Though it’s not available anymore, many travelers fondly remember JetBlues “All You Can Jet” Pass. For $599, you could take unlimited flights on JetBlue between September 8 and October 8. It was so popular that in 2012 they created the “GoPack,” a set of 10 one-way flights for travel between September 13 and December 19.
These deals may look too good to be true, but they underscore a sad truth for the airline industry: the period between Labor Day and Thanksgiving is a dead zone.
Fall is Secretly the Best Time to Fly
Travelers exhaust their vacation days and travel budget in the last sun-filled days of summer. Even though conference season and fall weddings keep many iconic destinations and major cities humming with large group bookings, individual spots are often priced to sell.
Couple a last-minute hotel sale or fall foliage package with an airline award booking, and you’ve got a great way to catch the last of the good weather before temperatures drop from pleasant to parka-level. Conde Nast Traveler recently released its guide to the best fall foliage and New Hampshire topped the list. On Delta for 25,000 miles and $5 you can fly round-trip from Atlanta to Manchester, New Hampshire, even with just a week’s notice. For last minute deals, try TravelZoo, where I just found a steal for a lakeside resort in New Hampshire for only $69 a night including breakfast.
Many other top leaf peeping destinations are still available for awards travelers. For 25,000 points and $5, you can take Delta from Dallas to Portland, Maine. Or you can fly American Airlines from New York to Toronto or from Los Angeles to Minneapolis. For a small bump in taxes, you can even cross the northern border. Delta still has seats from D.C. to Montreal for 25,000 and $67.80.
Soak Up the Last Bit of Sun for Less
You can get an extra bargain for your points. United has a great slate of deals to beach destinations right now. You can get from Boston to Cancun or from Cleveland to Puerto Rico for 17,500 miles and $5 each way. Or add another $2.50 in taxes and fly from Chicago to St. Thomas.
It’s a little long for a weekend, but if you want to head south of the equator, United also has availability to Lima (usually $723 for the lowest cash fare) from Houston for 17,500 miles and $102 each way. Now that’s hot.