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I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

Frontier is offering $15 one way fares on routes like Los Angeles to Chicago and New York to Miami.

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The sale is valid for bookings made by 11:59 PM ET tomorrow (August 26) for domestic, nonstop travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from September 1 to November 18. On the sale page, the fares show up as $20. You have to put “SAVEBIG” into the promo code box on the home screen to bring them down to $15.

You do NOT have to be a Discount Den member to get these deals. It surprises me that Frontier is undermining the value of the Discount Den, which it charges $50 to join. Here’s my analysis of whether you should join the Frontier Discount Den.

Here is the sale page and restrictions. I see $15 fares between dozens of cities. Here are the $15 fares leaving New York and Los Angeles.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 9.36.25 PMScreen Shot 2015-08-25 at 9.36.41 PM

There are also many $29, $39, and higher fares, sorted by city.

I had no trouble pricing out Atlanta to Austin for $15 in October.

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Fees

Frontier now follows the ultra-low-cost, fee-for-everything model.

Seat selection costs $4+. They’ll assign you a seat at check in for free, but you’ll probably get the worst one.

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Only a personal item is free to bring on board. Checked bags cost $20+ and carry ons cost $30+, so I would think of these fares as costing $20 more each way and plan on checking a bag.

Even water costs money. Here’s the snack and drink menu.
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Getting These Flights for Free

There’s no need to actually pay cash for cheap, cash fares. The Citi Prestige® Card comes with a $250 Air Travel Credit every calendar year that will cover the purchase of this ticket. If you haven’t used the credit yet, buy this fare with your Prestige, and you will receive an offsetting credit on your next statement, so you’ll get a completely free ticket. The Air Travel Credit will also offset seat selection, baggage, and food fees.

Alternatively you can redeem ThankYou Points earned on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card at a rate of 1.25 cents each to purchase any airline ticket. That means a $15 fare would be 1,200 ThankYou Points and $0.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is now offering a 50,000 point sign up bonus worth $625 in free flights on any flight, any time, on almost any airline with no blackout dates.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.36.03 PM

————————————————————————————————————
Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

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I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

Book today (August 22) and fly August 25, 26, 29, 31 and September 1, 2, 6, 9 and 10 to get 50% off all Frontier flights.

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Type promo code DEEZNUTS into the promo code box on the home search screen and the discounts will be included in the results. Even DenDeals fares are discounted. (See Should You Join the Frontier Discount Den for more information on DenDeals.)

 

Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 5.53.24 PM The 50% discount will not drop the total price by 50% because it only applies to the base fare. More expensive fares will see a larger percentage discount on the total price. But cheaper fares can still get a little bit cheaper.

Here’s a $29 DenDeals fare from Denver to Las Vegas that drops to $21.55.

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The $41 fare for non-members drops to $27.55.Screen Shot 2015-08-22 at 5.53.43 PM

If you want to fly in the next three weeks, there are some really cheap fares on the entire Frontier route network!

Fees

Frontier now follows the ultra-low-cost, fee-for-everything model.

Seat selection costs $4+. They’ll assign you a seat at check in for free, but you’ll probably get the worst one.

Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.31.01 AM

Only a personal item is free to bring on board. Checked bags cost $20+ and carry ons cost $30+, so I would think of these fares as costing $20 more each way and plan on checking a bag.

Even water costs money. Here’s the snack and drink menu.
Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.20.56 AM

Getting These Flights for Free

There’s no need to actually pay cash for cheap, cash fares. The Citi Prestige® Card comes with a $250 Air Travel Credit every calendar year that will cover the purchase of this ticket. If you haven’t used the credit yet, buy this fare with your Prestige, and you will receive an offsetting credit on your next statement, so you’ll get a completely free ticket. The Air Travel Credit will also offset seat selection, baggage, and food fees.

Alternatively you can redeem ThankYou Points earned on the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card at a rate of 1.25 cents each to purchase any airline ticket. That means a $29 fare would be 2,320 ThankYou Points and $0.

