Tag: AirTran

Airfare Flash Sales From Low-Cost Carriers

welcomeToFlashSales

When low cost carriers compete, that’s your chance to snare a really cheap airfare.  That time is now – but you’ve got to be quick as many are expiring soon.

To launch its new service from Newark Liberty International Airport, Southwest is offering one-way fares as low as $69 to and from Baltimore, $119 to and from Denver, and $139 to and from Houston and Phoenix.

Meanwhile, JetBlue Airways launched The-Deals-Are-In-The-Air Sale, valid on routes throughout the country for those who book by today. One-way fares are as low as $39 one-way to and from Las Vegas and Long Beach, Calif. and Burbank, Calif.

Lastly, AirTran Airways is conducting the “Take Yourself To A Ballgame” sale where it’s offering travel to all of the airline’s destinations with special low fares available through April 14th.  The lowest price sale fares are valid for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with other sale fares available for travel on all other days of the week.

Here’s some more news you can use:

  • American Airlines late Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Orbitz Worldwide and its prime stakeholder Travelport Ltd, claiming the travel agents have established a costly stranglehold over the way the airline’s airfares are distributed and seeking damages related to their “monopoly.” Travelport controls three out of the five companies that distribute tickets globally, but American says their distribution channel is costly and the airline has developed AA Direct Connect as an alternative.
  • And as if Orbitz didn’t have enough airline tussles, today they informed partners that, “at the direction of US Airways, effective April 14, 2011, Orbitz Worldwide will no longer be able to provide US Airways fares, schedules, or seat availability.”  This goes for all Orbitz subsidiaries as well, including Cheaptickets.com.  Similar to American Airlines, this is over distribution costs.
  • This video of a TSA agent giving a 6-year old girl a serious pat-down is causing quite a stir – and rightfully so.  Not only did the girl get super-frisked, but she was then lead to another area of the security checkpoint to have a drug test perform.  You can’t help but shake your head.

MasterCard Airfare Price Assurance logo

This week, in Phoenix, was the annual PhoCusWright Conference where folks from all corners of the travel industry gather to share ideas, forge partnerships, and announce some news.  Well, we had some news of our own to announce.  Here it is, as reported by Tnooz (the travel industry’s top trade news outlet):

Yapta and MasterCard plan to begin a beta in December in which MasterCard consumer and small business cardholders purchasing flights with their cards would be able to receive Yapta’s price monitoring and price assurance services.

Yapta pledges that its services get air travelers refunds on the difference when the airfare drops below the price the flight was booked for.

The beta is a prelude to a full-fledged launch of the service with MasterCard in early 2011, Yapta says.

The MasterCard-Yapta partnership punctuates a shift for Yapta, which has been focusing in recent months on supplementing its consumer offering with business to business services.

“This is a significant partnership that will deliver real savings and value to a broader audience of travelers,” says Yapta co-founder and CEO Tom Romary. “It’s also consistent with our strategy to power travel services for travel management companies, online travel search companies and financial services companies.”

The beta will be available to a subset of MasterCard cardholders in December.

Yapta and MasterCard plan to implement a series of collaborative services early next year.”

Here’s some more news you can use:

  • Airport security body scanners used by the TSA continue to gain negative publicity.  John Tyner, a California software engineer, became an instant web celebrity this week when he declined both a body scan and the alternative – a groin check – and then used his iPhone’s video camera to capture the event.  Tyner told TSA agents: “If you touch my junk, I’m going to have you arrested.”  He evaded the junk-touching, but wasn’t allowed to fly.
  • John Tyner apparently isn’t alone in his detest of airport security body scanners.  Others are organizing a “National Opt-Out Day” slated for November 24th — the day before Thanksgiving and probably busiest day of air travel this year. It’s a protest against the full-body scanners at airports.  For all you planning to participate, you should know your rights.
  • AirTran today launched a “Giving Thanks to Our Customers” airfare sale good for tickets purchased today through Monday.  Fares are priced based on “peak,” “off-peak” and “super off-peak” travel dates. The lowest fares are for travel on Nov. 19, 21, 22, 26 and Nov. 30, with some discounts offered for flights on Thanksgiving Day. Also, there are no advance purchase requirements for this sale.

Southwest Gay TravelThe DC Gay Travel Examiner, Troy Petenbrink, reports that the pending merger of AirTran and Southwest airlines (announced this week)  appears to be a big win for gay travelers.

While AirTran has generally remained at the terminal when it comes to marketing to gay travelers and supporting the gay community, Southwest has been flying sky high. Southwest is a member of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association and has been a supporter of many gay events, including Washington, DC’s Capital Pride.

In addition, Southwest operates a corporate-wide gay-specific micro-site: www.southwest.com/gaytravel.  On the site the company states, “Southwest Airlines is a Company that works hard every day to provide Positively Outrageous Customer Service, regardless of race, religion, and sexuality.  It’s in our DNA and goes to the heart of our Culture of Freedom, inclusiveness, and living and practicing the Golden Rule.”

