Deal of the Week: Cash In And Claim (1/18/2002)
Deal of the Week (1/18/02) Rudy Maxa
Diana: You're listening to the Savvy Traveler. I'm Diana Nyad. It's time to check in with our travel expert in residence, Rudy Maxa, for the Deal of the Week. Rudy, what have you dug up for us this week?
Rudy: I have a feeling that airline travel is beginning to return to normal. That's good news for the country as a whole, but it also means we may be nearing the end of an unusual opportunity to find bargains.
Diana: But except for the Caribbean, we're still in the slow travel season, aren't we?
Rudy: We are. January and February are traditionally the slowest travel months, even in normal times. And, indeed, we've seen the return of $200 roundtrip fares between New York and London. But I want to broaden our horizons -- literally -- a little more.
Diana: By all means, broaden away.
Rudy: Okay, there are two interesting airline deals you should know about. The first is an offer from Northwest that lets you combine miles with a low fare. It's perfect if you don't have enough miles on Northwest to claim a normal award ticket.
Diana: For example?
Rudy: Cash in 10,000 miles and pay $169, and you can fly roundtrip between the DC/Baltimore area and Seattle. Or how about this: Redeem 5,000 miles and pay $209, and you can fly between Minneapolis and Los Angeles.
Diana: Not bad. Anything to Europe?
Rudy: Glad you asked. Ten thousand miles and $309 gets you Detroit to Paris or Minneapolis to London. But it gets even better when we bring Asia into the mix. Cash in 20,000 miles, sweeten the pot with about $400, and you have Minneapolis to Tokyo or Detroit to Hong Kong.
Diana: Wow! Any fine print?
Rudy: Book 14 days in advance, though you can fly same-day standby on domestic trips. And stay over a Saturday night. You have to buy your tickets by March 1st. Travel is good through March 15th -- or March 31st for trips to Asia.
Diana: You said you have two airline deals.
Rudy: The other is Icelandair, which is offering some good two-for-one deals between North America and Europe, if you act by this coming Tuesday, Jan. 22nd. If you can fly during the week, you'll realize the biggest savings, and if you book online, you'll get an additional 10 percent off. That would make Boston to Paris, roundtrip for two, about $550. And you can depart from Baltimore, Orlando, Minneapolis or New York, among other cities.
Diana: You know I have to ask it: What's the catch?
Rudy: Well, as I said, you must book by Tuesday, and you have to stay over a Saturday night. But this deal is good for travel all the way through mid-April. Call Icelandair [800-223-5500, ext. 2, prompt 1] or visit their Web site.
Diana: Thanks, Rudy, these sound great! See you next week?
Rudy: You got it.
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