The Tactical Traveler

FOR MARCH 15, 2000


This week: Airlines target Web-savvy flyers with deals and discounts; USAirways’ flight attendants are set to strike; Europe packages on the cheap and high on the hog; Hilton expands HHonors frequency program; Newark Airport had the most delays in 1999; the Four Points hotel at LAX debuts; and more.

COST-CUTTERS: The Internet Sales Keep on Coming
Want to keep the cost of business or leisure travel down? You'd better be web savvy because many of the best travel deals are now available only via the Internet.

Three examples: Frontier Airlines [] knocks 15 percent off the price of selected tickets purchased by March 17 at its proprietary site. The offer is valid on flights to and from Denver and Chicago/Midway; Boston; Portland, Oregon; Albuquerque; and El Paso. … United Vacations [] will offer discounts as high as $100 to travelers who book holiday packages at its site on March 17 or 18. The discounts are valid on certain vacations to Hawaii, Las Vegas, Orlando, London, Paris and Colorado. Restrictions and valid travel dates vary by destination. … Even hotels are getting into the Internet-only act. The Microtel Inn & Suites chain [] is selling single rooms for $32 or double rooms or suites for $42. The catch? You must book the participating properties at the Microtel website; the deal is valid for accommodations between March 15 and April 30.

BEST OF THE WEB: Tracking the Fate of USAirways
USAirways and its flight attendants are headed for confrontation on March 25. If no contract in the 3-year dispute is reached, the flight attendants say they will launch strikes along selected segments of the USAirways route network. For its part, USAirways management says it will shut the airline completely unless a pact is reached by the deadline.

You can keep up with developments via the web. Terry Trippler's Airline News [] has posted USAirways' plan to assist travelers who have flights scheduled on or after March 25. Flight attendants are using their website [] to inform travelers of the routes where they will initiate job actions. Among the designated targets: routes from the Northeast and Florida and key flights from airline's hubs in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. And USAirways posts its position at a dedicated area [] of its own website.

VACATION STATION: Europe, on the Cheap and High on the Hog
Looking for a cheap holiday in Europe? The "Midweek Madness" package from Icelandair [] (800-779-2899).costs just $359 a person and includes roundtrip airfare to Reykjavik, two nights lodging and daily breakfast. The 3-day trips are available for departures on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday from five airports (New York/Kennedy, Boston, Baltimore/Washington, Minneapolis/St. Paul or Halifax) between April 2 to May 15. And no jokes, please. Reykjavik in the spring is as temperate as Western Europe. … A luxury tour operator called Intrav [] (800-456-8100) has a European vacation for those living high on the hog. The package includes four nights each inParis and London, a first-class journey on the Eurostar train linking the two capitals and a one-way flight across the Atlantic on the supersonic Concorde. It also includes daily breakfast, three lunches, a dinner, city tours, a Seine cruise, museum passes, a London show, and deluxe accommodations. Including a scheduled subsonic flight home, the package costs $6,880 a person and departures are scheduled on May 7, June 7, September 2 and October 26.

ON THE FLY: News You Need to Know
Hilton Hotels [] will substantially expand the Hilton HHonors [] frequent-guest plan on April 3. That's when program starts awarding points for stays at Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, and Doubletree hotels. … For the second consecutive year, Newark is the airport had the most delays in the nation. About 8 percent of its flights ran late last year. Complete details for 55 airports are available from the Federal Aviation Administration []. … American Eagle, the commuter division of American Airlines [], will launch three daily regional-jet flights between Chicago/O'Hare and Chattanooga on April 3.

This column originally appeared at

Copyright © 1999-2010 by Joe Brancatelli. All rights reserved.