THE REAL DEALS
Discount airfare to Europe with a complimentary stay in London
The Real Deal: Airfare to Europe with a free stopover and two nights' hotel accommodation in London starts at $179 each way
When: Sept. 1 - Oct. 26 and Dec. 16 - 23, 2005
Gateways: New York City; Washington, D.C. $204, Chicago $219, Miami $254, Los Angeles $264
Details: The lead offer is based on a roundtrip ticket purchase for Monday - Wednesday departures. Weekend travel is an additional $30 each way. Government taxes and fees of about $113 are not included. To receive two free nights, two people must travel together
Book By: June 30, 2005
Contact: British Airways, britishairways.com
The offer includes only one stopover in London with a two consecutive nights' stay at the same hotel, based on double occupancy. Only one free night is granted to single occupants. The discount fares require a minimum Saturday night stay, which is where the fine print lies considering you have to depart on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, and pay for a hotel for at least one night in order to comply with the rules of the deal.
London can be both a final destination, in which case the first two hotel nights are free and additional nights are offered at discount rates, or a stopover with two nights of free accommodation before moving on to another European destination. The return flight, also via London, does not include long layovers.
The ten participating hotels range from the three-star Royal National (normally $78 per person per night), located east of central London--walking distance from Russell Square, Holborn and Covent Garden--to the four-star chain of Thistle Hotels (normally $96 - $123 per person per night), including the Thistle Lancaster Gate ($113 per person per night) that overlooks Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and is in close proximity to the West End theaters and Bayswater. The complimentary hotel and the free continuing flights add up to a savings of $200 dollars or more, especially when considering the strong British Pound.