I had two readers write me in the past few days as they’ve tried in vain to get the cheap tickets from Dallas/Fort Worth to San Francisco or Los Angeles.

Reader One said she had tried to get her 2-for-1 code from the www.switchtovirginamerica.com website and had been unsuccessful. No code had been emailed to her, and she wasn’t having any luck going through the channels on the website or telephones.

Any one else have troubles?

Before writing anything, I checked to see if I could get a code. I played the online game, and got the code emailed me almost immediately.

After I got Reader One’s email, I tried again on Monday to get a code, using my wife’s name and a different, non-DMN email address. Again, the email with a code was there as fast as I could check my email inbox.

Reader Two called American Airlines’ reservation number on Saturday to get the $99 round trip fare that American had announced on Thursday to counter Virgin America’s 2-for-1 deal. Not only could he not get the fare, but the AA people told him that no such promotion exists and that AA would never quote a round trip fare at $99.

Instead he had to pay $220 round trip versus the $120 round trip ($99 plus taxes and fees) fare that I had reported.

The problem here, I believe, is that he talked to people instead of computers. I went on aa.com this afternoon and found two flights with the $49.50 DFW-LAX fare on the date he was traveling.

On Thursday, when I wrote the story, I found $49 fares on every flight on every day I looked between Oct. 6 (21 days in advance) and Oct. 27, the last date for travel on the sale fares.

So the supply supply has tightened up significantly since Thursday’s announcement, but some $99 roundtrip fares are still out there as of Monday afternoon.

So here’s my advice, which is good on most fare sales of this type:

1. Go to the airline’s website to see what’s there and what your options are. That works better than asking a reservations agent: “How about a 9 a.m. departure? Well, then 11:30 a.m.? 2:30 a.m.?”

2. Sometimes fares from special promotions are available only online. That is the case in the AA sale.

3. If the price is right, don’t say to yourself that you’ll call tomorrow. Call it the moment you see it. We should all be astute enough to know that a $99 roundtrip fare from Dallas/Fort Worth to California is an obscenely good bargain and that it’ll sell out.

4. Some airlines put fares on sale about as often as seem to offer fare sales as often as Sears puts Craftsman tools on sale. Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways usually start a sale on Tuesday and end the sale on Thursday. Wait until about 3 p.m. Tuesday to see whether other airlines have matched or beat the initiator’s prices.

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