The Citi ThankYou® Premier Card is now offering a 50,000 point sign up bonus worth $625 in free flights on any flight, any time, on almost any airline with no blackout dates.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.36.03 PM

————————————————————————————————————
Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

0

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

I tweeted this deal first from @MileValueAlerts. Follow @MileValueAlerts on Twitter and follow these directions to get a text message every time I tweet from that account. I tweet from @MileValueAlerts only a few times a month because it is designed to be used only for the best and most limited-time deals–like mistake fares–so that you aren’t bombarded by text messages.

Travel from Houston (IAH) to Moscow (DME) nonstop for $399 roundtrip on Singapore Airlines. Book by Monday August 10 and start travel by December 1. This is an advertised sale.

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Contents:

  1. When are the $399 fares?
  2. Visas?
  3. Mileage Earning
  4. Best Credit Card to Buy the Ticket
  5. Singapore Baggage Policy

$399 Roundtrip from Houston to Moscow

This is part of Singapore’s Houston to Moscow to Singapore service on a 777-300ER. First and Business Class awards on the route are a great value.

Here are all the fare rules. Note that the route only flies five days a week, so there are no real restrictions except that you must start travel between 9/1 and 12/1 and stay less than one month.

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I pieced together a Friday outbound and Sunday return for $399.Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 5.24.59 PM

To book, start on the fare’s promo page on singaporeair.com.

Visas

Americans traveling to Russia need a visa obtained in advance. Check out the State Department for more information.

Mileage Earning

These are K class fares from Singapore. If you want to credit miles to a partner, K fares earn zero miles with United and LifeMiles. With Singapore, they earn 10% of flown miles. That means you’ll earn about 1,187 Singapore miles from flying the trip.

Best Way to Buy the Ticket

You should definitely purchase your Singapore ticket with a credit card that imposes no foreign transaction fees. Your top choice should be the Citi Prestige® Card, since it comes with a $250 Air Travel Credit every calendar year that will apply to this ticket. If you haven’t used the credit yet, buy this fare with your Prestige, and you will receive an offsetting credit on your next statement for a net price of $149 for a roundtrip to Russia!

Even if you’ve already used your $250 credit for this year, the card offers 3x on all airfare purchases.

See my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like it annual $250 Air Travel Credit, 50,000 point sign up bonus, access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee.

My second choice would be the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, which offers 3x on all travel and gas purchases and also has no foreign transaction fees. The card comes with 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.36.03 PM

Singapore Baggage Policy

You can take one carry on and one personal item for free. You can have two checked bags of up to 23 kg (50 pounds) each for free. (Full policy.)

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Hat Tip Secretly Flying

————————————————————————————————————
Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

0

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

I tweeted this deal first from @MileValueAlerts. Follow @MileValueAlerts on Twitter andfollow these directions to get a text message every time I tweet from that account. I tweet from @MileValueAlerts only a few times a month because it is designed to be used only for the best and most limited-time deals–like mistake fares–so that you aren’t bombarded by text messages.

Travel from Houston to Managua, Nicaragua for $172 roundtrip on Spirit Airlines this Summer and Fall. Travel from Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and Miami to Managua for $246+ roundtrip on Delta this Summer and Fall.

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Contents:

  1. When are the $172+ fares?
  2. Why Nicaragua?
  3. Mileage Earning
  4. Best Credit Card to Buy the Ticket
  5. Copa Baggage Policy

$172 Roundtrip to Managua

Sample Dates: Houston to Managua, September 2 – 10, on Spirit

All of the flights in this post are roundtrips on Delta from American and United hubs (Gotta love competition!) except this Spirit fare out of Houston.

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.20.28 PM

There are similarly cheap fares out of Houston the rest of the month.
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Search on ITA Matrix by calendar of lowest fares for acceptable trip lengths.

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Philadelphia

$247 roundtrips from August until November

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Dallas

$247 roundtrips from August until November
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Charlotte

$246 roundtrips from August to November

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 3.17.16 PMChicago

$326 roundtrips from August to November

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Miami

$247 roundtrips from August to November

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Select the number of nights you’d like the roundtrip to be by hovering over a date on the calendar.

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You cannot book on ITA Matrix. Instead note the dates and search on delta.com or spiritair.com.

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Why Nicaragua?

