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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Category: Tips & deals
February 11, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Alaska adds nonstops, and sale fares, from Seattle

  Alaska Airlines is strengthening its cross-country network, adding flights from its Seattle hub to New Orleans, Tampa and Detroit. And it’s offering sale fares to kick off the new flights. Service to New Orleans and Tampa begins June 12; flights to Detroit start Sept. 4. There will be one daily round trip between Seattle and each of…

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Comments | More in airlines, Tips & deals | Topics: Alaska Airlines, Detroit, new flights

January 28, 2014 at 12:28 PM

More Northwest ski deals on Super Bowl Sunday

Stevens Pass has some going-fast $12 lift tickets for skiing and boarding on Super Bowl Sunday.  But there are discounts at other Pacific Northwest ski areas for the Feb. 2 game day The  discounts, available through Liftopia, include: –At Mt. Spokane, a 1-day  lift ticket starts at $40 (save 21 percent) — Washington’s 49 Degrees North has 1-day lift tickets starting…

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Comments | More in snow sports, Super Bowl, Tips & deals | Topics: lift tickets, Lifttopia

January 28, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Ski for $12 on Super Bowl Sunday

Stevens Pass wants to get skiers to the slopes on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 2) and is offering some $12 lift tickets. The  discounted  tickets are available only through the Stevens Pass Facebook page, and will  be valid for four hours of skiing or snowboarding on game day. 1,200 tickets  were made available but are going fast…. Stevens also will…

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Comments | More in snow sports, Super Bowl, Tips & deals | Topics: skiing, Stevens Pass

January 9, 2014 at 5:19 PM

Finding a Super Bowl hotel room

Manhattan is packed with hotels, and still has rooms, in luxury hotels and hostels on Super Bowl weekend. (AP photo / Mark Lennihan)

Manhattan is packed with hotels and still has rooms, in luxury hotels and hostels, on Super Bowl weekend. (AP photo / Mark Lennihan)

If you’re banking on the Seahawks getting to the Super Bowl and want to get close to the Feb. 2 game in New Jersey, start shopping around now for somewhere to stay in the New York area. There still are vacancies for the big weekend since the area abounds in rooms.

But you’ll pay a lot to stay in Manhattan, which is packed with attractions and Super Bowl festivities. It’s always expensive, and a Manhattan hotel room on Super Bowl weekend will average $418 a night, according to a TripAdvisor survey (and rooms at Super Bowl time often are non-refundable).

The heart of Manhattan is roughly 16 miles from the MetLife Stadium

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Comments | Topics: New York hotels, Super Bowl accommodations

January 9, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Take a bet and grab Super Bowl flights

Want to get to New York/New Jersey where the Super Bowl will be played in this MetLife Stadium? Consider betting on the Seahawks and buying airline tickets now. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Want to get to New York/New Jersey where the Super Bowl will be played in this MetLife Stadium? Consider betting on the Seahawks and buying airline tickets now. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Are you ready to take a bet on the Seahawks going all the way and buy a flight to the Super Bowl?

If so, you could save money by quickly buying airline tickets now ­­­— before Saturday’s Seahawks playoff game — for the Super Bowl in New Jersey. If the Hawks win Saturday, many more hopeful Seattle fans could get serious about heading to the Super Bowl and it could be tougher to nab good airfares and itineraries.

Some strategies for winning airfares

Southwest Airlines could be your friend. Southwest doesn’t charge for changing or canceling flights. So if the Hawks don’t make it to the Super Bowl and you want to cancel your trip, you won’t be a financial loser.

The Southwest drawback: There are no nonstop flights from Seattle on Southwest to New York airports or Newark, N.J. (the closest airport to the MetLife  stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., where the game will be played) so you’ll have to change planes somewhere and could have long stopovers.

