Tag: bargains

United drops its shortest route, Hawaii opens and adds new flights, holiday travel bargains ahead…

In this week’s TravelSkills on SFGATE newsletter…

In route news, Southwest and Alaska revise their empty middle seat policies; United drops its shortest San Francisco route; JSX adds more Bay Area service as well as intra-Texas flights; Delta scraps a number of smaller domestic markets; Hawaiian brings back East Coast service and more Bay Area flights; United adds spokes from its Washington Dulles hub; Spirit overhauls its frequent flyer program; Alaska will start selling London flights; Singapore Airlines will revive the world’s longest nonstop route; and international route news from Level, United and El Al. Read: Routes- Middle seat shuffle, United, JSX, Delta, Hawaiian, Spirit, 737 Max, Singapore, more

With air travel demand plummeting this year, you might think airlines would try to make up some of that lost revenue by raising fares, but that’s not what happened – not in the second quarter, at least. And experts aren’t expecting holiday fares this year to be anywhere near as high as their 2019 levels. Read: With airfares plunging, will you go home for the holidays?

Nearly two weeks ago, Hawaii reopened to large numbers of mainland visitors when it relaxed its 14-day quarantine rule and replaced it with a negative COVID-19 test requirement. Since then, about 6,000-7,000 visitors per day have arrived, down from the normal 30,000 or so daily arrivals at this time of year. That bump in arrivals is great news for the economically strapped state — and for mainlanders hungry for a nice beach vacation. But for a small percentage of travelers, that nice vacation could turn into a nightmare. How? Read: What happens if you test positive for COVID-19 in Hawaii

A newly reported case in Texas could be the first instance of an airline passenger dying of COVID-19 on a flight. Although the incident happened in July, it was only this week that Dallas County officials confirmed the cause of death was COVID-19. Read: Airline passenger dies of COVID-19 on plane

Honolulu police issued warnings or citations to thousands of people in violation of coronavirus protocols since the state launched a pre-arrival testing program to reopen to tourists. The Honolulu Police Department said officers issued 4,500 warnings and 470 citations for not wearing masks or failing to social distance since the launch of the traveler testing program last Thursday. Read: Honolulu police issue 4,500 warnings for virus violations

It looks like Boeing’s troubled 737 Max is almost back. American Airlines said this week that pending final recertification of the aircraft, it expects to put the plane back into active service before the end of the year and has scheduled it for a daily New York-Miami flight from Dec. 29 through Jan. 4. Technically, the 737 Max remains grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration — as it has been since March 2019 — although it has made a lot of progress to resolving the agency’s concerns. Read more about this in our weekly routes update.

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Insiders call it the ‘Secret Season,’ when travel bargains are everywhere: It’s happening now.

I need a break. And you do too.

diagram: (Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

© Provided by The LA Times
(Ross May / Los Angeles Times; Getty Images)

After a summer spent hiding inside the house to avoid pestilence, scorching temperatures and soot-filled air, we crave liberation and escape.

The good news: We’re entering the Secret Season, the answer to a frustrated traveler’s prayers. It offers bargains, uncrowded destinations and mild temperatures. It’s the ideal time to take a drive and get away from it all for a few days.

We’ve targeted three out-of-state (but relatively close) destinations where tourism is at low ebb this time of year, making it easier to socially distance. If you’re nervous about staying in a hotel, check out the websites of places you’re considering to read about their COVID-19 safety protocols, then make a phone call to find out more. Some people pack disinfecting cleaning supplies to be on the safe side.

Then grab your gear and hit the road. Our first pick is Scottsdale, Ariz., a big proponent of the Secret Season, which lasts through December. Locals in this resort town say fall offers some of the best weather of the year, ideal for hiking and other outdoor activities.

When you visit, take an easy drive two hours north of Scottsdale to see fall’s vibrant colors in Sedona, where the reds and golds of the season complement the red rock landscape.

You’ll find some of the nation’s top resorts in Scottsdale, where the nightly room rate often tops $1,000 during the spring season. But during the Secret Season, you’ll find 60%-off deals at some high-end resorts. Others have BOGO — buy-one-get-one-free deals — or three-nights-for-the-price-of-two specials.

Check out these bargains:

Hotel Adeline: If you like Midcentury Modern, you’ll love sleek and stylish Hotel Adeline, a boutique newcomer in Old Town Scottsdale. The 215-room, pet-friendly hotel had a $13-million makeover and now sports a restaurant and a lively pool with bar and cabanas. Rates start at $116 per night.

a view of a building: The hip Valley Ho hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a "Slip Into Fall" deal from $240 a night. (Mark Boisclair / Valley Ho)

© (Mark Boisclair / Valley Ho)
The hip Valley Ho hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., has a “Slip Into Fall” deal from $240 a night. (Mark Boisclair / Valley Ho)

Hotel Valley Ho: Anytime is martini time at the oh-so-hip Hotel Valley Ho in downtown Scottsdale, where the pool is shaped like a martini glass, complete with an olive. This Midcentury Modern hotel has a “Slip Into Fall Deal” that includes a $50 daily hotel credit and a bottle of wine, with rates from $240 a night.

Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa: This award winner, in neighboring Paradise Valley, isn’t near downtown shops or restaurants but it has panoramic views and offers a great place to escape, relax and rewind. Hike, bike or run on the many trails near the resort. Secret Season visitors from California can take advantage of a “Welcome, Neighbors” special (booking code PROCA3) that allows guests to stay for free on their third night. Rates from $373 per night.

Fairmont Scottsdale Princess: Get a BOGO deal this

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