Interested in an excursion to Europe that won't break your budget? Here are three transatlantic airline promotions worth checking out.

Free Companion Travel

Purchase a round-trip economy-class fare to London from select U.S. cities and bring a companion along for free. Departure cities include Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York JFK, Newark, Orlando, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Tickets must be purchased by November 15, 2000, for travel September 1, 2000, through February 28, 2001. Blackout dates from Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., are January 1-10, 2000; from Miami and Orlando, January 1-14, 2000.

Tickets for this Virgin Atlantic offer must be purchased with an American Express card. Qualifying tickets must be six-month APEX fares, which are usually not the cheapest available. Be sure to ask about the lowest available fare prior to purchase to compare with the two-for-one offer. The promotion is not valid in conjunction with any other special offer.

Book through your travel agent or contact Virgin Atlantic at 800-862-8621. For complete details, go online to Virgin Atlantic.

$50 to $100 Off Single Tickets

Purchase a round-trip ticket to London and save $50 off fares of $400 or less -- or $100 off fares over $400. The offer is valid for travel from Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York-JFK, Orlando, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Tickets must be purchased by October 31, 2000, for departures from September 1 through October 31, 2000, and returns by December 15, 2000.

Tickets for this Virgin Atlantic offer must be purchased with an American Express card. Tickets are most easily purchased by calling Virgin's telephone reservation system at 800-862-8621 and requesting the American Express Fall Promotion. If you want to purchase through a travel agent, you must submit a form via e-mail and receive a voucher, promised within four business days.

For complete details on the offer and to e-mail a voucher request, go to Virgin Atlantic online.

Half-Price Companion in Business Class

Fly from Washington, D.C.-Dulles to Europe in business class starting at $2,325 round-trip. This special requires two people traveling. The $2,325 price is based on the first passenger paying a fare from $3,100 and the second passenger traveling at 50% off.

This special business- (or Avant-) class fare is offered by Spanair for travel to Spain and the Canary Islands. For travel to Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Stockholm, Cologne, Munich, and Stuttgart, the round-trip Avant ticket is priced at $3,300. If a forced overnight connection in Madrid is required, as is the case with Stockholm, Spanair will pay for one night's stay at a Madrid airport hotel. This special business-class fare does not include a companion rate.

Spanair's business-class fares include complimentary limo service within the Washington area to and from Dulles Airport. Passengers earn frequent flyer miles on United Airlines or Spanair.

These fare specials are offered only for departure from Dulles. Book through your travel agent or contact Spanair at 888-545-5757.

Bestfares.com is designed to save travelers time and money. The one-stop travel resource site tracks the latest specials, posting hundreds of deals every day. It covers domestic and international airfares, frequent flyer bonuses, business travel, vacation packages, cruise travel, lodging, car rentals, rail travel, and more. Most deals are available to the general public. Specially negotiated discounts exclusive to Bestfares.com members offer savings of as much as 70%.

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