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Writer’s Conference opens in Seattle

Have you been able to find a cheap, last-minute airline ticket recently?

Monday, at the last minute, I decided to go to Sacramento on Tuesday to celebrate an event with my daughter and her family.

Since I’d seen cheap, last-minute tickets on the Web about five years ago, I was hoping such bargains were still available.


I started out by called Alaska Airlines to see what the rate for a next-day ticket would be. A sales representative told me $460, about twice the price if I’d booked in advance. I looked on Alaska’s Web site to see if the cost would be substantially cheaper. Unfortunately, it was $440.

I looked under “Deals” on the Alaska site. No deals were available for traveling to Sacramento.

The Alaska sales representative suggested I try Last Minute No luck there. The price was the same as on the Alaska Web site. No deals to Sacramento were offered.

I tried and Price Line. No luck at either. I tried their Deals sections, too, but nothing turned up for Sacramento.

Since time was running out, I decided to cash in my Alaska Airline miles. I only had 14,921 miles, just 79 miles short of the 15,000 miles required to get a reduced-fare ticket. A customer service representative at the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan gave me 80 points. Then I could go to the Alaska Web site and sign up for the reduced ticket.

While it took more time than I wanted to spend to get the Web site to issue me the ticket, I finally received it. The price was $233.

I enjoyed my visit, leaving Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 10:10 a.m. and returning from Sacramento at 8:20 p.m. It was a great celebration.

However, I would have preferred not to use up all my Alaska Mileage Plan miles.

What’s your experience? Have you been able to find a low-priced, last-minute airline ticket lately?


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