Seats on charter flights are hard to find during August, when most flights are full. But Avro, a seat-only operator, is selling one-way standby seats from Gatwick this summer. For a flat fare of pounds 75, the company will try to place you on one of its 36 routes as far afield as Dalaman in Turkey and Tenerife in the Canary Islands (the offer does not apply to Florida services).
Call 0293 567916 for availability, and pay for the ticket at the airport. If you fail to make your chosen flight, you get a full refund. Assuming you travel, however, note that it will probably be tough and expensive to get a flight home.
New York, New York
The 21st anniversary Harlem Festival begins in New York this week, and coincides with lower-than-usual fares across the Atlantic. Until 31 August, Travelbag (0420 88380) has a fare on Virgin Atlantic from Heathrow to JFK of pounds 295 plus pounds 25 tax. Christmas begins on 12 September, according to the Flight Bookers agency (071-757 2000). For pounds 324 including tax, you can fly from Heathrow to New York on Air India and get two nights in a three-star hotel for an 'Xmas shopping weekend'.
Caribbean hot news
Antigua, Barbados or Grenada are available for a flat fare of pounds 349 return on Caledonian Airways charters from Gatwick, booked through Travel Warehouse on 071-414 8808.
Essex to Milan
Daily flights between Stansted and Milan's Linate airport begin on 1 September. For the first two weeks of the new service, Air UK (0345 666777) is selling seats for pounds 109 return.
Now Yemen's civil war has ended, Jasmin Tours (0628 531121) has relaunched its series of tours to the country. The first departure, with Yemenair from Heathrow to Sana'a, is expected to be in November, price pounds 899.
Sunrider Holidays (0928 576471): 8 August, Costa Brava by coach, seven nights in apartment, pounds 607 for a family of four; Lunn Poly (0203 225888): 8 August, Gatwick-Corfu, seven nights pounds 239; 10 August, Luton-Rhodes, 14 nights pounds 289;
11 August, Luton-Gran Canaria, seven nights pounds 279.
Jetset (071-953 0920): 29 August, Heathrow-Thailand, four nights in Bangkok plus nine nights in Pattaya, pounds 599.