Airfare sale! Half off flights

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Direct Air, a lesser-known carrier based in Myrtle Beach, S.C., is celebrating its fourth birthday with a sale knocking 50 percent off all flights.

As the carrier's name suggests, Direct Air doesn't use the old-fashioned hub-and-spoke system. Instead, it flies non-stop routes only, typically from B- or C-list airports in the Midwest and Northeast to a few sunny spots in Florida, along with its headquarters on the beach in South Carolina. The airline is one of several up-and-comers "Flying Under the Radar," which we highlighted not long ago, and which have interesting business models that may very well challenge the carriers we've all been flying for decades.

To get the half-off deal, visit Direct Air's website and punch in the coupon code EMDA24 before doing your search. You can also call the airline at 877/432-3473 and reference the offer to get your discount. In scouting out the possibilities, we found round-trip fares totaling $166 (factoring in the discount, with all taxes and fees included) on routes such as Kalamazoo, Mich. to Punta Gorda, Fla., Newark, N.J., to Myrtle Beach, and Niagara Falls, N.Y. to Melbourne, Fla.

To get the discount, tickets have to be purchased by March 7.

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