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You’ve seen the advertisements, and your jaw has probably dropped once or twice while searching for fares: low-cost airlines, carriers offering fares that seem too good to be true, are bubbling up all over the world nowadays. While many travelers (wrongly) assume that budget airlines will provide the same level of service at a dramatically lower price, savvy flyers know better. The question then, of course, is simple: Can a low-cost airline really help you save on the total cost of your trip?
Getting from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Chicago, Illinois can be accomplished on a lot of carriers, so we’ll use this city pair to break down and investigate the true cost of flying cheap. Read more
The southwest sun is probably reason enough to look forward to an escape to Albuquerque, but there’s plenty more to enjoy in New Mexico’s largest city than warmth. In an effort to get you outside the boardroom and into Burque (as the locals say), we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings. Read more
Travelers flying to and from the Sunshine State will see a price hike across a handful of major carriers. United has raised one-way ticket prices on all Florida markets $10, while Delta, Southwest, and American followed suit with increases on most of their Florida routes. US Airways endeavored to push through a $10 spike on a larger portion of its domestic network but balked, limiting the increase to just the Florida region.
This is the 15th attempt by airlines to bump up domestic fare prices in 2012, seven of which have gotten the green light; last year, nine of the 22 proposed increases were successful.
On the fringes of the Moab desert and located in the heart of the Red Rock Canyons of southwest Colorado rests Gateway Canyons Resort. The upscale adventure retreat is currently offering an exclusive package to ShermansTravel.com readers, which offers room nights from $179, with 50% off the second night on any two night stay. Or, stay three nights at the $179 rate and receive the 3rd night free!
Guests booking this exclusive offer will also receive $100 in added amenities, which include:
• A complimentary bottle of wine upon arrival
• Unlimited admission to the Discovery HD Theater
• 2 Passes to the Gateway Colorado Auto Museum
• 25% off spa services at SpaTerre
• 25% off horseback riding at The Stables
Gateway Canyons Resort lies just east of the Colorado / Utah border and sits in awe of the Palisade rock formation, a perfect setting for hiking, climbing, fly fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and more. After a day exploring the canyons, relax at the spa or chlorine-free pool.
Travel now through April 15, 2012. To get this exclusive rate, call 1-866-671-4733 and mention Sherman’s Travel. For more information on the resort, visit www.GatewayCanyons.com.
Use our TravelSearch price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights to Grand Junction, Colorado.
Southwest Airlines has offered a peek at its new cabin interior design plans, part of a $60 million revamp set to begin rolling out in March. The airline intends to retrofit the majority its current fleet, putting a focus on cabin comfort, efficiency, and sustainability.
The upgraded cabins will feature durable and environmentally sensitive materials geared towards lessening onboard weight and waste products (look for recyclable carpets), brighter color accents, and slimmer passenger seating. The new seats will bump up those available onboard from 137 to 143 and offer improved ergonomics, as well as increased under-seat room for carry-ons. They’ll also reduce the recline from three to two inches – a pain, perhaps, if you’re planning on dozing, but as it applies to the guy in front of you, too, it guarantees less intrusion into your personal space overall. Read more
Have you ever gone gaga for those $9 advertised airfares, only to discover that after taking into account applicable taxes and fees, they worked out to as much as 10 times as much? New U.S. Department of Transportation rules, set to take effect on January 26, will soon require airlines and travel sites to disclose the full price of a ticket upfront, inclusive of all fees and taxes. While consumers might rejoice at the promise of transparency in advertised rates (particularly on international fares, where some of the most drastic discrepancies between base rates and post-tax and fee-inclusive fares apply), some airlines aren’t quite so happy. In fact, a handful, including Southwest, Spirit, and Allegiant, are going to court to try and defend their right to free speech and to utilize that long-used little asterisk, leading to that dreaded tiny paragraph of fee- and tax-disclosure print. Read more
With the holiday only days away, airlines are making it easy to do last-minute tasks to alleviate pre-holiday stress. Virgin Atlantic is helping out holiday travelers by wrapping gifts. For $2, “Virgin Helpers” will wrap one carry on-sized gift while you’re waiting for your flight home for the holiday. Kiosks will be stationed in Terminal 4 of JFK Airport in New York, after you go through security (since the TSA discourages flyers from packing wrapped gifts). All of the proceeds will benefit the charity Virgin Unite.
At the Toronto-Pearson International Airport, you can arrange for a flyer to be greeted by carolers upon arrival. Through December 24, if you’re flying domestic into Toronto-Pearson, tweet @torontopearson with the person’s name, flight number, and flight date whom you’d like to surprise with some holiday cheer.
Nobody likes being told they’re a little on the large side. Especially when they’re surrounded by a plane full of passengers. This less-than-ideal scenario could, as of March 2012, become reality for some portly customers flying AirTran. The airline is introducing a new policy requiring any overweight passenger to purchase an extra seat if they can’t sit in one with the armrest lowered, the Huffington Post reports.
Visit colorful Santa Fe this fall and winter with your best friend or significant other and save. The Inn on the Alameda, nestled in the heart of the city, is offering a Best Friends Package – only $83 per night, per person, for two nights. This means you’ll save up to 30% off seasonal rates, and you’ll also get a lavish breakfast each morning, a complimentary wine-and-cheese reception each afternoon, two 50-minute massages, and a gift-certificate to be used at the nearby Kakawa Chocolate House. Plus, all guests receive complimentary WiFi and complimentary parking.
