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Want a super travel deal? Set your sights on fall

  • Author: Scott McMurren
    | Alaska Travel
  • Updated: May 19, 2017
  • Published May 18, 2017

If you haven't made your summer travel plans yet, there still are a couple of great deals to fly out of state. Three of them, actually. Then there are a few OK deals. But if you want a superbargain, set your sights on travel during the fall.

JetBlue has the best price from Anchorage to Seattle: $69 one-way, starting June 7. Pick any day in June, though. The fare on the red-eye flight is anywhere from $69 to $84 one-way. The return flights range from $141 to $176.

The other great deal to Seattle is Delta's first class tickets: just $183 one-way from Anchorage starting June 7. What's the catch? Well, to get that rate coming back, you have to wait until July 23. Alaska Airlines has brought down its first class fares, too. But not that low.

There are many things I like about JetBlue's nonstop flight from Anchorage to Portland. The arrival time at 4:40 a.m. is not one of them. But for $71 one-way (starting June 7), I can get over it. The northbound Portland-Anchorage flights range from $123 to $209 one-way.

It's too bad JetBlue no longer flies nonstop from Anchorage to Long Beach, California. Because of less competition to the Los Angeles area, what used to be a "great" deal is now just OK. Fly nonstop from Anchorage to LAX for as little as $370 roundtrip on Alaska Air.

Juneau travelers can get a great deal to LA, now that Delta is resuming its seasonal service later this month. The fare is just $258 round-trip, compared to Alaska's lowest rate of $326 round-trip.

The other great deal at the top of the heap this week is Condor's mileage deal with Alaska. Although the mileage mashup had been announced, the airlines were not offering award tickets. Until now.

On Condor's May 23 departure from Anchorage to Frankfurt, you can fly nonstop for as little as 30,000 Alaska Air miles one-way. On the return, the nonstops were pricing out at 40,000 miles. Taxes and fees are around $142.

Aside from Frankfurt, you can shop on Alaska Air's website for many of Condor's destinations beyond Frankfurt, including the Seychelle Islands, Nairobi, Namibia, Greece, Italy and Northern Africa. Condor doesn't fly to all of its destinations daily — so travelers can get a free stop in Frankfurt.

There are a few other summertime deals that aren't too bad. But as a rule, rates are higher and it's tougher to get the great deals during June, July and August.

I like the fare from Fairbanks to Seattle on Delta for $287 round-trip, compared to $324 round-trip on Alaska. Just be sure to compare the whole price. For example, Delta charges extra for seat assignments on the "basic economy" fares and baggage fees as well.

Alaska Air includes preassigned seats and offers two free checked bags to members of its Club 49 program.

There are some great deals for travel in the fall, but you have to fly from Alaska to the Lower 48 to pick up the flight. That's where airline miles come in (or you might find a good price on the right dates).

Starting Sept. 17, 2017, Norwegian Air will start nonstop flights from Seattle to London's Gatwick Airport on new Boeing 787s. There still are $200 one-way seats available (on Sept. 25 or Sept. 29).

Return flights are available for as little as $250 one-way. Norwegian will offer four flights per week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Even though Norwegian charges for everything (seat assignments, bag check and meals), I think it's a great deal.

Earlier this year, I cashed in some Alaska Air miles to get to Oakland, California, where I caught a Norwegian flight to London. Norwegian also flies nonstop from Oakland to Barcelona. Prices start at $487 round-trip on Oct. 4, but dip to $399 round-trip starting Oct. 27.

From Oakland, Norwegian also flies nonstop to Stockholm for as little as $380 roundtrip, starting Sept. 15. The price to Oslo (nonstop) starts at $400 round-trip, beginning Sept. 30.

Across the bay at San Francisco's airport, you can catch a ride on Wow Air for $130 one-way to Reykjavik, Iceland, starting Sept. 10. The return flight costs about $240.

Honolulu is a great place to relax and get a sun tan. But lately, it's become a jumping-off point for some great deals to Australia and Asia.

Starting on June 28, you can travel from Honolulu to Sydney nonstop with Jetstar. Jetstar is owned by Qantas and flies new 787 Dreamliners. The return trip costs $249. Compare that with Hawaiian's price of $1,097 round-trip.

June 28 is the date Malaysian discounter AirAsia starts flying nonstop from Honolulu to Osaka's Kansai Airport. The cheapest seats for July and August are mostly gone.

But starting Oct. 13, you can fly from Honolulu to Osaka for as little as $316 round-trip. On the same date, you can fly all the way from Honolulu to Kuala Lumpur for as little as $557 round-trip. AirAsia also has great prices to dozens of destinations in Asia via its hub in Kuala Lumpur.

To find the best deals, I use the "maps" feature at Unfortunately, the fares Kayak displays are not always accurate, so I check with Google Flights or Google's ITA software site and using the "calendar" function to see a variety of dates. Then, I'll check the individual airline's website.

It's possible we'll see some more great fares for summer travel. But Alaska is a popular destination this year, which means most of the airplane seats are booked. That can be your excuse to get out and see Alaska this summer. Then, make sure your passport is current and plan now for a fall getaway!

Scott McMurren is an Anchorage-based marketing consultant, serving clients in the transportation, hospitality, media and specialty destination sectors, among others. Contact him by email at You can follow him on Twitter (@alaskatravelGRM) and For more information, visit

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