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 Steals & Deals

joe NOTABLE BARGAINS
FOR JUNE, 2000


BY JOE BRANCATELLI

COST-CUTTERS: Hurry! Last Call for Summer Fares to Europe
Record-breaking traffic has driven up fares for summer travel to Europe, but British Airways is offering a quick sale to London and the continent from 10 U.S. cities. You have to hurry: Although the fares are valid for travel until August 31, tickets must be purchased by Wednesday, June 28. One-way prices for the Final Call sale start at $249 ( New York or Boston to London); travel to 15 European destinations ranges from $299 (Paris or Brussels) to $421 (Madrid and Barcelona). Those fares are valid for travel on Mondays through Wednesdays; weekend surcharges range from $25 to $90. A Saturday stay is required and taxes can add as much as $90 more to your final fare.

STAR-SPANGLED BARGAINS: Special Fares for the Fourth of July
Airline travel slumps around the Fourth of July, so several airlines are promoting special fares for the Independence Day holiday. One-way Fourth of July fares from AirTran are valid for travel July 3, July 4, and July 6, but they can be combined with travel on other days to complete a round-trip itinerary. Sample one-way prices: $45 between Chicago/Midway and Minneapolis; $55 between Atlanta and Raleigh/Durham; and $79 between Philadelphia and Tampa. Tickets must be purchased by Thursday, June 29. The Delta Shuttle, which links Boston, New York/LaGuardia and Washington/Reagan National with hourly flights that do not require reservations, is lowering fares, too. From July 1 through 2:30pm on July 4, fares are $85 for flights between New York and Boston and New York and Washington. Boston-Washington fares have been reduced to $99. TWA is reducing domestic fares by 35 percent for adults and even more for children. The offer is valid for outbound travel between July 2 and July 4 and for returns between July 4 and 7. Sample prices: $470 roundtrip for adults and $258 for children between New York and Los Angeles; $218 adult ($158 children) between St. Louis and Minneapolis; and $222 adult ($98 children) between Cincinnati and Peoria. A two-day minimum stay is required; an adult can purchase as many as two child fares.

ROUTE WATCH: New Flight Options for Summer Travel
JetBlue launched twice-daily flights between New York/Kennedy and Orlando on June 21 and will add a third daily flight on July 6 and fourth on August 3. Introductory one-way fares through Friday, June 30, are as low as $49. Regular one-way prices range from $79 (with a 14-day advance purchase) to $159. As previously reported, JetBlue will also launch nonstop night flights on August 3 between New York and Oakland and Ontario, California. One-way fares on those routes start at $99. Sabena launches daily nonstop flights between Dallas/Fort Worth and Brussels on August 6. The introductory roundtrip fare is $498 and is valid for travel through October 30, but tickets must be purchased by July 3. Vanguard will begin twice-daily nonstop service between its hub in Kansas City and New Orleans on August 1. Fares start at $89 each way.

DEAL BOARD: Summer Hotel Values Around the World
The fifteen Ohana Hotels in Waikiki, Honolulu have posted a $79 a night "Simple Saver" rate that is valid through July 31. The elegant Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel in Hong Kong is offering summer rates as low as HK$1,430 (about US$190) a night through August 15. Download a "Value Voucher" coupon from the Shangri-La website and you'll receive a US$50 food and beverage coupon or a room upgrade. The "Summer Celebration" package at the Maison de Ville in New Orleans includes a two-night stay; breakfast in bed each day; cocktails each evening; and a dinner for two at the hotel's restaurant. The price is $425 and is valid through August on Sundays through Thursdays. The "Summer on the Town" package from the Doral Park Avenue in New York includes accommodations, a sightseeing tour, an apple pie and a CD of the musical On The Town. Weekend rates start at $225 through September 4. ... The elegant Regent hotels in New York and Hong Kong have slashed some summer rates. The "Summer Celebration 2000" package in Hong Kong is $260 a night and includes harbor-view accommodations, breakfast and a $52 hotel credit. A two-night minimum is required for stays through September 15. At the new Regent Wall Street, the weekend rate through August is $200 a night for a room and $315 for a suite, sharp reductions from the standard price of $545 a night. ... In San Francisco, the "Sizzlin' Summer" package at the Cartwright includes lodging; breakfast; Cable Car passes; and parking. The price: $155 a night until August 31. ... Meanwhile, at the Ritz-Carlton, the "24-Hour Stay Programme" in Kuala Lumpur includes accommodations on the hotel's Club level floors and 24-hour access to a private lounge that offers complimentary breakfast, snacks, hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and beverages. The price is $115 a night through July 31. And in Osaka, the "Summer Retreat" package includes accommodations, breakfast, a 60-minute massage, and spa amenities. The price is 41,000 yen (about US370) a night until August 31.

VACATION STATION: Price Reductions on Summer Tours
Collette Tours has reduced the price of several summer guided tours by as much as $100 a person. The company's 8-day "New Brunswick Discovery" package is reduced $100 to $1,798 a couple for the July 11 departure. The priced includes accommodations, guided sightseeing and 13 meals. The July 12 departure of the 11-day "Magic of Ireland" tour is reduced $200 to $2,598 a couple. It includes lodging, 18 meals and guided sightseeing. And Collette has also knocked $200 a couple off the price of its 11-day "Cultural Cities" tours that departs on August 10. It features 3-day stays in Stockholm, Copenhagen and St. Petersburg. The discounted price, including lodging, sightseeing and 15 meals, is $3,398 a couple. Airfare is not included in any of the prices.

This column originally appeared at skymalltravel.com.

Copyright 1999-2010 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved.