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Deal of the Week: Autumn Airline Sales (8/23/2002)

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Well, apparently, fall is on the way because in the past few days airlines have announced -- surprisingly early -- a rash of sales for autumn.

So, who's flying cheaply to Europe, Asia and South America?

Virgin Atlantic has announced a mid-week special of 6 nights in London for as low as $399 out of New York, before taxes. It's good for travel from November 1st to December 14th, and again from January 4th to March 25th.

But you only have until November 26th to make your purchase.

And, it seems American, United and other major U.S. airlines liked the mid-week travel idea because this past week they, too, launched fall sales -- and the biggest savings are for mid-week travel. In most cases, you have to complete your trip by late November. The lowest fare is the New York-London route, with round trip tickets going for as little as $370 on American.

So, maybe Europe's not your bag? Well, United and Northwest have flights to flights to Asia, and American dominates South America. A sample United round trip between New York and Beijing is about $758, before taxes.

The dates of travel vary, but here's the important thing to keep in mind: generally, you must purchase your tickets by August 29th.

Now, sure, there are certain dates you can fly and plenty of small print, but as always, if you can navigate through them, you'll save some big bucks.

So, check with a travel agent, or an airline that flies where you want to go, and make sure to visit airline Web sites as well, where you could pick up some bonus miles, or a slightly cheaper fare, if you book online.

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