Great Fare: DC – Chicago on American Just $50

American Airlines has filed a super discounted fare between Washington DC and Chicago. Here’s a $50 flight:

To show how big a deal the various taxes added onto airfare are, especially for cheap fares (as a percentage of the total price) and to understand why ultra low cost carriers often complain about these taxes and having to advertise airfares including taxes — and why the larger airlines can benefit from higher taxes against low cost competitors — this is actually a $33 base fare with taxes adding 50% onto the cost.

Key rules for fare basis OVALZNN3:

  • 21 day advance purchase required
  • Must travel by February 14
  • Blackout dates: October 15, 22; November 17, 25; November 27 through December 22; December 26; January 1, 2
  • $200 change fee

You’re not going to find ‘O’ inventory every day, either. And this won’t earn very many miles when crediting to American AAdvantage (though Etihad Guest, for instance, still awards 1 mile per mile flown) and it won’t help a lot with earning elite qualifying dollars towards status. But at this price it’s better than redeeming even 7500 British Airways Avios (even when transferred with a bonus) for sure.

(HT: Mike S.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Amazing at just how much free stuff airlines get.

    Air traffic control? Free to the airline, tax to the passenger (ZP + US codes).

    Security screening? Free to the airline, tax to the passenger (AY code).

    Airport facilities? Highly subsidized by a tax to the passenger (XF code).

    I know of no other business that manages to get so much of their costs paid for by the government as a tax.

    Shameful subsidies.

  2. I recently snagged a $54 fare on AA Dallas to San Francisco on a Saturday in early November. Availability was excellent. (Not sure why they were offering this; competitors were not matching.)

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