Fare Update: This Italy deal is gone as of Sunday October 5. The fare was available from CheapTickets almost all day Saturday, October 4.
Low fares like these generally last only a few hours. This one was around for almost 24 hours.
Quick Loyalty Traveler post since this airfare deal probably won’t be around for long.
FlyerTalk has a thread explaining how to get low airfare for United Airlines flights to Rome (FCO) and Milan (MXP) for travel January-May, 2009. You can try the FlyerTalk thread method or go directly to CheapTickets.com and try to find the fare. I have made it work both ways.
It is a little tricky to get to the fare but you start at Kayak, search for Rome, and when the selection Multiple Airlines comes up as the top selection with a CheapTickets.com link you are probably there. Give the directions in FlyerTalk a try.
I also got the fare to work fairly easily at 9:15am Pacific time, Saturday morning booking directly with www.CheapTickets.com . Check your US city to either MXP (Milan) or FCO (Rome) and choose Air One flight option. There was lots of availability from SFO and LAX. The fare reprices from $738 to $506 for SFO-FCO on dates I tried. Fares range from $300 to $600 all-in if you get the low fare to work for your city and dates. February to May 2009 have been successful for people. I saw many low rates for February 2009 dates.
I found the low fare can be booked directly through CheapTickets.com. The fare will come up in the $600 to $800 range and then reprices when you select the specific flight to book. The fare works when you select Air One flight and it comes up as an all United flights itinerary codeshare.
[ This paragraph was from my initial post using the FlyerTalk directions, but I also found the fare works going directly to CheapTickets.com.]
The fare tends to say $700 to $800 on Kayak when you see the CheapTickets.com link under the “Multiple Airlines” choice for your date selection. When you click on CheapTickets.com link and leave Kayak.com, the search comes up at lower fare. Likely the fare is without fuel surcharges and the purchase price on CheapTickets.com is coming up in the range of $300 total for New York -Rome roundtrip and $500-$510 all-in for LAX and SFO roundtrip. The best part is the ticket is for all United Airlines flights.
I saw Feb 1-9, SFO-FCO (Rome) for $506 (+$27 CheapTickets paper ticket delivery charge.) = $533
San Francisco-Rome roundtrip, United Airlines, Feb 1-9, 2009, $506 all-in
I found other trip dates in January and February. The fare is not available during the Presidents’ Week school holidays from February 12 to February 22. Dates before and after those dates work well. And if you can do an extended trip Wednesday Feb 11- Monday Feb 23 does work for cheap fares. Others report March, April, and May availability.
Give it a try. This is a good deal historically, not a great deal. Flights in February 2008 were available through major airlines for under $500 all-in from west coast.
Who knows what regular fares will be like in February 2009?
This is a good deal.
Directions are given here in this FlyerTalk thread.
Here are some screen shots if using CheapTickets.com directly to indicate what you are looking for:
CheapTickets.com Fare Search Results for LAX-Rome (FCO), Feb 1-9, 2009
Select Air One fare from CheapTickets.com shown as $738
CheapTickets reprices the LAX-Rome fare at $506 all-in.
Paper ticket UPS shipping fee is an additional $27.
Los Angeles to Rome roundtrip is $533 all-in for economy flights on United Airlines.
United Airlines economy may not be British Airways First Class, but it sure is CheapTickets.