I’ll tell you where to go … SAN FRANCISCO, AGAIN

The shifting fare sales to San Francisco are giving me a credibility problem. The last one I blogged about was evaporating as I typed, which is why I now announce a $280 round trip on Delta with some trepidation.

This is not, in my miserly opinion, a rock-bottom fare for the West Coast. I  don’t feel I’ve really scored unless I get in under $250. But it is a very good fare to San Francisco, which is generally much more expensive than Los Angeles and even nearby Oakland.

Delta is offering the $280 fare (including taxes and fees) from Bradley seven days a week through Feb. 21, 2008. I was able – as of 9 p.m. EDT – to turn up excellent availability on a wide variety of dates. And, most unusually, the fare is available one-way at half price.

Those are rather telling details. Because I’ll wager that the extended availability through next year and the one-way fares are aimed at Southwest and JetBlue, which are among seven airlines looking to start or expand service to San Francisco. If Delta can get the seats filled now, Southwest and JetBlue can’t fill them later. MarketWatch had an excellent piece on this very topic earlier this month.

This could eventually turn into a full-blown fare war. (Don’t you love those?) And prices could drop even lower. Or not. I have no idea. The airlines are going to keep playing chicken, rolling out these low fares and waiting for other airlines to match them. If nobody does, the sale will suddenly vanish until somebody makes another move.

So, if you want this fare, book it now. If it’s still available.

And if you want an even lower fare, fly out of Providence. The round trip is only $240.

Here are the airport codes you’ll need for this one.

Bradley: BDL
Providence: PVD
San Francisco: SFO


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