbil Iraq in the Kurdistan region of the country.

Types of RTW tickets.

All 3 major airline alliances offer a RTW product. Star Alliance and Skyteam both offer mileage based RTW tickets.This means you can fly up to 26,000, 29,000, 34,000 or 39,000 miles. The price of the ticket will depend on not only on which class of travel you fly but also which level you decide to buy with 26,000 being the lowest. To get the most out of the ticket, you'll likely want to get as close as you can to the maximum mileage limit.

The other option is offered by the OneWorld Alliance. Their product is based on segments. You can fly up to 16 segments on your trip. Any connections you need to make will also count toward the 16 flights. If you want to maximize using a OneWorld ticket, you'll probably want to consider taking non-stop flights and longer flights. Remember mileage flown doesn't matter here, you just can't fly more than 16 flights.

Cost

This is probably the one most important question. Tickets like this can start as low as around $3,000 for coach class and go up to nearly $18,000 for First Class. The cost really depends on which class you are traveling on, how many miles flown (For Skyteam & Star Alliance), and where you start. Where you start can be a big determinate of how much you pay. If you start in certain countries it will be significantly cheaper than starting lets say in the United States, which is one of the most expensive places to start a RTW trip. You can save $2,000 or more!  A 6 continent trip on OneWorld starting in the United Kingdom costs around $3,000 (at current exchange rates) compared to $5,400 if started from the United States. Do your research, as it might still be cheaper to buy a Round Trip ticket to and from your starting point.

If you're thinking about a RTW trip and have a slightly more flexible budget, you might want to consider flying in premium classes (Business, First). Not only is it more comfortable (especially on long flights), but also the savings are pretty steep. A roundtrip business class ticket from San Francisco to London starts at about $3500. Compare this to flying around the world in Business starting at just $5000-$6000. Again, while the price seems high you have to think about it in terms of value per flight and number of places you are able to visit.

RTW Sample Itinerary's Including Taxes & Fees.

Routing.

Class of Service

Cost.

LON-ZRH-MAD-JNB-HKG-NRT-SYD-CAI-AKL-SCL-DFW-ORD-NYC-LON

COACH

$3900USD

LON-ZRH-MAD-JNB-HKG-NRT-SYD-CAI-AKL-SCL-DFW-ORD-NYC-LON

Business

$9198USD

Sample RTW Purchased by segment.

Routing.

Class of Service

Cost.

LON-HKG-SYD-SFO-JFK-LHR

COACH

$3900USD

LON-HKG-SYD-SFO-JFK-LHR

Business

$11,022USD

How to Book.

Booking a RTW ticket is easier now than it has been in the past. You can book directly from the alliance you plan on traveling with. Star Alliance and OneWorld both have booking tools online where you can plan and book your trip all online.  Sky Team has yet to launch an online booking tool, but given that the other 2 alliances have done so already it would not be surprising to see one in the near future. If you don't feel comfortable doing the booking all on your own there are agencies like Air Treks that specialize in RTW bookings who can help you plan your trip.

Categories: Airfare Tips

Happy holidays... another $10 please!

Posted by A Tam on Sunday, September 27, 2009

Your plane tickets to grandma's house for the holidays just got a bit more expensive.  As if peak holiday fares aren't expensive enough, Delta, American, United, and US have added $10 per ticket on peak travel days. This will apply for most fares for travel on Nov 29th  (Sunday after Thanksgiving), Jan 2nd and Jan 3rd.  Most of you will be complaining of course, but the airlines are still cash strapped as mentioned in this blog post last week.  There are ways to avoid the baggage fees, but no real way to avoid this surcharge unless you don't fly on peak days. As long as airlines continue to lose money, we'll see more tactics like this. The most likely new fee? Charging for advance seat assignments, a move already taken by several discount airlines and most recently by British Airways.

Categories: Airline Industry News

Baggage Fees for international flights.

Posted by A Tam on Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Going overseas for your next vacation? Well you just might want to check those baggage fees before you head out the door. Ever since airlines started charging for bags they did not implement them for international flights and applied them instead just on domestic flights. However this is no longer true. Is this the end of free baggage allowances? Not necessarily as airlines are adding them only to certain international routes or some just charging only for the second bag. It could be a mix of both of those too. Confusing right? For the most part, airlines are currently starting small and primarily only charging for European bound flights. However, with the current volatile state of the airline industry and their need for more cash it would not be surprising if it expanded to all routes.

Keep in mind that you might incur a $5 surcharge if you pay at the airport. So remember to pay online the night before your flight if you want to save a few bucks.Also to note, if you are traveling on a domestic flight with a connection to an international flight you will only pay the fee it costs to check in your bag to your final destination. Example: Flying from Seattle to London with a connection in Minneapolis, you will only pay one fee- the amount it costs to check in your bag to London.This is assuming that you made the booking all in one reservation and not on separate tickets. When traveling on multiple airlines you will typically pay only the fee charged by the first airline you will be flying on.

Below is a general list of baggage fees. For more information we have conveniently linked the pages of the baggage guidelines for all major US carriers that fly internationally.

