Planning a mid-winter getaway? It may be worthwhile to get out your calendar and pick some dates -- especially if Seattle is on your agenda.
Alaska Airlines is offering Seattle tickets from Anchorage for as little as $389 roundtrip between Jan. 7 and Feb. 2, 2013. It's part of the airline's weekly Club 49 specials, so you have to purchase the tickets no later than Thursday (Dec. 13) evening. I'll bet we'll see more deals to Seattle going forward, particularly when jetBlue announces its fares for the airline’s new Anchorage-Seattle service starting in May.
If you want to travel to Los Angeles in January or February, take advantage of deals on both Delta and United for as little as $349 roundtrip from Anchorage. Sure, you have to fly through four different time zones to get there, but it's a great deal. With United, you fly through Denver. On Delta, it's via Salt Lake City or Minneapolis.
Headed to Arizona? United is offering a great high-season rate of $467 roundtrip from Anchorage. There are plenty of dates available for January and February. Hang up your snow shovel and get ready for some sun.
St. Louis gateway
Do you want to go to St. Louis? Me neither. But if you check the rates to nearby Chicago, Minneapolis or Memphis, you might find it's cheaper to fly there from Anchorage on Delta and then rent a car. Delta is offering Anchorage-St. Louis tickets for as little as $449 roundtrip. And United matched the fare, just to be sporting. Plenty of January and February dates remain.
I love Boston; don't you? It's especially nice when it's the least-expensive gateway to the East Coast. Both Delta and United are offering Anchorage-Boston tickets in January and February for as little as $481 roundtrip. In fact, if you pick the dates right, you can grab a ticket for as little as $478 roundtrip.
Remember, when you're flying on Delta Air Lines, you're earning Alaska Airlines miles. Delta and Alaska have a good arrangement--and miles flown on Delta count toward your upper-tier mileage status (MVP and MVP Gold). The same is true for Delta frequent flyers who travel on Alaska Airlines.
Since United offers year-round nonstop service from Anchorage to both Seattle and Denver, the Star Alliance is more valuable for Alaska travelers. USAirways is another Star Alliance partner -- and offers nonstop year-round service between Anchorage and Phoenix.
Iceland, Germany bargains
Are you ready for some deals over-the-top to Europe? Me too. Let's start with Icelandair, which begins nonstop service from Anchorage on May 16. Travel to Reykjavik, the capital city, that month for as little as $687 roundtrip. Icelandair also offers connecting service to many destinations on the continent, including Oslo, Paris, Amsterdam and Milan.
Condor German Airlines is spooling up its seasonal service between Anchorage and Frankfurt on May 7. RIght now, fares start at $912 roundtrip between Anchorage and the heart of Europe.
Keep an eye on PenAir's website for deals between now and Dec. 23. PenAir will be offering a deal each day via email for travel to Western Alaska. It's their own little "12 Days of Christmas" sale.
• Best travel credit cards: http://cardsfortravel.com
• Condor Airlines: http://www.condor.com
• Icelandair: http://www.icelandair.com
• Good "deals at a glance" air fare map: http://www.farecompare.com/maps/
• Good calendar of available air fare deals between two cities: http://matrix.itasoftware.com
• Delta: http://www.delta.com
• Alaska Airlines: http://www.alaskaair.com
• PenAir: http://www.penair.com
• United: http://www.united.com
• US Airways: http://www.usairways.com
• jetBlue: http://www.jetblue.com
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.