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For airline discounts, pay by PayPal

Although it’s not widely known, PayPal has agreements with several major airlines, allowing travelers to use the popular online payment service to purchase airline tickets.

At least in part to address that lack of awareness, PayPal is currently offering cash rebates for tickets purchased from Midwest, Northwest, and Southwest.

The rebates—$50 on Northwest and Southwest tickets costing at least $250, $20 on any Midwest fare—are only in effect for bookings made by March 27. But travel can take place later—between April 1 and June 30 on Midwest, between April 1 and June 14 on Northwest, and any time on Southwest. Bookings must be made on the participating airlines’ own websites, using the PayPal payment option.

If you were to take advantage of the $50 discount on a $250 ticket, it would amount to a 20-percent savings. A discount of that magnitude wouldn’t raise eyebrows if it were for a car or consumer electronics. In fact, many consumer goods and services are routinely discounted. But airlines control pricing so tightly that it’s harder to catch a break. In short, this is an unusual opportunity to realize meaningful savings on travel.

Thanks to reader Glenn Squire for the heads-up on this.

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