Image: Auckland
Fly Down Under at a discount via California cities, plus get a free stopover within the South Pacific or New Zealand, from just $682 round-trip.
updated 5/18/2009 2:30:48 PM ET 2009-05-18T18:30:48

Book by: ASAP
Travel by: Select periods through summer

The deal
Summer is synonymous with vacation, and with the unofficial start of the season — Memorial Day — already here the weekend after next, now's the optimum time to get a jump-start on booking your sunny-season flight. Nab terrifically discounted domestic fares, as a handful of carriers battle it out in an all-out U.S. fare war, or take advantage of transatlantic fares that are easily 30 to 40 percent less than their summer highs last year. Plus, fly to South America, Australia, and even Japan for less. Fares start from $49 each way.

Jump to: 
$49+: Discounted domestic fareson Delta (One-Way)
$49+: Fly to nine California cities on Southwest (One-Way)
$295*+: London on British Airways w/$100 off hotel stays (one-way)
$398+: Aer Lingus to Ireland – discounts for multi travelers (round-trip)
$499+: Europe flights on Icelandair w/free stopover (round-trip)
$525+: South America on Aerolíneas Argentinas via Miami (round-trip)
$682+: Australia via Cali on Air New Zealand – stopover incl. (round-trip)
$636+: Japan fares from 40+ cities on JAL (round-trip)
$49+: Discounted domestic fares on Delta (one-way)

The deal: We’re currently in the midst of a major summer fare war between a handful of U.S. carriers — United, Alaska Airlines, and Southwest among them — that is slated to wind down as soon as May 14. That’s what makes us particularly keen on Delta’s likeminded summer promo, which is valid well into next week, and features discounted rates to practically every U.S. city that the carrier flies to. 

Sample one-way fares: Detroit–Baltimore $49; Portland–Salt Lake City $71; New Orleans–NYC $89; Dallas/Fort Worth–Atlanta $84; San Francisco–NYC $109; and more

The catch: The lowest fares are valid on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and blackout dates apply around the Memorial Day and 4th of July holidays.

Travel by: September 14

Book by: May 18
$49+: Fly to nine California cities on Southwest (one-way)

The deal: Make way for the California coastline this summer and save, courtesy of Southwest’s sale to nine Cali destinations, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and more.

Sample one-way fares: Chicago–Los Angeles $99; Phoenix–San Diego $49; Denver–San Francisco $69; Dallas–Sacramento $99; and more

The catch: Travel is not valid on Fridays or Sundays, and is blacked out during summer holiday periods.

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Travel by: October 28

Book by: May 14
$295*+: London on British Airways w/$100 off hotel stays (one-way)

The deal: Compared to this time last year, the dollar is faring particularly well against the pound, and summer fares to London are priced at a fraction of the cost — now's the perfect time to visit London for less. Not only has British Airways announced flights to London from $295 one-way, but they're sweetening the pot by offering $100 credit towards stays at select hotels when flying the airline to London (or other destinations in Europe).

Sample one-way fares to London from: NYC $295; Boston $349; Chicago $310; and more

The catch: A $30 surcharge (each way) applies to flights that occur Thursday through Sunday.

Travel by: May 25–September 2

Book by: May 19
$398+: Aer Lingus to Ireland – discounts for multi travelers (round-trip)

The deal: Aer Lingus’ "Super Seat Sale" is just the ticket to get you — and up to three of your fave traveling companions — across the Atlantic at bargain rates this summer. Savings vary based on the number of fares purchased, but expect to save anywhere from $190 to $336 per person. Case in point: buy one round-trip ticket to Dublin or Shannon via Boston and pay $588; two tickets sell for $956 ($478 per person); three go for $1,320 ($440 per person); and four sell for $1,592 ($398 per person).

Sample round-trip fares per person (based on purchase of four tickets): NYC–Dublin $398; Chicago–Shannon $478; San Francisco–Dublin $672; and more

The catch:
All travelers must be booked on the same itinerary.

Travel by: June 16–August 22

Book by: May 15
$499+: Europe flights on Icelandair w/free stopover (round-trip)

The deal: Passengers flying Icelandair to European cities like Amsterdam, London, Oslo, Stockholm, and more, will not only enjoy reduced rates from just $499 round-trip, but are also entitled to a free stopover in Iceland — perfect for a little break en route to take a dip in geothermal hot springs or have a sip in Reykjavik's happening nightspots. 

Sample round-trip fares: NYC–Amsterdam $569; Seattle–London $759; Boston–Oslo $619; and more

The catch: The stopover in Iceland can not last longer than four days.

Travel by: Select periods from June 15 through September 12

Book by: ASAP
$525+: South America on Aerolíneas Argentinas via Miami (round-trip)

The deal: Aerolíneas Argentinas has posted some outstanding deals on fares to Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and more, via Miami, from just $525 round-trip. Yes, it’s winter in South America, but temps there are still generally mild, and popular tourist spots are pleasantly devoid of crowds.

Sample one-way fares from Miami to: Buenos Aires $525; Rio de Janeiro $625; Santiago de Chile $525; and more

The catch: You’ll have to arrange transportation to Miami on another carrier.

Travel by: September 30

Book by: ASAP
$682+: Australia via Cali on Air New Zealand stopover incl. (round-trip)

The deal: Fly Down Under at a discount via California cities, plus get a free stopover within the South Pacific or New Zealand, from just $682 round-trip. Take off to destinations like Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and more, and you'll be able to touch down in the exotic South Pacific (Cook Islands, Samoa, or Tonga) or in Auckland, New Zealand at no additional charge.

Sample one-way fares: L.A.–Melbourne $682; San Francisco–Sydney $682; LA-Gold Coast $568; and more

The catch: It’s winter on the southern side of the globe – plan your trip carefully, as destinations like Auckland can be downright frigid.

Travel by: July 26–December 2

Book by: May 19
$636+: Japan fares from 40+ cities on JAL (round-trip)

The deal: Set your sights on the "Land of the Rising Sun" this summer and snag some super-low fares for travel to Japan from $636 round-trip. Fly Japan Airlines to Tokyo, Osaka, and other Japanese destinations from more than 40 U.S. cities.

Sample one-way fares: Honolulu–Tokyo $636; San Francisco–Osaka $774; NYC–Nagoya $804; and more

The catch: Weekend departures may cost more and the very lowest fares are available in September only.

Travel by: June 5–September 30

Book by: May 29 

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