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Before you book that summer flight, you should take a look at seat availability. We are finding that summer seating is very tight and on some flights, you may have to pay to sit together if you are travelling with the family. Finding seats together for July travel will be especially challenging because almost every school is out and family travel is in high demand.

We are seeing one heck of an airfare sale on Turkish Airlines flights to Europe from Houston for travel during the whole month of November and also January 10-March 10, 2015. You may think it’s too early to talk “Turkey Fares”, but most of you will have a four day weekend over the Thanksgiving holiday and we’ve been seeing some incredible deals. Sample fares at press time from Houston include $776 to Amsterdam, $808 Paris, $810 Barcelona, $816 to Madrid, $844 to Athens and Frankfurt, $901 to Istanbul and $932 to London. These fares start at over $1,000 from Dallas and the average per person savings from Houston is approximately $300. On some routes you can save almost $500 per person by flying from Houston instead of Dallas. People always ask when to buy tickets and I say when you see fares this cheap. As always, fares are subject to change.

The busy summer season is fast approaching and that means we’ll see a lot more kids flying solo. If you are sending the kids off to visit an ex-spouse, grandma or other friends or relatives, and you haven’t checked the “unaccompanied minor” fees recently, you may be in for sticker shock.

This fall we will see big changes at Dallas Love Field Airport. On October 13, 2014, the Wright Amendment restrictions on nonstop flights between Love Field and cities in the continental U.S. will end and even though we’ve still got five months to go until these restrictions end, the party is already getting started. Last week Virgin America offered a three day fare sale out of Love Field, with tickets as low as $79 each way, between Dallas and Los Angeles, New York LaGuardia, San Francisco and Washington Reagan National.

Back in 2008, when checked bag fees were initiated, many passengers were bringing carry-ons to avoid the fee and it was a real roller bag derby. Today more people seem to accept baggage fees as part of the price of the ticket and are willing to pay for one bag, but overhead space can still be tight. While domestic checked bag fees have remained steady at $25 for the first bag and $35 for the second bag on most airlines, many of the fees for extra bags, overweight bags and oversize bags continue to rise.

We are getting ready to go into the busy summer season and flyer beware, there are changes in the air. American and US Airways are merging systems and it’s making travel a nightmare for some travelers.  

It feels like we just finished spring break, and you may not be thinking about summer travel, but it is time to start planning. School gets out in Dallas seven weeks from now, so summer is just around the corner.  

When people ask for my advice about getting travel deals, they usually focus on getting the best airfare. While getting a good price on airfare is important, there are other travel costs to consider, like how much your hotel stay will cost, how much a car rental will be and how much you’ll pay for parking.

Last month we told you about some great first class fares for travel through July and now these sale fares have been extended for travel all the way through September 16. These first class fares start as low as $481 roundtrip and when you consider what coach class fares can cost in peak summer, it may not cost much more to fly up front and enjoy all of the perks of first class travel.
My brother who lives in Atlanta recently had a friend visit from Newark. That friend had paid $138 for his roundtrip ticket from Newark to Atlanta on Delta, which was a super Snooze-You-Lose airfare. Before that friend even left Newark, he decided to extend his stay by an extra two days. If he called the airline to make the change, he would have to pay a $200 change fee, plus an additional $145 because the ticket price had gone up, so at the end of the day, he would have to pay an additional $345 to change his ticket, when the original ticket was only $138. When you have a non-refundable ticket, you have to pay the change fee, plus the difference in fares to change a ticket.
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