Travel e-Scapes: October 25, 2016

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Chicago

Travel e-Scapes: October 25, 2016

TODAY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way travel permitted):
$96 Chicago-O’Hare or Dallas-Ft. Worth, or $48 each way
$116 Philadelphia, or $58 each way
A 7-day advance purchase required
Valid Tuesday or Wednesday
Final travel February 14
Blackout dates: December 20-January 4
Valid on American, nonstop
Purchase today, October 25


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

Where’s My Bag?
Maps are an integral part of travel, but for those taking to the skies with checked bags, visibility to a piece of luggage and its journey through the belly of the airport and from one plane to the next is lacking. That’s changing for Delta Air Lines customers who now have a map view of their bag’s last scanned location on the Fly Delta mobile app.
When a customer wants to see the location of their bag on the map, the display starts by showing a zoomed out map of the U.S. as the bag travels from one airport to the next. The map then automatically zooms to airport view and users can follow their bag along its journey via pins, with the last known location identified by a suitcase icon. Tapping any of the pins or the icon will provide additional text information about the location of the bag.

In addition to an enhanced map view for baggage, the Fly Delta app update seamlessly integrates the ‘Today’ view and the customer’s boarding pass into one screen, and the color of the ‘Today’ screen now reflects each customer’s current SkyMiles Medallion status. Electronic boarding passes now automatically update, that includes seat, gate and flight information.
Delta uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) bag tags and tracking technology at 84 airports in the U.S. with all locations offering the map view of the bag’s journey. International airports will receive this technology in the coming months.

One-way = 5,000 points
Delta Air Lines has extended the travel period on the SkyMiles redemption program that allows members to redeem as few as 5,000 points for one-way flights (taxes, fees additional) to select destinations within the contiguous 48 United States. The travel period has been extended for trips through April 7, 2017.
Bookings require a 21-day advance notice. All route blackout dates (additional blackout dates apply in select markets): November 22-28; December 20-January 3; February 16-20; March 16-April 3.
Redemptions must be made by November 11.
Delta claims that this offer is valid on more than 13,000 routes, but expect award seat availability to be slim. This promotion can be a good deal considering most round-trip travel within the 48 states requires a minimum point redemption of 25,000 points. But most popular domestic routes from Atlanta are served by low-cost carriers such as Allegiant and Frontier — with major airlines often matching.
Before deciding to redeem points, keep in mind that Delta SkyMiles are worth about 1.3 to 1.8 cents apiece (varies by analyst) and best saved for long-haul and international travel.
MileValue suggests this: Run your own numbers by looking up the cash ticket price and dividing that number by the total number of miles you would use for the award. If you get an amount lower than .013, then book the trips as a cash ticket.


SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS

Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to ‘Hurry!’ can expire at any time.  Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price!

Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way travel permitted):
$112 Boston, or $56 each way
Start travel on or after March 30
Finish trips on or before April 24
Not valid Friday or Sunday
Valid on Jetblue, nonstop
Purchase by October 27
Jetblue will offer 5 daily nonstop flights on Monday-Wednesday, Friday, Sunday; 4 dailies on Thursday and 3 on Saturday

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$209 Bangor, Maine
A 14-day advance purchase required
Not valid Friday or Sunday
Final travel April 24
Blackout dates: November 22, 23, 26-28; December 21-23, 26; January 1, 2
Valid on American via Philadelphia or Washington DC
Purchase by October 27

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$330 Havana, Cuba
Valid daily starting on or after January 9
Finish travel on or before March 31
Stay at least one Saturday night
Valid on Delta, nonstop
Purchase by October 31
Visit Cuba Travel Services, an authorized company (by U.S. Treasury Department) offering full-service travel arrangements.

