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Scott McMurren

Would you like to fly from Anchorage to Houston for $334 roundtrip? How about Anchorage to Salt Lake City for $326 roundtrip?

USAirways , a wholly-owned subsidiary of American Airlines , is cutting the price for travel to United ’s hub in Houston and Delta ’s hub in Salt Lake City. There is a two-week advance purchase required. The rates are valid in November and December (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas). Travelers will also find these rates available through April, 2015.

Why?

Because both Delta and United are undercutting USAirways on flights into its major hub in Phoenix...

Scott McMurren

Here in Anchorage, we enjoy great air service, particularly in the summer. In recent years, we’ve seen more options for travel over the top to Europe and to gateways in the eastern U.S.

Most of the long-haul nonstops are gone for the winter, including Anchorage-Frankfurt, Anchorage-Reykjavik, Anchorage-Atlanta and nonstops to Newark, Houston and Dallas.

But let’s take a close look at the nonstop options available during the winter -- and the prevailing rates...

Scott McMurren
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There’s nothing like a fresh coat of snow to remind you that winter comes earlier in Fairbanks. It’s not exactly a surprise, although there is still a learning curve in terms of stopping and going on icy streets...

Scott McMurren

There’s nothing like a fresh coat of snow to remind you that winter comes earlier in Fairbanks. It’s not exactly a surprise, although there is still a learning curve in terms of stopping and going on icy streets.

But Fairbanksans behave a bit differently in the winter weather. In fact, they’ve started inviting guests from around the world to see the sights of Alaska’s far north: the ice, the snow and the northern lights.

This week, Fairbanks hosted the annual convention for the Alaska Travel Industry Association . Aside from being an end-of-season get-together, the convention offers a glimpse into what’s new for travelers who want to see more of the area...

Scott McMurren

It’s as predictable as the Permanent Fund dividend itself: the rush of PFD airfare deals presented each year to coincide with the annual cash dump into Alaskans’ bank accounts.

Alaska Airlines is leading the charge with a volley of deals from Alaska cities to the Lower 48. Destinations in Hawaii and Mexico are not included in the PFD sale.

Anchorage travelers benefit from a robust competitive market, so it’s not unusual to have airfare sales all the time. But in far-flung destinations like Nome, Bethel, Kodiak and Ketchikan , the PFD bargains are the best deals of the year...

Scott McMurren

Many travelers are poised with their calendars close at hand for the annual Permanent Fund dividend airfare sales. In particular, I fully expect a fare sale from Alaska Airlines closer to the distribution date of the annual dividend. If it’s like previous years, that sale will offer some great deals for travelers in Alaska Airlines cities such as Kodiak, Nome, Petersburg and Bethel.

While we’re waiting on the big event, let’s take a look at some of the great deals now available for fall travel until early December. Many of these deals are also available between January and April 2015...

Scott McMurren
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Many Alaskans have grown up visiting Kenai Fjords National Park. Specifically, we’ve taken the boat trips from Seward to go see the glaciers, the mountains and the spectacular wildlife: whales, otters, puffins, seals, sea lions -- even the occasional mountain goat...

Scott McMurren

The kids are in school. Labor Day has come and gone. Still, are you ready to say goodbye to the sizzling summer of 2014?

All together now: “N-o-o-o-o-o-!”

September is a glorious month for summer’s last stand. Here are a few tips to enjoy a few more fun times before getting to the messy business of putting studded tires on your car.

One of the best features of Alaska Airlines’ Mileage Plan is the in-state award. For as little as 15,000 miles, you can fly from Anchorage or Fairbanks (or any jet city) to Juneau or Ketchikan. Along the Inside Passage, summer lasts for another month due to the cruise ship schedule. That means all the fun activities are still open for business...

Scott McMurren

My friend Alan Swensen had a great phrase regarding airfares: “Fare wars are like buses. One comes around every few minutes.”

That’s true in Anchorage, but not so much in the rest of the state. As summer-only airlines pack their bags and head south, fares are going up in Fairbanks and Juneau. In Anchorage, more complex competitive currents point to a nice collection of destinations on sale between mid-September and mid-October. Here’s a “Top 10” list of the best deals.

1. Get lucky with flights to Las Vegas. Delta Air Lines is offering a $386 roundtrip fare between Anchorage and Las Vegas, Sept 15-Oct. 12. Or, you can pay a little more ($413 roundtrip) to fly on Alaska Airlines nonstop...

Scott McMurren

Getting around Alaska can be a daunting process. We live in a big state, and the roads stop short of some of the best destinations. Mind you, road trips are great. But if you want the best views, you need to “get high," up in the air. Grab your camera and buckle your seatbelt...

Scott McMurren

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