travel tip tuesday2 283x300 Travel Tip Tuesday: Fly Round trip from Rome to Lamezia for €50

Nope. That is not a typo.
As of March 30, Blu-Express, the low-cost arm of Rome-based airline, Blu Panorama will offer flights from Rome Fiumicino to Lamezia Terme International Airport starting at €24.99-taxes inclusive-each way.
Wow. I know!
But I was wondering … does 2+2 really equal 4 with this new low-cost darling?
Anyone who has ever priced tickets on low cost sites such as RyanAir or Easy Jet know that when they claim to offer a flight for £14.99, they are inevitably going to add on fees for checking luggage, for checking it at the airport, for breathing on the plane … (Just seeing if you were paying attention!)
So I put them to the test.
On, I simulated a purchase for a round-trip ticket from Lamezia to London. I was quoted a price of €24.99 to London and €14.99 from London so my final tab should be €39.98 … right?

3144108415 794dce6f26 Travel Tip Tuesday: Fly Round trip from Rome to Lamezia for €50
photo credit: monstermunch99

It was €98.95 and that was without checking a bag, speaking to a person at the airport or using the toilet.
Over at Blu-Express I priced a round-trip ticket from Lamezia to Rome and was quoted €24.99 each way, so €49.98 total. Right?
… pretty darn close.

blu express plane 300x202 Travel Tip Tuesday: Fly Round trip from Rome to Lamezia for €50

According to the fine print, the credit card processing fee is a maximum fee of €6.00 each way per passenger, so add your €49.98 base rate and your grand total is €61.98-and you get to take bags! We had some guests at our B&B last week who booked flights for April and claimed to pay €55.00 total for the full trip.
Now that is a price I can live with, especially if you consider that a round-trip train ticket from Lamezia to Rome is at leasat €40 each way. I’m not sure how long these special prices will last as the €50 round-trip deal is a “Grand Launch” sale, but last time I checked there were still 1500 seats available at these prices.
So now there is no excuse for not visiting Bella Calabria. Come on over … I know a great place you can stay.
Blu-Express also has flights from Rome to Nice, Torino, Sicily and Thailand and I am *all* about cheap flights and fun destinations.
Have you ever flown with Blu-Express? If so, what was your experience? How does it compare to RyanAir or Easy Jet?
Don’t forget to visit Robin today and see what travel tips she has for you this Tuesday.
Until next time … Buon Viaggio!

Fitch Takes Various Rating Actions on Mississippi Higher Education Assistance Corp. 1999 Trust.

Education Letter February 18, 2009 Fitch Ratings has affirmed 20 classes of senior bonds and seven classes of subordinate bonds remain on Rating Watch Negative. The bonds were issued by Mississippi Higher Education Assistance Corporation 1999 Trust. The class B notes were initially placed on Rating Watch Negative on Oct. 31, 2008. The actions follow a review of the trust collateral performance taken in conjunction with Fitch’s ongoing review of student loan transactions with auction rate exposure.

As of Sept. 30, 2008, the trust had a balance of approximately $133 million in the redemption account, of which approximately $117 million was recycling proceeds not used to purchase additional student loans into the trust by the end of the period ending on July 1, 2008, and approximately $16 million was revenues transferred to the redemption account. As per the legal documents, unused recycling proceeds are to be transferred to the redemption account without an actual date specified on which these funds are to be used to pay debt principal. As a result, these funds create negative carry affecting the ability of the trust to generate excess spread and reach an asset to liability, or parity, ratio of 100%. In October 2008, the issuer contributed $3 million to the trust primarily to mitigate such negative carry. As of the Sept. 30, 2008 remittance report, total parity was 99.64% and senior parity was approximately 109%. in our site chase student loans

The issuer has indicated to Fitch its intention to use these funds to redeem debt by July 1, 2009. If these funds are not used by this date and trust parity remains below 100%, Fitch will take appropriate rating action, which may include downgrading the subordinate bonds as much as three notches. site chase student loans

The trust consists of 35.0% tax exempt auction rate debt and 63.5% taxable auction rate debt and 1.5% fixed rate debt. For the taxable auction rate bonds, the maximum rates are capped at the lesser of 1 Month LIBOR+1.5% for the ‘AAA’ rated bonds and 1 Month LIBOR+2.5% for the ‘A’ rated bonds, not to exceed the Net Loan Rate. The Net Loan Rate is calculated by subtracting program expenses and bond fees from the effective student loan rate. For the tax exempt debt the maximum rate is capped the SIFMA rate times 175% for bonds rated ‘A-‘ and higher.

Credit enhancement consists of a reserve fund. Additionally, the senior bonds benefit from subordination provided by the lower priority bonds.

The collateral supporting the bonds consists of federally guaranteed student loans originated under the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). FFELP loans are guaranteed by an eligible guarantor to at least 97% of principal and accrued interest, depending on loan origination date. The FFELP loans are also reinsured by the U.S. Department of Education up to the same amounts.

The student loan portfolio is serviced by Education Services Foundation (ESF), Chase Student Loan Servicing and Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency.

pixel Travel Tip Tuesday: Fly Round trip from Rome to Lamezia for €50


  1. Good to know as sometimes a flight from Rome to Lamezia would cost almost as much as the flight from Boston to Rome with a major airline!
    I know. Now people from the states have the option of flying to Rome instead of to Lamezia, then adding on this flight, as well.


  2. .”I’m not sure how long these special prices will last as the €50 round-trip deal is a “Grand Launch” sale”
    …….I wish we could just drop everything and
    take advantage of these great deals when they
    are available :-(
    Have a great trip to Roma….how long will you stay?
    I know, I wish we could, too. I’d LOVE to go to Thailand, as well. We are only gonna be in Rome for 4 days … never enough time, I know.


  3. Wow that is crazy.
    I was looking at flying RyanAir from London to Barcelona and realized everything was extra including the bathroom I decided to go for the more expensive British Airways at least I can use the loo for free :)
    Great tips!!
    All of those extras can defnitely add up. I also read that they are about to go up to €20 per person to check in at the gate instead of €10 and those luggage restrictions are tough!!
     Louise’s last blog post..


  4. Ugh. Some of us who will be visiting Calabria in April booked our travel in July, when gas happened to be at its peak. So some of us paid about 250 US for RT btw Rome and Lamezia. Ugh!
    Ugh is right. I hate to hear that.


  5. I just purchased my ticket to Lamezia with Blu-Express. The total cost was $57.98 Euros. That’s about $77.47 USD. Not bad. I paid $8.00 Euro for the credit card transaction. It says $4, but perhaps because I am using a US credit card service, they jacked up the price.

    Voila! I have my ticket!
    Woo hoo!
    Jennifer Rafferty’s last blog post..Adventures in Sicily


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