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Free Tickets All Around
Now this is a trend we can get behind: In the face of a recession, companies are giving away tickets to keep people traveling.
In Mexico, VivaAerobus is giving away seats on certain flights to its hub in Monterrey. You'll have to pick up taxes and fees, but your flight from Austin, Cancun or Puerto Vallarta will be fare-free. And even if you want to connect in Monterrey to another flight, you won't be spending much: One-way tickets start at about $30.
In the US, Megabus will be giving away 100,000 free seats starting today for travel January 14-March 18, 2009. Just type in the promo code "greenbus" to see if your dates and routes are eligible. We randomly picked a trip between New York and Baltimore on January 15 and found six trips with free seats out of 14 daily departures. (Of course, the other trips were priced at $1 and $4, but still!)
And in Europe, Ryanair's 1 million free seat promotion continues until Friday. As usual, you'll cover the taxes and fees--and might get slapped with additional fees if you're not careful about the weight of your luggage--but the upside is a "free" flight. Even better? The carrier has a handy PDF of all the current availabilities so you don't waste your afternoon digging through city pairs and departure times.