Extra re-cap: Drill-down on int’l air fares

In Airfares, Uncategorized by scott

If you receive the weekly “Extra” e-newsletter, this is a recap. If you’re on our RSS feed only, keep reading for international air fare bargains to/from Alaska.

It’s my job to keep an eye on air fares to/from Alaska. On the domestic front, Alaska Airlines  still is offering some good deals for travel through June 10. Right here in Alaska, both Era Aviation and Alaska Airlines are offering great deals, particularly between Anchorage and Bethel, Fairbanks, Kenai, Kodiak and Cordova.

Let’s take a look at some of the international options. First, remember that there are a couple of international carriers that serve Anchorage International Airport, including Condor  and China Airlines. Condor offers summer-only service from Fairbanks and Anchorage nonstop to Frankfurt, Germany. China Airlines offers year-round service between Anchorage and Taipei.

Anchorage-London. Our domestic airlines, including Alaska Airlines, Delta/Northwest , Continental  and USAirways (N-I-C-E water landing on the Hudson River, BTW!!!!!)  also fly internationally. According to Laura Savage at USTravel, Northwest is offering a great deal between Anchorage and London. Check with Laura at (800)544-2217. Travel between now and April 2, 2009 for as little as $695rt. That includes all government taxes and fees. Here is a sample schedule from Anchorage:

Outbound:

NW 386 02MAR  ANC-MSP  dep. 930A arr. 556P

NW 46 02MAR MSP-AMS dep. 745P arr. 1105A+

NW8557 03MAR AMS-LHR dep. 125P arr. 150P

Return:

NW 103 10MAR  LHR-MSP  dep. 940A arr. 145P

NW 647 10MAR MSP-ANC  dep. 455P arr. 748P

This is a great time of year for deals to Europe, even if you have to travel through the Lower 48 to get them. We’ll watch for more deals.

Beginning in May, take advantage of Condor’s nonstop service from Anchorage or Fairbanks. From Anchorage to Frankfurt, I like the May 5 departure, returning May 12. In coach, the fare is just $759rt, including all fees. Expect to pay $1,319 to sit up front in business class. Not a bad deal! It’s a 9.5-hour flight on the outbound. On the return, you stop in Whitehorse so the Yukoners can get in on a more-direct flight to Europe! Then, return to Anchorage.

From Fairbanks to Frankfurt, the best deal I found was the May 21 departure, returning a week later on May 28. The cost? $829rt in coach, or $1,389rt up in the front cabin. Keep in mind, it’s not unusual to pay $1,300 for a ticket to Europe. But on Condor, you’ll sit in business class! I’ve flown on Condor–they do a good job. I sent a note off to the folks, asking them when they will rescind their silly “fuel surcharge” of $139 in each direction. Although they have no plans to do so at this time, I think Condor will revisit the idea of a “fuel surcharge” when oil is trading at $40 per barrel.

For those who love Australia, it appears there’s a deal every week if you’re headed “Down Under”. Qantas had a deal last week–and V Australia  (part of the Branson “Virgin Atlantic” empire) is continuing its sale for new flights starting Feb. 27, 2009. Between L.A. and Sydney, the base fare is just $549. With taxes, the cost is just $672 roundtrip. That’s a little more than Alaska Airlines’ “sale” fare between Anchorage and L.A. Check with your travel agent to find the best deals on tours, hotels and rental cars once you get there. Oh–I checked on fares from Honolulu, since that would be the most direct route from Alaska. Well, it’s also one of the most expensive, since V Australia does not plan to offer flights. So–best to go through L.A. For the rest of Asia, prices still remain high. I checked with  Penny Lampl at USTravel  over in Kodiak for a quick read. Here are the fares she came up with. To qualify, you must begin your travel by May 2, 2009:

Anchorage-Manila = 924+279 taxes

Anchorage-Seoul = 984+279 taxes

Anchorage-Hong Kong= 864+279 taxes

Anchorage-Beijing= 940+279 taxes

Anchorage-Bangkok = 924+279 taxes

I asked Penny for a quote on Anchorage-Taipei and it was in the $1,160+279 taxes range. Fuggetaboutit. Watch for price reductions on these flights in the near future. Call Penny in Kodiak at (907)486-3232 for details.

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