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Airlines roll out Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales

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Airlines roll out Black Friday, Cyber Monday sales

Last update: 7:20 a.m. ET on Friday; Next update: By 9 a.m. ET. 

Looking for an air travel bargain this holiday shopping season?

“Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” are now firmly entrenched on the ever-growing calendar of holiday marketing gimmicks, giving consumers a virtual cornucopia of deal-hunting opportunities timed to the Thanksgiving holiday.

The travel industry has enthusiastically adopted the new retail tradition, with hotels, cruise lines and other travel providers all in on the act.

Airlines have joined the fray, too. But holiday bargain-seekers looking for airline deals might be advised to temper their expectations.

There are several reasons for that. First, airline sales have become ubiquitous. It’s common to see them throughout the year, often at prices so low that they’d be hard to top. Don’t necessarily assume the Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals are better than ones you might see at other times of the year.

Take airfares to Europe, for example. With airline fares sometimes as low as $500 or $600 during “regular” sales, Cyber Monday or Black Friday sales might not be that much better.

The same goes for domestic fares, where round-trip prices on some routes drop below $100 during some of the bigger sales throughout the year.

Instead, the bigger values this time of year might come on business-class tickets or on travel “packages” that airlines sell as a bundled offering that includes hotels and (sometimes) rental cars for a single all-in price.

Does that mean bargain-seekers should shrug off the holiday sales? Of course not. But knowing what to expect – and what not to – can help you make sense of the myriad of bargains set to roll out during the next week.

We’ve included a handful of airline holiday sales below, and we’ll continue to add noteworthy ones to the list as they’re announced. Some will be flash sales that aren’t announced until later in the week, so it pays to keep an eye open for updates.

Before you get to them, however, keep these tips in mind:

  • Always read the fine print. Restrictions can include available travel dates, day-of-the-week exclusions or restrictions on fare types. Some may exclude one-way fares.
  • Beware of flashy “half off” discounts or similar deals. They may be as advertised, but some have fine print saying the discount is only available on a carrier’s expensive “full-fare” tickets.
  • Remember, most sales cover weak periods of the year when fewer people want to travel. Those are the seats that the airlines are hoping to offload on you during these holiday deals.
  • Research airline all-in vacation package prices before the sale so you know whether you’re getting a deal.
  • Don’t forget to add on airline fees. That $99 flight to Europe isn’t just $99 if you plan to check a bag – or bring a carry-on if you’re flying a true budget airline.

Now, with all of that out of the way, scroll down for the earliest promotions that you might want to check out. We’ll update with other noteworthy deals as they roll out, so check back regularly through Monday, Nov. 26.

Updates will be added at the bottom of this post; scroll down to see the latest offers. 

TRIP REPORTReviewing the Delta One Suite with sliding privacy doors (deals continue below)

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Last update: 7:20 a.m. ET on Friday; Next update: By 9 a.m. ET. 

Delta Air Lines

The deals:  An early Black Friday deal rolled out Tuesday, offering special fares and frequent-flyer offers from numerous U.S. cities to destinations in Europe and Australia. Few deals were eye-poppers, but a few were available for less than $1,000. Los Angeles-Manchester, England, was advertised for $839 round trip while flights between New York JFK and the Azores, the Portuguese island chain in the Atlantic, started at $659. Frequent-flyer deals begin at 36,000 miles for round-trip economy tickets to Europe and at 70,000 miles for round-trip economy tickets to Australia. 

Sale dates: Purchase by Nov. 25.

Travel dates: May 23-Sept. 3 for Europe; April 1 through June 28 for Australia.

Details: Delta’s website

WOW Air 

This Icelandic discounter, known for its bargain basement fares between the U.S. and Europe, is offering two promotions: a Purple Friday sale and a CyberMonday sale. Note that WOW is a no-frills carrier and charges extra for everything, from seat assignments to carry-on bags.

The deals: The Purple Friday sale features $69 one-way flights from Chicago, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Boston and Los Angeles to Iceland, and $99 one-way flights from those cities to Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and London.

The CyberMonday sale is broader, with 40 percent off fares to all destinations if you join the free WOW loyalty club in advance or when you purchase your ticket. Use the promo WOWCYBERMONDAY to book.

Sale dates: Nov. 20-25 for the “Purple Friday” offer and Nov. 26-28 for the CyberMonday sale.

Travel dates: Through April 2019.

Details: WOW’s website

Ryanair 

The deals: The Irish discounter is running a CyberWeek promotion, with different deals each day. Tuesday’s offer: Flights starting at $5.99 for travel between December and February. The no-frills airline is also offering 10 percent off checked bags on bookings made this week. 

Sale dates: Through Nov. 26

Travel dates: Vary by deal.

Details: Ryanair’s website

Aer Lingus

The deal: The Irish carrier is offering $50 off transatlantic flights from the East Coast and $100 off transatlantic flights from the West Coast during its “Black Flyday” sale. 

Sale date: Through Nov. 28.

Travel dates: Jan. 8-March 22

Details: Aer Lingus’ website

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

The deals: Round trip fares as low as $399 between the United States and Copenhagen, Denmark; Oslo, Norway; Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland, and $499 to other European cities including Amsterdam and Paris. 

Sale date: Through Nov. 26.

