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International fare deals are taking flight

Each week, airfares seem to be going down, down, down.
Just last week, we saw nonstop flights from Dallas to Chicago, New
York City and Boston for as low as $81 round trip. I dont think the
airlines ever imagined fares this low. If I went to Americans corporate
office in August 2014 and told them that in a year they would offer
these fares, they would have laughed me out of there.
The airlines have been seeing record profits and fuel is cheaper, so
this gives them a lot of wiggle room to lower fares.
A lot of international markets have great fares. We recently saw $839
fares from Dallas to Madrid and Barcelona for travel starting in midOctober. If you traveled the first week of October, the fare was more
than $1,300, so just a two week difference in travel dates yields $460
in savings, per person. British Airways, Finnair and Iberia all offered
this sale fare, and travel was on codeshare partner American. If you
wanted to purchase through American, the airline was charging $1,199
for travel on the exact same plane, on the exact same dates. It pays to
compare fares on multiple carriers because the difference can be
Houston has some deals to international destinations that make it
worth the drive, or worth an additional flight. Turkish Airlines, which
flies out of Houston, is a four-star airline with some really cheap fares.
The airline offers a free stop in Istanbul and childrens fares. The kids
fare is not a huge discount, but youll get an average of $75 off for
kids ages 2 to 11.
Out of Houston, were seeing $899 or less round-trip fares to
Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Vienna, Rome, Paris, Milan and
Brussels on Turkish Airlines. Istanbul was even cheaper, in the $650
round-trip range. By comparison, Dallas to Rome was selling for
$1,359, but out of Houston it was $859.
Weve seen sale fares to 17 European cities from Boston, Washington,
New York, Chicago and Miami. The European cities include
Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Copenhagen,
Frankfurt, London, Madrid, Paris, Rome, Stockholm and Vienna. When
pricing flights from Dallas to Europe, be sure to compare fares from
these U.S. cities. It may be well worth buying a domestic ticket to one
of these gateways, and a second ticket to Europe from there.

We have been seeing sales from these gateways to Budapest and

Bucharest, which are two great Eastern European cities. Round-trip
fares from Chicago were recently less than $699. You can score a
cheap fare and enjoy four-star hotels and wining and dining for less
than what youd pay in Western Europe.
Houston can be a good gateway if youre going to drive to the gateway
city, but if youre going to fly to the gateway city, fares to Europe are
about $150 to $200 cheaper out of Boston, Miami, New York, Chicago
and Washington, D.C. Philadelphia has also been a hotbed of sale fares
to Europe. We even saw $589 nonstop fares from Philadelphia to
Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago.
Domestic round-trip fares are also cheaper to these cities than they are
to Houston, so the total cost is lower from one of the other gateways
when you compare the overall cost from Houston.
The best prices to Europe have been for travel beginning in midOctober through winter, excluding Christmas and New Years.
Houston is also having an effect on fares out of Dallas. United appears
to be retaliating against both Southwest, which is launching new
international flights from Houston Hobby, and American, which has
been matching Southwest fares out of Houston. We recently saw a sale
from Dallas on United for $225 to Belize, $259 to San Jose, Costa Rica,
and $329 to Liberia, Costa Rica. The fares to Liberia are normally in the
$700 to $900 range, so it is a dramatic drop.
When looking for deals out of Dallas, Id look at Belize, San Jose,
Liberia, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Cancn, Mexico City and Montego
Bay for travel after Oct. 15. The prices we are seeing on some of these
routes are very similar to what we are seeing out of Houston on
Southwest and United.
Weve also seen Dallas to Istanbul for $870. Fares to Asia are also
looking good, and many cities are half of what it costs to fly to Europe.
Look at Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, Beijing, Shanghai and Ho Chi
Minh City for deals.
When you go online, keep your credit card in hand, and whatever you
do, dont blink. Some of these fares fly out just as fast as they fly in, so
youve got to act quickly.
United Airlines Launches 'United Ground Express' Ground Handling Service
CHICAGO, Aug. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today launched
United Ground Express, a wholly owned subsidiary, to provide ground
handling services at select airports. Although it is a separate company
from United Airlines, United Ground Express will align with United's flyer
friendly customer service philosophy. United Ground Express recently
began recruiting to place qualified applicants in available positions and
launched a new website with additional
"We are launching United Ground Express to provide flyer friendly service
to travelers in more airports throughout North America," said Lynda
Coffman, president of United Ground Express. "Additionally, we look
forward to providing exciting job opportunities and creating diverse and
inclusive work environments in the communities that we'll serve."
United Ground Express will provide airport ground handling services
including customer service, station operations, and ramp and cargo
services at select airports around United's domestic system. At airports
with United Express service, the new subsidiary will further enable United
to provide its customers with a travel experience that's closely aligned
with its mainline service.
United Ground Express will begin service this fall at select stations, and
will also provide ground handling for United's new service to and
from Kalamazoo, Michigan, starting Dec. 9.
About United
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of nearly 5,000
flights a day to 362 airports across six continents. In 2014, United and
United Express operated nearly two million flights carrying 138 million
customers. United is proud to have the world's most comprehensive route
network, including U.S. mainland hubs in Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los
Angeles, New York/Newark, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.United
operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft, and this year, the airline anticipates
taking delivery of 34 new Boeing aircraft, including the 787-9 and the 737900ER. United is also welcoming 49 new Embraer E175 aircraft to United
Express. The airline is a founding member of Star Alliance, which
provides service to 192 countries via 28 member airlines. More than
84,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries
around the world.

Plane forced to land during hail storm after leaving Boston

BOSTON ( - A plane headed from Boston to
Salt Lake City was forced to make an emergency landing in
Denver after encountering a hail storm.
The plane left Boston Friday night around 6:30, after a half hour
delay. About three hours in, as it flew into Colorado, the pilot
made an announcement there was going to be some turbulence.
That's when passengers say the plane started bouncing around
and felt like it was going to fall out of the sky.
"You could hear hail stones hitting the airplane, my seat mate
was looking back and he could see lightning hitting the wing
and engine and he said it looked like lightning was dancing
across the wing and he could see the hail which he said was the
size of baseballs hitting the engine and going out the back like a
snow cone maker, Beau Sorenson, a passenger, said.
Sunday evening FOX25 located the air traffic control
communications between the cockpit and the Denver tower.
The pilots reported a number of issues as the result of hail
damage including a lack of visibility
They said they could not see because both of the plane's
forward windshields had been shattered by the hail.
According to the pilots the plane had also lost its on-board
weather radar.
Once on the ground in Denver, passengers boarded another
plane and finished their flight to Utah. What was supposed to be
three and a half hour flight ended up taking more than 10 hours.