Travel deals for flexible fliers

HOUSTON If you want to get out of town, and still have a few dollars to spend, you are in luck. There are deals on trips to all kinds of places.

The rush was not on at Hobby Airport Monday though, but those who are flying report a pleasant surprise.

"We got a fantastic deal, $99 dollars each way going to Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina," said Andrea Washington, who was going home for the holidays.

Washington routinely travels from Houston to North Carolina. This year the tickets were a lot less than what she normally pays.

"Usually I end up paying between $150 and $200 per flight, so I would say it's half off basically," she said.

If you have not booked a trip lately, it's not too late to cash in on the deals. Anyone interested in Hawaii?

"It's $400 round trip," said Mike Weingart of Travel Leaders. "Now you have to be flexible when you go and there are restrictions, one of them is you can only be there three days, but for $400."

Weingart says right now you can fly to Las Vegas for less than $200 round trip, or if that's not far enough, how about Australia for $988? That includes the taxes and fees.

"I'd say that's about half what it was," Weingart said. "If you could find Australia for under a thousand that was a good deal, occasionally you'd find a package maybe with limited hotels."

Weingart says the economy is playing a huge role in the ongoing travel sale. Fewer people are flying and that means airlines are cutting costs to get people in the air. Still don't expect to see an empty plane because there are fewer flights than in years past. The secret to getting a good deal is flexibility.

"The key is the airlines will tell you what days to go rather than you telling them where you want to go," Weingart said.

Weingart says the best thing to do is look up the deals on travel web sites then go to directly to the airline sites to book the seats. If you don't see the same fare on the airline web site, call the airline and ask if it is available.

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