In the Spring of 2008, I went for a week and a half to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Lago Nicaragua was the highlight. I rented a Vespa and cruised around Isla Ometepe, composed of two volcanoes. I stayed at an awesome hostel and hiked one of the volcanoes to the crater lake on its summit.

I could easily have passed a relaxing week on the island. The views are stunning. Getting around on a scooter rental is fun. And the prices are dirt cheap.

If you want to go to Ometepe, go soon before the proposed Nicaragua Canal cuts through the lake.

I didn’t like Managua at all. Frankly, it scared me a bit.

I did not go to Granada, Nicaragua, a well-preserved colonial city. I think I would have really liked Granada based on my time in the similar Antigua, Guatemala.

You can also easily cross the land border to Costa Rica and see the Monteverde Cloud Forest like I did when I was in Nicaragua.

Mileage Earning

To non-elites, Delta offers 5 miles per dollar for tickets, so these tickets will barely earn 1,000 miles!

Spirit’s program expires miles after 90 days, so don’t invest much in that program.

Best Way to Buy the Ticket

Purchase your ticket with your Citi Prestige® Card, since it comes with a $250 Air Travel Credit every calendar year that will cover the purchase of this ticket. If you haven’t used the credit yet, buy this fare with your Prestige, and you will receive an offsetting credit on your next statement: a completely free ticket!

Even if you’ve already used your $250 credit for this year, the card offers 3x on all airfare purchases.

See my review of the Citi Prestige Card which explains its many benefits like it annual $250 Air Travel Credit, 50,000 point sign up bonus, access to the American Airlines Admirals Clubs and Priority Pass lounges, 3x points per dollar on air travel and hotels, and a $450 annual fee.

My second choice would be the Citi ThankYou® Premier Card, which offers 3x on all travel and gas purchases and also has no foreign transaction fees. The card comes with 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Screen Shot 2015-04-20 at 7.36.03 PM

Delta and Spirit Baggage Policy

Delta allows one free personal item, one free carry on, and charges $25 for the first checked bag and $40 for the second. Having a Delta credit card will get you a free first checked bag.

Spirit allows one free personal item and charges $35+ for a carry on bag and $30+ for a first checked bag. There are $9 discounts available for members of its $60+ per year “$9 Fare Club.”

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Hat Tip Secretly Flying

————————————————————————————————————
Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

0

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

Follow @MileValueAlerts on Twitter and follow these directions to get a text message every time I tweet from that account. I’ve tweeted from @MileValueAlerts only once this month, for this deal, because it is designed to be used only for the best and most limited-time deals–like mistake fares–so that you aren’t bombarded by text messages.

Share your experience trying to search and book in the comments.

Right now there are incredibly cheap roundtrips to Cancun for Fall Travel, starting at $213 roundtrip. I see outstanding fares from Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Dallas, and Cleveland. There are probably other cities without outrageously good deals at the moment.

The two main places to search are ITA Matrix and southwest.com. Search both for your city. Search on ITA Matrix by calendar of lowest fares for acceptable trip lengths.

Baltimore to Cancun has $228 roundtrips.

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Boston to Cancun has $365 roundtrips.Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 4.39.22 PM

Dallas to Cancun has $278 roundtrips.Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 4.42.01 PM

Cleveland to Cancun has $280 roundtrips.

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The cheapest roundtrips I found were from Atlanta on direct flights. Southwest has $99 outbounds from September to December 2015.

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Returns in the same months start at $115.Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 4.36.02 PM

The total is $213, and you get two free checked bags both directions.Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 4.36.33 PMAfter searching on ITA Matrix and southwest.com, book with the cheapest carrier. Keep in mind what baggage fees are, especially if you book with Frontier and Spirit, which charge for carry ons.

Best Way to Buy the Ticket

Buy with the Citi Prestige® Card. The first $250 in flights per calendar year are refunded to you as a statement credit. This includes fees like the checked bag fee, seat reservation, or meals that you purchase at the time of ticketing or later. After the statement credit, your roundtrip ticket from Atlanta or Baltimore would be free.

If you’ve already maxed out the statement credit, you will still earn 3x ThankYou Points on the award taxes. The Citi Prestige® Card also comes with a 50,000 ThankYou Point sign up bonus.

Hat Tip Airfare Watchdog

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If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

2

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

Follow @MileValueAlerts on Twitter and follow these directions to get a text message every time I tweet from that account. I’ve tweeted from @MileValueAlerts only once this month, for this deal, because it is designed to be used only for the best and most limited-time deals–like mistake fares–so that you aren’t bombarded by text messages.

Share your experience trying to search and book in the comments.

Contents:

  1. Pay In Norwegian Krone
  2. Cheap Fares
  3. Optional Extra Fees
  4. Why Oslo in Winter
  5. Best Way to Buy the Ticket

Pay In Krone

Start on the Norwegian version of Norwegian.com because prices are lower in Norwegian Krone than US Dollars. Use Google Chrome to translate the page to English. Pay with a card with no foreign transaction fees.

$312 Roundtrip from Oakland to Oslo

Sample Dates: April – February 5 on Norwegian

Search and book on Norwegian.com with their low fare calendar by selecting “Show budget calendar” on the search screen.

 

You’ll get a calendar like this for a month at a time. The cheapest outbounds cost 1,200 NOK and are on April 5 and 12. The cheapest returns cost 1,299 NOK and are on every Monday in April and May .

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.01.23 PM

The cheapest total of 2,499 NOK is $312.

 

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 7.01.54 PM

Other Cheap Dates

There are plenty of other dates for 200 NOK more ($25) in either direction. One attractive option is to leave Oakland on a Saturday for $25 more and then return nine days later on a Monday.

 

All the flights price out the same whether they are one way or part of a roundtrip, so you can book the 1,200 NOK one ways from Oakland to Oslo for $150.

Extra Fees

All the cheapest fares are in the “Lowfare” bucket. That comes with one carry on that weighs up to 10 kg (22 lbs.) Check out my post on one bag travel.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 10.57.47 AM

Everything else costs extra.

Your first checked bag is 250 NOK ($32) each way. Your second is 300 NOK ($38). Similarly a seat reservation is $32 each way.

If you want both a checked bag and a seat selection, pay extra for a “Lowfare+” fare instead of a “Lowfare” fare since the former comes with a checked bag and seat selection included. The Lowfare+ fares are $62 more than Lowfare fares in each direction.

The eat on board menu is limited, but you can preorder from a bigger selection.

All the add ons are expensive, so I suggest traveling with just one carry on, eating before take off on the outbound, packing a meal for the return, and taking whatever seat they give you for free. Then you can’t beat a $312 roundtrip to Norway from the West Coast.

Best Way to Buy the Ticket

Buy with the Citi Prestige® Card, since it has no foreign transaction fees. The first $250 in flights per calendar year are refunded to you as a statement credit. This includes fees like the checked bag fee, seat reservation, or meals that you purchase at the time of ticketing or later. After the statement credit, your roundtrip ticket will cost $62 plus any optional fees.

If you’ve already maxed out the statement credit, you will still earn 3x ThankYou Points on the award taxes. The Citi Prestige® Card also comes with a 50,000 ThankYou Point sign up bonus.

Hat Tip Secretly Flying

————————————————————————————————————
Never miss a post again! Follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook. And sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts!

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get an additional $500 in free airfare on any airline in the first 12 months plus free airport lounge access worldwide for only a $450 annual fee. Why I got the card.

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

According to this thread in the FlyerTalk Mileage Run forum, several airlines are featuring extremely low fares between the US and Istanbul, Turkey.

There appears to be solid availability in February and early March, and I’m seeing fares as low as $413! This is great news, especially for those of us who couldn’t get in on the paid first class fare sale to Istanbul and Moscow last week. Scott tweeted about that deal, but the dates (and cash outlay) just didn’t work for me.

Which US cities have these great fares?

I experimented and found good prices leaving from Washington-Dulles, Newark, and Chicago-O’Hare.

What’s the best way to hunt for eligible dates?

The ITA Matrix is my personal favorite. It’s one of the most useful tools to check for available dates and airlines. For a complete breakdown of how to use this great website, check out Scott’s recent post, ITA Matrix: How to Search for Cheap Airfare with Flexiblity.

First go to matrix.itasoftware.com. Type in “ORD”, “EWR”, or “IAD”  as your home airport and “IST” as your destination.

I prefer to search by the length of a trip and one month at a time. It helps me find the lowest fare. To do so, select “See calendar of lowest fares.” In the screenshot below, I’ve asked ITA to search for 3-8 night itineraries leaving in the month of February.

After you click “Search”, ITA takes you to a calendar listing the cheapest flights departing on each date. When I searched, I was able to find a bunch of sub-$500 fares.

Clicking on a particular date will bring up all available flight options on the next page. To see some sample itineraries, check out the screenshot below.

Keep in mind the ITA Matrix is only for finding airfares. You don’t have the ability to book through this site. Write down the dates, flight numbers, and prices that work for you and book directly at the airline’s website that is offering the bargain fare.

Didn’t you mention other US cities with cheap Istanbul fares?

Yes, Newark is also showing some sub-$500 fares. Below is a 3-5 night search in the month of February.

Chicago-O’Hare is also showing some flights for under $550. That’s not as good of a deal as the Washington D.C. flights, but it’s still fantastic for Istanbul. Below is a 3-8 night search in February.

Below are two sample trips on United and Turkish.

I don’t live in Chicago/Washington D.C./New York. Why is this of value to me?

You certainly don’t have to live in the origin airport city to turn this into a vacation. There are many ways to connect you to these major airports. If your schedule permits, you could even spend some vacation time in both the North American gateway city and Istanbul.

If you need to fly to Chicago, New York, or D.C. to start this trip, you should leave several hours (or even more) between your flight to/from those cities and the main Chicago/NYC/D.C. <-> Istanbul roundtrip. If there is bad weather or a mechanical issue with your flight to Chicago, for example, KLM, Turkish, or United isn’t obligated to accommodate you.

There are tons of domestic options to get you to these cities. Both American Airlines and United Airlines offer frequent nonstop flights to O’Hare airport from around the country. Newark and Washington-Dulles are United’s primary East Coast hubs.

If you have some  Southwest Rapid Rewards points to spare, check out Scott’s post on booking a Southwest Award, Anatomy of an Award: How to Book an Award on Southwest. You might be able to book an award ticket to Newark or Chicago-Midway that would save a lot of money.

Also, if you are planning on turning in frequent flyer miles to get to Chicago or Washington-Dulles, don’t forget British Airways Avios. Avios are redeemable on American Airlines, their oneworld partner, and the award chart is distance based. Flights to Chicago/D.C. that are under 650 miles are only 4,500 Avios. For more information on booking American Airlines flights with Avios, see out Scott’s post,Free First Class Next Month: Using BA.com for oneworld Awards.

Will this deal last into next week? I need to do some travel planning first!

This appears to be one of those lightning deals that could disappear at any time. All domestic carriers, including United, now have a 24-hour cancellation policy. My strong advice is to book now to lock in the great fare. If you wait around, the sub-$500 fares will most likely be gone.

If you book tonight and find out the dates don’t work, simply call the airline or cancel online tomorrow. Just make sure you do so before the 24-hour cancellation window passes. Otherwise, you will have to pay a pricey cancellation or change fee!

**Note that airlines like KLM and Turkish Airlines do not appear to have as relaxed a cancellation policy as US carriers. You might end up paying a fee for cancelling with them.

Why is this deal in the FlyerTalk Mileage Run Forum? What exactly is that?

Mileage runs are airline tickets purchased with the sole goal of earning frequent flyer miles. Many FlyerTalkers are able to maintain their elite status by purchasing heavily discounted tickets (such as the fare above). The goal is to requalify for elite status for the least amount of money out of pocket. Elite status with an airline usually brings perks like priority boarding, free checked bags, complimentary upgrades to first class, and a whole host of other benefits. For more info, check out Scott’s post, Free First Class Next Month: Using FlyerTalk’s Mileage Run Forum.

Recap

I’ve never seen low fares like this offered to Istanbul. The fact that you can take advantage from three major US cities is great news. This is a last minute vacation idea that’s hard to beat.

Typically when fares like this are discovered, they don’t last long. If you are interested, you should book quickly and take advantage of United’s 24 hour cancellation policy if your plans fall through. Be warned that international carriers appear to have stricter cancellation policies. You need to be sure when booking through KLM or Turkish Airlines.

I earn a commission for some links on this blog. Citi is a MileValue partner.

For the past 24 hours, this thread on FlyerTalk has been buzzing with excitement about Alitalia’s most recent discount code that gave a flat $315.30 discount off any flight booked up until 10/26/12 on Alitalia’s Japanese website.

For several days, the US, Italian, German, British, Canadian, and Spanish Alitalia websites have been running a promotion that gives a 25% discount on flights booked using the e-Coupon code SPECIAL:

This was a nice upgrade from the 15% off promotion that Alitalia offered in September–covered in Mile Value’s first Forum Buzz post.

More enticingly, the version of the promotion offered on Alitalia’s Japanese website featured a flat discount of 25,000 Yen ($315.30 USD) on Alitalia flights purchased through the site when the e-Coupon code PROMOJP was used:

As you can imagine, a $315.30 discount on a cheap fare results in a very cheap ticket. There were multiple reports of $0.00 (yes, free) intra-Europe flights booked and ticketed successfully using this code!

It’s only been about 24 hours, so I can still jump on this right?

Nope, it’s dead. If you navigate to the Japanese Alitalia page and try to book any flight, you will be faced with this:

 Do I have any options apart from banging my head against the wall?

Yes. Console your self with this game: type promo.alitalia.com into your browser. It will automatically redirect to promo.alitalia.com/italy. Delete Italy and start plugging in some countries and see if you come up with something interesting, like this:

It’s another Alitalia flat-rate discount–on its Russian website. At 4,000 Rubles off–$129.38 USD–it is not nearly as lucrative as the Japan deal, but for flights that are $500 or less, this Russian discount is still a better deal than a 25% discount. The discount is valid for travel between 11/5/12 and 3/7/13 with blackout dates of 12/20/12 to 1/6/13.

How do I get in on this?

Use the Google Chrome or Safari browsers as they both have translation functions. Navigate to alitalia.com and change your country to Russia:

 On the next screen, direct your browser to translate the website:

You will then have a somewhat normal-appearing Alitalia website, with some quirky translations here and there. Click on Advanced Search to give yourself more flexibility with your flight search options:

Click Find Bargains–to see the cheapest days to fly–then enter your desired flight information. In this example, I want to go from Milan, Italy to Istanbul, Turkey. The airport code FCO–Rome– entered in the “from” box was changed to MXP, for Milan:

If your flight is not bookable–for example, a US domestic flight–you will get this error message:

Keep trying! You may have to get creative with dates and routing.  Once you have successfully chosen your preferred segments, you will see this page, which shows 3 weeks of flight availability from the date you chose:

After you select the date that you want to start your trip, you will then be able to select specific flights:

After choosing both flights, you will be presented with a page that confirms the details and price of your reservations. In this example, the pre-discount price is 6644 Rubles– $214.90. Enter the e-Coupon code PROMORU where prompted, and click Recalculate:

Your 4,000 Ruble discount will be subtracted from your ticket price:

This is a pretty sweet deal – I am getting a round trip ticket between Rome and Istanbul for 2644 Rubles–$85.52! On the next page, you will be prompted to enter the passenger details:

You will then be shown the payment screen. If you booked a flight that cost 4,000 Rubles or less and your total after the discount is $0.00 you can enter your contact information, sit back, and smile smugly. If you have to pay for your ticket, be sure to use a credit card with no foreign transaction fees:

After paying (or not), you will end on a confirmation screen with your e-ticket number (beginning with 055) and a six-character alpha-numeric reservation code:

How can I confirm that my $0.00 flight was ticketed?

First, check your email:

It should have a copy of the e-ticket.  But, like any canny cheapskate, you want more proof. If you navigate to Alitalia’s site to check your booking you may get an error message. I had the same problem when I tried to confirm my booking on checkmytrip.com.