Airline Asia Europe Middle East India Mex/Car/Can S. Amer Australia
United Free 1 Free 2nd $50 Free 1 Free 2nd $50 1 Free 2nd $50 Free Free
American Free 1 Free 2nd $50 Free 1 Free 2nd $50 Can. only- 1st $15 2nd $25 Free N/A
Continental Free 1 Free 2nd $50 Free Free Can. only- 1st Free 2nd $25 Free Free
US Air Free 1 Free 2nd $50 N/A N/A 1st $20 2nd $30 N/A N/A
Delta Free 1 Free 2nd $50 Free Free Free Free Free

*All the fees are based upon prepaying online if applicable.

Categories: Airline Industry News

Is sharing a charter jet cost effiecient and a "green" way to travel?

Posted by A Tam on Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chartering a private jet not only costs a lot of money, it also burns a lot of fuel and emits a lot of CO2 into the atmosphere. According to a report out by the Institute for Policy Studies, just one hour on a private charter plane will burn equivalent to one year's worth of gasoline to power your car. Think about all the CO2 emissions that is pumped into the air!

Ever since the backlash of the auto executives flying charters to Washington and as the current recession grew deeper, companies were obviously looking for more financially feasible ways to fly their executives from point A to point B. While executives and the wealthy could and have reverted to flying commercial first class, driving, or any other form of transportation there is a new alternative that is available, that will not break the bank. It is also considered to be somewhat more environmentally conscious at the same time. This new alternative is known as Jet-Sharing.  Many programs that have sprung up to hopefully lure customers back to private charter travel. The basic model of these jet sharing is to utilize more seats on scheduled charter planes. Instead of chartering an entire plane for 2 people you can share the cost plane with other people who are traveling to the same destination at the same time.  The goal is to lower costs, reduce redundant flights in turn saving fuel and emitting less CO2 into the atmosphere. By jet sharing you'll still have the amenities of flying a charter jet (avoiding big airports and major delays) but also at the same time be conscious about cost and the impact your flight might have on the environment. You might want to think of charter jet sharing as an airline for the elite.

How jet sharing works:

You can go to a website like GreenJets, Jet It Together, or CoGoJets and search for already proposed flights or create your own. Currently on the Jet It Together website there is a proposed flight from Las Vegas to Dallas. On the proposal page it shows that 1 person has confirmed a seat. The cost of chartering the entire plane for the flight costs $7080 and has a total of 7 seats.  The hope is that at least 4 seats will be filled and the price per person is $1700 for this particular flight. If the plane is full, then the price per person will obviously be less. So if you can get 6 other people on the plane then it'll be about $1000 per person. It is pretty much the same concept for CoGoJets.

Green Jets also is quite similar to Jet It Together, but if you plan on multiple flights a year you can pay an annual membership fee, which will provide you access to a lower cost per flight.According to their website, with a membership a flight from New York to Florida will cost about $1100 versus a pay per flight basis quote of about $2100.

What do you think? Is sharing a jet really the best way for executives and the wealthy to fly around? Is it really a more eco-friendly way to fly if you can afford the luxury of a private charter?

Categories: Airline Industry News

Book the wrong flight? Some airlines will let you off the hook

Posted by A Tam on Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Just booked a non-refundable fare and immediately realize you booked the wrong dates or the wrong city? Or simply decide that you don't want to attend Aunt Freda's annual bingo marathon after all?  Depending on the airline or online travel agency you bought from, you might be able to cancel and get a full refund if you do so within a certain time. But it might take some work and some airfare vendors are more frustrating to deal with than others.

In general, if the airline you are booked with has a no-penalty cancellation policy you must cancel within 24 hours of purchase, or else regular change fees will apply. Many major U.S. based carriers offer a 24-hour grace period and let you get a refund for no fee. The only exceptions are American Airlines and Air Tran. Continental and Northwest/Delta make it super easy to cancel fee-free with just a few mouse clicks. If your ticket is not on either of those airlines you will have to be patient and spend some time on the phone.

If you've bought from an online travel site such as Expedia or Priceline, you'll have to be even more patient. Last week we received an email from a reader about her experience trying to cancel a ticket booked on Priceline, and in short she wasn't able to reach a representative in time and was stuck with a ticket she no longer needed. Under Priceline's rules, if you phone them by 11:30 p.m. ET on the day that you book, you can get a full refund. But as our reader discovered, it's easier said than done. If you can't get through by phone send them an email or better yet you might have luck calling the airline directly to see if they can do anything.

Another option is to put your fare on a "courtesy hold". American and US Air offer a 24-hour hold, and although this is allows you to double check your reservation, if the fare goes up meantime you'll have to pay the higher price.

Here are the refund policies for some major U.S. based carriers and online travel agencies:

Airline Cancellation Within How to Cancel Other notes.
Continental 24 Hours Online or Phone Refund Policy
Northwest 24 Hours Online Customer's First
Delta 24 Hours Online Customer Commitment
Jetblue Not Available    
USAIR Not Available   24 Hour hold only
Air Tran 4 hours Phone Voucher for future travel only
United 24 hours Phone or Online Cancellation Policy
American Not Available   24 Hour hold only
Southwest 24 Hours Phone  
Ticketing Site Cancellation Within/by How to Cancel Other Notes
Orbitz 10 p.m. CST the day after booking Online Courtesy Cancel
Expedia 24 hours Phone Expedia Promise
Travelocity 24 hours Phone Travelocity Guarantee
Priceline prior to 11:30 pm ET day of booking Exchange Guidance

Categories: Airfare Tips
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