The Inn on the Alameda is an urban oasis located conveniently in the heart of downtown. The Inn’s colorful gardens, adobe walls, peaceful patios and friendly staff will put every visitor at ease. Guests will also enjoy soaking up the culture and welcome spirit of Santa Fe, an eclectic amalgam of Native America, Old Spain, and the Wild West. It boasts distinctive art with its 200-plus galleries, fantastic regional cuisine and boutique shopping.
THE VALUE: Save up to 30% off seasonal rates, plus receive daily breakfast, two massages, and more.
THE CATCH: This deal does not apply during select dates surrounding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s.
THE DETAILS: Visit their website to learn more. Call 888-984-2121 to book with the Inn on the Alameda, or email them about the Best Friends Package at email@example.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: See our New Mexico Travel Guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.
Next week we’re hosting our own little trivia competition via facebook, and the winner will land three free nights at the AAA Five-Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort (www.fairmont.com/scottsdale). The Moorish-style resort features a spa, a water playground, and many dining options. For a chance to win, put on your thinking cap and visit facebook.com/ShermansTravel between April 25 and May 1 and enter the competition. We will choose a winner from the correct responses on May 9.
If you don’t nab the grand prize, you can still score discounted rates at first-rate Southwest resorts this spring. Check out these exclusive hotel offers, specifically created for ShermansTravel.com readers:
Enchantment Resort Sedona, Arizona
Hotel Contessa, San Antonio, Texas
Zion Ponderosa, Zion National Park, Utah
La Posada Resort & Spa, Santa Fe, New Mexico
El Monte Sagrado, Taos, New Mexico
Bishop’s Lodge Ranch Resort & Spa, Santa Fe
Sanctuary on Camelback, Paradise Valley, Arizona
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find budget-friendly flights.
Here’s one more Southwest spring deal, just for ShermansTravel.com users: a spa package at the fabulous El Monte Sagrado in Taos, New Mexico. The deal covers deluxe accommodations, daily breakfast for two, dinner for two at De la Tierra, a 60-minute custom massage for two, and free valet parking. At the resort, expect a holistic spa, beautiful grounds, and large suites and cottages, each with a world-inspired theme, from Asian minimalism to Native American spirituality. Details Rates start at $575/night for a Taos Mountain room, but suite upgrades are available. Travel is valid March through May (excluding May 27-May 30). Call 888/213-4419 and mention code L26. www.elmontesagrado.com
For general trip-planning information, see our New Mexico Travel Guide.
Check out more Southwest resort deals: San Antonio’s Hotel Contessa from $199, Santa Fe’s La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa from $144, Sedona’s Enchantment Resort from $315, and Utah’s Zion Ponderosa from $95.
Pay the best available rate for two nights and receive one night free at the Sanctuary on Camelback in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Nestled on the slope of its namesake mountain, the Sanctuary on Camelback possess a modern aesthetic, as evinced by a dramatic infinity pool and the décor of its casitas, with views over Paradise Valley. An Asian influence is perceptible in the spa, meditation garden, and at Elements restaurant, which focuses on farm-fresh ingredients. Details Book two nights from April 24 through May 25 at the best available rate (from $303/night) and receive a third night free. Call 800/245-2051 and mention Smart Luxury Travel Third Night Free. www.sancuaryoncamelback.com
For general trip-planning information, see our Arizona Travel Guide.
As promised, here’s another great Southwest deal for spring. Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona, one of our favorite wilderness hideaways, is offering ShermansTravel.com readers 30 percent off rates, plus a $50 resort credit. Blissfully tucked away from Sedona’s main drags, Enchantment Resort is surrounded by nothing but the American Southwest wilds Sedona is famous for. Enchantment’s pueblo-style casitas with private decks grant views of Boynton Canyon. The acclaimed Mii Amo Spa is located among red buttes and cliffs in the area the Yavapai-Apache Nation considers sacred for healing. Details Discounted rates start at $315/night (based on a two-night minimum) for stays through May. Call 800-826-4180 and mention Smart Luxury Travel, or book online with promo code SLT2011. www.enchantment resort.com
For general trip-planning information, see our Sedona Travel Guide.
Springtime in the Southwest means sunshine, moderate temps (before summer’s roast), flowering saguaros – and high-season prices. Don’t fret, we’ve rounded up several great deals just for ShermansTravel.com readers (more to come throughout the week).
Herewith, the first of many Southwest spring deals. Slash up to 25 percent off going rates at the Hotel Contessa in San Antonio, Texas and receive a bottle of champagne, strawberries, daily breakfast, and a $25 dining credit at Las Ramblas Restaurant. Stay The all-suite Hotel Contessa stretches 14 stories above San Antonio’s Riverwalk, affording prime views from the rooftop pool and bar. Suites come with floor-to-ceiling windows and separate parlors; Las Ramblas restaurant offers seaside seating. Details Rates start at $199 a night through May 31. Book by April 15. Call 866-435-0900 and mention Smart Romance, Smart Luxury, or book online at www.hotelcontessa.com/dealbulletin.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find budget-friendly flights.
Save 30 percent for a two-night stay at La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and receive wine and cheese upon arrival. La Posada de Santa Fe Resort offers intimate adobe rooms and suites, many featuring kiva (beehive) fireplaces, wood-beamed ceilings, and private patios. Fountains, ancient elm trees, and gardens dot the resort’s six acres.
THE VALUE April rates start from only $144 a night for a weeknight and $165 for a weekend nights.
THE CATCH This offer requires a two-night minimum stay.
THE DETAILS Call 866-331-7625 or visit laposada.rockresorts.com/smartluxury.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find budget-friendly flights to Santa Fe.
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