Assuming that Southwest retains AirTran’s current gates, the merger will result in Southwest serving some new popular gay-friendly destinations and expanding its presence in others.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Starting on October 10th, Continental Airlines will no longer provide complimentary meals and snacks to economy class passengers on domestic flights shorter than 6.5 hours and some international flights.  Instead, Continental will start charging for food, ending its holdout as one of the last major carriers to serve free meals in economy class.  The airline’s new menu will include an Asian-style noodle salad, gourmet fruit plates and other a la carte items.  Prices will range from $1.50 for Pringles potato chips to $8.25 for grilled chicken spinach salad.
  • If you’ve flown JetBlue you know they offer satellite television from DirecTV in every seat free-of-charge. Now you might want to take a few more flights asDirecTV announced they will add NFL Sunday Ticket to JetBlue’s channel lineup. Up to 14 live games will be available every Sunday starting Oct. 3 through Jan. 2, 2011.  (Sweeeeeet!)
  • American Airlines announced that beginning Friday, it will offer free wine, beer and spirits to visitors at its domestic Admirals Clubs.  American also announced that it was equipping its Admirals Club locations with new Hewlett-Packard computers for visitors, and it now offers free Wi-Fi in the airport lounges.

AirTran Launches 48-Hour Airfare Sale

clock-last-minute

Airtran Airways is offering an airfare sale that starts today and goes for 48 hours. The discounted flight tickets are for travel dates of September 2nd, 2010 through October 13th, 2010. You have to hurry up and make your reservations for this sale by the end of the day on August 27, 2010.

The best flight discounts are on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The still have discounts on Fridays and Sundays but are not as low of a price as the other days. You need to purchase your tickets at least seven days in advance. All prices are advertised as one-way flights and you don’t have to purchase a roundtrip or stay overnight in order to get the advertised flight ticket prices. There are no blackout dates for this sale.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Federal aviation regulators today slapped American Airlines with the largest fine in history, charging that the carrier made thousands of unsafe flights.  The FAA said it has “proposed” a $24.2 million civil penalty for American Airlines’ failure to properly inspect wire bundles in the wheel wells of its MD-80 aircraft.  The airline has 30 days to respond to the proposed fine and plead their case.  (With a fine this big, you can bet they’ll fight it.)
  • According to a recent Travelodge survey, 25 percent of adult men bring stuffed animals with them when they travel for business.  Phew!  All these years and I thought I was the only one.
  • Meanwhile, another survey revealed that “other people’s kids” are the most likely cause of annoyance among airline passengers.  Forget about other people’s kids – my 2 year-old and 5 year-old are way more annoying to travel with!  I’ll listen to other people’s kids and smile at the fact that they’re not mine.

airline fare saleThere are a few airfare sales that are piquing a lot of interest:

JetBlue is celebrating its 10th anniversary by offering one-way fares starting at $29 – or for 5,000 TrueBlue points.  In order to take advantage of this sale, you need to book by April 18th for travel between April 22 – June 16, 2010.

American Airlines is conducting a sale on flights to the Caribbean and Latin America.  Flights start at $78 one-way for travel through early June.  The sale ends April 14th, so act now if you want to get these sale prices.

AirTran’s latest fare sale encourages travelers to “book a sweet deal from Point A to Point B.” You can find airfare deals to/from a variety of U.S. cities, as well as specials to international destinations including Aruba, Montego Bay, and Cancun.  Purchase your airline ticket by 11:59 pm ET on April 20 for travel through November 10, 2010.  The lowest sale airfares are good for travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.  A 10-day advance purchase is required, and there are blackout dates.

And finally, Southwest Airlines has launched a 72-hour sale.  Flights start at $39 one-way or $78 round-trip, and destinations include Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Orlando, among many others. More than 1,000 routes are on sale, but if you don’t book by Thurs., April 15th, you’ll miss out.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Republic Airways officials announced this morning that Frontier will be the operating brand name for Republic’s Frontier and Midwest carriers. The announcement followed months of speculation about the future of the Frontier and Midwest brands after Indianapolis-based Republic Airways bought the airlines last year. As a concession to Midwest, Republic officials said chocolate chip cookies will be served on all flights, a trademark amenity of Midwest.
  • The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Continental Airlines is expected to bid to acquire United Airlines, after reports that United and US Airways were in merger talks.  Continental and United discussed merging in 2008, until Continental walked away.  A combined United-Continental would create the world’s largest airline, ahead of Delta Air Lines, now the largest after acquiring Northwest Airlines in 2008. A combined US Airways-United would be the second-biggest U.S. carrier. Delta and Air France-KLM are larger worldwide.  A United-Continental merger would also face less regulatory scrutiny because the carriers have fewer overlapping city pairs – 9, whereas United and US Airways have 14.

Summer Airfare Sales Have Arrived

SALE

It may only be March, but the first Summer airfare sales are already here.  AirTran, US Airways, United, Delta and American Airlines are all offering sale prices on flights through November 16th.  That’s right, November 16th!  That’s like 200 days!

