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What's worse than decreasing legroom? What sucks more than have a short flight delay? The answer: paying extra for luggage.
Most U.S. airlines now charge for checked luggage, and at least four airlines already charge for carry-ons-- three of those are U.S. airlines: Spirit, Allegiant, and Frontier. The fourth is Iceland's Wow Air, that of the unbelievable $99 airfares to Europe.
Low-cost airlines highly fond of extra fees in other regions of the world are understandably jealous of all the extra revenue streaming in from baggage charges. Most recently, Southeast Asian airlines considered beginning their own carry-on fees. For now, at least, one country is putting its foot down and saying no: India.
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We know, we know. $99 for a flight from the U.S. to Europe is simply too good to be true. Obviously, with a fare as low as that, something must be wrong, right? Well, wrong. Not only is Icelandic ultra-low-cost airline Wow Air offering such deals, but there's nothing suspicious at hand here.
To prove it, and to test the airline's transatlantic service (we've flown them from Iceland to London previously), we purchased said $99 fare and flew it ourselves. Here's what happened.
While $1 for a bus ticket may seem too good to be true, it's the reality for Megabus riders. The bus line specializes in affordable travel, and the last few years has seen them expand from the east coast, to the midwest, to the west coast (not to mention their original UK routes).
Megabus' latest announcement is not a new destination on the map, but an improvement in passenger experience on all double-decker routes: reserved seating.
The bus line had rolled out the ability to reserve select seats (usually the most desirable) on certain routes already, but today brings the news that the program has expanded to all routes. No more heart palpitations in line to board, hoping to score your favorite seat; now it can be reserved...for a price, of course. It also ensures that persons traveling together will be able to sit together.
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A $15 for a flight from Europe to the United States sounds too good to be true. But that's what notoriously cheap Ryanair is hoping to do.
News came out yesterday that the Irish airline got approval to offer such low fares on one-way transcontinental flights from smaller European airports like London Stansted to key cities in the U.S. like New York, Boston and Miami.. Of course, this being Ryanair, an airline that really sticks it to you with baggage fees and onboard fees, will probably charge passengers other ridiculous fees to makeup for the low fare.
We're thinking boarding pass printing fees, carry-on fees (small fees for small carry-ons, big fees for big carry-ons), in-flight entertainment fees, lavatory fees and maybe even fees to recline your seat and take off your shoes. In addition to the existing food and drink fees and fees for different kinds of seats.
But if you're the kind of person who abstains from buying food and drink on a flight and can wear all of your trip outfits on the plane, then this fare might be just what your strained bank account was hoping for.
In the meantime, here are 5 tips to prepare yourself for the next great airfare deal.
Would you fly a $15 flight from Europe to the U.S., knowing that you'll be nickel-and-dimed the all the way through? Sound off in comments below!
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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.
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How does a month of flying around Southeast Asia for under $200 sound?
That's the question we asked back in December, when it was first announced AirAsia would introduce some sort of pass for unlimited flights. Well, that passthe AirAsia ASEAN Pass, named for the Association of Southeast Asian Nationsis official and available for purchase, beginning today.
The ASEAN Pass' original promise of travel to 10 countries has been kept, and passengers may elect to fly to airports in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Burma, Laos and Brunei. The greatest variety of destinations is of course offered from AirAsia's base in Kuala Lumpur, although Bangkok also has a bunch.
Popular leisure destinations in the passes include Bali, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Langkawi, and Puerto Princesa. With just those it'd be very tempting to turn an ASEAN Pass into a "best exotic beaches of SE Asia" pass, but culture and business travelers will find plenty destinations of interest as well.
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Go and get 'em! Reservation booking has just opened up here for the semiannual NYC Restaurant Week, aka one of our favorite (and super highly recommended) city food events. NYC's Winter Restaurant Week(s) 2015 runs from February 16 to March 6.
Get over to OpenTable quickly to snap up the best and newest tables, lest you get stuck dining at some Theater District steakhouse that survives on tourists being loose with their money and not too particular about what's on their plate. The choices for winter 2015 are better than ever, with a record 340 participating eateries.
The official announcement gives a taste of what to expect:
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You know that old idiom, “everything happens in threes?” Well, it absolutely applies in the case of WiFi on cruise ships this season. At-sea connectivity is a notoriously sore spot in the cruise industry, since the standard satellite systems bring embarrassingly low bandwidth at a shamefully high cost. In most cases, we’re talking $0.75 per minute. For real.
Several years ago it was normal to be charged ~$300 just to keep up some minimal internet access for emailing and some social media-ing on a 7-day cruise, and as of 2014 not much had changed...other than the passengers’ desire for more time online at a better price.
Then along came Royal Caribbean’s “smartship” Quantum of the Seas and its lower cost, lower orbit, higher bandwidth satellite technology, includinggaspunlimited plans.
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Newport News-based budget airline PEOPLExpress flew for only three months in the middle of 2014, and was itself a re-launch of a 1980s airline. They abruptly ceased operations on September 26, and were finally evicted from Newport News Airport in late November. We booked a ticket and flew with them from Boston to Newport News and back before that untimely end, and this is the flight review we wrote at that time.
PEOPLExpress. What it sounds like: A new social media network for Adderall fans. What it is: An ‘80s-born, revived low-cost airline brand that launched direct flights between Boston’s Logan International Airport and Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport, where the company is based. In September we scored a sale fare of $39 (inclusive tax and fees) each way; the standard fee was $79.
There’s certain poignancy to connecting Boston and Williamsburg, Virginia. Boston is, after all, where the American Revolution began. (Shot heard ‘round the world, and all.) And it’s down in the so-dubbed “Historic Triangle” of Virginia, which is anchored by Williamsburg, where the war wrapped up: Specifically at neighboring Yorktown Battlefield, where we kicked British booty and finally got them to surrender. #MURRICA.
Japan has a reputation for being pricey, especially when it comes to transportation costs. But a number of "foreigner-only" discounts can help save you some cash as you scoot around the country.
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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: