Monday, July 23, 2012

New Routes, Veteran's Perks, Discount Fares: A Round-Up of Airfare News

All good news today on the airline front. Let's get started!

Free Flights for WWII Veterans to the Monuments of DC
A big "hooah!" for Southwest Airlines which has pledged to work with the Honor Flight Network, an organization that helps bring veterans to the nation's capital to see its monuments. Through 2015, the airline will donate $1.2 million worth of flights to World War II veterans. For more on that, click here.The Honor Flight Network has given more than 8,000 veterans free trips to DC since 2005, when the organization was founded.

Island Hopping in Hawaii Gets More Affordable
Over the past year, Hawaiian Airlines has increased its numbers of inter-island flight by 13% and its planning on doing even more of them. With increasing numbers of flyers, happily, comes decreasing costs and the airline is claiming that the fares may drop by as much as 25% in some cases (though the recent discounts seem more in the 10% range). Hawaiian TV station KHON2 posted this article on the new fares and itineraries.

Non-Stops in the Pipeline Between Chicago and Berlin
And they're from upstart airline Air Berlin which will start service on March 23, 2013. Posted one-way, non-stop fares start at $818 which is the least expensive spring fares one can find for this route from other carriers. But there's a big difference: none of those other airlines fly non-stop between these two cities. For more, click on the link above.

Eurofly's Name Change to Meridiana
Somehow I missed this one (sorry!). But last year, Eurofly, the airline that had been offering low-priced, direct flights from the US to Italy each summer, changed its name to that of its parent company, Meridiana (apparently the planes still are painted "Eurofly" though). For most of the summer of 2012 (June 15-Sept 28) Meridiana offered competitively-priced, direct flights from New York's JFK to both Naples and Palermo. Alas, the lowest cost seats are gone for this year (they came in at about $900 round-trip, not a bad price for Italy, particularly Sicily), but they are sure to return next summer. Insider tip: Unlike other airlines, Meridiana doesn't charge extra for bookings made over the phone. In fact, they hold back some discounts for phone bookings so be sure to call the number of the website as well as plug in your dates to the online engine.

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