Tag: Airfare sale

Coming to America? Better Have ESTA Approval

ESTA logoAn American ESTA is now mandatory for all US-bound air passengers, with travelers now required to complete the online form before departure.  All travellers to the US now must have an American ESTA.

The American ESTA, or Electronic System for Travel Authorization, gives travelers prior approval for entry to the US and replaces the green I-94 card that passengers previously filled in on the flight.

It applies to all 35 countries with the US “visa waiver” status including: the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Ireland.

The ESTA was first introduced a year ago, but as of today it is mandatory for all travellers visiting for 90 days or less and should be applied for at least 72 hours in advance. The ESTA is necessary whether you plan to travel to America for business or personal reasons.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • American Airlines has raised it’s baggage fee to $25 for the first bag and $35 for a second bag – following similar moves by Delta, United, Continental, and US Airways in recent days.  Exempted from the charge are first-class and frequent flyers and military personnel.
  • Looking for cheap Spring Break airfare?  Well, AirTran has launched a 3-day airfare sale for travel to destinations such as Florida, Aruba, Cancun, Montego Bay, Nassau and San Juan through March 10, 2010.  Fares are being advertised as low as $39 each way from select cities.  Also, check out a similar sale from Southwest Airlines that ends Thursday.
  • A blog called TheSpiritedWoman.com recently published an interesting list of the best travel websites that “keep us informed and enable us to be as prepared for our trips as possible.”  We’re thrilled to see Yapta make the short list – but you may also be interested in some of the others, like Trifter.com

JetBlue Launches Winter Fare Sale

JetBlueJetBlue announced a sale today on winter fares to 55 destinations, from sunny to wintry.  The airline is offering fares as low as $39 on routes such as New York-Boston and San Francisco-Long Beach, Calif.  Blackout dates and other restrictions apply.  Sale fares will be available on JetBlue’s websitethrough Jan. 13th for travel through March 24th.  Fares may require an advance purchase of up to 10 days.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • American Airlines is in the dog-house with the Federal Aviation Administration.  Today the FAA announced that they are keeping a close eye on the airline after three landing mishaps within the last 30 days.  During two separate landing attempts in North Carolina and Texas, the planes wingtips touches the ground.  Also, one plane overshot the runway during heavy rain while trying to land in Jamaica.
  • A power outage at Reagan National Airport today is causing delays for flights out of Washington.  The power reportedly went out shortly after noon today.  All flights were temporarily suspended, but some planes were able to land due to a backup power supply at the air control tower.  Security checks were also being halted due to the power outage.
  • The head of the Los Angeles airport police union this morning urged the federal government to require full-body scanners for every passenger at airport security checkpoints, saying metal detectors are no longer enough.  Los Angeles is currently one of 19 airports nationwide that uses whole-body imagers, but only uses it on passengers selected for secondary screening.
  • A security breach at Newark Liberty International Airport Sunday evening forced the closure of a terminal for hours while authorities re-screened thousands of passengers.  The incident happened at about 5:20 p.m. at Terminal C, when a man walked through an exit on the public side to the secure “sterile” side for passengers who had cleared screening, according to the TSA.  All passengers had been re-screened by early Monday, according to the TSA. Flights from Terminal C were grounded until the process was completed.  Ah, travel sure is going to be fun in 2010 with the heightened security.

Xmas sale 3In an unexpected move, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, US Airways, Frontier Airlines, AirTran Airways and Midwest Airlines are waiving their holiday advance-purchase requirements – dropping some ticket prices by as much as 79%

Take for example an American flight between Dallas and New York: On Wednesday, it sold for $1,858 roundtrip. A day later, the price had been slashed 79% to $388 roundtrip.  Delta’s Atlanta to Seattle no-advance purchase airfares were priced at $1,198 before diving some 78% to as low as $258 roundtrip.

Still, there are requirements around the no-advance-purchase requirements.  The sales are date-specific for the lowest fares and tiered on peak travel dates.  Here’s a breakdown:

Tier 1 is the cheapest and available on Dec. 16, 17 and 25, and Jan. 1 and 4.

Tier 2 fares are about 30% higher than the lowest and available only on Dec. 18, 20, 21, 24, 30 and 31. That Dallas to New York flight, for instance, is $478 those days.

Tier 3 tacks on another 25% to the price with travel dates restricted to Dec. 19, 22, 23, 26, 28 and 29. For the Dallas to New York travel, the ticket price is $100 higher than tier 2.

Tier 4 fares have not been included in the holiday airfare sale and are more expensive.  These fares – as expected – cover Dec. 27 and Jan. 2 and 3.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Britain’s High Court delivered an early Christmas present to 1 million travelers today by granting British Airways an emergency injunction to stop a 12-day strike by its cabin crews.  The strike, which had been due to begin on Tuesday, would likely have canceled 7,000 flights during the peak holiday travel season.  So, if you were worried that your flight would be canceled – you can breath a sigh of relief.
  • Today, AirTran kicked off a daily, non-stop flight to Nassau, Bahamas from Atlanta, the airline’s biggest hub.  The Bahamas flight is the newest expansion to AirTran’s Caribbean route map.  Flights to Cancun and San Juan launched earlier this year.  Introductory fares are $79 each way from Atlanta, $99 from Baltimore and $44 from Orlando.

Airlines Launch “Cyber Monday” Fare Sales

Cyber MondayA handful of the major airlines are using “Cyber Monday” to offer deeply discounted airfare prices to travelers.  United Airlines, JetBlue, and Virgin America have all just announced special one-day prices, with all of them practically giving flights away to select destinations starting at $39 each way.

JetBlue has limited its discount travel window to Dec. 1-17 in an effort to fill all the empty seats that fly between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The Daily Travel & Deal blog from the LA Times provides a more detailed analysis of this particular offer.

United’s sale is for travel in the contiguous U.S. and Canada from Jan. 5-Feb. 11.  Travel to and from Hawaii is Jan. 11-Feb. 11.   A 3-night, Friday night or Saturday night minimum stay is required for travel within the contiguous 48 United States and to Hawaii.   No minimum night stay is required for travel to Canada.

Virgin America’s sale is the broadest, with the promotion lasting until Dec. 8 and travel permitted Dec. 3- May 23.  However, certain peak travel days around the winter holidays are blacked out.

Hopefully we’ll see competing airlines match prices on overlapping routes.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Continental Airlines said today that credit and debit cards will be accepted for purchases onboard most its aircraft starting Tuesday. Flight attendants will use hand-held devices to process the card payments for purchases of alcoholic beverages and headsets.  The airline said that the new cashless system will be available on all Continental mainline flights, except for service to and from China.
  • Yapta’s hotel booking partner Orbitz.com, recently announced it has enhanced its Low Price Guarantee, giving customers ironclad confidence they’re getting the lowest possible hotel prices. Under the new program, customers who find their prepaid hotel room available for a lower price on any site, including Orbitz, can receive a refund for the difference and a $50 discount on a future hotel or vacation package booking. Plus, Orbitz now allows customers to submit a claim right up to the time of the property’s cancellation deadline.
  • In celebration of its new blog, CheapOair is launching a “@CheapOair 12 Days of Travel” contest where travel-minded Tweeps can win daily holiday gifts including travel and retail gift certificates, and a grand prize on day 12 for free round trip airline tickets within the domestic U.S.  The 12 day contest starts today and ends on Fri., Dec. 11th.  For this contest, followers of the CheapOair Twitter account will be asked to “re-tweet” that day’s message or go to the CheapOair travel blog to find that day’s message to “re-tweet”.  For more information, visit http://contests.cheapoair.com/.