Travel notes update: Amtrak, Frontier flash sales; Last-minute seats; Food machine at ILG; Avelo adds PayPal

Delaware River and Bay Authority photo

There’s still a day or so to take advantage to take advantage of Amtrak’s flash sale.

The passenger railroad cut fares beginning in December and into March.

Wilmington travelers may not see a big savings on short routes, since a look at the fares indicates the deep discounts to New York City and Washington, DC come late at night. Amtrak already had Night Owl fares available at those times when trains run 30% full. The one-way flash sale fare is $16. You can also lock down a fare to Boston for as little as $56 one way.

Frontier Airlines is also holding a one-day flash sale. (See below).

Hot food at ILG


Wilmington Airport (ILG) has added a hot food vending machine and a water refill station.

The machine will allow hungry travelers to munch something onboard or in the boarding area. Water refill stations have become a mainstay at airports as a way to stay hydrated and avoid paying for bottled water. In some airport, plastic water bottles are no longer available and you pay dearly for metal.

The airport no longer has a restaurant, and Avelo Airlines limits its onboard offerings to water.

San Juan service starts Wednesday

On Wednesday, Avelo kicks off twice weekly flights from Wilmington to San Juan, Puerto Rico. A number of flights to San Juan are available from Philadelphia. However, Avelo is betting that the convenience of the Delaware airport will win over travelers. Delaware also has a sizable Puerto Rican community that expressed its support for the service.

A few seats for last-minute flight

Avelo does have a few seats available, as of this writing, for Avelo Thanksgiving Eve flights to Orlando. You will pay a $160 one-way and fees – such as seat assignments and luggage, other than a carry-on under the seat – are extra.

Avelo strikes deal with PayPal

Avelo Airlines inked a multi-year strategic relationship with PayPal that will provide flexibility for customers who want to pay over time.

Avelo will be the first U.S. airline to feature PayPal Pay in 4. When selecting Pay in 4 at checkout, eligible customers can break up purchases between $30-$1,500 into four interest-free payments every two weeks, with the first payment due at time of purchase.

PayPal users also use its features, including the option of paying from the credit or debit card of their choice without typing in numbers, addresses, etc.

Avelo will also use PayPal’s platform to process transactions. PayPal also operates a fraud protection feature and will use its dispute resolution service next year.

Southwest headed to ‘the ‘The Springs’

Beginning in the summer of 2024, Southwest Airlines will offer nonstop flights between Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport and Colorado Springs, the scenic city south of Denver and another gateway to the Rockies.

Colorado is a major focus for Southwest, with its largest hub in Denver and flights to the Springs and ski destinations, like Steamboat Springs and Montrose on the Western Slope.

Southwest also plans to add international service to Caribbean and Central American destinations from Orlando, subject to government approval. That may allow more connecting flights from BWI.

The airline recently extended its schedule into the summer of next year and, by that time, will offer a record number of flights following cutbacks in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

During the pandemic, the airline added smaller cities from BWI and other airports to its routes. BWI is the fourth biggest hub or focus city for Southwest.

Click here for other information on the schedule that now runs through early August.

Red ink and a 100% off sale for Frontier

Frontier Airlines, Avelo’s rival that operates out of Philadelphia International Airport, reported a loss in the third quarter citing softening markets, higher fuel prices and operational problems that included jets not ending up at their intended location at the end of the evening due to weather.

Privately held Avelo does not report earnings but has dismissed a fall slump as a normal occurrence. Frontier did report that bookings in the fourth quarter look stronger.

On Tuesday, Frontier announced a one-day 100% off base fares sale that expires at midnight (Eastern).

The sale applies to travel between November 29 through March 6, 2024.

Frontier won’t take a financial bath with the sale, since it adds fees for seat assignments, most luggage, drinks, processing the ticket. etc.

(Our apologies for the typos, garbled copy etc. in an earlier version of the Frontier post).