Travel e-Scapes: December 12, 2017

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Big Southwest Sale

Travel e-Scapes: 03312017

Wow! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$40 Chicago-Midway
$43 Philadelphia
$44 Dallas-Love
$50 New Orleans
$52 Orlando
$61 Boston
$69 New York-LaGuardia
$71 Denver
$73 Detroit
Valid Tuesdays, Wednesdays only from January 9 through March 7
Valid on Southwest, nonstop
Purchase by December 14
See more Southwest deals below…


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

Southwest Adding ATL Flights
Southwest Airlines just announced new flights that’ll get football fans from Atlanta to Los Angeles just in time for New Year’s Day kickoff in one of college football’s biggest games of the year.
Friday, December 29: From Atlanta to Los Angeles
Saturday, December 30: From Atlanta to Los Angeles
Tuesday, January 2: From Los Angeles to Atlanta
Here’s a Southwest Tip: If you’re traveling on game day, make sure to bring your own Wi-Fi enabled device to tune in to our free live TV available via onboard entertainment portal to cheer on your team.

Airline Nickel & Diming
Despite the top ten airlines generating $28 billion in ancillary fees for checked bags, ticket change and cancel fees ($67.4 globally), the Department of Transportation cites that “limited public benefit” is one of the reasons the department is lifting transparency rules proposed during the Obama era. The DOT also said that it was withdrawing that proposal because it was too onerous and expensive for the airlines.
Previously, airline websites were required to reveal information regarding fees for baggage and other services — but fee details were not made clear until the end of the booking process. A proposal made by the DOT during the end of the Obama administration would have alleviated some of the confusion, by forcing airlines to disclose baggage fees at the same time airfare prices were shown in web searches. However, the proposal has been withdrawn — including the DOT killing a proposal that would have forced airlines to track and make public how much money they make with baggage fees and other so-called “ancillary” revenues.
Before making a ticket purchase, check out the continually updated Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines at Kayak. The chart lists prices (one-way) for checked bags, meals, unaccompanied minor service, seat assignment and other fees for each airline. But it’s advised to verify details on the airline website before booking.
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Delta Air Lines has a new checked bag policy on transatlantic flights to Europe and North Africa. Travelers will soon be expected to fork over $60 for their first checked bag — one-way! A second bag will cost a whopping $100 to check, each way.
That means that a two-bag traveler will face a surcharge of more than $300, round trip if they purchase Delta’s most “economic” fare.
The new fees apply on flights departing April 10, 2018, or thereafter.
Delta’s basic economy class does not include advance seat selection, early boarding or the possibility of upgrades.
Delta’s codeshare partners Air France, KLM and Alitalia will follow the same increase. Expect other carriers to match.
The huge leap from free checked bags to Europe is undoubtedly a way to force travelers to book a higher fare class ticket. Here’s an example:
Round-trip fares between Atlanta and London price at $1,016 in Basic Economy (out May 2; May 9 return). The same dates/route in Economy price at $1,136. As such, a Basic Economy ticket holder checking a bag each way would pay the same price as a Main Cabin ticket holder while having to endure additional restrictions, such as nonrefundable tickets and no advanced seat assignments.
Worth noting: Transatlantic rivals American and United do not offer basic economy fares on flights to Europe — yet.


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!

One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$77 Cleveland
$79 Baltimore
$83 Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, Kansas City, W. Palm Beach
$87 Washington DC Reagan or Dulles
$92 Columbus, Ft. Myers, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Tampa
$95 Minneapolis
$96 Milwaukee, Pittsburgh
$97 Austin, San Antonio
$99 Richmond
Valid Tuesdays, Wednesdays only from January 9 through March 7
Service is nonstop
Purchase by December 14 at Southwest Airlines

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$48 Miami, or $24 each way
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday through April 30
Blackout dates: March 18, 23; April 8
Valid on American, nonstop

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$72 Ft. Lauderdale, or $36 each way
Start travel on or after March 8
Finish trips on or before May 1
Valid daily on JetBlue, nonstop

Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$106 Denver, or $53 each way
A 7-day advance purchase required
Valid Monday-Wednesday, Saturday west; Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday east
Valid starting on or after January 4
Finish trips on or before March 3
Blackout dates: February 16-19
Valid on Frontier, nonstop
Purchase by December 24

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$150 Nashville, or $75 each way
A 14-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through February 14
No blackout dates
Valid on American via Charlotte

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$327 Mexico City, or $147 south, $180 north
A 28-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through November 7
Service is via Dallas with American

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$342 Turks & Caicos Islands
Valid Tuesdays, Wednesdays only
Start travel January 9 and finish trips by March 1
Or, start travel April 3 and finish trips by May 16
Valid on Delta, nonstop
Purchase by December 14
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Deals from other U.S. gateway airports:

Round-trip from Miami:
$237 Miami to Barbados, or $95 south, $142 north
A 14-day advance purchase required
Valid daily on American, nonstop
No blackout dates!
Add a second ATL-MIA-ATL $48 round-trip ticket for a total of $285 to Barbados from ATL

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 a step-by-step search and booking guide.


HOTELS, RESORTS & MORE

Capital Celebrations
The holiday festivities are in full swing at Gaylord National Resort, just outside of the nation’s capital. Christmas on the Potomac, features its famous ice sculpture attraction, an indoor Christmas village, ice skating experience and a literal winter wonderland. Relive the beloved 1964 TV classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, as you walk through 13 scenes of more than two million pounds of colorful ice sculptures that tell the story of how Rudolph’s red-nose first helped Santa guide his sleigh. Kept at a chilly nine degrees, visitors also can enjoy four thrilling ice slides and a crystal clear, breathtaking Nativity scene.
ICE! is open daily through January 1. Tickets start at $32 for adults and $24 for children on value days; $38 for adults and $31 for children on general admission days; and $39 for adult and $32 for children on peak days. Kids 3 and younger are free. The resort also offers a new Glacier Glide Ice Skating experience for $16.99, all ages.
Bundle multiple experiences at a reduced price with the Play and Save packages. Packages include a gingerbread man decorating kit, scavenger hunt, unlimited rides on the train and carousel and the option to add-on an ICE! ticket. Without ICE!, the package starts at $29.45 for all ages. With an ICE! ticket, the prices vary depending on the day of visit.
New this year at Gaylord National is a live entertainment show, JOY ‘ A Holiday Spectacular, set within its stunning 19-story atrium. Enjoy classic and modern holiday season songs performed by Gaylord National singers and immediately followed by a spectacular Tree Lighting Show that includes laser lights, a dancing water fountain, indoor snowfall and holiday music ‘ all centered on the resort’s suspended Starlight Christmas Tree. VIP reserved seating for JOY costs $19.99, all ages.
Gaylord National also features a new family breakfast experience featuring the star of ICE!, Rudolph! Rudolph’s Holly Jolly Breakfast an interactive character breakfast experience featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster and Clarice with a breakfast buffet, reindeer games and sing-a-long. Costs are $39.99 for adults (12 and up); $26.99 ages 4-11.
An overnight ICE! Is Nice Package includes unlimited priority entry to ICE! from $219 double.
Rates from $279 for two on the Christmas on the Potomac Package includes unlimited, priority entry tickets to experience ICE!; $100 resort credit per night for hotel dining and spa services and one souvenir ICE! photo.
Room only rates from $149.

New Berlin-Munich Rail Route
After more than 25 years in the making, the rail link connecting Germany’s capital and Munich is finally operating. The 387-mile route will take just 3.55 hours, or two hours less, aboard the new “Sprinter” trains that travel at speeds of up to 186 mph.
Some 22 tunnels and 29 bridges have been built on a new 66-mile stretch of track through tree-studded valleys and the idyllic Thuringian Forest in former East Germany.
Three Sprinter trains will operate from Munich to Berlin every day and vice-versa, stopping only in Erfurt and Nuremberg.
The new route will also benefit travelers from other cities as the journey plan of Deutsche Bahn is being rearranged to fit in with the new route. For instance, residents of east German towns such as Halle, Leipzig, and Dresden are all set to benefit from quicker journey times.
Tickets will cost about €125 one-way vs. prices of €75 and €120 on the six-hour train route.


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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