So what’s the catch?  Well, the airfare sale period only lasts for 2-days.  In general, tickets have to be purchased by midnight Thursday.  There are also blackout dates around Memorial Day and other holidays.   Also, you may need to make a connection or travel to a smaller, alternative airport to get the lowest fares.

We made note of AirTran’s sale yesterday.  However, if you want dig around for the other sale prices (and you will have to dig a bit), you can find them here:

U.S. Airways

United Airlines

Delta Air Lines

American Airlines

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • If you’re a fan of “The Bachelor” on ABC and are wondering where Jason and Molly are heading for their honeymoon -  our friends at Down Under Answers are booking their trip and are telling all.  Check out their new Web page that has all the honeymoon details.
  • Have you’ve ever been curious about the U.S. govenment’s mysterious “no-fly” list – including how people get on or off the list?  Well, the Associated Press has revealed some of the Voodoo behind it all.  You might say that some people are dying to be de-listed, but never will be.  (Envision wringing hands and maniacal laughter.)

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

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.

Airfare War Emerges Among Popular Airlines

Ladies and gentlemen, we officially have an airfare war!  Earlier today, American Airlines countered the $25 airfare sale from Southwest Airlines (which we mentioned yesterday) by offering a $25 national 4th Quarter Sale of its own.  Jen Leo of The Los Angeles Times investigated both sales and has this comparison:airfare_wars_090203_mn

“The main difference I found when looking for flights on American is that it doesn’t spell out where you’ll find the savings. Southwest very clearly shows which destinations you could get for $25, $50, $75 or $100 each way. But when I got to the American Airlines website, I had to just type in destinations and guess.  That said, when I applied routes similar to the $25 sale on Southwest, I was able to find the same prices on American. For example, it was easy to find $25 fares between Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). American is offering the same dates for travel — Monday through Saturday. Prices are each way based on round-trip purchase, and pre tax.”

AirTran also has one-way sale prices of $39 on short routes in an offer that ends Nov. 10th.  Meanwhile, JetBlue and Frontier Airlines are matching sale prices on competitive routes.

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • US Airways will trim 1,000 jobs, or about 3.1% of its total work force and cut flights, focusing on hub cities where it stands to make a profit.  The company said today it would concentrate on four hubs – Charlotte, N.C., Philadelphia, Phoenix and the District of Columbia, as well as its hourly shuttle service between New York’s LaGuardia Airport, Boston and Washington’s Ronald Reagan airport.
  • The New York Times’ “In Transit” blog notes that you should be watching for deals to Kingston, Jamaica from JetBlue later this week when the airline begins service there on Oct. 30.
  • The federal government has grounded the two pilots who overshot a Northwest Airlines plane by 150 miles into Wisconsin last week.  The FAA has revoked the licenses of flight captain Tim Cheney of Gig Harbor Wash., and first officer Richard Cole of Salem, Ore.  They have 10 days to ask the National Transportation Safety Board for their licenses back.  And if the board says no, they can try to get new licenses in a year.

paradiseIf you haven’t tracked airfare prices with Yapta.com this month, you had better do so soon.  There’s only 5 days left where you can become eligible to win a 5-night, 6-day stay at the CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa in our 9 Months of Paradise by Marriott Sweepstakes.

Each month, we’re giving away a stay in the Caribbean or Mexico courtesy of Marriott.  Entering the sweepstakes is easy.  All you have to do is use Yapta.com in October to track the price of any flight.  For every flight you enter (up to 25), you’ll receive an additional chance at winning the Grand Prize.  We’re also giving away Bose on-ear headphones and Starbucks gift cards as secondary prizes.

Don’t think you have any chance of winning?  Either did these Grand Prize Winners:

Denise Underwood (Federal Way, WA)… Won a 5-night, 6-day stay at St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino

Laquitta Sobieski (Ocala, FL)…  Won a 5-night, 6-day stay at Curacao Marriott Beach Resort & Emerald Casino

Sharon Weinstein (Branford, CT)… Won a 5-night, 6-day stay at Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort

Will Bentley (Hammonton, NJ)… Won a 5-night, 6-day stay at JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa

Here’s some more travel news you can use:

  • Southwest and AirTran each launched broad fare sales this morning, with fares dropping to as low as $25 each way on some Southwest flights. Both airlines’ sales cover flights into February, though there are the usual blackout dates around the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day holidays.  (See the USA Today’s travel blog Today in the Sky for details.)
  • JetBlue began its new flights to Saint Lucia Monday with nonstop service to the island’s Hewanorra International Airport from the airline’s home at New York’s JFK International Airport. The airline now serves the island with nonstop flights every Monday, Thursday and Sunday, operated by its 150-seat Airbus A320 aircraft.
  • Adventures by Disney is giving away a three-night Disney Cruise to the Bahamas when you purchase a vacation on select Adventures by Disney trips to Europe, China, Australia, Costa Rica and the American Southwest. (See the LA Times’ Daily Travel & Deals blog for details.)