Share your travel deals with friends with Yapta’s Frugal Travel Flaunts

Yapta, a website that tracks prices and helps you figure out when to book your airfare, has launched a new Facebook application called Frugal Travel Flaunts. When you find a deal on a flight and add it to “my trips”, you can choose to publish it on your Facebook page, alerting all your friends to your great find.

The idea behind the app is pretty solid. How many times have you found out about the amazing low-cost flight a friend found, but too late? Hearing that my friend spent just $300 on a round trip ticket from Chicago to London after she gets back from the trip doesn’t help me take advantage of the same deal. And likewise, I feel bad when friends ask why I didn’t share the news of my cheap fare purchase with them. The Frugal Travel Flaunts application allows you to use social media to alert your friends to good deals and helps you score your own with a few easy clicks.

Yapta will also help you get a credit if a flight you’ve already purchased drops in price. The site will alert you to the fare decrease with a link that sends you to the page on their site with credit info. You can also “flaunt” that on your Facebook page, though I see that as a less useful tool. Sharing news on killer deals is one thing, boasting about refunds is another – there’s a fine line between a flaunt and a taunt.

Fare alert! Take advantage of the fare war to Dublin!

It’s been a little while since we’ve had a good hootenany like we’re having this weekend. Dublin, as you know, is on sale from the United States, from almost every good port of departure.

From Chicago, Grand Rapids, New York, Cleveland and many cities in the midwest, tickets are as low as $330 for travel into March. West of the Mississippi, from departures such as Los Angeles, prices are only $45 higher at $375. You can even score tickets from your local podunk airport — Bay City, Michigan is rocking prices as low as $308.

But the most jaw dropping price appears to be out of Miami, where you can score tickets for only $220 round trip. That’s outrageous!

To find tickets, start by running a flex search at Use +/- 3 days if you want the best prices, then when you find a good set of tickets, bounce over to the airline of choice’s website and book tickets. Right now I’m sitting on top of some Feb 20 – 22 tickets, but seeing as I was just there, I’m a little gunshy to book.

Interested in learning more about what’s going on in Dublin? Check on Gadling’s list of 10 Things you Didn’ t Know about Dublin.

Fare alert: check out those tickets to Panama City

I hear that Costa Rica is all blown out by tourists and that Panama is the new hot destination in Central America. Why not check things out for yourself with some secret sales going on today bound for Panama City (PTY)?

Delta and American Airlines got into it this morning with some discounted fares from each other’s hubs. And while as of lunch time Delta availability is starting to dry up, I’m still picking up tickets in the sub 250$ range on American from several domestic cities into PTY. A quick dummy booking from Atlanta from June 12 to 16th yielded a paltry 227$ fare, while Cincinnati was 241$ and Salt Lake City was 227$.

The sale only seems to be good for flights only taking place in June. Time to buck up and commit to that summer vacation that you were going to take the wife and kids on. Too bad I’m all booked up for June.

Don’t forget about the double elite miles promotion that’s going on at American through June 15.


Fare sales on the way

I have to give the Times credit on this one. Last week I read an online article by Joe Sharkey in the travel section that suggested that fare sales might be coming and pretty much dismissed it as crap. In it, Sharkey pointed to a recent drop in demand that may be motivating carriers to launch discounts across the board.

Wouldn’t you know it — as predicted, fare sales are starting to pop up. Is it directly related to Mr. Sharkey’s predictions ? Is it aggressive competition between low cost and legacy carriers in a tight market? Is it tied to the astrological calendar? Maybe a little bit of everything. I’m personally still not sure, but the numbers are definitely looking good, especially for the summertime.

For example, the tickets between Detroit and New York I was looking at for June 14th weekend just went from 300 to 180$. Virgin America, and Spirit have launched a spectrum of fare sales across their routes, causing other carriers to post competing prices.

Keep an eye particularly on transcontinental fares above everything else. That market has recently become particularly saturated, so competition should be high and prices low. Maybe now is the time to schedule that wedding in California or party in New York City.

Make sure you get your act together quick too, these prices won’t last long.

Thanks for the tip, Joe.

California: Get to Puerto Rico this spring for under 300$

I’ve been putting off sending an alert about this fare for the past few days because it wasn’t really excellent enough — but today it got excellent. Earlier prices from Los Angeles and San Francisco to San Juan, Puerto Rico, were about 275-300$ for dates in April and May, which, even though is a pretty competitive price, isn’t fall-off-your-chair outstanding.

Today however, I’m picking up prices of about 225$ round trip from San Francisco for dates through May. That’s a pretty killer steal for a 3600 mile trip into the Caribbean.

Ever been to Old San Juan? I’m going for the second time next weekend and it’s a ton of fun. A wealth of casinos, restaurants and bars stuff the colonial streets of Old San Juan, where you can wander between hedonistic drinking, quaint shopping and a relaxing afternoon on the beach in just a few steps.

Get bored? Cross the bay to the Bacardi Rum Factory or drive an hour west to the Arecibo Observatory where they shot parts of the Brosnan Bond films.

Use a flexible search on Orbitz or Travelocity to nail down dates but book ASAP if you want to take advantage of these fares — there’s no telling when these are going to get yanked.

And be sure to check out Jaunted’s guides to San Juan for some ideas on where to eat and sleep in the Old City.