Airlines Tempt Travelers with Deals to Europe

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 Two European flag carriers are offering deals they hope will tempt you to book a trip to Europe. 

After Portugal was named Travel + Leisure magazine’s 2016 Destination of the Year, the country's carrier -- TAP Portugal -- hopes to encourage U.S. travelers to visit by offering a 17 percent discount on fares throughout 2017, whether they are stopping in Portugal or a stopping over en route to one of 17 other countries it serves.

Using the “PORTUGAL17” code, travelers will get the discount on any flights on the carrier in all of 2017 if they book it on by 11:59pm E.T. on Sunday, Nov. 20 with no blackout dates. TAP Portugal flies to Lisbon from Newark-Liberty International, Boston-Logan International and Miami International airports, along with two nonstop flights from Newark to Porto.  Travelers can also connect to 45 cities in Europe. 

“Portugal has been called Europe’s best kept secret for years,” said Fernando Pinto, TAP’s CEO in a statement.  “Now with being named Destination of the Year by Travel + Leisure, one of the world’s most popular travel magazines, it certainly sounds like our secret is out.  With this special promotion, we look forward to welcoming even more first-time and repeat visitors throughout the year, even if it’s a stop on the way to France, Italy, Spain or elsewhere in Europe.”

TAP created its popular Stopover program this fall to allow U.S. travelers flying to its European destinations to stay up to three nights in Lisbon and/or Porto for no additional airfare. See a complete list of  hotels available in Lisbon and Porto

British Airways is hoping that the chance to win free hotel nights in London will be enough to temp U.S. travelers to consider a trip to London during the upcoming holiday season. On Black Friday, Nov. 25, the UK flag carrier will give away 1,500 free hotel room nights to 1,000 passengers booking overnight flights from the U.S. departing on Jan. 10 or Jan. 14, 2017.

The airline is touting the bargains that are available for travelers, especially with the strong dollar. The free hotel rooms offer goes live on the carrier's website at 10:00 a.m. EST on Black Friday. Travelers have the choice of buying a vacation package or choosing a flight to London. Once the flight is booked and in an online shopping basket, travelers can chose from a selection of available free hotels.

The free rooms will be for three nights based on two people traveling together and sharing a hotel room. The hotels were chosen by experts at BA Holidays, who travel the world to choose places with  a 4-star rating.

Hotels included in the offer are the Rembrandt, Doubletree by Hilton London Westminster and Amba Hotel Marble Arch. Another 1,000 passengers will get free Visitor Oyster cards with a £15 ($US18.55) credit that can be used to get around London on the city's Tube subway and bus networks. It also includes discount booklets that can be used for shops and restaurants. 

“There’s never been a better time to visit the UK with your money going further than ever thanks to the strong dollar," said said Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and Chief Executive in a statement. January is a fantastic time for savvy travelers to visit London and grab a bargain in the seasonal sales, we want to make it even more attractive with this fantastic offer of free hotel rooms, but you have to be quick – when they’re gone, they’re gone!”

London is also a great place to to connect to other parts of the British Isles, including Scotland, Wales and Ireland. 

Travel must be on a British Airways ticketed flight and can originate from: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York (JFK and Newark), Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, Tampa and Washington Dulles. 

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