ATA is having a last minute summer sale, good on select dates. They don't provide any sample fares for this sale, or give you much to go on aside from the least expensive dates to travel on. And then they pull this ol' budget airline shtick of offering valid return dates that are earlier than the departure dates. For example:
- Chicago to Cancun, departing June 27, July 4, 7, 11 and returning June 6, July 4, 11, 18. Unless you own a time-traveling DeLorean, all you can do with that June 6 fare is combine it with a full-fare segment. Yeah, yeah, you're still saving some money. But, if you're like us, you want to save on both segments, right? Right. So we searched for something for July 7 through July 18, and found a fare of $495 round-trip, nonstop. We checked the same dates on Orbitz and found a fare of $507 on ATA. Northwest has the second best fare, at $474 round-trip, with a layover in Memphis. More samples include:
- Chicago Midway to Guadalajara, departing June 1-5, 7, 8, 10-12, 14-19, 21-26, 28, 29 and returning June 1-5, 7-12, 14-19, 21-26, 28-30, and July 1-3. We checked for travel from June 11 through June 19 and found a fare of $403 round-trip, nonstop. On Orbitz, we found the same trip on Aeromexico for just $323 round-trip, nonstop.
- Phoenix to Maui, departing June 19, 20, 25, 26, and July 4, and 5 and returning June 8, 10, 19, 20, and July 4. We searched for travel on June 25 through July 4 and found a fare of $518 round-trip, nonstop. Orbitz lists ATA as having the best fare for this trip too, at $576 round-trip, nonstop.
- Oakland to Chicago, departing June 4-6, July 4 and 5, and returning June 3, 5-7, 12, 13, 19-21, 26, 27 and July 3. For travel from June 5 through June 13, we found a fare of $403 round-trip. On Orbitz, these dates list ATA as having the lowest fare of $450 round-trip.
In most cases, these ATA fares were the best offered on these dates. And these fares are also available one-way too, which could be an even better value for folks who, for example, dream of taking off for Maui and never having to come home. Just sayin'.