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Virgin America 25% Off Sale

Posted by Jonathan Weinberg on Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Virgin America has a sweet sale going on right now with 25% off to anywhere they fly for travel through June 11, 2008.

Tickets must be booked by May 3rd. and blackout dates of May 23-26 apply.  To take advantage of this offer, enter the promo code WVADSRCQMURSE at the Virgin America website or click this link to be directed there automatically.

Categories: Domestic US Fares

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Allegiant Sale to/from Florida

Posted by George Hobica on Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Allegiant Airlines is having a sale to/from Florida. The sale ends on May 10, and travel is through August 31. Fares from from $39 to $109 each way on nonstop flights. There is no round-trip purchase requirement.

In addition, as of this posting, Allegiant has several $19 one-way fares to Florida for a few dates in May. In some cases, these fares are only in one direction but can be combined with higher fares.

Keep in mind that Allegiant has a poorly disclosed "convenience fee" of $11.50 per passenger. That includes booking online. If you book by phone, there is a $10.50 fee per ticket.

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

Categories: Domestic US Fares

New Southwest Airlines sale for travel in May

Posted by George Hobica on Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This new sale ends on May 1, and is for travel May 8 to 31, 2008, except May 22-23 and 26 (Memorial Day peak travel, figures).

It's not system-wide, but many cities are included. Check it out.

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

Categories: Domestic US Fares

EOS, all-business class airline, ceases flying

Posted by George Hobica on Sunday, April 27, 2008

This is sad and a bit of a shocker. Sad because EOS was a dream airline. They did everything right and made flying fun again. A shocker because there were no warning signs, other than those hovering over the airline industry in general ($120 oil, tight credit, and the recession).

EOS' last flights will be today (Sunday). Is the all-business-class model dead? What's going to happen to L'Avion? SilverJet appears to have the all-business New York to London route to itself, now that both MaxJet and EOS are gone.

And so who's next? Someone will be next. There are a lot of smaller, newer discount carriers out there with funny names. Our vote is that they go first.

We're afraid that shortly the US will be dominated by four post-merger airlines: United, Delta, American, and Southwest. We do hope that JetBlue survives (Lufthansa's investment in it may help). Perhaps there will be an Airtran/Frontier/Midwest/Whoknows merger. Will Alaska Airlines be able to make it on its own? What about Express Jet, USA3000, and Spirit in the US; WestJet in Canada; and Alitalia, Zoom, and Eurofly overseas?  These are interesting times in the airline industry as they are elsewhere.

Honestly, if you're planning on flying anywhere this summer, we'd strongly recommend that you either:

1) Fly on a big name airline (United, Delta, Southwest, Continental, American, US Air, Northwest, British Airways, Lufthansa, Singapore, JAL, etc)

or

2) Use a credit card and make sure that your travel will be completed within 60 days of the time the charge will appear on your credit card statement. If your airline goes caput, you're protected by the Federal Fair Credit Billing Act if you contest the charge in writing within 60 days of the charge's appearance on your statement.

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

Categories: Airline Industry News

Air Canada and JetBlue add second bag fees

Posted by George Hobica on Friday, April 25, 2008

Let's face it, pretty soon every airline will charge for a second checked bag, and then they'll probably all raise the fee.

JetBlue will begin charging $20 for a second checked bag for passengers traveling after June 1. No word if this fee is retroactive to tickets purchaed before then for travel after the effective date, which probably means you won't be grandfathered. Since JB doesn't have "elite" frequent flyer members, or first class, looks like there are no exemptions as there are with other airlines.

Air Canada will be charging $25 (is that US or Canadian? We're not sure, but the two currencies are about the same now) for a second checked bag, but only for Tango and Tango Plus class flyers. Travelers purchasing more expensive Latitude and business class tickets are not affected. The new policy kicks in on July 15, and again, no word on whether tickets bought before then will be affected.

 

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

Categories: Airline Industry News

Everything you wanted to know about exit row seats: who charges, how to snag them

Posted by George Hobica on Friday, April 25, 2008

Everyone's got 'em -- exit row seats, that is -- but as we’ve learned, each airline’s rules for getting them, FAA restrictions aside, are a lot like you and me. (Completely unique!) Note that the following was accurate at time of publication, but with airlines scrambling for every “ancillary” dollar they can get, new fees will be added and old ones may be increased.

Herewith, Airfarewatchdog.com's comprehensive how-to guide, airline by airline.

