Book before 1 November, and a New Year flight to virtually anywhere in the US can be yours for under pounds 300 return. The American carrier Delta Airlines is selling off spare capacity between 11 January and 8 March - but only for those who book by the end of October.
Through travel agents, the airline is offering tickets for a recommended price of pounds 275 plus pounds 32 tax. Some discount specialists, including those that advertise in these pages, are offering keener prices still - around pounds 297 all-in.
The deal offers much more flexibility than usual for these deep-discount tickets. You can choose from 75 cities around the US, and take free stopovers inbound and outbound at the connection city. This could be Miami, New York, Cincinatti or Boston. There is also the opportunity to "open-jaw", eg fly in to Dallas and back from Houston. Unusually, no weekend supplements apply. The Independent's travel editor recommends a Gatwick-Boston-San Francisco and Los Angeles-Miami-Gatwick itinerary as a particularly good deal, with the missing link covered by rental car or a cheap one-way ticket between the two (currently $53 on United or Delta).
Strangely, you could end up doing much of the flying on Virgin Atlantic - most transatlantic flights are on Virgin Atlantic, with whom Delta has a code-sharing agreement.
Delta's deal expires on Thursday, but there are rumours in the trade of other innovative offers as the transatlantic airlines battle for market share.
a likely story
`But my plane doesn't leave for another half-hour' -A hapless traveller, tomorrow.
Anyone who forgets to set their watch forward an hour tonight could be in trouble. If you have a non-changeable ticket on the 7.35am from Heathrow to Paris tomorrow, and turn up at 7am British Summer Time (8am GMT), you will have missed the flight. Legally, British Airways has no responsibility to accept you aboard the next departure, although a BA spokeswoman says the airline would be "sympathetic" to over-sleepers.
Airlines begin their winter schedules tomorrow, with some departures changed. And London Transport's night buses are sticking resolutely to summer time right through tonight, so expect congestion when the GMT-based day shift starts work on Sunday.Reuse content