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Web Specials from Alaska Airlines

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Sunday, January 31, 2010

Alaska Airlines has released their latest round of web specials. Fares start at $99 one-way, before taxes. Travel periods vary by route, though most are valid from March 1 through March 10.

Seats are limited and may not be available for all dates. Fares include:

Los Angeles to Great Falls $378 round-trip

Seattle to Great Falls $278 round-trip

Boise to Vancouver $316 round-trip

Portland to Mazatlan $480 round-trip

Anchorage to Juneau $278 round-trip

Seattle to Medford $198 round-trip

Medford to Kelowna $444 round-trip

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

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Fare of the Day: Minneapolis, MN to Dallas, TX

Posted by Ricky Radka on Saturday, January 30, 2010

Minneapolis/St Paul, MN (MSP) to Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX (DFW).  $159 round-trip, nonstop, including all taxes. Also available on American Airlines.

Travel 7 days a week through April 30th, with a 3 day advance purchase restriction.

To learn more, visit Ricky Radka's profile on Google+

Categories: Airfare Tips

Fare of the Day: Cincinnati, OH to Houston, TX

Posted by Ricky Radka on Friday, January 29, 2010

Cincinnati, OH (CVG) to Houston, TX (IAH). $156 round-trip, nonstop including taxes. Also available on Delta.

Valid on Tuesday, Wednesday travel through May 26th.

10 day advance purchase requirement. Must stay through one Saturday night, 30 day maximum stay restriction.

To learn more, visit Ricky Radka's profile on Google+

Categories: Airfare Tips

More airlines make large passengers buy two seats

Posted by David Landsel, Airfarewatchdog.com on Friday, January 29, 2010

By David Landsel

Airfarewatchdog.com

You’re paying to check your belongings, so why should other people’s excess baggage get a free ride?

That’s the question being asked by a growing number of travelers. As airlines look for new ways to boost revenue, fees for checked bags are on the rise; so is scrutiny of overweight customers whose baggage is built in.

It’s a touchy subject, Airfarewatchdog.com has found, and one that airlines have been happy to avoid discussing, where possible. As late as 2008, United Airlines wouldn’t even address the matter with us.

But an outcry among passengers, tired of their seatmates taking up more than their fair share of jealously-guarded seat space, is said to have played a role in the airlines’ new rules for transporting “customers of size.” Where a terse “we have no policy” was once the standard response, United adopted new regulations in 2009. Customers who were unable to confine themselves to one seat would be required to buy a second, should the crew be unable to reseat them.

It’s a policy that’s becoming increasingly commonplace.

To many, the idea seems simple enough – if you can’t fit into one seat, you should probably consider buying two.

It’s not simple at all. Canada’s government takes a dim view of the matter. In late 2008, the country’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling that prohibited airlines from charging the disabled or “obese” for a second seat, affecting Canadian flyers Air Canada and WestJet.  

Here in the United States, some airlines with upfront policies have spent their fair share of time in the courts. Southwest has long been famously transparent about its second seat rule, the one that United and many other airlines have emulated. The company has been sued more than once by disgruntled passengers.

“On the lawsuits, all have ruled on the side of Southwest,” spokesperson Whitney Eichinger points out.

Southwest’s policy is that those who cannot fit in one seat must buy two.  

 “If the flight goes out with empty seats, Southwest will refund the cost of the additional seat,” Eichinger said.

Other airlines have had their share of legal trouble in this area.  

In the past, Air France warned passengers with what they referred to as “high body mass” not to expect to be seated if they have not purchased an extra seat. This is a warning that many airlines, even those who officially have tried to downplay any official policy, have long given to travelers.

Some travelers, however, don’t see the need. That, or the airline and the passenger disagree over what constitutes “need.” An Air France passenger traveling from New Delhi to Paris in 2006 sitting in a single seat was stopped by employees, who wrapped packing tape around him in public to prove that he was too fat. Citing humiliation, he sued, and won.

At the time, the airline had a program in place that offered passengers a second seat at a 25 percent discount, tax-free. It was a move that the airline had hoped would encourage customers to make arrangements in advance.

Last week, Air France made an update to the policy, bringing it more in line with Southwest’s policy, which has been around for decades. According to Air France spokesperson Karen Gillo, the second seat purchase is still optional. Now, however, the cost will be reimbursed if the flight is not fully booked.  

“It’s a way to encourage individuals to pre-plan to ensure their own comfort and safety; it allows them to travel with less stress,” she said.

Gillo stated that “for the mass majority of the cases, the flights aren’t fully booked” and passengers will be reimbursed.

