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Scott McMurren

Here's a mini-roundup of some great air fares. Some are available for just a few days in May -- but it's worth it to stop and check your calendar.

Here are some of my favorites:...

Scott McMurren

As the days get longer, Alaskans are busy preparing for summer.

But before the flowers are in full bloom, there are also a couple of glorious months before the kids get out of school. The pre-season and early-season deals are rolling out around the state. Here is the first of several reports on good deals for trips right in our own backyard:...

Scott McMurren

Airlines add and drop routes all the time. That’s particularly true here in Alaska, since many more people flock to the Great Land in the summertime.

This seasonal imbalance also explains why some of the best airfare deals are during the peak summer months. That’s a little counterintuitive, until you understand that airlines have two important functions: to maximize the yield on any given flight, while fighting off any competitive service which might diminish that yield. It’s the “fighting off any competitive service” that often yields some great deals. That’s why travelers almost always win when airlines are mad at each other...

Scott McMurren

The air fare scene for Anchorage travelers is improving as carriers ramp up for summer flights. Plus, there’s a nice event next Saturday to kick-start your in-state travel plans.

If you want to travel during April, you can pick from several popular destinations:

• Anchorage-Philadelphia for $378 round trip on United . This is a great deal -- and represents the least-expensive East Coast destination from Anchorage. In fact, it’s less than a ticket to Seattle (even on United!).

• Anchorage-Portland for $380 round trip, nonstop on Alaska Airlines . Can't beat nonstops...

Scott McMurren
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Last month I took the Alaska Railroad’s weekly “Aurora Train” from Anchorage to Fairbanks and then farther north to Wiseman for more stunning views of the aurora borealis...

Scott McMurren

Here’s the good news for aurora watchers: The best is yet to come. That said, it’s a good idea to plan now so you’re in a good position to view the nighttime show later this month!

Last month I took the Alaska Railroad ’s weekly “Aurora Train” from Anchorage to Fairbanks. It’s a 12-hour trip offering stunning views of the frozen countryside. There are several places where -- if the weather cooperates -- you have unimpeded views of North America's tallest peak, Denali. One such spot north of Talkeetna is called by the conductors “Kodachrome Corner.” There, the train comes to a full stop and passengers take turns leaning out between the cars for that “perfect shot” of The Great One...

Scott McMurren

It’s a thrill a minute among the airlines serving Alaska. Almost all of them are busy positioning for the summer travel season with new routes and special fares. Plus, there are some good bargains for travel right now.

First, let’s review some hot springtime deals from JetBlue. The New York-based airline will return to Alaska on May 17, bringing some rock-bottom fares:

• Anchorage-Seattle as low as $196 roundtrip, starting May 17.

• Anchorage-Long Beach as low as $256 roundtrip, starting May 17.

• Anchorage-Boston as low as $383 roundtrip, starting May 19 (via Seattle).

• Anchorage-Austin, TX as low as $397 roundtrip, starting May 17 (via Long Beach).

• Anchorage-Sacramento as low as $364 roundtrip, starting May 17 (via Long Beach)...

Scott McMurren

Every day during February and March, many travelers are headed south on planes that pass over Southeast Alaska. On a clear day, they can look out the window on the left side and see Juneau.

For many Alaskans, that’s as close as they ever will get to our capital city. And that’s a shame.

If you've never visited your state capital during the legislative session -- you should. Here are some of the issues the Alaska Legislature is working on this year:...

Scott McMurren

News flash: Air fares are high in Alaska. Rates are particularly spendy if you start somewhere other than Anchorage. From Kodiak to Seattle, for example, the lowest fare is $846 round-trip. Fly from Nome to San Francisco for $875 round-trip. Just to get to Anchorage from Dutch Harbor costs $1,000 round-trip.

There are tips and tricks to trim the cost of a ticket. But if there’s just one airline -- or lots of demand for the seats -- you’re going to pay a lot for a seat on the plane...

Scott McMurren

Let’s get the New Year off to a good start with a low-fare roundup. All of our friends in the airline world are back at their stations -- and faced with the task of filling up those vacant seats on their planes. Each company has its own bag of tricks, including bonus miles and fare sales. Last week, one regional airline even changed its name: Era Alaska became Ravn Alaska ...

Scott McMurren