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By now you've all probably seen or heard of this ridiculous video from a faux socialite, named, well, you'll see if you watch the video.
He made headlines yesterday with his obnoxious first class travel hacks that included tips such as booking a refundable plane ticket just to get lounge access then canceling the ticket before the flight takes off; faking a peanut allergy to get a seat change; printing fake business cards to take advantage of corporate rates and finding the weakest hotel employee to badger for a suite upgrade.
If his fake tan, Hermes belt or girlfriend who flashes her breasts in biz class doesn't turn you off, then you might actually make it all the way through this largely pointless video. (At the end, he does redeem himself, only slightly, to say that he tips the people who take care of him very well.)
While people have been faking life-threatening scenarios or pretending to be more important than they really are for ages now to get upgrades (see also, travel "journalists" who promise coverage to publications they've never written for in exchange for free trips or actual journalists who think they can threaten PR with no coverage unless they get the upgrades they want), this video is sure to infuriate the hotel and airline industries for exposing holes in their system and for manipulating employees who are just trying to do their job.
However, as this Frank Abagnale-wanna-be says, these "tips" do require a lot of chutz pah to pull off and not everyone is gonna be up to such a long con. (Besides, we'd rather sit in the middle seat in coach than up in first with him.)
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Let's be realmost leisure travelers have to mind the money when it comes to booking a trip, and airfare is often the largest obstacle to clicking "purchase." The key to removing that obstacle is finding a great deal on airfare, which can seem a fool's errand considering all the websites, booking engines, and "book on Tuesday" tips on the topic.
The trick to scoring shockingly cheap flights (like our recent Kauai trip, or that $200 surprise to Abu Dhabi) isn't much more than sitting down and thinking through your travel goals so you'll be ready to whip out the credit card the moment the deals pop up.
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Hawaii is cheap this season, you guys. The faraway state of paradise (both literal and figurative) has seen airfare deals from all over the country, for totals that've been beating prices to Cancun, Cabo, and even Florida. Right now is the time to rethink and reroute vacation plans in the direction of the Pacific Ocean.
The onslaught of Hawaii deals began in December, with some roundtrips from almost all major US cities to most major Hawaiian airports in the high $500 range. We jumped on a $570 US Airways deal from Boston to Kauaione of the most expensive islands to travel toand a friend snagged Detroit-Kauai on Delta. It seemed a Christmas miracle, having flights to Hawaii for 50% off!
To our surprise and everyone's benefit, those deals have continued and, in certain cases, even sweetened. Our friends at FareDealAlert just dug up a $355 roundtrip to Honolulu on United from Minneapolis and various other middle America cities suffering from the winter blues. Chicago is a hair more at $500.
It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2014 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Now we take a brief look back at the best and worst of 2014 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,or as we fondly refer to themThe Jauntys.
$99 from the US to Europe sounds way to good to be true, but for a brief period this year, it actually was true.
Icelandic low-cost airline WOW Air heralded the coming of their first US routes in 2015 with a major deal to spur bookings. That deal included one-way airfares under $200 from Washington DC or Boston to Reykjavik, London, or Copenhagen. Some were even as low as $99 out of Boston.
$200 for a roundtrip flight half-way across the world? This little fantasy came true yesterday for many who chanced upon some ridiculously cheap airfares on Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad.
The dealfirst reported by TheFlightDeal in the earliest hours of Christmaslasted for nearly 20 hours, a lifetime when it comes to "mistake fares." It might not have been a mistake, and while there's no telling how many lucky travelers went all the way through to booking tickets, there was however enough attention to drag travelers away from their families and to the computer to book the flights on a holiday.
Judging from comments on the deals, the most popular destinations ended up being Abu Dhabi (of course, it was cheapest), Johannesburg, several cities in India, and even Hong Kong. One of the best deals, for those willing to pay a little more, was flying all the way from the USA to the Seychelles for under $600, an itinerary which typically costs around $1,500.
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Enough already! Talk of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals ends today...at least until next year.
If you're hoping for a travel deal during this high shopping season, then Cyber Monday is the better bet as airlines tend to do much of their business on the internet these days.
As always, pay attention to the fine print before clicking to purchase, and remember that more sales are due to arrive after the New Year, when travel once again calms down between the holidays and Spring Break.
Cyber Monday airfare sales:
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Black Friday is upon us, and for those who prefer to stay home and search for travel deals, the airlines have stepped up to the plate to offer a few Black Friday sales worth considering.
Expect more or at least a continuation of airfare sales on Cyber Monday but, for now, here's what airlines are offering right now:
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It's no fun to travel around Thanksgiving. It is, however, fun to anticipate and hop on any travel deals that result from the shopping rush around Black Friday (November 28) and Cyber Monday (December 1).
We've gathered a few of the more promising deals upcoming later this week, and there's only more to be had.
If you come across any other worthwhile travel deals, please share them in the comments and we'll have a more precise list come Black Friday itself.
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Brazil is about to get a little early Christmas present. The country's third largest airline, Azul, started by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, has announced it will begin flying between the United States (Fort Lauderdale and Orlando) and Brazil as early as next month.
Our friends at The Flight Deal have discovered an unbeatable Azul deal for December, from Fort Lauderdale to Brazil, for $193 one-way in Economy or $510 one-way, in Business Class (reclining, not lie-flat), taxes included.
We're been a bit hesitant to promote the deal, since it's definitely going to be a headache for travelers who aren't completely confident in their ability to "hack" budget flights. In order to take full advantage of the Azul flight deals, you'll need to book through their Portuguese site, hunt-and-peck for valid dates, use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees, already have or obtain a Brazil visa ($160+ pp), be okay with arriving to an "alternative" airport, and be prepared to either pay much more for the return flight, or book a one-way home on another airline using frequent flyer miles.
Scared? Don't be. Just keep in mind that this is the infancy of budget flights between the US and Brazil, so the situation will only improve.
What to know to grab this deal:
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Around 5pm EST, their US website finally went live, advertising specials and bookable deals in US Dollars, with some flights as low as $99 and $125 one-way. Despite those unbelievable numbers, the airline is a reputable one. WOW has been flying between Iceland and Europe since 2011, and we didn't think twice to book them earlier this year for a trip to go waterfall-spotting and hot spring-soaking in Iceland.
Think fast and have your credit card ready, and here's what you need to know to score WOW Air's cheapest US deals:
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Not tomorrow. Not even later tonight. Right now is prime time for purchasing flights from the US to Europe, across all three airline alliances.
A fare sale initiated by American Airlines/US Airways this morning quickly erupted into a full-scale fare war, and now economy roundtrips from cities around the US to cities around Europe and the UK are totaling between $400-$800, with the average fare around $680.
Our friends at TheFlightDeal, FareDealAlert, and airfarewatchdog have been on it from the start, tweeting a stream of tempting deals all day long, like $467 SFO - Dublin on US Airways and $664 DFW - Madrid on Delta.
Travelers in cities other than the usual cheap fare favorites of New York, LA and SF will be shocked to see some serious deals closer to home, flyable for travel dates throughout winter 2014 and into late spring 2015.
Here's a few of our favorites:
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Alaska Airlines has been utilizing quarterback Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks to promote their cause as Seattle’s hometown airline, and so far so good. There have been funny commercials, appearances here and there, and now the airline is continuing their relationship into the 2014 football season.
His official title is Chief Football Officer—hope the true airline CFO doesn’t mind—and as part of his duties he’s passing some Alaska Airlines savings on to passengers.