AIRTRAN 
Advance booking First come, first served – anyone may book any time between the ticket purchase and day of travel.
Charge $20 each way (includes all legs of each journey) 
At the airport Sure – if there’s anything left.
Tip Airtran is notorious for its stingy seat pitch in its regular coach seats -- as little as 30" on its 717's. Pay the $20 -- if there's any room left by the time you book, that is.
 
ALASKA   
Advance booking
Purchasing a Full Flex ticket? (Those are the really pricey, full fare ones.) Are you an MVP or MVP Gold member? You’re good.
Charge No.
At the airport Any customer can request or select (from a kiosk), based on availability.

AMERICAN
Advance booking
AAirpass members, AAadvantage Platinum and Gold members, other top tier oneworld alliance members; those traveling on certain unrestricted fares.
Charge? None
At the airport First come, first served – passengers may assign themselves exit row seats using the self check-in kiosks as well as by request in person from an agent.

CONTINENTAL  
Advance booking
Passengers may request to be assigned an exit row seat any time between booking and day of travel – provided they call and speak to an agent and make the case as to why they should get the seat (i.e. “I’m tall!)  
Charge? None
At the airport First-come, first-served – you may select exit row seating from a seat map on the self check-in kiosks, as well as by making your request in person.

DELTA         
Advance booking
Open to all, and you don’t even have to ask – passengers can select exit row seats for themselves when booking on delta.com
Charge? None
At the airport First come, first-served. Self check-in kiosks will allow you to select exit row seating.
 
FRONTIER
Advance booking
No
Charge None
At the airport Yes, based on availability, must request from an agent.
Tip As with the other airlines that follow this policy, to the early airport check ins on day of travel go the spoils.

HAWAIIAN
Advance booking
No
Charge No
At the airport First come, first served at check-in or the gate – Hawaiian has self check-in available at Honolulu, but the system will not allow you to seat yourself in an exit row.

JETBLUE 
 
Advance booking Anyone willing to pay has access to inventory online or over the phone, and can change their seat at any time before their flight
Charge $10 or $20 each way, depending on the length of flight (this includes six rows of seating at the front of the plane
At the airport First come, first served on remaining seats
Tip Seat map says everything's all booked up? Just get to the airport early on the day of travel and use the self check-in kiosks, where the seat map often looks very different (that is to say, wide open.)

NORTHWEST         
Advance booking
24 hours prior to departure, online or using airport kiosk
Charge? $5 to $35 per flight each way (each connecting flight incurs a separate fee)
At the airport First come, first-served at time of departure if there are unused exit row seats, with no charge.
Tip WorldPerks Elite and SkyTeam Elite members can select exit row seats free of charge on nwa.com or through a Northwest self-service check-in kiosk 24 hours prior to departure.

SOUTHWEST  
Advance booking
No
Charge? Not exactly
At the airport First boarded, first served.
Tip Southwest, as we all know, doesn't assign seats, but if you buy a higher priced "Business Select" fare you get to board the plane in the first portion of the "A" boarding group so your chances of grabbing an exit row are greatly enhanced. Plus you get a free cocktail and other perks.

SPIRIT  
Advance booking
No
Charge? No
At the airport First come, first served.
Tip On some legs, the former business class cabin (once called Spirit Plus, it is now known as Big Front Seat and offers no upgrades beyond a more spacious seat) can be cheaper than regular coach fares -- a June fare from LaGuardia to Detroit was $5 less in BFS. Go figure!

UNITED
Advance booking
Elite Mileage Plus members (Premier, Premier Executive, and 1K) only. However, Because Exit Rows are part of United’s Economy Plus seating – now available for purchase anytime – regular types can buy themselves at least a little more space (from 3” to 5” more than typical) and attempt to grab for the grand prize once at the airport.
Charge? Free to elites, for everyone else, because exit rows are part of Economy Plus, pricing varies. For example, $14 for a short hop from Denver, $61 Denver to Honolulu. 
At the airport Oddly, the only chance for someone who has purchased Economy Plus to change their seat to the exit row (of course, Elites are excluded from this) is at the gate, at the agent’s discretion.
Tip Economy Plus is sold until it’s full – you may buy all the way up to the gate.

US AIRWAYS
Advance booking
Seats are "exclusively reserved" for Dividend Miles Preferred customers
Charge? None  
At the airport Everyone else takes their chances at check-in, or at the gate.
Tip From May 7, the airline will charge between $5-$35 for aisle and window seats up front. Similar to Northwest's scheme, the Choice Seats program will differ only in that passengers may not book until 24 hours before the flight, and only via Web Check-in (these seats will not be sold at the airport.) Confused? Us too.


