I read in the “New York Times” this morning that the average airfare has crept (or leaped, perhaps) to over $400.  If there was ever a reason to pay attention to the Tuesday Internet specials, this is it. For those unfamiliar with these offers: a number of US airlines offer last-minute airfare specials beginning on Tuesdays for travel on the upcoming weekend, including this weekend. Most fares are non-refundable and must be purchased immediately, but these specials often represent significant savings even over the advance purchase fares. Below is a recap of this week's offerings.

United Airlines – United Airlines offers dozens of Internet specials this week, mostly to or from their hubs in Houston, Newark, Chicago, Cleveland and Denver. These fares must be purchased by 11:59 PM, Central on Friday, May 25  and apply to departures after 7 PM on May 25 or anytime May 26 with returns on Monday, May 28 or Tuesday, May 29.  Taxes and airport fees are additional.  A sampling of this week's fares include:

  • Chicago to Washington/Reagan – $221
  • Cleveland to Richmond – $161
  • Cleveland to Washington/Reagan – $161
  • Houston to Memphis – $155
  • Newark to Quebec City – $239
  • Phoenix to San Francisco – $221

US Airways – US Airways also offers weekly Internet specials. Their E-saver fares for this week must be purchased by 11:59 PM, Eastern on May 26 for travel departing May 26 and returning May 29. The best fares I found include: (roundtrip without taxes and fees)

  • Detroit to Washington/Reagan – $210
  • Milwaukee to Philadelphia – $250
  • Richmond to New York/LaGuardia – $200

Delta Airlines Web Deals – Delta has no Web specials this week.

American Airlines Net Fares – American Airlines usually offers both specials for this weekend and the following weekend. This week, however, they only have specials for next weekend. You still need to purchase your tickets no later than 11:59 PM, Central on May 25. Travel is limited to departures on June 1 after 7 PM or anytime June 2 with return travel on June 4 or June 5. Highlights include:

Next weekend:

  • Miami to Washington/Reagan  – $152
  • Los Angeles to San Francisco – $130
  • Cleveland to New York/LaGuardia – $154
  • Charlotte to New York/LaGuardia – $160

Keep in mind that there are a limited number of seats for these Internet deals and they may sell out at any time. Be sure to read the fine print before purchasing your tickets, but if you see something that interests you, it's a good idea to buy your tickets immediately to avoid being disappointed.

Weekly Internet Airfare Roundup: Prices from $130