Air France isn’t the only one making tweaks these days. JetBlue spokesman Mateo Lleras said the airline is currently working to refine its policy.

Currently, Lleras said, the airline does its best to accommodate customers free of charge. It will charge if it has to, but says that it approaches the matter on a “case by case basis.”

“We understand this is a sensitive issue,” he said. “Every time we can accommodate a customer we will.”

Fare of the Day: Milwaukee to Orlando

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Thursday, January 28, 2010

Milwaukee to Orlando $147 round-trip, nonstop, incl. all taxes

This is part of AirTran's second sale of this week, with fares about $20-$40 less than the previous sale, but for a shorter travel period. Valid on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday, through March 10.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Categories: Airfare Tips

Airtran to begin service to Grand Rapids

Posted by George Hobica on Thursday, January 28, 2010

Good news for those living in and near Grand Rapids, MI: discounter Airtran Airways will begin daily flights between Gerald Ford International Airport and both Baltimore and Orlando, beginning May 4, 2010. Read the announcement and view schedules.

To learn more, visit George Hobica's profile on Google+

Categories: Airline Industry News

Iberia Sale to Europe & Morocco

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Thursday, January 28, 2010

You may recall that it was Spanish carrier Iberia who had some of last winter's best deals to Europe, and it looks like they've come to the rescue again this year. On offer are deals not only to Spain but to Greece, Portugal, France, Italy, as well as Morocco. And just as before, you'll find the best fares in the sale are for travel from Boston, New York, Chicago, and Miami, although other cities are certainly included. For a broader list of these departure cities, please visit our Barcelona Fares Page.

Other fares include:

Boston to Athens, Greece $571 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Boston to Barcelona, Spain $511 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Boston to San Sebastian, Spain $542 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Boston to Las Palmas, Spain $538 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Boston to Milan, Italy $531 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Boston to Porto, Portugal $527 round-trip, incl. all taxes

New York to Las Palmas, Spain $535 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Boston to Casablanca, Morocco $528 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Boston to Marrakech, Morocco $527 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Boston to Tangier, Morocco $527 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Miami to Casablanca, Morocco $569 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Miami to Marrakech, Morocco $577 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Miami to Tangier, Morocco $577 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Chicago to Casablanca, Morocco $569 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Chicago to Tangier, Morocco $566 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Chicago to Marrakech, Morocco $566 round-trip, incl. all taxes

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Categories: Europe/Africa/Middle East Airfares

Travelers' Choice 2010 Hotel Awards

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Okedoke, so you booked yourself an amazingly cheap little ticket out of town (ahem, thanks to Airfarewatchdog), and now you're on the prowl for a place to stay. Maybe you want to take all that money you saved on airfare and splurge on bourgie digs? Or, if you're looking to keep things thrifty, maybe you'd like a nice budget option. Whatever your preference, we suggest checking out TripAdvisor's 2010 Travelers' Choice picks, based on the opinions and reviews of real travelers. In addition to Best Luxury and Best Bargain, this year's categories include Best for Families, Best B&Bs and Inns, Best Romance, Best Service, Best All-Inclusive, Trendiest, and Best Relaxation & Spa. You can also browse the top 25 international winners for Europe, India, China, and Japan. See? You're all set! So call back your old roommate from college and tell him you won't be needing the fold-out couch after all.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Fare of the Day: Columbus to Las Vegas

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Columbus to Las Vegas $158 round-trip, incl. all taxes

This fare is available through late May, although you may find it a bit difficult to piece together a substantial trip (longer than 2 days) for dates in late winter.

To learn more, visit Tracy Stewart's profile on Google+

Categories: Airfare Tips

Fare of the Day: Chicago, IL to Tangier, Morocco

Posted by Ricky Radka on Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chicago, IL (ORD) to Tangier, Morocco (TNG).  $567 round-trip, including all taxes. Select February and March travel dates only.

Iberia Airlines is back at it, they offered similar prices to these Moroccan cities back in November but they disappeared quickly.

Flights to Marrakech (RAK) and Casablanca (CMN) departing from other U.S. cities including Miami and Boston, are being offered for a similar price. Below are some other great fares we found:

Boston-Marrakech $527 rt / incl. tax.
Boston-Tangier $527 rt / incl. tax.
Miami-Marrakech $577 rt / incl. tax.
Chicago-Casablanca $569 rt / incl. tax.

Be warned most of the return flights include long layovers in Madrid, so keep that in mind before booking.

To learn more, visit Ricky Radka's profile on Google+

Categories: Airfare Tips
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