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Deadline nears for Alaska Airlines 'Club 49' summer travel deals

Scott McMurren
Alaska Airlines logo

There is a tight little bundle of airfare bargains this week. Many of them must be purchased by Thursday, June 28. That's because they're part of the weekly "Club 49" sale with Alaska Airlines.

Fly between Anchorage and Ketchikan for $258 roundtrip. This is a great deal -- usually the midsummer fare approaches $450 roundtrip. The sale fare is valid between July 17-Aug. 14, 2012.

Ketchikan is one of my favorite summertime destinations. Right downtown, the streets are bustling with cruise passengers who fan out each morning on flightseeing trips, fishing expeditions, kayak excursions and zipline adventures. Later in the afternoon, there's plenty of room to move, though. I love driving out to Herring Cove; chances are good you'll see black bears wandering the beach. Or head north of town to Clover Pass Resort and watch the whales jump out of the water! Last time I was there, we took the Inter-island ferry across to Prince of Wales Island. Learn more

Have you been to Yakutat? Me, neither. But Alaska's $203 roundtrip fare makes it a tempting midsummer destination. Again, fly between July 17-Aug. 14, 2012 to get the great rate. Purchase by Thursday, June 28.

Alaska Airlines is battling both Frontier Airlines and United Airlines on the Anchorage-Denver route. In fact, United recently announced it plans to fly the route year-round. So it comes as no surprise that Alaska is offering a "Club 49" push for Denver. Not just from Anchorage, either. The Anchorage-Denver rate is great, though: just $395 roundtrip between Aug. 14-Sept. 1, 2012. From Nome, Kotzebue or Bethel, the cost is $563 roundtrip. That's a great deal from Bush Alaska to the Mile High City.

If you're up in Fairbanks and you want to fly to Denver, take the nonstop on Frontier Airlines for as little as $396 roundtrip in July. That's the best deal to and from Fairbanks this summer! And it's nonstop!

Of the seasonal carriers that descend on Anchorage each May, only jetBlue Airways really has offered consistently great air fares. Sun Country is a disappointment in the price competition category for Anchorage-Minneapolis travel. Air Canada to Vancouver? Forget 'em. Frontier Airlines and its service to Denver offers up some occasional bargains -- but they're spotty, at least from Anchorage. American Airlines? Who are they, anyway?

You still can find some great rates between Anchorage and Long Beach on jetBlue -- as low as $323 roundtrip for travel between Aug. 24-Sept. 1, 2012.

JetBlue's single flight has enraged not just Alaska Airlines, but also Delta and USAirways. All three carriers offer cut-rate flights to L.A.-area airports to compete with jetBlue. But only Alaska has offered consistent bargains -- in this case with its Anchorage-L.A. rates of $330 roundtrip between July 11-Sept. 2, 2012. The best rates apply on the nonstop Anchorage-LAX flights.

The prices on the Anchorage-Frankfurt flights with Condor Airlines change all the time. You still can scoop up a ticket in July for as little as $1,131 roundtrip (July 22-Aug. 14, 2012). Or, choose a September departure for as little as $884 roundtrip (Sept. 11-25, 2012). Condor offers three nonstops each week from Anchorage to Frankfurt. A fourth weekly departure (on Thursdays) stops in Fairbanks.

Speaking of Fairbanks departures, they're a little more expensive. Between Fairbanks and Frankfurt, fly August 9-30, 2012, for $1,326. Residents of Southeast Alaska make the trek up to Whitehorse to pick up Condor's Sunday nonstop to Frankfurt. Fly July 8-Aug. 5, 2012 for $1,209 roundtrip.

That's the low-fare roundtrip for the week. Again, many of the best rates must be purchased by Thursday, June 28.

Scott McMurren is an Anchorage-based travel marketing consultant who has lived in Alaska for three decades, spending much of that time traveling the far-flung corners of the state. Visit his website at www.alaskatravelgram.com. And follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/alaskatravelgrm for breaking updates.