Travel

Travel Advice: Landing Deals On Airfare

Q. Is there a website, or websites, that lists the best flight deals departing specifically from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport? Seems like the discount sites all require you to list dates and destinations. Isn't there someplace to simply see a list of discounted flights departing from here?

A. When you want to get away, and a good price is more important than the destination, there are several places to check.

Check out airfarewatchdog.com, a site devoted to cheap airfares. The home page is dominated by a search box. Input your home city, and leave the destination at its original setting: "anywhere." A tempting list will pop up, including international locales. When you click on a link to view the details of a particular airfare, the site will tell you the airline, how far in advance you need to book, the days you need to travel to nab the deal (often excluding weekends), the date you must travel by and blackout dates. It will also provide links to sites selling the fare. You can also sign up to receive a weekly e-mail list of cheap fares from your departure city.

At smartertravel.com, you can also search for deals by departure city. Click on "travel deals" from the home page and then click on "departure city fares" on the menu bar. Designate Minneapolis (or Duluth and Rochester), and a list of discounted airfares appear. Once you've clicked on an airfare among the list, look to the right side of the screen for "sponsored deals." Those are offers that bundle hotels and airfare for the destination.

At both sites, the deals listed will be the best available at the time they were uncovered. Some of the fares will have limited availability and won't fit all dates. As they say, act fast, and be prepared to input several different dates to find the best fare.

Also, you can sign up for weekly airfare specials from Delta or other airlines. I get the Delta e-mail; it arrives on Tuesdays and includes Delta Vacation deals.

You might also consider calling a local travel agent. A good one will know where to find the best deals at the moment and potentially save you key strokes and money. But do a little web search first so you can compare offers.

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