I just got an email from Virgin Atlantic's P.R. rep announcing a three-day fare sale starting this morning and going through Thursday on airfare between Los Angeles and London. Travel dates are January 10 - March 26. The email said the fares were as low as $296 each way based on a round-trip purchase plus up to $250 in government taxes and fees. That would be a total of $842. But on the Virgin Atlantic website I found a total round-trip airfare of $711 for a departure on February 20 and a return on February 27. That same fare was also available on other travel dates. That's a very good airfare from L.A. The best competitive price on those same travel dates I found using Kayak was $827 on Delta, which is a decent fare in itself.

A word about Virgin's pricing policies. The airline was just fined $50,000 by the Department of Transportation for not clearly stating total airfares, including airline surcharges and government taxes and fees. They seem to have fixed that oversight.

Smart Traveler Mark Orwoll is the International Editor of Travel + Leisure. You can follow him on Twitter.