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta:
$357 Gunnison-Crested Butte, Colorado
Start travel on or after January 8
Finish trips on or before March 10
Valid Sunday-Wednesday west; Tuesday-Friday east
Valid on American via Dallas-Ft. Worth

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$840 Shanghai, China
No advance purchase required
Depart daily through December 9
Add $120 per round-trip for December 25-May 5 departures
No minimum stay required; six months max
Valid on American via Chicago, Dallas-Ft. Worth
Purchase by October 31

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$869 Beijing, China
No advance purchase required — go as soon as this week or through May 15, 2017
Blackout dates: December 9-11, 12-16, 17-27 outbound; December 30-January 10; January 11-18 returns
Add $50 ($919) for May 16-June 5 or July 21-August 20 departures
Stay at least one Saturday night or up to six months
Valid daily on Turkish Airlines via Istanbul
One free stopover permitted; $65 for an additional stop
Purchase by November 29

NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines.

How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for easy to follow steps. Explore new airline routes and nationwide deals on Clark’s National Travel Tips page. 


SPECIAL HOTEL & LAND OFFERS

Scottsdale Sale
The desert is wild at any time of year. Experience Scottsdale on a weekend getaway through January 16 at the lowest rates of the season.
Marriott Rewards members can reserve rooms or suites at the Downtown Courtyard Scottsdale Old Town at rates from $128 a night.
The hotel features a lobby home theater, a Starbucks, The Bistro, a 24-hour Market, an indoor whirlpool spa, outdoor pool fitness center and views of the surrounding city from the courtyard terrace. 
Scottsdale’s pleasant average high temperatures between 65 and 74 degrees through the winter.
The West’s most western town boasts a vibrant nightlife, active arts and dining scene, and unique annual events:
In October, vacationers will enjoy the fifth annual Balloon Spooktacular, Carnival of Illusion, Grand Canyon Celebration of Art, Melissa Manchester at Arizona Musicfest’s inaugural Fall Fest, and baseball with the Arizona Fall League.
In November, attend the 23rd Carefree Fine Art & Wine Festival and Grand Prix of Scottsdale to the azcenteral.com Food & Wine Experience, Noa in concert, American Cup Championship Arabian Horse Show and Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
For December, on top of the holiday celebrations that include tree lightings and light shows, there’s the Arizona Asian Festival, A Merry-Achi Christmas, and the Lights of the World Lantern Festival.
Guests who don’t already belong to the Marriott Rewards program can sign up now (it’s free) to take advantage of additional perks that include earning points for free hotel stays, room upgrades, flights, credit card purchases and deals with Marriott partners. 
The AAA Five Diamond Fairmont Scottsdale Princess will transform into a winter wonderland in the desert during its annual Christmas at the Princess Festival, November 22-January 1 with a four-story musical tree, Princess trains, 3 million lagoon lights, new holiday characters, shows and attractions including Santa’s Secret Headquarters. Skaters on the ice rink (real ice) will experience magical snowfalls, and a new Polar Glide Slide surrounded by rink-side fire pit tables and campfires in S’mores Land. 
Hotel guests receive VIP access to the attractions (the festival is open to the public). The ‘Season of Giving’ package starts at $219 per night, with a $50 daily resort credit.

InterFlix Pass
Do you have a desire to experience the European spirit? Can’t wait to get to know other countries and cultures? No matter what your reason for traveling is Interflix provides a unique opportunity to get you on your adventure on a budget!
Europe’s largest intercity bus provider Flixbus has launched a new pass that means tourists can travel to five destinations for €99, or about $108, for all ages.
Save money with this new pass and save time with frequent departures and punctual buses. Travelers have access to free WiFi, individual plug sockets and a generous luggage policy.
The InterFlix pass allows up to five journeys within a period of three months to more than 900 destinations in 20 European countries
Your trip can start and end anywhere, however, a return trip on the same route is not possible.
After purchasing the pass, you will receive voucher codes that may be redeemed on Flixbus, through the app, or through our chain of FlixBus Shops.


Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on Twitter.


Looking for more deals?
View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page.

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