However, according to this FlyerTalker, you can get confirmation that your flight was ticketed by going to saudiaairlines.com (a SkyTeam partner). Select Manage My Bookings then enter your e-ticket number and name where prompted:

You will see your e-ticket confirmation–as well as the itinerary, and the pre-coupon price of your ticket:

Can I fly anywhere on any SkyTeam airline?

No. Unlike the September 15% off promotion, the only flights available for both the 25% and 4,000 Rubles off promotions have been on Alitalia, not other Sky Team partners like Delta, Air France, or KLM.

So am I guaranteed a seat on that ridiculously cheap flight I just booked?

It seems very unlikely that Alitalia will honor the $0.00 fares, particularly those that originate outside of the US.  Even if flights originating in the US are not honored, there is no guarantee that the Department of Transportation will rule in our favor–remember how the United mistake fare of 4 Mileage Plus miles and $43 to Hong Kong turned out?  It seems reasonable to expect that they might honor tickets that weren’t too obviously underpriced–bookings for which there was an actual financial transaction.  However, there is at least one report of a cancellation from Alitalia because a flight booked from the Japanese website did not originate in Japan.

If I am actually able to check into my $0.00 flight, when should I start requesting upgrades, special meals, and lounge access because of my Delta status?

Just get on the plane. Don’t do anything that could result in unwanted scrutiny of your ticket.

Which deal is better – 25% off or $129.38 off?

Both deals start to match each other for value when the ticket price approaches $500. A $500 ticket will cost $375.00 after a 25% discount and $370.62 after the $129.38 discount. So, for tickets cheaper than $500, book through the Russian website for the flat rate discount as you will get a better deal.

Anything else I should know?

If you plan to make multiple purchases, consider calling your credit card company to let them know that there may be multiple charges from Russia on your card so that the card is not frozen for fear of fraud.

Clear your cookies and cache from your browser after searches if the Alitalia website gets buggy.

Most importantly–don’t do this if you can’t afford to lose the money that you spend to buy these tickets, as there are no guarantees about how refunds will be managed if the tickets are cancelled.

Recap

Alitalia is running a worldwide promotion that offers 25% off all Alitalia-operated flights booked on its US website. This strong promotion was overshadowed by the more sensational offer of a flat 25,00 Yen or $315.30 discount once available on Alitalia’s Japanese website. This offer has been pulled.

However, there is a less-publicized discount of $129.38 on Alitalia’s Russian website which makes it possible to fly on Alitalia for free or very cheaply on lower cost routes. The PROMORU discount is a better deal than the 25% discount for fares $500 or less. Both the 25% and $129.38 discounts are available for use until 10/26/12, and are valid for travel dates between 11/5/12 and 3/7/13. The blackout dates are from 12/20/12 to 1/6/12.

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United is offering its direct flight from Newark to Honolulu for $420.40 roundtrip on several dates in November and December! I hear Hawaii has better weather than New York that time of year.

For all my Oahu-based readers, the same deal is available in reverse December 3 -11.

How do you get in on the deal?

The easiest way is to start at matrix.itasoftware.com. Type in EWR-HNL or HNL-EWR. Tell the software your desired vacation length and give it a date to start searching.

After hitting search, you’ll get a thirty-day calendar. The price listed on each date is the cheapest vacation of your desired length starting on that date. Here is the seven-night vacation calendar from Newark to Honolulu from November 14 – December 14:

As you can see, the cheapest seven-night vacations start November 27-29 and December 3-5. Here’s November 28 – December 5. The westbound flight is in the afternoon, and the eastbound is a redeye.

I would start on ITA because it will quickly show you all possible dates at the cheapest price. Once you find the itinerary you want, head to united.com and input your dates. It was easy enough to reproduce the same flights from above.

This fare earns 9,924 United redeemable and status miles. That works out to 4.2 cents per mile, nearly mileage run worthy, and definitely vacation worthy!

Hat tip: Dan’s Deals

Let’s meet up at the Chicago Seminars. For more great posts like this, sign up for the MileValue RSS feed, like the MileValue facebook page, or follow me on Twitter @milevalue. Get your friends involved too, so you can have more companions for your Free First Class Next Month.

 

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