— Alaska Airlines has nonstop flights between Seattle and Newark. But nonstops to Newark already are sold out on a few days just before the Super Bowl, with just a scattering of cheap

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Comments | More in airlines, Super Bowl, Tips & deals | Topics: Super Bowl flights, Super Bowl ground transportation

August 6, 2013 at 10:21 AM

Alaska Airlines’ fall sale offers $158 round-trip to L.A. and Vegas

Here’s a fare-sale alert for our hometown airline. Alaska Airlines’ eight-day fall fare sale starts today, with Seattle specials (tax and fees included) such as round-trips to Los Angeles or Las Vegas for $158, San Francisco for $168, or San Diego for $198. The fine print: Seats are limited and may not be available on all flights…

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Comments | More in airlines, Tips & deals | Topics: Alaska Airlines, California specials, fall sale

July 5, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Add up the extra travel fees before you buy

   

An iceberg floats in the sea near Disko Island, Greenland.  (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

An iceberg floats in the sea near Disko Island, Greenland.
(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

I’ve been daydreaming about going to Greenland, of seeing its other-worldly wilderness of icebergs and glaciers before they’re gone (thank you, climate change).

 So I thumbed through an enticing-looking brochure from an expedition-cruise company called Adventure Canada, a family-run business that takes travelers on small-ship cruises to remote northern places such as Canada’s Arctic, Scotland, Greenland and more.

    One cruise, called Greenland & Wild Labrador, looked enticing. The price for the Sept. 5-18 cruise: $3,995 per person (that’s in the cheapest stateroom which is, ahem, a quad with bunk beds; a two-berth room would be a dizzying $6,695 per person). Still, not all that bad for

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Comments | More in Fees, Tips & deals | Topics: cruises, extra fees

June 17, 2013 at 12:12 PM

How to snag that cut-rate Alaska cruise ticket

Passengers on a May cruise line the rail of the Star Princess cruise ship in Glacier Bay, Alaska. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

Passengers on a May cruise line the rail of the Star Princess cruise ship in Glacier Bay, Alaska. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

In response to my Sunday article on “The true cost of cruising,” which mentioned a Wenatchee couple who got a cut-rate, last-minute $299-per-person fare for an Alaska cruise, some of you are wondering, “How do I get that deal?”

First, know that there’s no promise that the $299 deal will come up again soon. The cheapest Seattle-to-Alaska cruise I see today (June 17) on the Princess Cruises website is $599 for a 7-day trip leaving July 28. Whether the price continues to drop likely depends on whether the ship is full before it sails. But even $599 is a bargain compared to the advance-sale price currently offered for the same trip at the same time in 2014: $1,099 per person. (Both quotes are for an inside cabin with no windows.)

To find the sale prices,

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Comments | Topics: Alaska cruise, cheap cruises, cruise bargains

June 12, 2013 at 11:26 AM

Hawaii tips: A few favorite things from a week on Maui

Raindrops on roses? Whiskers on kittens? I don’t know about those, but these are a few of my favorite things from this past week’s visit to Maui:

Hawaiian-cowboy themed shops are part of the local color in Makawao, in upcountry Maui. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

Hawaiian-cowboy themed shops are part of the local color in Makawao, in upcountry Maui. (photo by Brian J. Cantwell/The Seattle Times)

  • Best little tourist town: Makawao. Lahaina has great historical sites and museums, but it’s looking a little careworn and in need of fresh paint, while the surfer-dude haven of Paia is overloved and traffic-jammed. The upcountry cowboy town of Makawao has fun local shops, a couple nice cafes and cream puffs from Komoda’s bakery.
  • Kapalua Bay for snorkeling: Get there early for a spot in the public parking lot of this beautiful little beach with a protected and quiet cove that’s great for beginner snorkelers or old pros. Good reefs with some brightly colored coral, big scarlet-colored slate pencil urchins, and lots to see throughout the bay, including schooling fish like you saw in “Finding Nemo.” Fun to swim with them.
  • Plate-lunch place: Ono Kau Kau Mixed Plate, 3481 Lower Honoapiilani Road, Honokowai. I liked the Lau Lau Pork, wrapped in taro leaf for a taste of the islands. Tip: Unless you’re there for a real FULL meal, get the “Mini” plate ($7.95). All items on the “Local Food” menu come with the typical macaroni salad and
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Comments | Topics: Hawaii, Maui, maui attractions

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