Tuesday 27 January, 2004 

Good morning/afternoon

Special Airfare Alert

With almost predictable regularity, BA have come out with their annual January air fare specials to Britain.  But this one has some extra twists in it that are particularly good value, and so you might want to consider taking advantage of this fare quickly.

The BA deals are from all their gateway cities in the US, and cover travel any time between 3 Feb and 17 Dec - almost the entire year.  A very low fare ($198 roundtrip from New York, more from other cities) applies for travel 3 Feb - 4 April and 28 Oct - 17 Dec; a higher fare ($306 from NY, more from other cities) for travel 5 Apr - 27 Oct.  Taxes are extra, and travel on Thursdays-Sundays costs $30 more.

Good value #1 :  You can change your travel dates after purchasing the tickets (for a $200 change fee, and subject to availability).  You also have up to 72 hours between when you book your ticket and when you need to pay for it.

Good value #2 :  Upgrades to World Traveler Plus (see my review that explains the difference) are less than previously offered; about $400 extra roundtrip.  This is definitely money well spent for most of us.

Good value #3 :  These specials also entitle you to one discounted night in a central London hotel, per person.  You pay only $25 for this hotel night - easily a saving of $100 over what you'd normally pay.  This makes the air fare even better value.

Suggestion :  Take advantage of these fares to travel to/from Britain and join our Scotland and/or England tours this May.  You could even use them as a cheap way to get to London, then buy a separate ticket from London to Russia to join our Russian tour (that's what I'll be doing).

Almost certainly, other major carriers will respond with similar fares, so if you'd prefer to fly on Virgin Atlantic Airways or another US carrier, book your BA flights now, but take advantage of the 72 hour hold before you need to pay.  If your preferred other airline has matched the BA fares before the end of the 72 hours, then switch carriers.  If not, buy the BA tickets you've already booked and confirmed.

The air fares are only on sale through Thursday, 12 February.  At present there is good availability for both air travel and hotel rooms, but don't wait too long to take advantage of this great value.  Full details on BA's website, or from your preferred travel agent.

Until Friday's regular newsletter, please enjoy safe travels

                          David M Rowell aka The Travel Insider

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