Cheep Fares

By Duane Wells

Originally published on Advocate.com January 11 2011 5:00 AM ET

 Competition-minded airlines have embraced Twitter to communicate with bargain-hunting potential customers. For example, JetBlue offers “Cheeps,” random discounted fares to travelers who log in each Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Eastern. It’s usually just one-way travel—recently you could fly between Los Angeles and Las Vegas for only $29— and typically travel is within a few days of booking and it’s just airfare. With United Airlines’ “Twares,” a limited number of seats are made available, so you must act quickly. Naturally, you should read the fine print, as there are caveats. Deals are time-sensitive, there’s a $25 office-booking fee, a $30 airport ticket counter fee, and for the most part fares are nonrefundable. It can add up, but the flights can be had for as little as $10—less than the price of a cocktail. Twitter.com/JetBlueCheeps, Twitter.com/UnitedAirlines

Protecting the Potables
Returning home from that idyllic wine country getaway, you definitely want to pack a bottle of that impossible-to-find vintage from the local vineyard. The Vinnibag, a travel device with inflatable air chambers that expand around wine bottles or other fragile item to stabilize them during transport, is a bottle saver. It’s as easy to use as blowing up a balloon, plus it’s reusable and recyclable. Overpackers take note: It takes up additional room (about one more inch in circumference than the bottle alone) in the suitcase when it’s blown up. Vinnibag.com, $28