Travel dates: Jan. 8 -May 17

Details: SAS’ website

Norwegian Air

The deal: Norwegian Air says it’s taking 15% off its fares between the USA and Europe. The carrier says the Black Friday/Cyber Monday discounts “will automatically be included in featured fares, no discount code or fuss necessary.” Fares advertised on the carrier’s website include: Newburgh, New York-Dublin, Ireland, from $114 one way; New York JFK-Paris Charles de Gaulle, from $145 one way; and, among many others, Denver-London Gatwick from $160. 

Sale date: Through Nov. 26.

Travel dates: Dec. 3-March 31. (Travel from Dec. 17 through Jan. 6)

Details: Norwegian’s website

Air Canada

The deal: Air Canada has rolled out numerous fares as part of its “Black Friday Worldwide Seat Sale.” Dozens of options are available from most of the airline’s U.S. destinations, but appeared to be only moderate or unremarkable bargains. It is notable that the sale includes international destinations beyond Canada, including the carrier’s destinations in South America, Asia and Europe. It’s also worth noting that on many routes, sale fares are restricted to Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Sale date: Book by Nov. 25. (Sunday)

Travel dates: Varies by route.

Details: Air Canada’s website.

Sun Country

The deal: Sun Country says it will load Black Friday fares to its website starting at 6 a.m. ET on Friday (Nov. 23). The ultra low-cost carrier did not reveal precise fares, but said they would begin at $49 one way from cities airports like Minneapolis/St. Paul; Dallas/Fort Worth; St. Louis; Madison, Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee; and Portland, Oregon. The company warns that “fares may sell out, so buyers are encouraged to shop early.”

Sale date: Nov. 23 (Friday)

Travel dates: Jan. 7 through March 7, but flights on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays are excluded from the sale. 

Details: Will be available at Sun Country’s website.

Allegiant Air

The deals: On Cyber Monday only, the Las Vegas-based discounter will offer up to 40 percent off airfare, triple upgrades on rental cars and a third night free on vacation packages. Allegiant Mastercard holders receive an additional $20 off when booking with their card.

Sale date: Nov. 26

Travel dates: Vary by route

Details: Allegiant’s website

Cathay Pacific 

The deals: The highly-rated Hong Kong-based airline is offering flat-rate discounts off many of its economy and business-class fares. By using the code “HOLIDAY” when booking at the carrier’s website, customers can take $500 off economy fares or $1,000 off business-class fares. The discounts offer a reasonable value, especially off Cathay Pacific’s lower fares. Eligible fares include nonstops from the U.S. to Hong Kong as well as to connecting itineraries between the USA and Cathay’s other destinations in Asia and elsewhere.

Sale date: Book by Nov. 27

Travel dates: Jan. 1 through May 15.

Details: Available at Cathay Pacific’s website.

Emirates

The deals: Emirates has rolled out special Black Friday fares on numerous routes throughout its network. The fares cover coach and business-class tickets, but not the luxurious first-class suites that Emirates is perhaps best known for. Some of the fares represent modest bargains, though others are close to other sale fares offered other times of the year. 

Sample economy fares from U.S. cities advertised in Emirates sale include Bangkok (from $949 round-trip); Dubai (from $799 round-trip); Athens (from $499 round-trip); and Delhi (from $859 round-trip). Sample business-class fares from U.S. cities advertised in Emirates sale include Singapore (from $4,499 round-trip); Nairobi, Kenya (from $4,499 round-trip); Milan (from $3,699 round-trip); and Bangkok (from $5,799 round-trip). 

Sale date: Book by Nov. 24, though the first two days of the sale are available only at emirates.com/us.

Travel dates: Economy passengers must depart Jan. 12 through May 9, with return travel occurring no later than June 30. Business-class passengers must depart Dec. 24 through Aug. 31, with return travel complete by Sept. 8

Details: Available at Emirates’ website.

Avianca

The deals: The Central American carrier is touring discounts of 20 percent to 30 percent of fares to its destinations in the Americas. The deals are good if you’re already thinking of traveling, but none of the offers are jaw-dropping. 

Sale date: Book by Nov. 25.

Travel dates: Varies by route.

Details: Available at Avianca’s website.

Spirit Airlines

The deal: The no-frills carrier is offering up to 85 percent off base fares on Black Friday using the code 85PCT.  Your travel plans must be flexible: The offer is only available on Tuesday and Wednesday flights, and some routes are excluded. While an 85 percent discount will lead to some very low fares, the availability restrictions and short travel window will rule out many bargain hunters.

Sale date: Nov. 23

Travel dates: Dec. 4-12 and Jan. 9-Feb. 12

DetailsAvailable at Spirit’s website.

Alaska Airlines

The deal: Alaska Airlines’ one-day-only Black Friday sale puts fares on sale across its network. Bargains vary by route. The advertised fares range from average discounts to good deals, but it’s worth noting that the sale fares are offered only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. (To Mexico, sale fares are valid Sundays through Wednesdays).

Among the advertised fares: Washington Reagan National-Los Angeles, $129 one way; San Diego-Minneapolis/St. Paul, $99 one way; Seattle-Wichita, $69 one way; San Francisco-Las Vegas, $49 one way; and San Diego-Los Cabos, Mexico, $109 one way.

Sale date: Nov. 23.

Travel dates: Jan. 8-Feb. 13 (Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays only for U.S. and Canada travel; For Mexico, travel is valid Sundays through Wednesdays)

Details: Available at Alaska Airlines’ website.

Last update: 7:20 a.m. ET on Friday; Next update: By 9 a.m. ET. 

IN PICTURES: 30 cool aviation photos

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