VIRGIN AMERICA
Advance booking
First come, first served at time of booking, can purchase any time.
Charge? $25 (this goes for bulkhead seats as well)
At the airport Same -- based on availability, either at machines or at check-in
Tip Leg room-lovers prefer the bulkhead to the exit row -- there's a little more space in front of you, and the cost is the same.

 

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

Categories: Airfare Tips

Cheap Italian Fashion Goods

For the month of May you can Eurofly yourself far into June in true Eurostyle along with all the Eurotrash returning with bleary eyes and upset hair from a long whirlwind weekend in New York. Fares start at a reasonable $575 including taxes for non-stop flights and that makes them downright cheap for this time of year, this year.

If you picture Italy as a knee-high stiletto Gucci leather boot—and frankly, who doesn't?—with the northern top cut off at a smart bias (which is perfectly all right, because that part of Italy feels more like Switzerland, anyway), then you'll find half a dozen destinations scattered generously down the shaft like so many gleaming gemstones.

First, there's Bologna perched on the brim like a big saucy ruby, trying its best to outshine Rome, Naples and Pescara daisy-chained around the tall ankle like an unholy but fine genuine pearl rosary. Smack dab on the slim, elegant toe Lamezia Terme twinkles like a bright southern sapphire while clinging to the edge of whatever is getting a swift kick down south, Mafia-style, is the smoldering emerald of Palermo.

So there you have it. Go ahead and try them on for size, but keep in mind that selection is limited and walking out the door as fast as real Gucci's on teenage models at a Soho sample sale.

Categories: Europe/Africa/Middle East Airfares

What next? US Air charging extra for some window and aisle seats

Posted by George Hobica on Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In an obvious effort to offset higher fuel costs, US Airways will begin charging between $5 and $30 per flight segment, each way, for prime aisle and window seats near the front of the plane. The new fees are optional, and go into effect on May 7, two days after five major airlines, incuding US Air, begin charging $25 for a second checked piece of luggage.

Here's the fee structure:

$30 to Europe.

$25 to Hawaii.

$20 to Latin America, the Caribbean and Bermuda from Philadelphia, and $15 from other cities.

$15 on domestic flights of 1,101 miles or more.

$10 on flights of 501 to 1,100 miles.

$5 on flights of 500 miles or less.

So on a domestic flight with a connection, you'd pay up to $60 additional.

Seats can be booked during Web Check-in 24 hours and up to 90 minutes prior to departure. Credit cards are the only form of payment accepted. Read more.

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

Categories: Airline Industry News

Oh, what the Helsinki!

Boston seems to have an outsize share of good summer fares to Europe these days, especially the great Iberia deals we mentioned last week that are, amazingly, still available. One of the few destinations not included in that comprehensive sale—Helsinki—we've now got covered with this $800 relative bargain including taxes on Finnair's seasonal non-stop service from Boston.

High as it is, the fare nevertheless represents a $400 savings over current rates for peak summer travel and has made this usually high-priced destination the cheapest gateway to cool clear summers and magical midnight twilight in Scandinavia, the Baltics, and northern Russia.

From here, St. Petersburg is just 250 miles down the road, Tallinn a speedy ferry-ride across the Gulf of Finland, and Stockholm a leisurely overnight cruise away. Surprisingly cheap domestic flights starting at only $30 one-way to almost anywhere in Finland are easy to find on Finncomm Airlines, and Blue1 can also get you around the region at reasonable rates.

Categories: Europe/Africa/Middle East Airfares

Air Canada sale to Asia

Posted by Tracy Stewart on Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Air Canada is offering discounted fares to select cities in Asia. Restrictions and travel dates vary by route, ranging from late December through Spring. Certain flights may not be offered on each day of the week. The fares indicated are not valid on seasonal route past the last date the flight operates.

Fares include:

Calgary to Beijing, China $901 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Calgary to Hong Kong, China $926 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Montreal to Beijing, China $922 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Ottawa to Beijing, China $910 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Ottawa to Hong Kong, China $1,044 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Toronto to Beijing, China $893 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Toronto to Hong Kong, China $1,037 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Vancouver to Beijing, China $808 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Vancouver to Hong Kong, China $920 round-trip, incl. all taxes

Windsor to Hong Kong, China $1,128 round-trip, incl. all taxes

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

Categories: Europe/Africa/Middle East Airfares
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