Sales, sales everywhere!

After a long, dark period in airline pricing, the sun is peeking through. If you’re looking to take a trip before spring, now is the time to be shopping.

My inbox has been collecting fall airfare sales for about two weeks now, and the prices are attention-getting. I’ve seen fares to Europe that approach those of the pre-merger-frenzy days (meaning sub-$1,000, some far cheaper from Minneapolis), and Cancun for less than $350, for instance.

Domestic sale fares are impressive, too. Several options from Minneapolis to destinations including Chicago, Denver and others have fallen into the $100-$140 range for a round trip.

The sales are happening on a range of low-cost and legacy airlines.

How do you find the sales? Many low fares are unadvertised. Sign up for fare alerts with several online booking sites. Pick one route or many and wait for notifications. I like Travelzoo.com, for starters.

Don’t really know where you want to go? Airfarewatchdog.com lets you check deals from a particular city, making the sale list your travel destination inspiration.

Once you find a deal you like, remember, above all else, read the fine print.

Check on holiday blackout dates, decide whether the connection times (if any) are suitable, calculate the total add-on fees you’ll pay to fly in the style you like, and be fully educated about the refund situation if your plans must change.

A bargain is only a bargain if you get what you want, after all.

Notice that piano?

Among Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s less-noticed delights is a grand piano on the baggage claim level. If you fly through the airport, you’ve probably seen it, even if — like me — you didn’t pay it much attention.

I got a little curious and found out that the piano is for anyone who wants to play it. Just sit down and make some music while you await your suitcase.

Get travel news daily at www.sctimes.com/travel, on Twitter @LisaSSchwarz, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sctimeslisa. Send questions to lschwarz@stcloudtimes.com.
Lisa Schwarz

About Lisa Schwarz

By day, I'm a St. Cloud Times editor guiding coverage of politics, government, public safety and business beats. By night, I'm leading the cubicle jailbreak as the Times Traveler. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/LisaSSchwarz and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sctimeslisa
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