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I hinted at this amazing sale on airare to the Caribbean here, but as it is still going on (thanks to @theflightdeal for the tweets), I think it deserves its own post. If you live in or around Houston or Newark, and have a desire to head to the Caribbean to locations such as St. Lucia, Grand Cayman, Montego Bay, Antigua, and more you can do so through 2015 (on select dates) for around $200 per round trip ticket on American Airlines and US Airways operated flights.
Prices for tickets to the Caribbean can fluctuate, but a ticket in the range of $400 – $500 or more is pretty common, so $200 all-in for a round trip ticket is very good.
To search I have been using ITA Matrix calendar search to look for dates that might work at the lower fares. You then have to actually go to another site to book as you can’t book from ITA Matrix. I have been going to American’s website to book as you can put flights on hold there for 24 hours to think about it and/or look for something even better.
The only downside I see to these Caribbean sale fares is that most of the dates require an overnight in route somewhere to get the lowest price, often Miami (though I have seen Dallas, too). Also, some of the fares on ITA Matrix without overnights don’t actually seem bookable. I was able to recreate some of them by using multi-city search on AA’s website, but even then some of them don’t seem to work. I have a friend who was able to book tickets out of Houston to Montego Bay without an overnight, so it is/was possible, but most of the super low fares will require overnights coming and/or going.
That will be viewed as a big negative for some, while others may thing of a night or two in Miami as a bonus!
Very good airfare opportunities such as this are part of the reason why I strongly suggest having points you can use at a fixed cash value for travel in addition to traditional airline miles. I recommend using traditional airline miles when the price of the ticket you want to buy is high and points that can be used at a fixed value like cash such as via the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® when the airfare prices are very good. Those type of points allow you to take advantage of great sales while still keeping money in your pocket – plus you will actually earn airline miles on the flights that you can then use to help pay for another ticket in the future.
These fares are also a great example of why I believe in the saying “chase the fare, not the destination“. This means you will usually come out further ahead if you are open to different destinations based on which low fares you stumble across, rather than being fixed on one specific destination on one specific set of dates and you have to just hope a low fare will appear for your exact needs. That can happen, but pouncing when you find a low fare to a place that sounds pretty great often results in scoring a better price.
I’d love to hear if you book one of these fares so I can be super excited for you (and a little jealous)!
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